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What can I do with a major in Wildlife Biology?

Wildlife biology is the study and conservation of wild animals and their habitats. Wildlife biology combines vertebrate and plant ecology with conservation and management activities. Students in the Wildlife Biology Program at The University of Montana select from three options: terrestrial (birds and mammals, primarily), aquatic (fisheries), and honors.

Graduates in Wildlife Biology find job opportunities in a wide variety of organizations and agencies. Some wildlife biologists work to conserve endangered species, while others work to reduce populations of over-abundant species or manage for sustained yields of some species of fish and wildlife. Wildlife biologists accomplish this task by working directly with the wild animals, their habitats, and people. The work of wildlife biologists includes research, management of wildlife and their habitats, public relations, wildlife education, and law enforcement.

A variety of jobs exist for wildlife biologists, but many more people seek this career than there are jobs available (i.e., this career path, like others in natural resources, is quite competitive). For this reason, a Masters degree is generally considered the entry level degree for professional wildlife biologists. Graduates work for a variety of state and federal agencies, private industry, and conservation organizations. Assessing the effects of human activities on the needs of wildlife and determining alternative management solutions that allow both human activities and maintenance of wildlife populations are the major foci of wildlife biologists today.

A Sample of Related Occupations

Types of Employers

Private and Non-profit Organizations

Conservation Organizations
Consulting Firms (Environmental Impact Statements)
Educational Organizations
Environmental Organizations
Film Makers
Grazing Associations/Ranches

Guides and Outfitters
Mining/Oil/Gas Companies
Newspapers (Outdoor Writers)
Retail Stores
Timber Companies

Government Agencies

Bureau of Land Management
Corps of Engineers
Department of State Lands
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
National Marine Fisheries Service
National Park Service
National Science Foundation
State Departments of Natural Resources

State and Federal Highway Departments
U. S. Army
U. S. Agency for International Development
USDA Forest Service
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U. S. Peace Corps
World Bank

Please visit the UM Career Services website at

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