What Is A Wildlife Biologist?
Wildlife biologists study and manage wild animals, their habits, and habitats. Technically wildlife biologists study both wild plants and animals; however, the term is commonly used to refer to those individuals working with wild animals. Wildlife biologists must work with animals, ecosystems, and people to accomplish their objectives.
What Do Wildlife Biologists Do?
- Estimate wildlife populations based on research and sampling
- Determine hunting seasons as well as catch limits for game species
- Develop and carryout measures to protect endangered and threatened species
- Develop and carryout habitat improvement plans
- Educate the public on wildlife ecology
- Maximize game quality and/or abundance
- Evaluate impacts of invasive alien species
- Manage for sustainable yields of commercially important wildlife species
- Evaluate the impacts of society and human communities on wildlife and develop ways to manage these interactions
- Enforce laws regarding wildlife
Where Do Wildlife Biologists Work?
Wildlife biologists work both indoors and outdoors. Federal and state agencies employ a large number of wildlife biologists, these jobs are highly competitive. Occasionally these positions require the wildlife biologist to live in remote places and conduct research or wildlife protection, such as sea bird nesting studies on remote islands.
Private organizations hire wildlife biologists as well. These positions may be for a large timberland owner or a non-profit conservation organization. Non-profit organizations might hire a wildlife biologist to determine the health of an animal population in a developing nation. Large hunting ranches employ wildlife biologists to help the ranch meet its goals related to game species.
A Bachelor of Science degree is required to work in the field of wildlife biology. An individual needs to major in a natural science curriculum, such as wildlife ecology and management, in order to be the most competitive in the job market. Because of the high number of individuals seeking careers working with wildlife, the job market is very competitive. A Master’s degree is commonly required to advance in one’s wildlife biology career, especially when working for government agencies. A Ph.D. qualifies an individual to conduct independent research as well as be a professor at a university.