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Red-tailed Boa Assessment within Endangered Species Release Areas (Maricao)
Project Type: Field – This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership
Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office (CESFO), Boquerón / Maricao Duty Station, Boquerón / Maricao, Puerto Rico
Housing: Supported ($1,500 stipend)
Project Background: The Department of the Interior has developed a strategic plan goal of advancing invasive species management by implementing early detection surveys to study movements and feeding patterns. The main goal of the project is to assist with the implementation of this plan and control the Red-tailed boas within the Puerto Rican parrot (PRPA) and the Sharp-shinned hawk (SSHA) release areas in Maricao and Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. Assessing the behavior of this species is critical to ensure a successful reintroduction of SSHA and the establishment of the third PRPA wild population.
Project Duties: The Fellow will work on these major goals of the project 1) Cond:uct rapid-assessments to determine presence/absence and occupancy of Red-tailed boas in the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R.; 2) Control the Red-tailed boa population by the capture and removal of the encountered individuals in the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R.; 3) Conduct an assessment of Red-tailed boa feeding patterns in the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R. by conducting stomach content analyses in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico Ecology and Wildlife Conservation Lab.; 4) Conduct an assessment of Red-tailed boa movement patterns in and around the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R. by tracking 3-5 individuals using radio-transmitters.; and 5) Administer a species identification chart in communities located within a 1 km radius from both release sites to determine and validate Red-tailed boa sightings.
The Fellow will have the opportunity to collaborate with CESFO’s staff and supervisors in both planning and field work, working with university partners leading invasive species control and management in Puerto Rico, learning about recovery and introduction programs of federally listed species, and preparing reports and presentations.
Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological sciences, Natural Resources Management, Biology, Wildlife Conservation, Fisheries, Zoology, Environmental Science, Ecology, Genetics, Microbiology, Chemistry, Land Management, Plant Science, Botany, Soil Science, Forestry, Invasive Species Management, Plant Development, or other related fields.
Working Conditions/Requirements: Required to have a valid driver’s license (needed to drive a Government vehicle); Fluency in Spanish; Ability to conduct field work on rough terrains; ability to lift and carry 50lb.
Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication; cross-cultural communication skills, partnership building; project management experience; teamwork; management and facilitation, technical writing.