Wildlife Capture Specialist: Gunnison, Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Gunnison, Colorado
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$3,114 - 3,287 per month (housing first two month is provided)
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Need experienced animal handling technician needed for 7 months on projects involving general field work (33% time) and the capture of Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, mountain Lion, mule deer, and elk (66% time). - First two months (~late September – end of November) will consist of weekly 3-5 day campaigns camping/kayaking in the remote backcountry of the Gunnison River in the Black Canyon National Park/Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area complex in order to ground dart bighorn sheep (100% time). Field housing is provided during the 2-4 rest days these first two months. - Second five months (~December 1 – April 21) will be based out of the town of Gunnison with field work throughout the Upper Gunnison River Basin and consist of ~50% time: capturing, via chemical immobilization, mountain lion (track cutting, hound chases, extensive baiting, cage traps), mule deer (truck-based darting), and bighorn sheep (free/ground or truck-based darting). Will assist or lead approximately 1-2 weeks of ground support for helicopter netgun-based elk, mule deer, and bighorn sheep capture operations. ~50% or remaining time will be spent on other duties such as deploying and maintaining camera traps for lion density mark-resight study and or ungulate migration study, investigating mortalities of ungulates on survival studies, potential helicopter based ungulate surveys, driving samples to lab, and various data entry. NO HOUSING provided these last five months. Fill out the application questionnaire to this link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FYVGSXB ) AND then send your application email immediately after to kevin.blecha@state.co.us
Required Skills: 1. Experience assisting and/or leading the capture of large animals via chemical immobilization and dart projector. 2. Backcountry hiking experience while carrying heavy loads (e.g., 50 lb capture backpack), 3-9 miles/day, often in steep and slippery/loose terrain, ~2700 ft elevation descent/ascents. Here are some examples: a. Gunnison Gorge and Black canyon example: https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=A571BBAB-B670-403E-8967-0C9BDA87A8B6 b. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyNGmSUYTog c. Upper Gunnison Basin work is in rolling sagebrush, cut by 500–1000 ft canyons, and occasionally deep (2-6 ft) powder/sugar/crusted snow mix. 3. Experience riding in class III/IV white-water. 4. General ATV operation experience. 5. Willingness and flexibility to work irregular hours and revolve work schedule around weather, other team members, and unpredictable aircraft. Additional desired skills, but not required: 1. Climbing (rock and/or tree). 2. Experience navigating/oaring/paddling in raft, kayak, or inflatable kayak on class III/IV white-water. 3. Back-country camping experience. 4. Operation of snowmobile off route. 5. Operation of camera traps. 6. Microsoft excel or access data entry/manipulation. 7. Collection and care of biological specimens. 8. Attention to detail. 9. Working in a team setting. 10. Surveying animals from helicopter. 11. Fixed wing VHF telemetry experience.
Contact Person
Kevin Blecha
Contact eMail
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