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Working with wildlife i.e. animals in the natural environment not in domestic or captive settings. 

Wildlife and Natural History are an integral part of our countryside and there may be an element of wildlife work in many other roles for example ecology and ranger.  There are many posts which are focused on a specific species or group of species.


This is slightly different from animal care in that you may never actually handle the animals you're working with. 

If you're looking for animal care (zoos, wildlife hospitals and agriculture) click here.

Fieldwork and research  can be found here.


Jobs and employment

Many wildlife focused posts are project posts covering everything from initial set up through the main aims of the project to the final report.   When working with a single species it's likely that there will be an element of fieldwork; the majority of roles will include some publicity and interpretational promotional work.


Wildlife management includes gamekeeping even though the aim is to produce a shootable surplus of the quarry species there is much land and countryside management with this particularly if the quarry is a wild population, e.g. grouse, partridge or deer.

A Wildlife Ranger for the Forestry Commission will be in charge of keeping the deer population at suitable levels and possibly even involved with grey squirrel culls or similar.


Typical jobs include IUCN Red List Officer, Wildlife Officer, Field Conservation Assistant, Conservation Ranger, Re-introduction Monitoring Officer, Ornithologist, Zoologist, Gamekeeper,

 the National Careers Service has role profiles of all of these and many more (click the links) 

See current vacancies advertised with CJS here.

Occasionally gamekeeping type roles will be advertised here.


To gain the experience required volunteering is frequently a good start.

See current volunteering opportunities advertised with CJS here.


Skills, training and CPD.

Most of these roles require a degree, usually in Zoology, Ecology or similar, find details of these longer courses here.

There are many different skills and qualifications required to work with animals


Some of the these courses are available via Distance Learning courses, see these here.


Information and in depth articles

Wildlife volunteering on the RSPCA frontline

Citizen Science: A Speedy Way to Support Wildlife and your Career?, OPAL

Wildlife Trust Trainee scheme proves valuable to the future careers of biological recorders & biodiversity alike, Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Volunteer Photographers with WWT

So you want to work in ecology and environmental management? CIEEM

Bat Conservation Trust introduction, Bat Conservation Trust (Featured Charity 2016)

Bat's are hibernating - we are not, Bat Conservation Trust (Featured Charity 2016)

National Bat Monitoring Programme a volunteer based project, Bat Conservation Trust (Featured Charity 2016)

The National Bat Helpline, Bat Conservation Trust (Featured Charity 2016)

Why Bats Matter, Bat Conservation Trust (Featured Charity 2016)

A Wonderful Wildcat Experience, James Walker (Scottish Wildcat Action)

Connecting people with nature. Safeguarding species from extinction, RZSS

Working and volunteering in amphibian research, British Herpetological Society

An unpredictable nature: working with wildlife, Secret World Wildlife Rescue

An interview with PC Gareth Jones, Beat Manager for the Ripon Rural Area, North Yorkshire Police

A bird in the hand: why bird ringing is still so important, British Trust for Ornithology

Are you sure you want to work with birds of prey?, The International Centre for Birds of Prey

So you want to be a wildlife camera operator..., Wildeye

Working for Conservation, Martin Harper, Conservation Director for the RSPB

The Bass Rock, Scottish Seabird Centre

Whale and dolphin-watching around the UK - how you can get involved!, Sea Watch Foundation

Can toad patrols make a difference?, Osmotherley Road Rescue

Update on the Alien Harlequin Ladybird, UK Ladybird Survey

The right kit for working with wildlife, Ron Bury

Wildlife Conservation versus Visitor Engagement, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)

Talking wildlife, cows and ostriches with Simon King, an interview


Useful organisations

The Wildlife Trusts


British Trust for Ornithology

Mammal Society

British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)

Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust



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