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Position: Species-at-risk Butterfly Technician
Organization: Wildlife Preservation Canada
Location: Aldergrove (Metro Vancouver) BC, with some travel to Denman Island and Hornby Island

Project: Taylor’s Checkerspot Recovery

Type of Position: Full-time (37.5 hr/wk), temporary contract (26 weeks) with possibility of extension and advancement to a permanent salaried coordinator position, depending on performance and funding

Rate of Pay: $19-20/hr, commensurate with experience, plus 4% vacation pay

Anticipated Start: 14 February 2022

Hours of Work: Flexible daily and weekly schedule to suit project needs and weather conditions.  Working evenings and weekends will be required. 


Wildlife Preservation Canada is seeking a Species-at-Risk Butterfly Technician to implement recovery activities for Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly.

The primary focus of the position will be the captive management, rearing, and release of individuals to supplement and reintroduce wild populations Taylor’s Checkerspot towards achieving recovery objectives. The position is based out of the Greater Vancouver Zoo, in Aldergrove B.C. The Technician will also assist with field work, population monitoring, outreach initiatives and habitat stewardship as required and directed; with locations including Vancouver and Denman Islands. This position offers a unique opportunity to work first-hand with a critically endangered species and gain experience in animal care and population recovery techniques in both a captive and field setting.


Under the supervision of the Lead Biologist, the technician will be responsible for the ex-situ rearing and husbandry of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies (TCB) and will participate in releases as part of reintroduction efforts on Hornby Island. Additional field-based activities may include population surveys, monitoring and collection.

Specific duties include:

  • Daily reporting to Lead Biologist on all aspects of the conservation program
  • Daily cleaning and rearing of all TCB life stages, and maintenance of appropriate environmental conditions for each developmental stage.
  • Cultivation and harvesting of food plants
  • Pairing of butterflies and monitoring breeding behavior
  • Data collection and record keeping
  • Work with Lead Biologist and team to take an adaptive management approach to improving rearing and breeding protocols as required, with the goal of improving production of larvae and increasing breeding success; implement any new strategies efficiently and in a timely manner.
  • Direct and train co-op students in animal care and husbandry procedures.
  • Collect and preserve biological samples according to protocols.
  • Participate in outreach and education events at the zoo and in Fraser Valley as directed, as well as specific community events on Denman and Hornby Islands.
  • Work collaboratively with local program partners on outreach and habitat stewardship initiatives, as directed. 
  • Maintain high standards of maintenance and care for the animal collection.
  • Additional tasks as required related to data entry, database management, data analysis, and public education
  • Participate in field activities as required and directed, including population surveys, monitoring, habitat assessment and restoration, and associated data collection.  Field work may include overnight travel.
  • Adhere to all health and safety regulations, legislation, and policies.
  • Observe condition of assigned area(s), animal enclosures, and equipment and report concerns or issues immediately.
  • Communicate with and assist zoo guests. Participate in public demonstrations as directed.
  • Contribute to WPC’s communication efforts, including social media, blogs, newsletter articles, etc., as directed. 


  • A working knowledge of butterfly biology, breeding cycles and breeding behaviour.
  • Demonstrated experience with being detail-oriented and observant, innovative, able to think critically and come to animal care decisions based on daily changes in animal behaviour, life stage, health, and enclosure conditions.
  • Ability to work both independently and cooperatively within a team. Recognizes when clarification of correct procedures is necessary.
  • Physically fit and able to traverse rough terrain on offshore islands.
  • Personable, with good communication skills, a positive attitude, and highly self-motivated.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational, time management and analytical skills.
  • Detail-oriented and able to accurately enter, manage, and analyze data
  • Valid Class 5 BC drivers’ license and willing to provide a driver’s abstract.
  • Willing and able to travel distances across BC by car and ferry
  • Able and willing to work long hours (up to 12 hours/day), including evenings and weekends when needed for animal care
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).

Highly Preferred Skills and Experience:

  • Completed a relevant college or university program (e.g., biology, ecology, environmental science, wildlife biology, zoology, or other similar disciplines)
  • Experience with the captive husbandry of Lepidoptera and/or other insects would be a very strong asset and as important if not more so than having completed a college or university program.
  • Valid OFA Level 1 First Aid or equivalent is desirable.

Skills and Knowledge to be Gained From this Position:

  • Insect husbandry
  • Science communication
  • Lab management
  • Understanding species-at-risk recovery processes
  • Problem solving
  • Data management
  • Experimental design 
  • Population surveying
  • Blog writing


This position may be partially funded through ECO Canada’s Science Horizons Youth Internship ( Please indicate in your application if you meet the ECO CANADA Internship eligibility requirements of being age 30 or younger, being a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or hold refugee status in Canada and having a post-secondary accomplishment (some exceptions apply)

If you do not meet these requirements but consider yourself to be a strong candidate based on the skills and experience in the job description above, then please still send us your application for consideration.

Diversity Statement:

Saving endangered species is strengthened by and requires the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, heritage, knowledge, experiences, and identities. WPC values the diversity of the people we employ and that we work with. We strive to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in our workplace.  We are committed to selecting and developing employees to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization and therefore encourage applications from all qualified individuals.

Health and safety:

This position requires work in close proximity with other staff inside at partner facilities, participation in outreach events, and regular interaction with other WPC employees and volunteers, as well as working with employees, students, and volunteers from other organizations. In addition to following WPC’s safety guidelines for operating during a pandemic, the selected candidate must therefore be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of our employees, our volunteers and partners, and the communities we operate in.

To apply please send a cover letter and resume to: Andrea Gielens, Lead Program Biologist – Taylors Checkerspot Recovery Program, Andrea@wildlifepreservation.caPlease submit your application as a single PDF or MS word file and include the email subject heading “Lead Species-at-risk Butterfly Technician Application”.  Applications will be assessed as they are submitted, and the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.  Applications will not be considered after midnight (PST) January 28, 2022.  All applicants must be legally eligible to work in Canada. 

Please indicate you saw this posting at GoodWork.

We would like to thank all who apply for their interest, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. 


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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jan 4 2022    ID: 62278