Shrike Recovery Biologist (2)

Position:                            Shrike Recovery Biologist (2)
Project:                              Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery
Location:                           Carden Alvar or Napanee Limestone Plain, Ontario
Type of Position:             Full-time (40 hr/wk), temporary (26 weeks), with the possibility of a contract extention in to the fall of 2018
Rate of Pay:                       $2700 – 2900/month (incl. 4% vacation pay), depending on experience; a housing subsidy may be available if the candidate does not have access to local accommodation
Anticipated Start:            1 April 2018
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 two experienced biologists to implement 2018 field season activities for the Loggerhead Shrike (LOSH) Recovery Program.  Two positions will be filled, one each in the Carden and Napanee Alvars. The Loggerhead Shrike is critically endangered with only 26 known pairs breeding in Ontario in 2017.  The Carden and Napanee Alvars are the two core areas where LOSH continue to breed reliably, though sightings still occur in Smiths Falls, Pembroke/Renfrew, Grey-Bruce and Manitoulin, and some work may occur in those regions.  Wildlife Preservation Canada has been managing this unique recovery program since 2003; activities include wild population surveying and monitoring, captive breeding and release, and habitat stewardship.

Under the supervision of the Lead Biologist, contract biologists will be responsible for monitoring the wild population in their designated core area(s), and the care and soft-release of groups of captive-hatched juveniles (transferred to release sites from one of the program’s breeding facilities over July-August); this offers a unique opportunity to work first-hand with an endangered species and the chance to gain experience in animal care and population recovery techniques in a field setting.  This may include the supervision of a Field Assistant who will help with wild population monitoring and captive bird care and release.

Specific duties will include:

  • Road-side and on-site (with prior permission) surveys to locate breeding pairs of wild LOSH
  • Remote nest monitoring to determine nest productivity
  • Identification and reporting of all colour banded LOSH
  • Initiating and maintaining landowner contact
  • Working closely with local landowners and local NGO partners to develop habitat stewardship projects
  • 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
  • Soft-release of young; post-release monitoring and supplemental feeding
  • Release site and enclosure preparation and maintenance
  • Assisting with banding of all captive young prior to release
  • Attachment of remote tracking devices to a subset of captive young prior to release
  • Data management, monthly reports, end-of-season reports
  • Effective and timely communication with program staff and partners
  • General field site maintenance
  • Additional tasks as required


  • Strong interest in biology, conservation, and fieldwork, with at least a post-secondary degree or diploma in a relevant discipline; completion of a Master’s or equivalent level of knowledge/experience is an asset.
  • Ability to work professionally and safely in variable weather conditions with exposure to biting insects, and with minimal supervision.
  • Familiarity with grassland birds, and the ability to identify the majority of eastern grassland species by sight and sound
  • Previous bird handling and/or banding experience is an asset, as is prior experience with animal care/captive breeding.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills, and multi-tasking abilities.
  • Able to navigate in the field using a map and GPS unit.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to maintain positive relationships with private landowners.
  • Prior experience supervising field staff and/or managing field research projects is an asset.
  • Experience in volunteer coordination is an asset.
  • 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.

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 Recovery Biologist Application”.  Application deadline is midnight (EST) February 25, 2018; however, applications will be assessed as they are submitted. All applicants must be legally eligible to work in Canada.  These positions may be partially funded through the Colleges and Institutes Canada Career-Launcher Internship, so please indicate in your application if you meet the Internship eligibility requirements.

We thank all who apply, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.