Study Wildlife Management via Distance Education.

If you are interested in a career with wildlife, this course is a great starting point. This course provides students with a broad based introduction to wildlife management that can be applied to all types of wildlife around the globe.


It can serve as a course in its own right or as part of a higher qualification in environmental or nature park management. This course can enhance career opportunities or job prospects for any of the following:

  • Zoo keepers
  • Wildlife Assistant
  • Pet Shop staff
  • Environmental Assessor
  • Interpretation/Tourism Officer
  • Animal Care Assistant
  • Ranger

Alone this does not make you a fully qualified professional; but it can be a first step; or for those already working with animals, it can be a way of furthering your prospects for advancement


Wildlife Management Training

Wildlife management involves the manipulation of wild animal populations and their habitats in the context of an ecosystem. Wildlife management includes activities such as:

  • Managing parks and reserves
  • Creating and rehabilitating wildlife habitats
  • Providing education and extension programs for special interest groups
  • Maintaining threatened populations and pests at a desirable level
  • Protecting human life and property and
  • Managing harvests of wildlife.

The techniques and types of wildlife management vary depending on your location, and as with any job, you will find that you will need to carry out research into the local methods and types of wildlife management. This course is designed to give students a broad-based introduction to the principles and practices of wildlife management common to many species around the globe.

There are 9 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Wildlife Management - Approaches to wildlife management, purpose of wildlife management, goals, habitat quality, carrying capacity, landscape fragmentation, biological control of pests and integrated pest management. 
  2. Wildlife Ecology - Ecological relationships, behavioural ecology, population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology,  competition, predation, symbiotic relationships, energy flow through an ecosystem.
  3. Wildlife Habitats - Habitat classification, biomes, ecosystems, microclimates,  case studies, using water to manage wild populations, the importance of tree cover.
  4. Population Dynamics - birth and death rates, growth of populations, demography, life tables, case studies of rodents, insects and other animals.
  5. Carrying Capacity - Exponential growth, what is carrying capacity, how is it affected by habitat quality, case study - fisheries stock management methods.
  6. Wildlife Censuses - types of wildlife censuses/survey, total counts, sampling, accuracy, surveying techniques, trapping, mapping, ethics and case study.
  7. Wildlife Management Techniques - modifying habitats, using fire, vegetation management, controlling predators, culling and cropping, control techniques, knock-on effects of control. 
  8. Wildlife Management Law and Administration - policy and wildlife law, treaties, international agreements, domestic law, legislation sources, environmental ethics and enforcing legislation.
  9. Wildlife Management Case Study Research Project - problem-based learning project for a hypothetical threatened species.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Develop a concept of how man manages wildlife populations in different situations around the world.
  • Understand and discuss the principles of wildlife ecology.
  • Understand wildlife habitats and their importance to managing wildlife.
  • Explain how populations of any one species change and adapt to variations in their environment.
  • Understand carrying capacity and its importance in managing wildlife populations.
  • Explain a range of different methods used to determine the number of individuals in a wildlife population.
  • Discuss a range of different wildlife management techniques.
  • To understand the potentials and limitations of legal and administrative initiatives, in the pursuance of more effective wildlife management.
  • Examine a specific wildlife management case of interest to the student.





Wildlife Management Case Study Research Project


Develop a management plan for an endangered wildlife species.


Introduction and Definition of Problem Based Learning

Most educators would argue that the main goal of education is to develop the student's ability to effectively solve problems. Thus, there is a style of education evolving around the world known as Problem Based Learning (PBL). PBL can be defined as a learning method based on using problems as a starting point for the acquisition and integration of new knowledge.

There is a strong trend toward the use of PBL by many successful and progressive education providers across the world; and graduates from this form of education consistently achieve better and faster progress in their careers than graduates from comparable traditional classroom based education.

Research has in fact shown that PBL graduates have better career advancement than graduates from more traditional forms of education. This is largely why we have included the following project.

This lesson will present you with a PBL project.

Project Aim

Determine an appropriate management plan for an endangered species of wildlife.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the objectives of a management program for an endangered species.

2. Determine appropriate techniques for carrying out a census of an endangered species.

3. Identify techniques for increasing the population of the endangered species.

4. Identify pest species and their undesirable effect on the endangered species of bird.

5. Identify techniques for reducing the undesirable impacts of the pest species on the endangered bird.

6. Present a management plan in a form that is appropriate for use by wildlife workers.


Problem Definition

You are a wildlife manager who previously has worked in large National Parks. You have now been assigned a new position as manager of Fragment National Park. Fragment National Park is the last place on Earth that the Fragment Owl can be found in the wild.

Fragment National Park is so named because it is a very small patch of forest, isolated from other patches of forest. The Park has a total area of 100 Hectares. It consists of temperate forest with a small amount of weed invasion, mostly concentrated on its edges.

Your main role in your new position is to develop a management plan for the Fragment Owl. This will be quite a challenge, as Fragment National Park is surrounded by semi cleared to totally cleared areas with semi rural housing. The local residents have a love of cats, and this has lead to a feral cat problem in the park.

The cats are particularly well fed as they not only feed on the Fragment Owl and the other native birds, but there is a large population of feral rats. The rats also provide a food source for the Fragment Owl.

The owl would normally have eaten the chicks of other native birds and the Fragment mouse. However, there are few species of native birds in the park now, due to the clearing of the surrounding land for housing. The Fragment mouse has been almost completely displaced by the introduced rat.


Team Structure and Mode of Interaction

You are in the hypothetical role of a wildlife manager, but you will not be working alone. You will interact with a number of different people in this project.

Being a relatively short project, the quantity of interaction with others needs to be limited, and you need to plan to ask your questions in a concise and clear manner.

Your team will consist of yourself; your tutor; two friends or relatives who will pose as landholders; and one wildlife manager you will interview. Your tutor is in the hypothetical role of a wildlife manager who you refer to for specialist advice on the project. You should approach your tutor in the same way that you would approach a consultant in a real life situation.


Discussion Questions

  • What are the goals of the management program for the Fragment Owl?
  • What are the interactions between owl, cat, rat and mouse in Fragment National Park?
  • What issues do landholders have in terms of the preservation of the Fragment Owl? Issues might include whether they would be prepared to have all cats desexed; are they prepared to have their access to the National Park limited, and so on.
  • What do other wildlife managers feel are the major challenges and possible options for managing the population of Fragment Owls?
  • What are the options for the future for the Fragment Owl?

These are examples of issues or questions that you may address in your solution, whether or not you can find answers.


  • Ensure your skills are up to date, by pursuing further studies or attending professional development activities.
  • Keep up to date with what's happening in the field of Wildlife Management. What are the most pressing issues (for example, control of introduced species or habitat loss) and where is there likely to be more work?
  • Join a networking group to meet people who are working in the field of Wildlife Management.
  • Get some experience. Whether paid or unpaid, experience will always make your CV look more impressive and give you some practical knowledge to apply in your interview.