Virginia Range Fertility Control Program Coordinator

THE AMERICAN WILD HORSE CAMPAIGN

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization. Its Virginia Range Fertility Control Program seeks to preserve and humanely reduce the size of the Virginia Range herd, a historic wild mustang population that ranges in a 300,000-acre habitat in Nevada spanning from Reno to Fernley in the north to Silver Spring and Carson City to the south. The herd is under pressure from habitat loss due to rapid development in the greater Reno Area. 

The AWHC’s Virginia Range Fertility Control Program utilizes a scientifically proven immunocontraceptive vaccine, PZP, delivered remotely to mares (female horses) by dart gun.  The vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing pregnancy in treated mares. In just over two years, the Program has become the largest fertility Control Program in the world for free-roaming horses and gained international attention as a model for humane management of these popular animals, delivering over 4,000 treatments to more than 1,500 mares and, to date in 2021, has achieved a 51% reduction in foaling as compared to last year. 

POSITION SUMMARY

The AWHC is seeking a Program Coordinator for its groundbreaking Fertility Control Program for the free-roaming horse population living in Nevada’s Virginia Range. This is a remote office-based position, located in the northwest Nevada area. 

The Fertility Control Program Coordinator will be responsible for overall coordination of the Virginia Range Fertility Control Program. The Program Coordinator will:

  • Recruit and manage volunteers who implement the Program
  • Oversee Comprehensive Wild Horse Information Database
  • Oversee compliance with and, when necessary, updates to Program protocols
  • Manage supply inventory
  • Manage authorized access to private property on the Virginia Range 
  • Foster relationships with community organizations, businesses, local landowners and residents 

This position reports to AWHC’s Director of Field Operations. 

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

Overall Coordination of the Virginia Range Fertility Control Program

  • Manage inventory tracking and order and deliver darting supplies as needed
  • Oversee adherence to Program protocols and recommend/research changes to protocols as necessary
  • Coordinate Program implementation and training of new volunteers with the Science and Conservation Center (SCC), the entity that oversees vaccine implementation pursuant to its EPA registration

Volunteer Management 

  • Coordinate team of ~24 volunteers who serve in the following roles:
    • Darters trained and certified by the Science and Conservation Center to administer the PZP vaccine
    • Spotters, who assist darters in identifying horses and dart recovery 
    • Documenters, who identify and catalogue horses in a comprehensive database of individuals within the Virginia Range horse population  
  • Field questions and concerns from volunteers and maintain communications to ensure smooth operations
  • Recruit volunteers and coordinate new volunteer training 
  • Conduct regular training meetings on protocol updates, adjustments and Program development
  • Compile and file monthly volunteer mileage reports
  • Oversee scheduling of company vehicle (Jeep Rubicon)
  • Make regular visits to the field to ensure that volunteers are happy and all issues are addressed 
  • Maintain volunteer resource page on the AWHC website

Oversee Comprehensive Wild Horse Information Database

The foundation of the Program is a comprehensive database with records on over 3,000 living horses, including individual identification based on color, markings and social affiliation as well as treatment history. The database is divided into Herd Areas, distinct areas of the Virginia Range. Data entry for each herd area is overseen by a volunteer Herd Lead. 

  • Supervise Herd Leads to ensure data integrity and consistency per protocol
  • Collect and report data for monthly reporting to the Nevada Department of Agriculture
  • Coordinate with Rescue and Range Management teams to ensure that injured, removed and/or treated horses are properly recorded in database
  • Work with Database Service Provider to adjust software to fit needs of the Program
  • Supply data as needed for grants, social media, and reporting

Private Property Access Management 

Since the majority of the Virginia Range is private property, the Program relies on permission from private property owners to conduct darting and documentation activities. 
 

  • Maintain relationships with participating private property owners and promptly address any issues that arise
  • Secure expanded private property owner permission for Program activities by utilizing online resources to identify property owners and outreach to landowners to request property access permission
  • Work with Dir. of Field Operations and property owners to complete  necessary insurance certifications and permission forms for new property access

Community Relations 

  • Educate the public, business owners, and local media about the Fertility Control Program and promote cooperative relationships
  • Create awareness and support for the Program by securing local content for AWHC social media channels and for the Pinto Post, a monthly newsletter dedicated to promoting the work of the volunteers and local organizations participating in the community effort to protect the Virginia Range horses

QUALIFICATIONS

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Knowledge of and appreciation for horses
  • Scientific literacy
  • Volunteer coordination experience 
  • Strong organizational and people skills
  • An interest in wildlife and environmental protection
  • A love for the outdoors

The coordinator will be trained on the scientific and technical aspects of wildlife immunocontraception and its implementation. 

TO APPLY

Please submit a resume and cover letter to jamille@americanwildhorsecampaign.org. Put “Virginia Range Fertility Control Program Coordinator” in the subject line. Submissions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.