The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP) of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife seeks to fund survey efforts targeting the state-listed, Blue-spotted Salamander as part of an ongoing study of local and regional population distributions. Experienced field biologists are needed to lead and/or assist with trapping surveys in southeastern Massachusetts (Bristol and/or Plymouth counties) and with egg-mass surveys in other parts of the state (Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and/or Worcester counties). Work will occur between late February and late April (possibly extending into early May), depending on regional climate and local breeding phenology of Blue-spotted Salamanders.

Duties, Skills and Responsibilities:

  • Sampling adult Blue-spotted Salamanders via funnel-trapping during inbound breeding migrations and taking standard measurements and photos of captured individuals.
  • Egg-mass surveys, which will require wading into wetlands and taking high-quality photos of eggs observed.
  • Detailed field notes on trap captures and egg-mass observations must be recorded at the time of each survey.
  • Reliable transportation, pay close attention to detail, be able to work independently in adverse weather conditions, and meet the physical demands of rigorous field work.


  • Experience conducting aquatic funnel-trapping surveys for Blue-spotted Salamander and other pool-breeding amphibians.
  • Demonstrated experience capturing Blue-spotted Salamanders.
  • Thorough understanding of Blue-spotted Salamander movement behavior as it relates to timing and duration of breeding migrations, and to weather conditions.
  • Experience conducting biological field work under adverse weather conditions (cold, wind, rain).
  • Comfortable working alone in the woods.
  • Services of the successful applicant(s) will be retained through the NHESP’s contractual relationship with the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.
  • The successful applicant(s) will need to obtain a Scientific Collection Permit from the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife prior to commencement of work.
  • The NHESP will provide traps, data forms, equipment for measuring salamanders (scale, calipers), and some training.
  • Egg-mass surveys may require extensive travel and will require cleaning and decontamination of equipment (i.e., waders, boots) with a diluted bleach solution (or other approved product) among sites.