Working with Wildlife

seals on a beach

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, 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

Many of the below articles appeared in CJS Focus on Working with Wildlife in association with The Wildlife Trusts. Published 17 October 2022

A perfect partnership, Hawk Conservancy Trust

Working with birds, British Trust for Ornithology

Dragonflies and me; a career as an insect specialist, British Dragonfly Society

Captive breeding the hazel dormouse for reintroduction, Wildwood Trust

From delivering post to translocating lynx, Michael Willett

Wonderful ways to work with wildlife, The Wildlife Trusts

Breaking Into the Wildlife Filmmaking Industry, Lily Harper 

The modern curse of self-promotion, Wildlife Film Network

Careers in wildlife rehabilitation, where to start and what to expect, Secret Worle Wildlife Rescue

Measuring ecological performance: An example of one of the farms using The Life Map to benchmark performance, Redlist Revival

Criminal activity against wildlife, National Wildlife Crime Unit

Filling In the Gaps, Initiative for Nature Conservation Cymru (INCC)

Increasing efforts for greater horseshoe bats, Vincent Wildlife Trust

An incredible 75 year milestone for international wetland charity, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Making the leap into self-employment, Ecology on Demand

Conservation K9s – A helping Paw to find endangered Species

Vet careers: David Couper, West Hatch, RSPCA

Beavers are back in Dorset, Dorset Wildlife Trust

Keeping a watchful eye on our waterbirds - the Wetland Bird Survey

Lantra - A career in fisheries management

Volunteering with the Vincent Wildlife Trust, Vincent Wildlife Trust (Featured Charity 2018)

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

The Bass Rock, Scottish Seabird Centre


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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