Wildlife biologists are scientists who study wild animals to understand
how they interact with other animals and their habitat. They may also
manipulate wildlife populations and their habitats (for instance, by
planting food sources) in an effort to conserve these valuable resources.
The job of a wildlife biologist involves a variety of outdoor activities
such as observing, capturing, and measuring animals, or measuring and
manipulating their habitats. An equally important part of the job involves
developing management plans; collecting and analyzing data; documenting
Biologists take samples from a drugged polar bear for data about
pesticides in the Hudson Bay area of Manitoba.
communicating with other professionals and the public. Private landowners
occasionally hire wildlife biologists, but most are employed by federal or
state fish and game agencies (e.g. Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest
Service). In addition to a solid foundation in biology, a wildlife
biologist needs a good background in chemistry and mathematics (especially
statistics), and must be able to communicate clearly both orally and in
writing. Anyone interested in a career as a wildlife biologist should earn
a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Management and should also gain
experience through part-time or seasonal employment in the field.
Opportunities for career advancement are significantly enhanced by earning
a master's degree and those individuals interested in research
should consider acquiring a doctoral degree (Ph.D.).
Anderson, Stanley H.
Managing Our Wildlife Resources,
3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.
A Sand County Almanac.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1949.