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What Does a Conservation Officer Do?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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A career as a conservation officer is ideal for individuals who love being outside in nature and want to protect the environment. In most cases, these people work in either national parks or state forests and strive to educate the public while maintaining harmony in nature. Consequently, a conservation officer has five primary job duties. These include patrolling designated areas, issuing hunting and fishing licenses, investigating the condition of wildlife, answering questions from the public and providing insight to students who are considering a career in wildlife conservation.

One of the most consistent job duties of a conservation officer is patrolling the park or forest he works in. It's his responsibility to maintain order and make sure that no laws are being broken. For example, the officer might visit campgrounds within a national park and check the permits of campers to ensure they are valid. He might also check with hunters and fishers to make sure that they have licenses and are following regulations. Doing so allows a park or forest to function properly and protects both wildlife habitat and visiting humans.

Another duty of this job may include issuing hunting and fishing licenses to the public. In order to regulate animal and fish populations, it's critical that hunters and fishers are licensed and adhere to the laws. As a result, a conservation officer will often handle the licensing process. In addition, some officers are also responsible for handing out camping permits.

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Investigating the condition of wildlife is also important. In order to keep plants and animals healthy and safe, it's critical to consistently check different areas of a park. Since some areas require substantial hiking to access, it's important for an officer to be in good physical condition and capable of walking long distances.

Another aspect of being an effective conservation officer is answering questions from the public. As visitors and sightseers navigate through a park, it's only natural that they will be curious about plant and animal life. In turn, officers are usually the ones who explain the details related to a variety of inquiries. Consequently, all officers need to be knowledgeable about their area, have a friendly attitude, and be willing to share their knowledge with others.

In addition, a conservation officer will sometimes hold seminars with high school or college students who are interested in a career in wildlife conservation. During these seminars, officers will explain their job duties and provide insight into the nature of the job. As a result, they are able to recruit a future generation of park and forest workers.

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