Shrike Husbandry Technician

Position: Shrike Husbandry Technician
Project: Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery
Location: Brechin, Ontario (Carden Alvar)
Type of Position: Full-time (30 hr/wk), temporary (7 weeks)
Rate of Pay: $11.40/hr, plus 4% vacation pay; rustic housing will be provided
Anticipated Start: July 4, 2017
Hours of Work: Flexible daily and weekly schedule to suit project needs and weather conditions. Working weekends will be required.

Wildlife Preservation Canada is seeking a husbandry technician to assist with the care and release of captive-bred Loggerhead Shrike, which is a key component of the Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program in Ontario. The Loggerhead Shrike (LOSH) is critically endangered with only 18 known pairs breeding in Ontario in 2016. The Carden Alvar is one of two core areas where LOSH continue to breed, though sightings still occur in Smiths Falls, Pembroke/Renfrew, Grey-Bruce and Manitoulin. Wildlife Preservation Canada has been managing this unique recovery program since 2003.

Under the supervision of the Area Shrike Biologist, the husbandry technician will be responsible for the care and soft-release of groups of captive-hatched juvenile LOSH, which will be transferred to Carden release site from one of the program’s breeding facilities over July-August. This position offers a unique opportunity to work first-hand with an endangered species, and to gain experience in animal care and population recovery techniques in a field setting. Specific duties will include:
• Release site and enclosure preparation and maintenance
• Daily care and husbandry of captive young prior to release during July and August (behavioural observations and provision of live food)
• Care and maintenance of invertebrate food colonies (crickets and mealworms) and live mice
• Assisting with the banding of all juvenile shrikes before release
• Assisting with the attachment of remote tracking devices to a subset of young to be released
• Soft-release of young; post-release monitoring and supplemental feeding
• Data management and monthly reports
• Additional tasks as required

The technician may also have the opportunity to assist with wild population monitoring activities.

• Strong interest in biology, conservation, and fieldwork.
• Prior experience with animal care and/or avian rehabilitation is a major asset.
• Previous bird handling and/or banding experience is an asset
• Keen observation skills and attention to detail.
• Ability to work professionally and safely in variable weather conditions with exposure to biting insects.
• A valid driver’s license is required, and access to a vehicle for the duration of the contract is preferred.
• Willingness to live in rustic field quarters.

This position is funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program. Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for this position:
• be between 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive) at the start of employment;
• was registered as a full-time student during the preceding academic year, and intends to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
• be a Canadian citizen, permanent reside, or person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and
• be legally entitled to work according to the relevant Ontario legislation and regulations.

To apply please send a cover letter and resume to: Hazel Wheeler, Lead Biologist – Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery, Please submit your application as a single PDF or MS word file and include the email subject heading “Shrike Captive Technician application”.

Application deadline is midnight (EST) 16 June 2017, however, applications will be assessed as they are submitted.

Please note this position is only open to Canadian residents. We thank all who apply, but only individuals considered for an interview will be contacted.