Wildlife Naturalist

Website PAWS Wildlife Center

Purpose of Position:

To function as a naturalist and wildlife biologist for the PAWS Wildlife Center. To effectively manage the wildlife release program, ensuring all animals are released in a timely, appropriate and safe manner in accordance with the species’ natural history and permit requirements of the Wildlife Center.


Duties and Responsibilities:

In accordance with organizational policies, duties include but are not limited to:


·         In conjunction with PAWS’ Wildlife Director, Rehabilitation Manager and veterinary team, assess animals’ behavior, physical conditioning, and fitness for release.


·         Confidently represent the PAWS Wildlife Center programs and opinions as the PAWS Wildlife Biologist in specific meetings, networking and partnership opportunities, and educational efforts.


·         Safely handle, restrain and contain wild species for release following the PAWS Wildlife Release manual.


·         Keep abreast of and comply with permit regulations and changes related to releasing native and non-native wild species. Work with the Wildlife Director to ensure all state and federal release and reporting regulations are adhered to and staff and volunteers are kept abreast of changes.


·         Coordinate releases to include wildlife volunteers, wildlife staff, and donors, and media representatives whenever possible and appropriate.


·         Ensure that animals are being handled in a manner which maximizes human and animal safety and that staff are trained and following release and safety procedures.


·          Identify potential release sites and assess their habitat for wildlife release suitability.


·         Support wildlife center staff by providing species identification and natural history information to help the rehabilitation efforts at PAWS.



·         Assist the Wildlife Director in reviewing and acting on specific wildlife initiatives and  legislative efforts for species we directly work with at PAWS Wildlife Center.


·         Document the work of the Wildlife Center in photographs, writing and video as directed


·         Responsible for release, post-release and wildlife photography supply and equipment purchasing within budget. Maintain and monitor inventory of stock, and seek out donations and/or best prices on supplies and equipment.


·         Maintain current and future inventory of PAWS wildlife photographs in photo management systems. Ensure all wildlife photographs are edited, labeled, organized and saved properly.


·         Work with the wildlife management team to facilitate and prioritize, create and/or conduct studies utilizing predefined methodologies and/or predetermined criteria for internal PAWS scientific studies, surveys, and/or scientific analysis of PAWS work and post-release work.


·         Conduct educational outreach and communicate with stakeholders, release site owners and the public regarding PAWS wildlife release program and natural history of species, as directed.


·         Care for and maintain inventory of wildlife release and wildlife photography equipment.


·         Train and oversee staff and volunteers conducting wildlife releases.


·         Identify new release research studies and build upon current pre and post-release collaborations and  partnerships with universities, federal and state agencies, and other groups.


·         Submit for publication innovative release techniques, pre-and post-release study results and present at local and/or national wildlife conferences as appropriate and directed.


·         Provide written material, photographs and other support for PAWS online and print publications, promotional materials, social media and Humane Education Program as instructed by the Wildlife Director.


·         Create and provide wildlife artifacts for the PAWS Wildlife Center primarily, and for PAWS Humane Education program utilizing internal PAWS resources and volunteers.


·         May act as a spokesperson for PAWS Wildlife Center to the media, government or public as directed by the Wildlife Director


Controls over Work:

The Naturalist works under the guidance of PAWS Wildlife Director and is expected to pursue the established duties without direct supervision.

Written performance evaluations will be given after three months of work and annually thereafter.


Physical Demands:

Must be able to lift a minimum of forty (40) pounds, be physically strong enough to hike through rough terrain in variable weather conditions, and able to drive long distances for release work. Work is performed in and out of the PAWS Wildlife Center.



·         Must have a college degree from an accredited university, in wildlife biology or related field. Preference will be given to candidates with 1-2 years of experience in a large wildlife rehabilitation center or equivalent work with at least one year of supervisory experience.


·         Must be or can quickly become knowledgeable about the ecology, natural history and behavior of Pacific Northwest birds, mammals, marine mammals, reptiles and amphibians and be confident and comfortable representing PAWS as the Wildlife Center Biologist.


·         Must possess good wildlife handling skills and can work with wildlife in a caring, safe and humane manner and can act decisively regarding constantly changing animal cases and situations. Pre-exposure rabies prophylaxis will be mandatory.


·         Must be proficient in the use of DSLR (digital single lens reflex) and point-and-shoot digital cameras and video cameras.


·         Must be a self-starter, able to take initiative, be organized and flexible, and able to balance concurrent projects and adjust to rapidly changing needs. Must be able to work quickly, efficiently and calmly under stressful conditions.


·         Must have experience with post-release study design, data collection, and analysis, and possess excellent computer skills, including experience working with various databases and analyzing statistical data.


·         Must be able to work maturely and respectfully with diverse groups of people and maintain high quality customer/public relations.  Must possess excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills, and must be able to effectively manage people and can provide a positive working environment built on team concepts. Must be able to communicate clearly about PAWS’ mission, the care and treatment of animals, and consider the safety of the public and other employees at release sites. Must be able to represent PAWS professionally at all times.


·          Must have and be comfortable with conflict management skills and can support the wildlife admissions staff with challenging phone calls or walk-in customers as needed.


·         Must have or can obtain a valid Washington drivers license with no record of major or repeated minor offenses.


Note: Under the provisions of the Immigration and Reform Act of 1986, the successful candidate will be required to provide both evidence of identity and eligibility for employment

How to Apply / Contact

To apply:


Email cover letter and resume, along with 3 professional references and a PAWS employment application to :


Jennifer Convy, PAWS Wildlife Director at jconvy@paws.org


This position will remain open until August 23, 2017

To apply for this job please visit the following URL: https://www.paws.org →

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