Position Type: BLM Direct Hire (DHA) 11 week internship
Open until: February 28, 2018
Location: Bakersfield, CA – Field Office
Start Date: June 3, 2018
End Date: August 18, 2018
Related Degrees: Wildlife Biology
Position Description: The Bakersfield Field Office manages high demand oil and gas development that is sympatric with threatened and endangered species habitat. This creates a need for complex, cooperative resource management internally as well as with external stakeholders, including US Fish and Wildlife Service, oil and gas company representatives, consulting biologists, and species experts. Of the listed species, two are primary contributors to the complexity of avoidance and minimization measures: Kern mallow and blunt-nosed leopard lizard.
Kern mallow is a small, annual flowering plant. Kern mallow was listed as endangered in 1990 due to habitat loss; at the time, only the white-flower plants were considered Kern mallow. In the 2006 five-year species review, the recommendation was for Kern mallow to continue to be listed as endangered, but the designation was expanded to include both the white- and pink-flower plants. Inclusion of pink-flower plants greatly expanded known population locations, and quite possibly opened up the chance for down listing. The intern would be responsible for collecting known information regarding plant distribution through record searches, discussions with species experts, field surveys, etc. and developing a recommendation regarding the listing status of the species that could be presented to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The blunt-nosed leopard lizard is a relatively large lizard with a long, regenerative tail, powerful hind limbs, and a short, blunt snout. Blunt-nosed leopard lizards were listed as endangered in 1967 due to habitat loss. The intern would be responsible for collecting known information regarding lizard distribution including record searches, discussions with species experts, collaborations with consultants, field surveys, etc. and based on findings, develop recommendations regarding whether certain areas should be treated as “local extirpation”. Recommendations must be of the caliber and quality that they can be presented to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for review.
This two-pronged project coincides with the issuance of a new programmatic biological opinion for oil and gas development in Kern and Kings Counties. If research and recommendations result in changes to current management, such as reduced need for compliance measures, this could greatly increase the efficiency of project authorization and contribute to America’s energy independence.