Wildlife Biologist
State of Montana - Sheridan, MT

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Job Listing Detail

Position Title:
Wildlife Biologist
*Applications must be received by Midnight Mountain Time on the closing date.

Listing Number: 10561-13AF &
gt;" For more information contact:

State Agency:
Fish, Wildlife and Parks
PO Box 200701
Helena , MT 59620
Phone: (406)444-1850
Fax: (406)444-9765
TTY: (406)444-1200
E-mail: fwpemp@mt.gov

- OR -

Local Montana Job Service Workforce

Position Number(s):



Job Status:
Full-Time Permanent


Date Posted:

Closing Date:

Fish, Wildlife and Parks





State Application Required:


Salary Unit:

Additional Salary Information: Existing FWP employees in this same job may maintain their current salary upon successfully competing for this lateral transfer.

Applicant Pool: If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection.

Special Information: Wildlife surveys and inventories often require use of light aircraft and helicopter at low altitudes and in hazardous flying conditions, sitting in confined spaces with exposure to high noise levels.
Field work is often carried out alone in rugged terraine during unpredictable and inclement weather conditions. Hours of work are often long and irregular, and include evening meetings and occasional weekend work. The responsibilities of this position are broad and require a broad skill set, ranging from conducting fieldwork independently to assisting with the coordination of high-visibility public processes that are controversial and involve the entire spectrum of interests and stakeholders in wildlife conservation issues. The incumbent must be people-oriented and well rounded, with “people skills” equivalent to his/her “technical” skills and experience.
Identity of applicants who become finalists may be released to the public if the Department deems it necessary. Employees scheduled at least half-time for more than 6 months consecutively are also provided paid health, dental and life insurance. Other benefits include retirement, paid vacation, sick and holidays. This position may be covered by a VEBA (Voluntary Employee Benefit Association).
Women (and/or) minorities are under-represented in this job category and are encouraged to apply.

Successful applicant(s) will be subject to:
Driving Record Check
Duties: Design and implement an adaptive wildlife mananagement program. This includes conducting field investigations to determine the characteristics and dynamics of wildlife populations and their habitats and analyze this information to make recommendations for hunting season proposals. Compile, interpret and analyze data collected through survey and inventory, species information, check stations, population models and data from the statewide hunter and trapper harvest surveys to formulate management strategies and plans that benefit wildlife populations and their habitats. Respond to game damage complaints as required by law and recommend and implement appropriate proactive management actions to alleviate wildlife depredation problems.

Design and implement projects which enhance and maintain wildlife habitat on department owned, private, and public lands. Provide recommendations regarding ongoing and proposed activities on private and public lands that impact habitat. The applicant will need to utilize knowledge of habitat needs of different wildlife species, field investigations and the Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Conservation Strategy, to determine habitat management priorities, strategies, and write long-term plans for geographic area of responsibility. Work with private landowners and public land managers to protect and enhance habitat through the variety of FWP habitat programs and provide technical assistance to private landowners and public land management agencies to help plan and direct work for habitat improvements. Monitor and oversee management activities on FWP properties and conservation easements and serve as FWP liaison with landowners.

Work with private landowners, various government agencies and other organizations to increase opportunity for public enjoyment of the natural resources of Montana. Applicant will need to develop and promote working relationships with landowners to increase hunter access to private and public lands through FWP access programs and identify and recommend key lands for acquisition, conservation easements, access easements, lease or trade and write long-range management plans and EA's for the management of these lands.
Represent the Department on matters related to wildlife, habitat and access management and maintain proficiency as a professional wildlife scientist. Applicant will need to effectively explain sometimes controversial, wildlife management programs to state and federal agency staff, industry representatives, private landowners, sportsmen’s groups, service clubs, and other special interest publics and respond to a multitude of wildlife management questions including those concerning hunting seasons, laws, access, and department programs. Applicant will need to review literature, attend professional meetings and symposia to remain current with advances in wildlife science and related fields.

Competencies: Must have a thorough knowledge and ability to integrate the arts and sciences of wildlife population biology, plant and animal ecology, soil science, research techniques and the principles of wildlife management. Must have the essential skills and knowledge to determine management parameters that must be inventoried. Knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology is necessary for sex and condition analysis and investigation of cause of death.
Must have a demonstrated ability to conceptualize wildlife problems, design projects to test hypotheses, conduct field studies, compile and analyze wildlife data, interpret results, present conclusions and recommendations, communicate complex issues and ideas to diverse public; collectively in a way that effectively influences decision makers at the Federal, State, County and private landowner levels. Must have demonstrated ability in conflict resolution and negotiation skills. Must have demonstrated ability and desire to collaborate with others (researchers, managers, specialists) internal and external to the Department working in their area of responsibility. Ability to perform tasks independent of close supervision is essential.
Requires a thorough knowledge of FWP’s habitat program including: land conservation tools like conservation easements, grazing system design and management, upland game bird and waterfowl enhancement program, and approaches to evaluating habitat impacts by wildlife, livestock and human activities. Must have the skills and knowledge of appropriate and accepted wildlife survey techniques and the skills and abilities to select and utilize technical equipment essential for wildlife management operations in the Region.
Survey, capture, and handling methods frequently involve stressful and dangerous situations. Surveys require 100-120 hours per year of low-level fixed wing and helicopter flights in mountain valley, foothill and high mountain habitats. Capturing and handling big game animals involves the use of potentially lethal immobilization chemicals. Injuries may occur when handling big game animals such as deer, elk, bears, lions, moose, and sheep

Education/Experience: Master's Degree in Fish and Wildlife Management, Wildlife Biology, Range Management, Zoology or Biology, including completion of a field research project presented in a successfully defended thisis.

Equivalent experience is defined as five (5) years of progressively responsible experience as a wildlife biologist or senior wildlife technician that includes examples of:

1. Literature review and development of a problem statement and or hypothesis for a particular issue.

2. Development of a detailed study plan or sampling protocol for a field-oriented project based on the above-noted hypothesis.

3. Data collection and the effective management of data with an appropriate application.

4. Interpretation and analysis of data, including a quantitative assessment of that information.

5. Completion of a final report in a peer-reviewed publication or a publication comparable to a refereed journal.

6. If appropriate to the project, formulation of any recommended changes in management prescriptions and or actions.

7. Oral presentation on results of investigation to agency staff or public audience.
Other combinations of education and experience which could provide such knowledge, skills and abilities will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Supplemental Questions:

The information you provide on this application supplement will be used by the selection committee in combination with your education and experience to determine which applicants will move forward in the selection process. Your responses will be viewed apart from your application materials; therefore, it is important to be specific in regards to names of employers, dates, job duties, etc. if requested. It is important that your answers are concise, thorough and relevant. The committee cannot make assumptions based solely on your other application materials when reviewing this supplement.

  • In your opinion, what are the three biggest threats to wildlife and wildlife management in Southwestern Montana?
  • You will be interacting frequently with a wide variety of interests, i.e. local sportsmen groups, national environmental groups, traditional and non-traditional ranchers, land developers, etc. In general discuss your interactions, experiences and philosophy in conflict resolution and negotiation. Use one conflict situation as an example of your experience and philosophy in this arena.
  • Wildlife conservation and management relies on a foundation of habitat. Please describe your experiences in wildlife census/classification (be specific) and habitat evaluations (be specific). Describe how you have used the above information to influence population and habitat management decisions.
  • You will be formulating season recommendations and providing wildlife input to Federal and State Land Managers, County and Local governments, and private landowners on specific land management activities, using science as a basis. Please discuss your views of the role of Science in the decision making process.
  • What do you believe is the basis for wildlife management? What role does hunting currently play in wildlife management and what role do you see it playing in the future?
  • Managed domestic livestock grazing occurs on several Wildlife Management Areas across the state. In responding to the question, “Why would a wildlife agency want to graze livestock on property that was purchased for wildlife?” Discuss the bio/political complexities of managing wildlife on a landscape where people live, work and recreate.

  • Additional Materials Required:

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