Working As a Wildlife Conservationist

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As a nature and wildlife filmmaker, wildlife conservation is always on my mind.

It seems that the world is hell bent on bulldozing every last sanctuary of wilderness we have. So working to conserve wildlife and its habitat is something that I take very seriously.


Working As a Wildlife Conservationist

by Mark Bottell

Anybody with a developed interest in wildlife and nature might want to pursue conservation work opportunities. There are a number of different jobs in the field, such as park ranger, game warden, wildlife biologist and environmental specialist. These types of jobs generally involve spending long periods of time outdoors, surveying the land and ensuring that wildlife habitats are maintained. This article may help you to decide whether jobs in environmental sector are for you.

The Difference Between Conservation and Animal Welfare

There are a wide variety of animal related jobs that fall outside the sphere of conservation. Individuals who work in such occupations may do their level best to ensure the protection of every single animal that they come across. However, people who carry out conservation work generally believe in maintaining natural habitats as a whole, rather than focussing on the needs of specific creatures. They may be prepared to carry out a cull if it will have positive effects for the entire ecosystem. Conservationists may also deem it appropriate to kill foreign species that are harming the environment.

Typical Duties

The work may involve the protection of a wide variety of animals. People employed in this capacity may be required to look after the large and powerful meat eaters in big game reserves. Those workers who specialise in marine conservation may find that much of their time is taken up in the prevention of coastal erosion. There are also opportunities for deep sea diving missions and research on wrecks and coral reefs. Conservationists may also often be invited to meetings regarding the environmental impact of work conducted by major companies.

Personal Qualities Required

When they aren’t working with animals, conservationists are often involved in group activities, such as the clearing of beach litter and coppicing of wooded environments. They should have a friendly disposition towards other team members and the ability communicate and listen effectively. People who do conservation work are generally motivated by a passion to do right by the world, rather than earn large amounts of money. It is quite usual to do this form of work on a voluntary basis.

Qualifications Required

Those individuals who manage to obtain jobs in the conservation work sector have generally achieved a high standard in A level subjects such as biology and chemistry. Some choose to further their employment prospects by taking specialised university courses in marine biology or wildlife sciences. There is a great deal of information about these educational programmes online. For further information you may also want to contact the Wildlife Trust and perhaps even the World Wildlife Fund.

Mark Bottell is the General Manager for Gap Africa Projects an online tour operator which caters to interests such as conservation work and offers other Gap Africa Projects adventure holidays for adults.

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We only have one planet and once we lose a species, it’s gone forever. Extinction rates of wildlife have surpassed all scientific models and is growing exponentially as the human population increases and expands.

About Kevin J Railsabck

Award-winning filmmaker Kevin J Railsback has traveled as far as Africa to test HD cameras for Panasonic.
His stunning nature and wildlife footage has appeared in productions on National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel as well as in commercials for such corporate giants as AT&T.


  1. If I didn’t film wildlife, I’d be doing this I think!
    Kevin J Railsabck recently posted…When Congress Plays God, Wolves LoseMy Profile

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