What is a Wildlife Biologist?

Photo: Students examine a mountain lion in the necropsy lab Conservation of wildlife includes: The preservation of all species, the enhancement of wildlife habitat, the control of wildlife problems, and the consumptive use of wildlife. Photo: Up close with a Western Rattlesnake All species of animals are of interest to wildlife biologists. The rapid extinction of many species of animals is an increasing concern. Therefore, a wildlife biologist must be prepared to deal with complex ecological, sociological, and political problems that can cause the extinction of a species. At the same time they are concerned about endangered species wildlife biologists must also deal with locally abundant species that can cause serious ecological damage in an area. Learn more about job placement and what you might do as a working wildlife biologist.

Habitat preservation and enhancement are critical to existence of wildlife in an area. Animals cannot live in an area that does not provide the proper food, cover, water, and special needs. People's activities alter many habitats to the detriment of some wildlife. A wildlife biologist is responsible for preserving lands in a condition that wildlife can use for successful reproduction.

Wildlife biologists not only preserve species, they also control hunting seasons and oversee situations where conventional agriculture, forestry, range management cause conditions where some rodents, deer, fish-eating birds, and other species may become "pests." They are responsible for reducing negative interactions between wildlife and people.

Photo: banding canada geese by Humboldt Bay Photo: A student captures a white-tailed kite for her graduate work To accomplish these objectives, wildlife biologists must understand the complex ecological interactions, cultural, sociological, and economic problems that are related to preservation of wildlife and human land use practices. They must be able to communicate their understanding of these relationships to the general public and to various levels of government.

Wildlife graduates are employed primarily by state and federal agencies. However, the private sector of environmental consulting firms is expanding. Recent graduates are employed as wildlife managers, wildlife biologists, refuge managers, park rangers, park naturalists, game wardens, recreations planners, consulting wildlife biologists, etc. Graduates with high academic qualifications should consider graduate school.