What An Animal Ecologist Do?
Animal ecology is the category of zoology in which scientist basically focus on wildlife and habitats of animals. Their task is to study of wild life that how they interact with their ecosystems. The study involves interaction of animals with other breeds and their living environment. Ecologists actuate on whatever information they gathered from the field and this information may be descriptive, inventory or experimental.
Duty of these ecologists is to study the relationship between environment and the living creatures, their eating habits and adaptive processes. They investigate animal mannerisms and discover the basis for the behavior of animals with other species. Below are some responsibilities of an animal ecologist:
- Examine the effect of pollutants, rainfall, industrialization and temperature fluctuation on wild life.
- Analysis and interpretation of gathered information using different software program.
- Conduct surveys to identify the breeds and their habitats.
- They concerned with distribution of organisms and their relationships with environment.
- Up to date with any change in the environmental policies and develop new ideas about changes based on ecological discoveries.
- Impact of pollution present in atmosphere on the wild life.
- Observe the characteristics of animals for instance; their diet, population growth, habitats etc.
- They collect information on quality of soil, air, water and food.
- To conduct field research.
- Make sure the collected information and records are accurate and follow the relevant safety procedure.
- Participate in meetings with government agencies in order to share the gathered information.
- Observational research in the labs after collecting sample.
- Analysis of characteristics of animals and classify them according to their behavior and needs.
- Look after the zoo animals and work with their directors to study how to maintain animal’s habitats and manage facilities.
- Coordinate technical details with team.
They work in offices, laboratories and field. Animal ecologists have to work in harsh conditions because they have to travel different places for their study. Most of them spend time in the field and sites for the gathering information and studying animals in their natural habitats. The field surveys are mostly physical demanding and they require patience to collect useful information. They have to work in all weather conditions. Working environment also depend on the role. More senior position means more office based work or management work.
Working hours of an animal ecologist are flexible. They have to work in both day and night depends upon the role assigned to them for instance; bat surveys are only conducted at night. Working hours depends on species types, they are going to research.
Starting salary of an animal ecologist vary from 2, 00000 – 2, 50000 depending on the skills. More experience you can earn more. The salaries also depend on the role, as senior ecologist can earn more than junior one. As additional benefits, pension, health insurance and company car are also availed to them.
How to Become an Animal Ecologist:
To become an animal ecologist, degree in wildlife biology, environmental management and applied life science is required. Bachelor degree is the entry level for further study as ecologist of animals. For academic research, teaching and consultancy work master degree is required. In this field, master degree programs cover courses in genetics, neuroscience etc. For independent research PhD is must. The knowledge of computer science is also necessary because they have to use Computer software to track their work and to prepare reports. Animal biology is the integrated study of animals and their behavior on Earth.
Skills and Qualities:
- Communication Skills: As you have to communicate with your team and seniors regarding your research. So excellent communication and presentation skills must be required.
- Computer Science Knowledge: You must be able enough to use computer software for tracking your work, recording, analyzing and presenting data and report.
- Confident Enough: confidence is required while using survey techniques and identification keys.
- Team Working and Project Management Skills: Team handling and project management skills are required while working in a team.
- Passion: Passion and fascination for plants is also a requirement.
- Flexibility: Animal ecologist has to work in day as well as night for achieving their goal. Hence one must be flexible enough to adapt these changes.
- Self Motivation: Sometimes they have to work in harsh condition, so self motivation is required to achieve the desired goal.
In large organizations there are more opportunities to promote to senior and principle ecologist. Ecologist should also change locations for their job advancement. One can go through master’s degree to join universities and to do office based work or management work. To become an independent researcher one must join PhD program. With more experience and education qualification, you can also become chartered Ecologist.