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  • Black Rail Field Technicians: Southeast Colorado

    Nora Hargett
    • Employer: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
      Location: SE Colorado (near Lamar, CO)
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/10/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Black Rail Field Technicians : Southeast Colorado

    Salary: $17.50 with shared field housing provided

    Start Date: April 3, 2023

    Approximate End Date: June 30, 2023 or August 11, 2023


    Two field technicians are needed to conduct research on Eastern Black Rails (a federally threatened species) along the lower Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado. The successful candidates will work alongside a Master’s Student throughout the field season. The goal of the project is to estimate abundance, identify habitat use and determine home range size of these secretive marsh birds. Both technicians will be needed to conduct call-broadcast surveys and help trap and track Eastern Black Rails. The broadcast surveys will be night based and much of the field work will be conducted alone. Trapping will be conducted during the day and night and will always be done in a pair. Acoustic recording units and camera traps will also be deployed and maintained throughout the summer. Both technicians will be needed from April 3rd – June 30th. One technician will remain until August 11th. After June 30th, most of the work will be office based. The technician will help annotate camera and ARU detections as well as maintain camera traps.  In your application, please designate the time frame you prefer (April 3-June 30 or April 3-August 11).

    Both positions will include early mornings and late nights. There will be considerable driving time to field sites. A vehicle will be provided for field work. Field conditions involve hot days and lots of bugs.

    *Note: These birds are incredibly secretive and trapping success is not certain, there is no guarantee that either technician will see a Black Rail.


    1.       Strong interest in wetland ecosystems or avian research

    2.       Experience trapping and handling birds is preferred.

    3.       Experience in identifying avian species by sound is preferred.

    4.       Experience with handheld radio telemetry is preferred.

    5.       Must be comfortable working alone in a rural setting at night.

    6.       Ability to work in harsh environments and be flexible to changing field conditions is a must.

    7.       Must be detail oriented and have experience with following field protocol, data collection, and data entry.

    8.       Must demonstrate an ability to make sound decisions based on human and animal safety

    9.       Must have a current & valid driver’s license.

    How to Apply: Please provide a cover letter, resume, and contact info for three references in a single document. Email this to ehargett@illinois.edu with “2023 BLRA Technician” in the subject line. Please designate which time frame you prefer (April 3-June 30 or April 3-August 11). Applications are due Jan 10, 2023.

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