Naturalist (Wildlife Release Manager)-PAWS Wildlife Center

Purpose of Position:

To efficiently manage the wildlife release program for the PAWS Wildlife Department, ensuring all animals are released in a timely, appropriate and safe manner in accordance with the species’ natural history, the needs of the individual animal, and the permit requirements of the Center.

To document the work of the Wildlife Center in photographs, writing and video.

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.
  • Safely handle, restrain and contain wild species for release following the PAWS Wildlife Release manual guidelines.
  • 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 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 staff by providing species identification and natural history as needed.
  • Maintain and annually update PAWS wildlife release manual and keep wildlife staff abreast of any changes in SOP’s.
  • 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.
  • Identify potential wildlife release and post-release collaborations and build partnerships with universities, federal and state agencies, etc, to conduct pre and post-release research studies. Submit for publication innovative release techniques, pre and post-release study results and present at local and/or national wildlife conferences as appropriate.
  • 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.
  • 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 be able to quickly become knowledgeable about the ecology, natural history and behavior of Pacific Northwest birds, mammals, marine mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
  • Must possess good wildlife handling skills and be able to work with wildlife in a caring, safe and humane manner and be able to 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, 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 be able to 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 the safety of the public and other employees. Must be able to represent PAWS professionally at all times.
  • Must have and be comfortable with conflict management skills and be able to support the wildlife admissions staff with challenging phone calls or walk-in customers as needed.
  • Must have or be able to 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


Submit resume and a letter stating why you are interested in this position and what makes you uniquely qualified, along with a writing sample to:

Jennifer Convy, Wildlife Director


PO Box 1037

Lynnwood, WA 98046

Or preferably via email to:

This position will remain open until filled.

Lynnwood, Washington
PAWS Wildlife Department
Jennifer Convy

15305 44th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA, 98087, US