Wildlife conservation careers
include working in the areas of wildlife management, environmental science, education, research and development, operations, maintenance, guest services and general administration at zoos, sanctuaries or wildlife organizations. All areas of a career in wildlife conservation or wildlife biology is highly competitive and usually require related experience and/or a specific educational background in a particular area.
Environmental science is the study of interactions among physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment. Scientists in this area monitor the quality of the environment and interpret the impact of human actions on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They then work to develop strategies for restoring the Earth’s ecosystems. In addition, environmental scientists help planners develop and construct buildings, transportation corridors, and utilities that protect water resources and promote efficient and beneficial land use. Careers in wildlife conservation may also deal with environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity, water quality, groundwater contamination, soil contamination, waste management, sustainable development, air and noise pollution. Environmental biology is a sub-category of environmental science that focuses specifically on the effects of environmental conditions on biological systems. In addition, environmental biology incorporates the ideas of global change and conservation biology to encourage the conservation of biodiversity. Environmental pollution is another sub-category of environmental science that deals with the various types of pollution and their impact on human and other organisms including flora and fauna.
Wildlife conservation also includes careers in:
Animal rescue operations
Endangered species management
Captive animal breeding and nutrition
Zoological parks and aquariums
Studies and research in animal sciences, fisheries, wildlife sciences and veterinary medicine.
Wildlife management is the process of maintaining certain wildlife populations, including endangered animals, at desirable levels as determined by wildlife managers. It deals with protecting endangered and threatened species and their habitats, as well as with non-threatened agricultural pests and game species. Wildlife managers use the best available science to balance the needs of wildlife with their perception of the needs of people. Most wildlife management is concerned with the preservation and control of habitat, but there are other techniques such as reforestation and predator control. There are two main types of wildlife management:
Manipulative management changes the numbers of a certain wildlife population either by direct means or indirect means of altering food supply, habitat, density of predators, or prevalence of disease.
Custodial management is preventive or protective. The aim is to minimize external influences on the population and its habitat. It is appropriate in a national park where one of the stated goals is to protect ecological processes. It is also for conservation of a threatened species where the threat is of external origin rather than being intrinsic to the system.