Wildlife Biologist

Conservation and Wildlife Management

What is a Wildlife Biologist?

Career Profile - Wildlife Biologist

Why I chose wildlife biology

I chose to research wildlife biologists because this is the intended career I plan on going into once I graduate college. I will be majoring in Small Animal Science which holds many job opportunities and internships, one being a wildlife biologist in conservation and wildlife management. I chose this career for my love and passion for animals. I've always had a huge love for animals, but my want to work with animals for the rest of my life came from our junior year Chemistry Projects, Mrs. Steiner had assigned us. Seeing how my puppies interacted with other humans, and how they were impacted interested me so much, and I only wanted to know more. That's when I did some research, and decided I wanted to do animal research. I chose this career over all of the other careers in animal research because I would rather research animals in their natural habitat than in captivity, but I might want to do a little bit of both to see the difference in animals and hopefully make a change in the world so all animals can live in their natural habitats than in zoos and aquariums. I couldn't see myself doing anything other animal research. As of now I whole heartedly think I want to be a wildlife biologist, but I could change my mind at any point and switch to another field in animal research. Or, vet school is a potential option for me. Whatever I choose to do in the end, I know it will be animal related because I am so interested in animals, what they do, how they feel, and where they live. But overall, whether I end up a zoologist, wildlife biologist, or vet, I'll be doing what I'm passionate about, and what I love with my entire heart.

A deeper look into Wildlife Biologist's and Zoologists

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife. They study how they interact with their ecosystems. They study the physical characteristics of animals, animal behaviors, and the impacts humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.

Zoologists and wildlife biologists take blood samples from animals to assess their levels of nutrition, check animals for disease and parasites, and tag animals in order to track them. The roles and abilities of wildlife biologists and zoologists are very similar, but zoologists conduct scientific investigations and basic research on particular types of animals, such as birds or amphibians. Whereas wildlife biologists are more likely to study specific ecosystems or animal populations, such as particular at-risk species. Wildlife Biologists also do applied work, such as that involving the conservation and management of wildlife populations.


Wildlife biologists and zoologists use geographic information systems, modeling software, and other computer programs to estimate wildlife populations and track the movements of animals. They also use these computer programs to forecast the spread of invasive species or disease, project changes in the availability of habitat, and assess other potential threats to wildlife.

Both careers conduct research for many purposes. Many zoologists and wildlife biologists work to increase our knowledge and understanding of wildlife species. Many wildlife biologists researched ways to encourage abundant game animal populations in order to increase recreational hunting and tourism. Today, many work with public officials in conservation efforts that protect species from threats and help animal populations return to and remain at sustainable levels.


  • Develop and conduct experimental studies with animals in controlled or natural surroundings
  • Collect biological data and specimens for analysis
  • Study the characteristics of animals, such as their interactions with other species, reproduction, population dynamics, diseases, and movement patterns
  • Analyze the influence that human activity has on wildlife and their natural habitats
  • Research, initiate, and maintain ways of improving breeding programs that support healthy game animals, endangered species, or other wild populations of land or aquatic life
  • Estimate, monitor, and manage wildlife populations and invasive plants and animals
  • Write research papers, reports, and scholarly articles that explain their findings
  • Give presentations on research findings to academics and the general public
  • Develop conservation plans and make recommendations on wildlife conservation and management issues to policymakers and the general public


Wildlife biologists are identified by the aspects of wildlife biology they study, such as evolution and animal behavior.

  • Botanists: study plants, including their growth, diseases, and structures. Agronomists study the particular plant science concerning crop production.
  • Ecologists: study ecosystems, which include all relationships between organisms and the surrounding environments.
  • Evolutionary biologists: study the origins of species and the changes in their inherited characteristics over generations

Wildlife biologists specialize in studying wildlife according to the type of water or land where the wildlife lives. The following are examples of those who specialize by habitat:

  • Limnologists: study organisms that live in freshwater
  • Marine biologists: study organisms that live in saltwater
  • Terrestrial biologists: study organisms that live on land, including plants and microbes


Zoologists and wildlife biologists need at least a bachelors degree. An undergraduate degree in biology with coursework in zoology and wildlife biology also is a good starting point for a career as a zoologist or wildlife biologist.

Students typically take zoology and wildlife biology courses in ecology, anatomy, wildlife management, and cellular biology. They usually take courses that focus on a particular group of animals, such as herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) or ornithology (birds). Courses in botany, chemistry, and physics are important because wildlife biologists and zoologists must have a well-rounded scientific background. Wildlife biology programs may focus on applied techniques in habitat analysis and conservation. Students should also take courses in mathematics and statistics, given that wildlife biologists and zoologists must be able to do complex data analysis. Knowledge of computer science is important because zoologists and wildlife biologists frequently use advanced computer software, such a geographic information systems and modeling softwares, to do their work.

Courses leading to careers in wildlife biology:

  • Mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, etc)
  • Earth Science
  • Biology
  • Zoology, Ecology, Botany
  • Geology
  • Hydrology

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Important Qualities

  • Communication Skills
  • Critical-thinking Skills
  • Emotional Stamina and Stability
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Observation Skills
  • Outdoor Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
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The annual salary zoologists/wildlife biologists in May 2015 was $59,680. The median salary is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned was less than $39,180 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,390. Here is the median annual wage for wildlife biologists/zoologists in May 2015.

  • Federal government (excluding postal service) - $74,190
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences - $61,330
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services - $56,590
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools (state) - $56,330
  • State government (excluding education and hospitals) - $54,520
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A Day in the Life of a Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife Biologists will spend most of their time working in the field and the office. Field work could possibly require hiking and climbing over rugged terrain in bad weather conditions. Office work typically goes for long periods of time writing reports, analyzing information, and making recommendations on how best to manage the wildlife habitat.

Wildlife Biologists work with various Forest Service experts such as hierologists, geologists, and foresters to help protect the varied wildlife resources. They may participate in investigations and surveys to determine how to restore and protect the wildlife habitat. Some of this involves finding out what effects management policies are having on wildlife populations and their habitat. Wildlife biologists spend some of their time writing reports and making formal presentations of the results of their investigations on how to best manage and protect wildlife resources and habitats.

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Works Cited


7014 Wildlife Biologist, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Landscape and Urban Planning. 2010.


19-1023 Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 23rd, 2016.


Summary, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 23rd 2016.


Internship Opportunities, Internship Opportunities. May 23rd, 2016.


Intern, Veterinary Hospital, Association of Zoos and Aquariums. May 23rd, 2016.


Kids.gov A Safe Place to Learn and Play, Wildlife Biologist. May 23rd, 2016.


2003-2016 Study.com


Career Story: Wildlife Biologist at a National Wildlife Refuge, May 23rd, 2016.

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157 Rod and Gun Club Road

Millville, Pennsylvania, 17846 Ariel Sikalias

Home: (570)-458-4535 Email: arielsikalias@gmail.com

Cell: (570)-854-7996

Career Objective My plan is to attend Delaware Valley University, and graduate with the major Small Animal Science. I plan to become a wildlife biologist or zoologist.

Education Millville Jr./Sr. High School, Millville, PA 17815

Graduated June 2016.

Delaware Valley University, Doylestown, PA 18901

Graduated 2020

Air National Guard

Overall G.P.A. – 4.0

Work Experience Internship with the National Aviary located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a non paying internship, but prepared me for my future as a wildlife biologist. I worked as an intern with the National Aviary from my sophomore year of college to my senior year. Delaware Valley University requires students to participate in an internship, and it benefitted me in teaching me more than I already knew.

Community Service Participated in two Millville Music Booster Spaghetti Dinner’s for the community,

around ten hours total. I also [articipated in around six to seven fundraising events for Mostly Mutts Dog Shelter as well as Helping to Rebuild Kidsburg. I had participated in dressing as a clown to decorate little kids faces. I participated in one Mill Green Church Spaghetti Dinner. Lastly, I participated in face painting at two of Milll Green Church block parties.

Special Skills. Since college, I have gained many different skills. Some are skills required to be able to work as a wildlife biologist. I have good communication skills from presenting presentations/projects. I have good outdoor skills from working with and caring for the animals in an outside environment. I also gained emotional stamina and stability from observing these animals.

Extra Curricular Activities

I had been a cheerleader for four years at Millville High School, and four years at Delaware Valley University. I participate in a lot of community service, as well as working with the ASPCA.


Miss Williamson, Biology Teacher

(570) 458 - 1245

18 Hill Road

Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, 17815


Sherry Miller, Animal Science Professor

(570) 441 - 6709

700 E Butler Ave

Doylestown, PA, 18901


Susan King, Math Professor

(570) - 445 – 2312

700 E Butler Ave

Doylestown, Pa, 18901



Ms. Emily Hamilton



State of West Virginia Wildlife Biologists

Dear Ms. Hamilton,

I had come across your job openings for Wildlife Biologists in West Virginia. I was excited to see that there were jobs available for applying for, and I would greatly appreciate if we could talk more face to face, and hopefully have an interview.

My past work experience includes an internship with the National Aviary. I worked with animals of all kinds. It wasn’t exactly a position as a wildlife biologist, but it was very similar as they had me working the same areas and specializations as a wildlife biologist would. I gained knowledge of understanding animals and their environments. I gained communication skills, emotional stability, observation skills, outdoor skills, critical-thinking and problem solving. This internship taught me a lot, and it only added to my education from Delaware Valley University.

Previously, I have attended Delaware Valley University, and graduated with a masters degree in Small Animal Science. I was apart of the Delval cheerleading team for all four years. I worked on campus caring for the animals as a paid job. Delaware Valley has job openings for students in any major who have a love for animals and wanted to get a paying job working on campus. I chose to work with the animals because my future goal intended to be working with the animals and it seemed like the right decision. I ended up loving it and the animals.

Academically I excelled in almost all of my classes from freshman to senior year. I am confident that I have the type of knowledge you’re looking for, for this job opening as a wildlife biologist. I received many awards throughout my years at Delaware Valley University. In my sophomore year I was invited into the Honors Club where I made an oath that I will continue to work hard and excel in every subject to show the skills that I have, and how much of a hard worker I am.

My overall goal is to do what I love, and what I love doing includes working with animals. My goal is to become a wildlife biologist to study animals. The mind of animals fascinates me and I cant get enough. I aspire to be someone who makes a change in the world, especially in wildlife. I want to know more about animals and their environments, protect endangered species, and so much more. With this job as a full time wildlife biologist I think I can achieve all of my goals. I am able to bring my strong skills to the table to show you that I am someone who you would benefit from hiring. It is my pleasure to inform you of my previous experience and skills as an individual. I look forward to hearing from you, thank you for your time. You can reach me at my home phone: 570-458-4535 or my cell phone: 570-854-7996. I look forward to learning more about this great opportunity.


Ariel Sikalias