If you’re interested in a career in wildlife management, you’re not alone. More and more people have been drawn to this exciting and rewarding career field in recent years, and the trend is only expected to continue.
So what is wildlife management, anyway? It’s actually a term that encompasses several different career fields, including wildlife conservation, game keeping, parks management, forestry management, natural resource management, and more.
As more and more people are becoming concerned about the environment, and our dwindling natural resources, there is a growing interest in managing these resources for future generations. After all, if our ancestors hadn’t had the foresight to set aside national parks like Yellowstone or Yosemite, these incredible places might no longer exist in their natural state.
And many animals that were once on the Endangered Species List, including the Bald Eagle, have come back in recent years due to intelligent wildlife management practices. Some species like wolves have been successfully re-introduced into their native habitats, restoring the natural balance that these ecosystems once enjoyed.
About the Job
A majority of people working in wildlife management are employed by the federal government, in national parks, wildlife sanctuaries or national monuments. States also require workers in this filed for state parks and wilderness areas. And there are some private sector jobs available in this field as well, although you can expect stiff competition.
Wildlife and conservation work typically calls for strong math and communication skills, as you’ll be working with people as much as wildlife in many cases. Much of this work is done outdoors, often in extreme weather or other adverse conditions, so you’ll need to be in good physical condition as well.
The management of wildlife - whether in a national park, wilderness area, or zoological facility - is challenging and rewarding work. One of the challenges in today's economy is the fact that when state and federal budgets are tight, one of the first areas that is targeted for cuts is outdoor recreation and the parks system. This can make management of these resources difficult, as money that was alloted for a particular project can be taken away before the project is completed.
Training and certification
If you’re seeking a degree in wildlife management, you have a lot of options. You could focus on conservation, ecology, forestry management, animal science, zoology and more. Several universities have programs in environmental wildlife, for example, which could involve managing wildlife in parks or wilderness areas, but could also cover the management of animals in zoos and zoological facilities.
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