Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Surveys Member

American Conservation Experience

El Centro, California

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $700.00/week
Deadline Jun 22, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Surveys Member


American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is seeking five (5) members to contribute to two Flat-tailed Horned Lizard survey and wildlife monitoring projects (three demography surveyors & two occupancy surveyors) alongside BLM staff.

For more information about ACE, please visit the American Conservation Experience website.

Start Date: Late June/July 2024

Estimated End Date: 12 weeks after start date

*a 12-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: El Centro Field Office El Centro, CA

The Bureau of Land Management, El Centro Field Office manages approximately 1.4 million acres of public lands spread across two counties: Imperial and San Diego. Approximately 95% of the public lands lie within Imperial County. The area is bordered by the U.S./Mexico International border to the south and the Riverside County line to the north.

For more information on the El Centro FO, please visit their website.

Position Overview:

The ACE member will survey and monitor for Flat-tailed Horned Lizards (FTHL) as part of either the demography survey crew or the occupancy survey crew. FTHL have the most limited distribution of any horned lizard species in the USA. There have been multiple attempts to have the species listed at both the State and Federal level which resulted in a multi-agency partnership, the development of a Conservation Agreement, and the development and implementation of the FTHL Rangewide Management Strategy (RMS). The RMS provides a framework for the securing and management of sufficient habitat for self-sustaining populations of the FTHL throughout the species range. A central component of the RMS is the designation of five management areas, and the agreement of land management agencies to minimize disturbance within these conservation areas. Three of those management areas are managed by the BLM El Centro Field Office (ECFO). They are the East Mesa Management Area, West Mesa Management Area, and Yuha Management Area.

The ECFO needs demographic surveys completed on 4 plots following the interagency agreed-upon survey protocol. The purpose of FTHL demographic surveys is to gather information on population dynamics that can be used to characterize local populations through time. These surveys can aid in the detection of year-to-year trends in abundance, recruitment, and survivorship. The data gathered in demographic surveys supports the management strategies outlined by RMS whose primary objective is to "maintain self-sustaining populations" of FTHLs.

Additionally, the ECFO needs occupancy surveys completed throughout one of the three Management Areas following the approved occupancy survey protocol. The purpose of conducting occupancy surveys for Flat-tailed Horned Lizards (FTHL) is to detect long-term changes in their spatial distribution. If monitoring is conducted regularly, managers working towards interagency coordination for resource management will know when and where range expansions and contractions occur. If the managers have access to additional information (i.e. environmental conditions) they may be capable of determining the causes of change, thereby making it easier for them to resolve and evaluate any reductions to the range of the FTHL and avoiding any action that may ultimately result in endangering this species further.

Duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • Locate and capture Flat-tailed horned lizards on 4 demographic monitoring plots or on occupancy monitoring plots located throughout a FTHL management area.
  • Collect demographic information such as sex, weight, snout-to-vent length, age, and location.
  • Collect habitat, soil and climate data.
  • Inject Passive Integrate Transponder (PIT) tags into captured adult lizards for year-to-year tracking and comparison.
  • Humanely collect genetic samples from captured lizards by clipping either the tail or toe and collecting a blood sample.
  • Organize and submit demographic and occupancy survey datasheets, GPS survey data, and GPS survey tracklogs.
  • May be required to operate a motor vehicle.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promote exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and resource areas, assisting with additional biological projects, and shadowing different work groups within the ECFO.

Schedule: The typical schedule will be Monday to Friday from 5 am-12 pm in the field. Members can generally expect to serve for 35-40 hours each week on this project.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $700.00/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The living allowance is a fixed rate determined by the BLM and ACE and is not flexible.

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and is not provided by ACE or BLM.

Housing Assistance: ACE Members will be eligible for reimbursable housing assistance up to $200.00/week. The ACE Member will only be reimbursed for approved and demonstrated housing expenses.

Relocation Assistance: ACE members will have access to up to $500 to be used for eligible relocation expenses. Further details regarding the distribution of these funds will be provided during the interview process.

Gear Assistance: ACE members will have up to $200.00 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase. 

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position-specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, and networks for support. Specific training may include the implementation of monitoring protocols, PIT tagging methods, wildlife handling, genetic sampling, animal tracking, 4x4 driving, data collection, radio communication, and appropriate safety protocols.



  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required two-part criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning-of-term feedback forms, end-of-term evaluations, and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit the American Conservation Experience website.

BLM Requirements:

  • Ability to withstand rigorous physical conditions and inclement weather, particularly in desert ecosystems where temperatures are regularly above 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Participate for the full term of the internship.
  • Participate fully in surveys from July 22nd to August 2nd without time off. 


  • Applicants for this position should have a general interest in wildlife, biology, environmental sciences, etc.
  • All candidates are encouraged to apply, though locally regional candidates will be strongly considered.
  • Knowledge of studying and documenting site usage.
  • Familiarity with wildlife identification and handling.
  • Ability and willingness to use GPS equipment and maps.
  • Familiarity with field notes methods, data collection, and preparation techniques.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the BLM. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the BLM, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to BLM and ACE equipment training, certification, and safety protocols is required.


To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to ACE’s online application page for this position on the American Conservation Experience website. Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact BLM/FS Division Member Manager, Allison Finch at afinch@usaconservation.org.

ACE values an inclusive workforce - if you meet at least 70 percent of the qualifications, we want to hear from you!

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Wildlife
Tags Herpetology