Sharp-tailed Grouse are charismatic gamebirds which have a lek-mating system. Males gather in small areas called leks to attract females. They defend territories at lek sites and perform complex synchronized displays. Females visit leks, choose a male to mate with, and raise young on her own. This position would provide ample opportunities to view this iconic species, as well as the multitude of other species on Audubon of Kansas’ Hutton Niobrara Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary including Greater Prairie-Chicken, Sandhill Crane, Virginia Rail and Sora, and grassland species. The sanctuary is located northeast of Bassett, Nebraska, along the Niobrara River.
Work for a growing non-profit to lead Sharp-tailed Grouse tours. Primary duties include guiding guests to the lek, setting up viewing blind, viewing at a distance from the vehicle or accompany guests within the blind, and returning guests to headquarters. If guests stay at on-site property, then you would be responsible for housekeeping duties including washing bedding and towels, cleaning bathrooms, and other cleaning as required. On work days when no tours are scheduled, prairie-chicken and sharp-tailed grouse surveys from public roads will be conducted. Must be able to work independently and carry 30 pounds over uneven terrain. There is also an opportunity to see Lesser Prairie-Chickens and help out with the Kansas Lek Treks Prairie-Chicken festival (kansaslektreks.org). Therefore, occasional irregular working hours are to be expected and overnight stays in Kansas may be required as well. A vehicle will be provided for on-the-job use.
This position is an ideal opportunity for an aspiring biologist with the desire to gain practical experience surveying for lek-mating grouse and working with members of the public. A positive and motivated attitude is essential, as well as a desire to create a welcoming environment for ecotourism and learn new skills in a conservation setting. This is an excellent opportunity for motivated individuals who are eager to learn about prairie grouse and to experience the unique beauty and biodiversity of the Great Plains.
March 16-17 Training
Lead Tours 5 days a week (Thursday through Monday; Off Tuesday and Wednesday) from March 18-May 8, 2023
8 weeks total
$425/week; $1000 travel allowance, half paid on first paycheck and half on last paycheck; free housing shared with guests
Submit cover letter, resume/CV, and list of references to:
Jackie Augustine, AOK Executive Director
Jackie AT audubonofkansas DOT org
Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and position will be closed when filled.
Ability to follow detailed instructions, and work independently or with minimal supervision.
Desire to create a welcoming environment for ecotourism
Commitment to not disturbing wildlife
Knowledge of prairies and prairie grouse
Valid driver’s license
High School diploma
Some college coursework
Experience with viewing or researching lek-mating grouse