Website California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Under the supervision of the Nutria Eradication Operations Supervisor, the incumbent will support the Department’s Nutria Eradication Program. Nutria are highly invasive and extremely detrimental to the environment, but primarily nocturnal and relatively elusive in low densities. This position is physically demanding, but highly rewarding given the ultimate accomplishment of protecting California’s wetlands, waterways, infrastructure, and agriculture. As part of a team, the incumbent will contribute to surveys to detect, locate, and trap nutria, with the ultimate goal of eradicating nutria from the state. Duties include:
Assist Nutria Eradication Program staff with nutria eradication trapping in infested areas, which includes deploying multiple types of traps, humanely dispatching nutria, and performing necropsies on taken nutria. This will include management of grid-cell trapping assignments; understanding and following protocols within surrounding cells; collecting data on use of attractants, baits and lures; transporting equipment, carcasses, and live animals; recording/entering necropsy data accurately; and collecting, labeling, and organizing biological samples. Construct,clean, organize, and maintain project equipment; make lures and scent-based attractants for use in surveys and trapping.
Assist Nutria Eradication Program staff with surveying suitable aquatic habitats (wetlands, ponds, river backwaters, sloughs, etc.) to classify habitat suitability, determine property access needs, detect nutria sign or presence, and delineate the current geographic extent of the nutria infestation. Survey methods will utilize various detection techniques including, but not limited to, visual observation, camera stations, artificial (vegetation) and wooden platforms, hair snares, use of attractants, baits, and lures, and review of aerial imagery for classifying habitats. Utilize project [GIS-based] mobile applications to locate and manage project equipment; identify wetland plants to species; effectively identify potential nutria sign; review camera images; accurately distinguish nutria from other aquatic mammals; using microscopes, identify hair samples to species; follow project protocols and spatial assignments to efficiently cover project management units.
Follow project protocols to create, review, and edit project data, primarily using a Department smartphone and/or iPad and mobile applications. Data includes, but is not limited to, spatial, quantitative, and qualitative information about trap, camera, platform, and observation locations, trap and camera rechecks, cell habitat classifications and surveys, confirmed detections, nutria taken, and necropsies.
- Must be able to feel comfortable interacting with members of the public and working with diverse people in a dynamic work environment. Must be able to focus on long involved tasks such as data entry and be willing to deal with dirt, mud, dead animals, animal blood/feces, and steps necessary to properly clean and store equipment. Willingness to work irregular hours including weekends and holidays and to travel in performing field work throughout the State; willingness to do routine work in order to learn; interest in and aptitude in the work; willingness to wear a uniform.
- Good driving record; additional course work or experience in biological or chemical sciences; interest in and knowledge of fishing, hunting or studying fish, wildlife, invertebrates or plants; experience in camping, boating, and maintaining or repairing equipment; interest in a career in biology or fish and wildlife.
- In addition to evaluating each candidate’s relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:
Must be able to swim, walk through deep mud and thick vegetation, work on steep or uneven terrain, in extreme weather and under physically challenging conditions. Must be able to work odd hours/days (weekend work will be required), be able to lift 40 pounds, and be capable of driving a State-owned vehicle. Must be willing and able to competently use pellet pistols or firearms as per the Department’s Policy for Non-Enforcement Personnel. Must be able to safely and effectively operate watercraft and UTVs, as well as tow trailers. Overnight travel will be required. Hours are limited to 1,500 in a year (3/4 time). Manual labor and cleaning will be required. Data entry will be required. Boating, kayaking, and wearing waders in the water are a major component of the job.
Company: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Vacancy Type: Full Time
Job Location: Merced County, US
Application Deadline: N/A