Ontario Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Regional Coordinator @ Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (Ontario, Canada)

Position Summary:

The Ontario KBA Regional Coordinator will compile and organize data for Canadian Key Biodiversity Areas work in Ontario, develop a shortlist of trigger species for which to apply the KBA Standard (based on their own assessment of feasibility and expert input), recruit and liaise with relevant species and ecosystem experts through online training, scoping assessment, and delineation workshops and meetings. Additionally, the coordinator will conduct outreach to build partnerships with the broader conservation community in Ontario, including conservation organizations, Indigenous communities, and governments. The employee will develop materials necessary for KBA nomination and review and will support the process of submitting candidate KBAs for approval in Canada and globally.


Position Objectives:

This position will support the WCS Canada KBA Conservation Program through the following primary objectives:

  • KBA training period
  • Preparation of a pilot KBA proposal
  • Project planning for Ontario Key Biodiversity Areas
  • Data compilation, feasibility assessment, and preparation to lead species-focused KBA assessments and support/coordinate ecosystem-based KBA assessments
  • Workshop organization/or alternative approach to gather expert input
  • Support documentation and review of KBAs and submission to National KBA Coalition and Global KBA Partnership


Principle Responsibilities:

1. KBA training period:

  • Read core KBA documents as identified by KBA Secretariat
  • Meet with KBA team members and other regional coordinators to become familiar with approaches being taken to identify and delineate KBAs across regions in Canada
  • Read best practices documentation on how to navigate, extract and add data to the existing KBA GIS database in ArcGIS Pro
  • Complete required data use training and familiarize yourself with available KBA data.
  • Learn about KBAs already under development in Ontario, make contact with those involved, and take over stewardship of those proposals as appropriate.

2. Preparation of a pilot KBA proposal

  • With the support of the KBA Secretariat, 1-2 pilot sites will be identified as likely KBAs, and the process for assessing the sites using KBA criteria, the KBA database, and expert input will be completed up to the development of the KBA nomination form.

3. Project planning for Ontario Key Biodiversity Areas:

  • Develop a work plan, timeline, and scope for the Ontario KBA project, in consultation with the KBA Canada Secretariat
  • Identify and plan for any additional resources needed to meet identified objectives included in the work plan

4. Data compilation, feasibility assessment, and preparation to lead species-focused KBA assessments and support/coordinate ecosystem-based KBA assessments:

  • Assess long lists of species that could ‘trigger’ KBAs in Ontario for feasibility
  • Compile data for application of KBA Standard to a shortlist of ‘trigger’ species
  • Liaise with ecosystem criteria team to integrate species and ecosystem KBA work plans (if ecosystem criteria work has started in Ontario)
  • Liaise with any partner organizations already working to identify specific sites as KBAs in Ontario
  • Work with Birds Canada and Ontario Important Bird Area (IBA) Coordinator to develop a work plan for adding other taxa to existing IBAs that have been reassessed using KBA criteria
  • Identify and reach out to experts in Ontario early in the process to take part in KBA assessment work, provide training on methods
  • Identify and reach out to stakeholders and rights holders early in the process to provide information about KBA work and invite participation if appropriate (working with KBA Secretariat, governments, other members of KBA Coalition)

5. Workshop organization/or alternative approach to gather expert input:

  • Organize workshops (or virtual alternatives) to bring together experts to identify and delineate new KBAs, review and refine KBA proposals, and expose a wide range of Ontario experts to the KBA process
  • Delineate and refine KBA boundaries and populate field attributes in related tables in the KBA GIS database
  • Communicate (or coordinate outreach with partners) with rights holders and stakeholders to inform them of the KBA initiative in Ontario and provide opportunities for input

6. Support documentation and review of KBAs and submission to National KBA Coalition and Global KBA Partnership

  • Complete KBA nomination forms, and prepare and refine spatial layers, in coordination with the KBA Secretariat
  • Coordinate the review of Ontario KBA proposals.



  • Post-graduate degree in biodiversity conservation or other related fields of study
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Ontario’s flora and fauna
  • Previous work experience/relevant experience (education) focused on environmental conservation in Ontario
  • Advanced GIS skills in ArcGIS Pro, including experience creating and editing spatial features, querying data layers, importing and visualizing contextual data
  • Experience using relational geospatial databases
  • Strong analytical skills, including the ability to assimilate and effectively analyze a large amount of material
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills;
  • Ability to develop collaboration networks, and comfortable reaching out to new contacts; connection to Ontario science biodiversity community is a preferred asset
  • Experience organizing and facilitating workshops (both virtual and in-person)
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Experience working in a cross-cultural setting with Indigenous peoples, governments, or communities and/or understanding of diverse Indigenous histories, worldviews, and Indigenous knowledge systems
  • Passion for the conservation of nature and wildlife


Identifying the places that are most important for sustaining biodiversity is critical for informing a wide range of land-use decisions, ranging from mitigating the impacts of development projects to creating protected areas. In order to provide a coherent and global approach to identifying sites important for biodiversity, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) developed and adopted A Global Standard for the identification of KBAs in 2016. An international KBA Partnership was formed in order to encourage and support the identification of KBAs and to maintain a documented list of sites identified against the KBA Standard.

The identification of KBAs in Canada is timely, in that it supports the Canadian Pathway to Target 1 process and the commitment expressed in the CBD’s Aichi Target 11 to establish protected areas and other effective conservation measures in areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services. The National Advisory Panel recommended (#13) that the Global KBA Standard be adopted in Canada and accompanied by efforts to develop and apply a Canadian KBA standard. The purpose of the Canadian KBA Coalition is to do that and to carry out its work in the spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and in accordance with recommendations made by the Indigenous Circle of Experts.

Suggested specific tasks are listed below but may evolve or change as needs are identified. The employee will work closely with Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne (KBA Canada) and other partners in the KBA Coalition and adjust to the needs of the Canadian KBA program as required.



  • Work plan for an inclusive process to identify and delineate a set of Ontario KBAs
  • Shortlist of KBA trigger species with high feasibility for KBA identification
  • Workshops (or virtual alternatives) to delineate set of Ontario KBAs (date TBD)
  • A set of Ontario KBA proposals to be submitted to KBA Coalition for approval
  • Compiled supporting data for Ontario KBA work



The consultant/employee will be under the supervision of Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne (Wildlife Conservation Society Canada), the Canada Key Biodiversity Area Coordinator.


The project term is March 1, 2021 – March 1, 2022, with the employee working 4 days per week.


How to apply:

Please send your CV with a cover letter explaining your qualifications related to the project through the Fitzii application portal.

Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process. Applicants need to make their requirements known when contacted. For questions regarding the application process please contact tdias@wcs.org.

Questions regarding this position can be directed to Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne at craudsepp@wcs.org.


Deadline for applications: Applications must be received by 15 February 2021 to be considered.