The Wildlife Manager's Role
Wildlife management is a science. The wildlife manager's job is to conserve, restore, and manage wildlife species. Wildlife biologists apply the basic principles of ecology to maintain and manage wildlife populations. Wildlife biologists develop management goals and create plans to meet those goals. They are involved in developing regulations to protect or restore threatened and endangered species, allow for the harvest of surplus animals, or reduce overabundant wildlife populations.
In a sense, a wildlife manager’s task is similar to a rancher’s. Just as a rancher limits the number of animals in a cattle herd to a level that the habitat can tolerate, wildlife managers try to keep the number of animals in balance with their habitat. In addition to looking at the total number of each species in a habitat, wildlife managers also monitor the breeding stock—the correct mix of adult and young animals needed to sustain a population.
To manage a habitat, wildlife managers must consider historical trends, current habitat conditions, breeding population levels, long-term projections, and breeding success. With that knowledge, wildlife managers have a variety of practices at their disposal to keep habitats in balance.