Okay, so if one of the key principles of the North American Wildlife Conservation Model is to manage wildlife using sound science, who are those scientists and what do they do? The answer is… they’re wildlife biologists and they do all kinds of interesting and exciting stuff.
To get a sense for some of what they do and what it takes to become one, watch the video here of a real-life wildlife biologist in New Mexico. As you’ll see, wildlife biologists are professional scientists who study the behaviors of animals. They observe the lifestyles and life cycles of various wildlife to help determine the animal’s role in specific ecosystems and how they interact with or how their populations are impacted by human beings. Plus, they will often perform various experiments (such as capturing and radio-collaring elk) to either increase our knowledge about a certain species or see how an individual animal influences their range and the overall ecosystem in an area.
As you can imagine, wildlife biologists are extremely important to preserving the wildlife populations and our natural environments along with increasing our understanding of the creatures that share our planet. Like Nicole in this video, many wildlife biologists specialize in certain areas of study that are often defined by ecosystem or species, or the agency that they work for. Some of these fields include: mammalogy, entomology, ornithology, marine biology, or limnology. In this video you’ll see the study of mammalogy that deals specifically with the study and observation of big game mammals. This could include many different aspects of mammalian life, including evolution, biological function, management, and ecosystem impacts.
So becoming a wildlife biologist might be the ideal career for someone who enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling. Many wildlife biologists spend the majority of their time working in the field, observing wild animals in their natural habitats, and actively interacting with those species. Some of their time is spent working in labs or offices, and working with others in developing overall wildlife management plans for certain areas or regions. That’s why many think that becoming a wildlife biologist is the perfect career for an adventurer who likes to work in a variety of outdoor environments.
The final question is are YOU interested in a career as a Wildlife Biologist? To help answer that, watch this video, have your teacher use the free classroom lesson activities below and click on the Learn More tab below.
This wildlife education program is made possible with support of these key educational partners. You and your teachers can link to their websites for additional information and educational opportunities.
At SCI Foundation’s American Wilderness Leadership School location in Jackson, Wyoming, educators and students learn about conservation, wildlife management, and outdoor recreation through outdoor, hands-on activities. Their Hands on Wildlife (HOW) program provides educators with conservation education instructional tools they can use in hands-on instruction.