Irish Wildlife Conservation Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update


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What is Irish Wildlife Conservation?

Irish Wildlife Conservation aims to conserve wildlife and the habitats they depend on throughout Ireland while encouraging a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the need to protect it.

Irish Wildlife Conservation works to create a better future for Ireland’s biodiversity by motivating and supporting people to take action to protect biodiversity. This is achieved through wildlife walks and talks, citizen science projects, community & school education, practical conservation activities, and biodiversity campaigning and advocacy.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Irish Wildlife Conservation courses in the following subject areas:

  • Irish Wildlife Conservation – This course will provide an introduction to some of Ireland’s biodiversity such as land mammals, song birds, plants, and will explore sustainable agricultural practices and wildlife conservation and management.
  • Diploma in Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation -Comprehensive training covering fundamental topics such as animal psychology, animal anatomy, how to treat common injuries, and how to interact with animals.
  • Certificate in Animal Conservation: Level 3 – Get acquainted with the responsibilities of animal welfare and wildlife.
  • Advanced Certificate in Animal Conservation: Level 3 – A focus on the approaches to the conservation of wildlife, threatened wildlife, and the recovery of threatened species.
  • Master of Science in Conservation Behaviour – This degree focuses on how animal behavior can be applied to wildlife conservation. This is an exciting new area of study, known as Conservation Behaviour, and is suitable for those interested in careers in animal behavior and/or conservation.
  • Master of Science in Applied Marine Conservation – This degree focuses on core and specialist competencies in key themes of fisheries, marine conservation; sustainability, and ecosystem-based management.

Studying Irish Wildlife Conservation in college

Many Irish Wildlife Conservation courses take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Relevant work experience is crucial for finding a paid position, and should ideally include both environmental or conservation work and educational or community-based experience, such as youth work or summer camps.

Employers in this field will want you to show real commitment and passion for environmental issues. Finding paid work experience is often difficult; however voluntary work is available both part-time all year round and full time over the summer.

Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Irish Wildlife Conservation you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of wildlife conservation, sustainability, ecology, and the environment. 

Employers may include animal charities, which may focus on welfare, training, rescue, conservation, re-homing, or campaigning. Many organizations combine several or all of these strands and may offer hands-on opportunities in general animal care.

Zoos and sanctuaries are common employers, as are international welfare organizations campaigning, fundraising, and protecting animals worldwide. As a conservation officer, you may work mainly within a specific setting, such as in schools or nature reserves or you could lead guided nature walks for visitors or organize events and awareness campaigns.

Training volunteers and community groups involved in environmental work such as conservation projects are also a common part of the job. Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a facility with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full-time Monday to Friday, but for many positions, some evening and weekend work is essential, particularly when working with community groups.

Related jobs include:

  • Nature conservation officer
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental education officer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental manager
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Ecologist
  • Horticulturist
  • Minerals surveyor
  • Recycling officer
  • Waste management officer
  • Water quality scientist
  • Water engineer
  • Academic researcher
  • Animal nutritionist
  • Animal physiotherapist
  • Animal technician
  • Zookeeper
  • Zoologist
  • Charity officer
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Field trials officer
  • Science writer

Further study

After completing a course in Irish Wildlife Conservation you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as agriculture, biology, botany or plant science, conservation biology, ecology, environmental management, forestry, geography, and zoology.

FAQ

What skills could be helpful for a career in Irish Wildlife Conservation?

If you are considering a career in Wildlife Conservation you will need to commit to, and enthusiasm for, environmental conservation and sustainable development.

You should also have the ability to communicate effectively in written materials as well as presentations, workshops, and guided walks, interpersonal skills, and an ability to relate to people of all ages.

Other general skills that are beneficial for all industries include excellent organizational and time management skills, the ability to work well in a team but also on your initiative, and good IT skills.

What is the Wildlife Act and who does it protect?

The Wildlife Act is the principal mechanism for the legislative protection of wildlife in Ireland. It outlines strict protection for species that have significant conservation value. The Act protects species from injury, disturbance, and damage to breeding and resting sites.

·         Mammals, Amphibians & Reptiles

· Some examples: Pygmy Shrew, Stoat, Red Squirrel, Otter, Pine Marten, Badger, Hares, all Bat and Deer species, the Natterjack Toad, and Common Newt.

·         Birds

· Almost all resident wild birds, their nests, and eggs are protected under the Act.

·         Invertebrates

· Freshwater White-clawed Crayfish, the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, and the Kerry Slug are protected under the Act.

·         Plants

· Unlawful to pick, uproot or willingly damage and destroy the habitat or a species listed in the Act. Removal of trees and hedgerows may not take place between 1st March and 31st August.

Where can I study Irish Wildlife Conservation?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· An endangered species is one whose numbers are so small that it is at risk of extinction. A species is defined as endangered or threatened when it is suffering from these factors: damage to its habitat for recreational, or entertainment purposes; disease or predation of the species; and hazards to the continued life of the species.

· As many as 30 to 50%of all species are possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century. 99% of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss, the introduction of exotic species, and global warming.

· Only 4% of the mammals in the world are wild animals. 36% are human beings and 60% are farm animals.

· Approximately 85% of the fisheries around the world that are fished commercially are at their absolute maximum or already overfished.


Mariza Halliday

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