FLORIDA GRASSHOPPER SPARROW FIELD TECHNICIANS (5) – Nest Monitoring and Protection
Location: Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, Kenansville, FL
Duration: 10 March-24 August 2023
Job Type: Seasonal
Application Deadline: December 11 (or until filled)
Compensation: $15.00/hr with air-conditioned shared housing and 4x4 vehicles for work use
Job Description: Five experienced seasonal field technicians are needed to conduct demographic monitoring research and nest protection of the critically endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ($15.00/hr; 10 March-24 August 2023). Technicians will assist with the collection of important breeding season data on the largest population of this rapidly declining grassland bird endemic to Florida. These positions are an exciting opportunity to protect and conserve one of the most threatened birds in the United States while contributing to a large-scale demographic research project. Candidates will also help with captive breeding and release program, a key component of the recovery effort for Florida grasshopper sparrows. This will be the fifth year of the program, and field technicians will be inextricably involved by resighting birds that were released in previous seasons to help measure the success of the program, as well as by helping with the release of birds bred in captivity. Additionally, two of the five technicians will focus on measuring the effects of a large-scale land management project on grassland birds. This work will require finding and monitoring nests of Florida grasshopper sparrows as well as other species, such as Bachman’s sparrow and eastern meadowlark, within experimental plots.
Florida’s rare and unique dry prairie habitat offers breathtaking grassland sunrises and frequent encounters with some of Florida’s finest wildlife. A video highlighting some of the project activities can be seen here:
Early press coverage on the release project can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/animals/florida-grasshopper-sparrow-will-probably-go-extinct-a-conservation-effort-may-be-the-last-hope/2020/05/01/4311eea2-6ece-11ea-96a0-df4c5d9284af_story.html?arc404=true and more recent coverage of the project can be found here: https://www.audubon.org/news/efforts-save-north-americas-most-endangered-bird-are-succeeding Pay is $15.00/hr (40hrs/week), with air-conditioned shared housing and 4x4 vehicles for work use provided on site.
Duties include: Conducting point count surveys, resighting color-banded individuals, finding and monitoring grassland bird nests, deploying nest cameras, protecting nests with predator deflection fences, conducting behavioral observations, collecting samples for disease analysis, catching and banding adults, banding nestlings, vegetation surveys, data entry, equipment maintenance, and implementing adaptive conservation biology protocols. During the 2023 field season, captive-bred birds will be released into the wild and technicians may also help with monitoring and caring for birds during the acclimation period in field aviaries and releasing birds into the wild.
Qualifications: Preferred candidates will have extensive experience searching for and monitoring grassland bird nest. Previous experience trapping and banding passerines and resighting color-bands using a spotting scope is also highly desired. Point count and nest-camera skills are a plus. Technicians must be organized, motivated, and adaptable to detailed fieldwork and data management protocols. Tolerance for high temperatures and extreme humidity is essential, as is the ability to live happily in a rural setting and in close quarters with other field researchers. Applicant must have a valid U.S. driver's license and be authorized to work in the United States. Previous experience driving four-wheel drive trucks and ATVs in wet conditions is also preferred. Dedication, sensitivity, and attention to detail when working with a critically endangered bird is a must.
To Apply: Candidates must submit in ONE document (.doc, .docx, or .pdf) a brief cover letter, CV, and the contact information for three professional references to FWCbio AT gmail.com. Please state in the subject line of the email the title of the position you are applying for: “FGSP technician position”. As part of your application, please fill out this Google Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfJk32XU4ky4lyndqpo6eaYPsSLDXwQaCGitRCt38-92f3pDw/viewform?usp=sf_link Applications will be accepted until December 11 or until the positions are filled.