The Wildlife Society Enhances the Careers and Professional Development of Wildlife Professionals

Wild animals are any animal that lives naturally in an environment where humans have not altered its natural habitat. The term was originally used to refer to undomesticated animal species, but the definition has broadened over time to include all wildlife that evolves or exists in a natural environment without human intervention. This biodiversity is found in deserts, woods, rainforests, plains and grasslands, oceans, mountains, and even the most densely populated urban areas.

Wildlife is an important resource for people. It provides food, fiber, and recreational opportunities. Some wildlife, such as fish and plants, also serve as medicines. Wildlife is sometimes killed for sport or as a source of meat, fur, and leather. People also use some animals for labor and entertainment, such as elephants, bears, and primates. Many wildlife species are protected by governments and organizations.

The most important way to protect wildlife is to conserve habitat. This means preserving rivers, wetlands, forests, and other natural areas that provide a safe place for wildlife to live and breed. It also means not polluting water or cutting down trees, and avoiding hunting, poaching, and other illegal activities that lead to the death of animals.

The Wildlife Society enhances the careers and professional development of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners, and students who manage, conserve, study, and research wildlife populations and habitats. Our members are a diverse group of hunters, anglers, outdoor adventurers, nature photographers, and armchair travelers who appreciate the value of wildlife in our world.

Wildlife includes all living things in a natural state, including plants, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects, and more. Some species, such as the Asian cheetah and the pink-headed duck, are endangered. Others, such as polar bears and grizzly bears, are critically endangered. The Wildlife Society works to help these and all other species survive.

During the Stone Age and hunter-gatherer periods, wild plants and animals were an essential source of food for many early human cultures. In many parts of the world, humans still rely on hunting and non-commercial fishing for a portion of their daily meals. This is especially true in East Asia, where increasing demand for sharks, primates, and other animals with aphrodisiac properties has decimated local populations.

While violent confrontations between people and wild animals are rare, there is a real risk that people will be infected with diseases carried by wildlife. These zoonotic diseases, which are transmitted by contact with animal feces, can include rabies, Lyme disease, bovine tuberculosis, chagas (a parasitic disease caused by lizard bites), chlamydiosis (an intestinal illness transmitted by bat feces), salmonellosis, and histoplasmosis.

The National Wildlife Federation is working to ensure that the wildlife we love will be here for our children and grandchildren. Help us by supporting wildlife conservation efforts and spreading the word. You can start by taking steps in your own backyard.

Scroll to top