Wildlife management is the application of ecological and land management principles to the management of wildlife populations and their habitats. This major focuses on terrestrial and wetland habitats and their animal life, with an emphasis on fisheries and forestry management. Employment opportunities come from government agencies and various private protection organizations.
The Wildlife Science degree is a science-based applied degree program that focuses on maintaining the balance of wild species and habitats. Students in related programmes have the opportunity to specialise in a specialisation where they can develop their interests and knowledge in a variety of employment-related settings.
Wildlife management is generally defined as the application of ecological and land management principles to the management of wildlife populations and their habitats. Projects focus on wetland habitats and terrestrial land employment opportunities come from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and various private conservation organizations.
A wildlife management degree can be undertaken as a stand-alone degree, although in many cases it can be offered as a specialisation in areas such as environmental management, zoology, marine biology and other related fields. Programs such as the Wildlife Science and Management degree prepare students who wish to work in conservation, wilderness management, and management of wildlife reserves and animal facilities.
Wildlife management focuses on a variety of reasons, including ecological, commercial, recreational, policy and natural resource management. Programs of study may vary by college, but students may be required to take interdisciplinary courses that may include departments such as biology, environmental science, policy, law, and more.
Specific courses may include soil science, forestry and fisheries management, marine biology, park management, wildlife conservation and restoration, natural and artificial wildlife habitat management, outdoor recreation, and environmental law and regulation.
In terms of level, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs are the most common. The focus of a master’s degree in wildlife management is often to understand the interrelationships between economic, social and cultural, ecological and environmental policies, and the factors that influence natural resource and wildlife management.
However, some colleges and universities may offer associate degree programs, as well as various certificate programs. Since actual requirements may vary by program, many degrees are offered on traditional campuses, although a variety of online degree programs are available. A common course structure these days is to take some courses online, with a focus on hands-on lessons learned on-site.
Holders of a wildlife management degree may go in many different professional directions depending on the courses they have completed and their chosen major. Duties may include reviewing animal populations, regulating fishing and hunting, managing wildlife reserves and public recreation areas, working with foresters to develop environmental management plans, and some areas of practice such as environmental education. Other professionals are responsible for the protection of threatened and endangered species and their habitats, as well as agricultural pests and wildlife species.
For wildlife management degrees, salaries will vary based on the specific degree and level of study, i.e. graduate versus undergraduate, level of experience, job responsibilities and geographic location. Currently, the average salary for a wildlife manager job in the United States is $48,000, but the range is quite broad.