The International Crane Foundation (ICF) is looking for a dedicated individual to join our Crane Conservation Department. Over the past 45 years, ICF has grown from the dream of two college students to a world-renowned conservation effort to save the world’s cranes and the flyways and habitats they frequent.  Our Aviculturists assist in the care and husbandry of our captive flock of 100+ cranes. ICF is the only place in the world with all 15 species of cranes.

What is it like to work at ICF? Prepare to be surrounded by people who are passionate for our mission, dedicated to the organization and engaged with their fellow staff and associates. Our ICF team is committed to fulfilling the dream that started 45+ years ago.

Starting wage is between $18.50 and $19.00 an hour. The incumbent will have access to a nice benefit package.

Position Summary:

The Aviculturist supports the mission of the International Crane Foundation (ICF) by providing the highest standards of avian husbandry and supporting the health and well-being of the captive flock.  The incumbent is responsible for the daily care of the birds and the maintenance of enclosures, as well as assisting with the breeding and reintroduction programs. This position must be able to work as an integral team member and communicate effectively with coworkers, colleagues, volunteers, and guests.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform daily husbandry tasks, such as cleaning crane pens, provision of clean water and fresh food, according to established protocols, and maintain accurate and timely records for the captive flock in the database.
  • Assist Crane Conservation Department with the management of flock to meet institutional collection management and annual breeding goals.
  • Participate in captive propagation programs through observations of crane breeding behavior, practicing artificial insemination, assisting with egg management, including operating machine incubators, pair socializations, and rearing chicks for reintroduction (including working in a hooded crane costume).
  • Participate in Whooping crane reintroduction efforts, including the rearing of chicks while working in a costume and working off-site to assist with field-based rearing and release efforts.
  • Assist with coordination of seasonal maintenance activities related to flock management including, vegetation management, annual disinfection of crane holding pens, repairs to crane enclosures, snow removal, camera installation, and pen rotations.
  • Support behavioral husbandry and welfare programs through provision and evaluation of enrichment, participation in operant conditioning plans, and welfare assessments.

Additional Duties:

  • Collaborates with department staff on management actions to improve flock welfare, advance breeding and program goals, and improve staff efficiency.
  • Responsible for safety procedures for all field operations and equipment. This includes vehicle safety and following standard operating procedures and protocols when operating equipment.
  • Assist department staff in training interns or visiting colleagues on aviculture techniques and related issues.
  • Work closely with Conservation Medicine Department to provide high-quality health care to the flock including treatment of sick or injured birds as directed by veterinary staff.
  • Facilitate communication related to Crane Conservation Department activities through updates of databases, participation in morning and weekly department meetings, and participation in planning sessions.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned.

Core Competencies:

  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Work cooperatively with individuals across departments assisting with project completion and free sharing of information and expertise as needed.
  • Written Communication: Strong written communication skills including the ability to effectively proofread and edit routine correspondence and reports in a clear, concise, logical, and effective manner while using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Detail-oriented: Carefully monitors the details and quality of own and others’ work, ensuring accuracy, effectiveness, and safety of birds where relevant.
  • Organization and Time Management: Manage multiple concurrent and competing priorities in a fast-paced workplace to meet designated deadlines and desired results.

Qualifications Required:

  • Bachelor’s Degree with an emphasis in biology, zoology, or conservation-related sciences.
  • Two years of relevant experience in the care, breeding, and rearing of birds.
  • Experience working in outdoor environments and in field conditions.
  • Ability to speak effectively before individuals and groups; listen effectively; respond well to questions from conservation colleagues and visitors.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office 365 (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
  • Ability to work the number and schedule of hours needed to accomplish regular and ad hoc job responsibilities, including weekends and holidays.
  • Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for others; inspire trust; and work ethically and with integrity.
  • Quickly, effectively, and continually adapt to changes in work environment and duties, processes, and technologies.
  • Valid state driver’s license and acceptable driving record.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • One year of paid experience at an AZA-accredited institution.
  • Experience working with a wildlife reintroduction program.
  • Experience with ZIMS database software.
  • Experience with operant conditioning.
  • Experience using a variety of hand and power tools and equipment such as mowers and string trimmers.

Physical Abilities and Work Environment:

The physical abilities and work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Occasional travel may be required, primarily in the United States.

  • Daily use of a computer.
  • This position requires the ability to safely handle and restrain large, powerful birds.
  • Required to assume multiple positions when caring for the cranes and their enclosures including reaching, balancing, crouching, and kneeling.
  • Occasionally required to ascend and descend stairs and ladders
  • Required to navigate uneven terrain, including marshes, while wearing a hooded costume.
  • Occasionally exposed to high-strength disinfectants, herbicides, and heavy dust loads (appropriate PPE provided).
  • Frequently moves up to 50 lbs.; occasionally moves 75 lbs. with assistance.
  • Daily work outdoors under all weather conditions found in Wisconsin.

To apply send a cover letter and resume to icfjobs@savingcranes.org  Please include salary goals in your cover letter. Please list subject:  Aviculturist

“The International Crane Foundation is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We hire great people.“

The International Crane Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.