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How would I go about becoming a conservationist?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Bethany Broadbent, 7 Nov 2020.

  1. Bethany Broadbent

    Bethany Broadbent New Member

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    Hello everyone I’m wanting to become a conservationist, I know that there’s a lot of different conservationist but I would like to work in animals and the planet area I was hoping for a push in the right direction
     
  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    What is your background? What is your education and experience? Are you an adult looking for a new direction or a student looking for a career direction?
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    You really need to begin to define what you mean by a conservationist and the specific area you are interested in first.

    The truth is that "animals and the planet area" is a very vague and nebulous definition.

    To get honest advice and that push in the right direction the first thing that you need to do is to really begin refining what you mean by conservation and what and where your interests are.
     
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2020
  4. Bethany Broadbent

    Bethany Broadbent New Member

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    Hi I have animal management and care qualifications from level 1-3 and I have experience in living abroad for 3 months working with domestic cats and I have dog grooming experience, I would like to have more experience even more knowledge and I am 22
     
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  5. Bethany Broadbent

    Bethany Broadbent New Member

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    Hello I want to be out in the field
    hi I really like the look of marine biologist, zoologist, wildlife biologist , environment biologist, animal health inspector, as a kid I alway wanted to be either a animal health inspector or a zoologist or a marine biologist but now I’m more grown up (22yo) I would like to look at other fields of animals work
     
  6. Tea_and_Biology

    Tea_and_Biology Active Member

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    Volunteering with local conservation projects aside (simply Google 'conservation volunteering UK' or similar; there are loads of opportunities if you, like, enjoy planting pines, or clearing rhododendron all day etc.), which can be rewarding and useful, if you're serious about pursuing a career in conservation biology, given you're from the UK, you'll need at minimum:

    i) A good undergraduate degree, typically in a STEM subject, typically in Biology (though not necessarily).
    ii) Followed by a good Masters (MSc / MRes etc.) in conservation science, or similar.
    iii) During those ~4 years of academic training, and thereafter, accumulated extra-curricular experience doing conservation work, either locally (as above), or internationally (if you can manage it).

    Career trajectories in wildlife conservation are hyper competitive. University qualifications alone aren't enough, and it's the ability to accrue significant hands-on experience that, nowadays, is what gets you anywhere. Given there's an absolute dearth of funding in conservation generally, and particularly for career development options for those early in their career trajectories, the unfortunate truth is that conservation biology, at nearly every level, heavily favours those from more privileged backgrounds, who can afford to take on full-time internships, training programmes, conservation field-work (e.g. Operation Wallacea, Durrell Internships) etc. etc. over several years. Heck, it's like that even for entry-level zookeepers - you often need to be able to give up a considerable proportion of your time, for free, to even get your foot in the door.

    In any case, in short: go to university, even if part-time, and try your best to get any and every bit of experience as you can. It's hella' tough, but with long-term dedication and perseverance, it's perfectly possible. And it's never too late to start.

    P.S. If you're internationally minded, second languages help. A lot. The earlier you start, the better.

    P.S.S. Also, while studying, prioritise learning to code. With the field becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, competency in R / Python / GIS is becoming a near-must. Just look up any conservation job in, say, the UK civil service, for example: these days, almost all postings desire background in ArcGIS and similar.
     
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2020
  7. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    You know yourself that to achieve your biologist goals you'll need to go back to school. To work as a keeper in a zoo you "just "need to get started.
     
  8. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at several similar threads earlier on this forum. Generally, there is many more enthusiastic amateurs than secure funding. Also, the real work does not resemble much wildlife shows on TV.