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Bird and Mammal Curator

Posted: January 17, 2024 Expired: February 14, 2024
Virginia Living Museum
Newport News
Postgraduate Degree 3 Year

Virginia Living Museum

Bird and Mammal Curator

General Statement of Duties

The Bird and Mammal Curator is responsible for the overall care and management of the Virginia Living Museum’s live mammal, terrestrial invertebrates, and bird collections (both ambassador and exhibit).  As a team leader at our AZA facility, the Bird and Mammal Curator must not only remain current on all pertinent AZA best practices and accreditation standards but also lead his/her team to meet and exceed those standards for the Bird and Mammal Department.  This position recognizes the capacity to achieve greater results by integrating skilled volunteers, leveraging their diverse knowledge and skills. The Bird and Mammal Curator reports directly to the Senior Director Living Exhibits.


  • BS Degree in Biology, Zoology, Wildlife Management or related field.
  • Master’s degree desirable or any equivalent work experience and/or training which provides the required knowledge and skills.
  • Three years of paid experience animal care staff supervisory in a zoo, aquarium, or nature center.
  • Familiarity with AZA accreditation standards and related policies.
  • Thorough knowledge of approved animal husbandry techniques.
  • Managerial experience including supervising personnel and managing budgets.
  • Good communication with others in a team environment.
  • Skilled in presenting formal and informal programs in front of the general public and volunteers.
  • First Aid & CPR certified or willing to become at museums expense.
  • Have proof of current rabies vaccination or agree to be vaccinated at museums expense.
  • Must be able to remain calm, make sound decisions and provide clear direction in crisis situations.
  • Professional demeanor displays sound judgement, discernment and discretion.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be a positive, enthusiastic representative of the Virginia Living Museum.
  • Manages animal welfare for entire Museum collection of birds and mammals (exhibit and ambassador program.)
    1. Supervises Animal Keepers, interns and volunteers.  This includes providing clear direction, setting priorities and schedules, ensuring adequate training, and performing timely evaluations.
    2. Develop and adhere to comprehensive Institutional Collection Plan (ICP) with the Animal Welfare Senior Director to ensure optimal care for the live Bird and Mammal collection.
    3. Develop annual plan of departmental goals and objectives, prepares and adheres to department annual operating budget.
    4. Assist the Enrichment and Training Coordinator with training and supervising staff and volunteers in handling of exhibit and ambassador animals.
    5. Provide maximum nutrition for the live bird and mammal collection with local, sustainable food sources whenever possible.
    6. Help plan and install trail exhibit animal habitats as needed.
    7. Oversee the upkeep of all exhibits containing live collections.
    8. Work with Education staff to maintain readiness (health, training, etc.) of ambassador animals.
    9. Responsible for the security of the Bird and Mammal collection.  Any security issues will be reported to the supervisor.
    10. Follow and ensures all Bird and Mammal staff and volunteers adhere to all museum safety and security policies and procedures.
    11. Recognize common bird and mammal diseases or other health problems and coordinate treatments and medical procedures with Veterinary Staff.
    12. Acquire necessary, appropriate specimens for exhibits and programs as needed in accordance with our ICP.
    13. Maintain a current inventory of animal diets and supplies.
    14. Work with Lead Vet on preventive health care measures, as well as preparing and administering medications.
    15. Oversee the ordering of food and supplies for the bird and mammal collections.
  • Ensure excellent guest experiences by providing engaging and current public programs, as well as train staff and volunteers for presentations on a regular basis. 
    1. Coordinate with the Exhibits Display Committee to develop new exhibit ideas to maximize the guest experience.
    2. Respond to animal inquiries in a timely manner.
    3. Respond to public science information referrals.
  • Ensure all Federal, State and accrediting agency policies and procedures are properly implemented and followed.
    1. Maintain appropriate permits for live collections.
    2. Responsible for the legal and ethical acquisition, transport, and display of animals in accordance with all appropriate permits.
    3. Prepare for and coordinate all USDA site inspections and ensure that any concerns from those site visits are addressed accordingly.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Essential Job Requirements

  • Must be able to perceive detailed information through oral communication.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be able to work some weekends and holidays.
  • Ability to lift and/or exert up to 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to move throughout the Museum’s building(s) and outdoor trail as needed.
  • Must have visual acuity to be able to operate motor vehicles and/or equipment.
  • Must be able to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions.
  • The candidate will be subject to outdoor environmental conditions such as heat, cold, wind, and humidity

Experience Required

3 Years of paid experience animal care staff supervisory in zoo, aquarium or nature center


Vacation, Sick, 401K, Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance



How to Apply

Qualified applicants please submit a VLM application, cover letter, resume and references.  No phone calls, please.



Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23601
Phone: 7575347473
Fax: Virginia Living Museum


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