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Wildlife Management 

Red Fox"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.

Marsh WrenWe 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 Alberta Environment.

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