Wildlife conservation careers for the youth
The youth today are the future guardians of precious wildlife that remains on the planet. The awareness around wildlife conservation and the importance of this subject have been advocated widely among the youth by governments, conservationists, and NGOs. There is an intricate ecosystem of professionals without whom wildlife conservation would be hampered severely. VETPAW gives insight into the various careers the youth can pursue to contribute to the wildlife conservation movement.
Wildlife biologists conduct elaborate research on animals, their habitats, their physical characteristics, and their behaviors. The interaction between the animals and with their ecosystem is recorded in collaboration with other professionals and scientists. This information helps prepare reports such as wildlife management, conservation, habitat restoration, and natural resource management.
Conservationists may work for a nonprofit organization or a national government to identify and conserve natural habitats. They work with wildlife biologists, landowners, and real estate professionals to develop acquisition strategies after researching the natural and cultural value of a particular land.
Wildlife veterinarians are licensed to sedate, examine and vaccinate wild animals, and manage emergent and known diseases. Wildlife rehabilitators provide medical support to injured, sick, or orphaned animals and return these animals to the wild upon their recovery. These two can work for commercial and private game reserves as well as livestock farms and national parks.
The job of park rangers is to protect the state and national parks and ensure the safety of visiting patrons. They also assist in the implementation of plans aimed at managing wildlife, restoring vegetation, and conserving water. They greet visitors, explain the facilities available for public use, inform them of the park’s natural and cultural history, and ensure all the rules are followed. They could be focussed on security, maintenance and conservation, education, and emergency response.
Law Enforcement Professional
Wildlife law enforcement officers unlike game wardens have a broader perspective. They are responsible for enforcing national laws and international agreements. They work with game wardens in the implementation of national and international rules. They are also responsible for patrolling the nature reserves, national parks, forests, and sanctuaries to conduct a survey of wildlife, oversee the activities in areas, prevent hunters, and poachers from trespassing.
Policy advocates support wildlife conservation by seeking to influence local, national and international legislators to pass wildlife-friendly laws. They may work with parks to understand the changes that are needed in the laws and then work with legislators, non-profit organizations, and industry groups to pass laws that are in alignment with the discussed needs.
Photographers that click wildlife can contribute immensely to create awareness about wildlife and its conservation. This work could be scientific, promotional, or educational as it helps create a photographic database of wildlife for identification purposes. These can also be printed in major publications to raise awareness about conservation efforts.
Fundraisers reach out to private donors to secure financial support for game parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and other wildlife habitats. They are like the PR of wildlife who stay in touch with the existing donors and maintain relationships with them, strategize on creating new relationships and discover or invent new avenues for generating funds.
Wildlife Inspector and Forensics Specialist
These professionals are tasked with the job of intercepting smuggled, illegal shipments of live wild animals for the pet trade and wild animal parts for trophy or medicinal purposes. They are usually stationed at international airports, ocean ports, and border crossings. Forensics specialists document the investigation and collate the evidence on these illegal imports.
Communications and Public Relations Specialist
They interpret wildlife research and conservation programs that can be utilized to raise awareness among the masses. They write articles and news releases, create brochures and websites, photograph wildlife and conservation activities, and speak at public gatherings or through the media.
VETPAW – Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife
Founded in 2013, VETPAW is a non-profit organization and a community of US war veterans dedicated to protecting African wildlife and training local African rangers in the war against poaching.