What Is Wildlife Biology?

Jul 25, 2016 By Jeramie Strickland
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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Our agency’s programs are among the oldest in the world. A wildlife biologist is someone who studies and/or manages wild animals and their habitats. They observe and document how wildlife interact with their environment.

Wildlife biologists also study the physical characteristics of animals and their behaviors. They look at the impact (both positive and negative) that humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.

Studying Animals And Their Environment

Biologists will often perform various experiments to either increase our knowledge about a certain species or see how humans influence the ecosystem. For instance, by monitoring animal populations for a long time, we are able to track changes in population sizes very carefully. If the population of ducks or fish in a lake declined significantly after an oil spill or water contamination, then we can see how that oil spill affected the local wildlife. This is just one example of how wildlife biologists use observations and compiled data from surveys to help conserve and protect wildlife and their habitats.

Another example of how wildlife biologists work to conserve and protect animals is setting harvest regulation for hunting and fishing.  Many people enjoy hunting and fishing as a way to interact with nature while providing healthy food for themselves. This is an important American tradition.

However, many animals have declined significantly and face extinction. The work of wildlife biologists allows people to continue hunting and fishing traditions without harming the overall numbers of animals.  They do this by setting regulations on when people can hunt and fish, which animals they can take, and how many. Hunting seasons occur in the fall when young animals no longer need their parents for protection. Fishing regulations limit the number and size of fish.