The goal of wildlife conservation groups is to protect wildlife from extinction, and many times this goal is related to also protecting wildlife habitats to ensure species’ survival. Wildlife conservation groups work in all areas of the world, including rainforests, oceans, mountains and jungles, and many work to enlist public and private support for their missions. Areas of wildlife interest for these conservationists include whales, coral reefs, gorillas, tigers, lions, and wolves, to name just a few. Some issues that must be addressed to protect wildlife include climate change and the preservation of habitats and natural resources.
Wildlife conservation groups can work at a grassroots level or they can be national, international, or global in scope. These organizations can be privately run or government-funded. In many cases they strive to educate the public about the need for wildlife conservation, and in the process they also try to educate people about the need for environmental preservation, which is closely tied to wildlife conservation. The tiger population, for example, is dwindling to the point where there are only a little more than 3,000 in the world today, compared to 100,000 a century ago. Poachers have reduced their numbers, seeking body parts for folk medicine, but deforestation is another serious threat.
People who want to pursue conservation careers can end up working in a variety of jobs, such as wildlife management, environmental science, research and development, guest services, administration, education and maintenance. Careers can also be found in animal rescue, zoos and aquariums, veterinary medicine and animal breeding. Training could take someone to zoos, fisheries or wildlife sanctuaries, among other places. Even the study of pollution plays a part in wildlife conservation and environmental science because human pollution affects wildlife and their habitats.
There are numerous wildlife conservation groups, and many seek support from the public to help finance and further their mission. Others seek participation at the local level. The movement to protect wildlife began in the 19th century, and in the 20th century, efforts began to focus on specific species. Government-sponsored plans to protect specific endangered species appeared during the 1970s in a number of different countries, including Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.