"Wildlife" is a term given to animals and plants that
live on their own without taming or cultivation by people.
However, in terms of traditional wildlife management,
"wildlife" has been defined as mammals and birds that are
hunted (game animals) or trapped (fur-bearing animals). However,
this definition is being broadened by wildlife managers to include all
wild animals (except fish) including those that people like to watch,
those which play important roles in our ecosystems, and those at risk of
extinction. Fish are excluded because fish management issues
differ greatly from those of traditional wildlife management.
Wildlife Management is the science of studying wild
animal populations and their habitats. Wildlife managers use the
information gathered to manage wildlife populations and habitats for the
benefit of people and wildlife.
We manage wildlife because nearly everything we do
affects wild animals. We share their landscapes and ecosystems,
including the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the
places we live in and the places we visit.
The world human population is expanding rapidly, placing
great demands on our environment and its resources, including wildlife
and wildlife habitat. If we did not manage wildlife, and ensure
they are considered when resource development and other land use changes
are planned, many species of wildlife would soon disappear.
Reprinted from Focus On Wildlife Management (1999) with permission of