Depending on the jurisdiction, some duties of wildlife conservation officers include patrolling and managing parks, enforcing wildlife laws, investigating serious crimes committed in wildlife areas, protecting wildlife and retrieving wild animals from residential areas. Conservation officers, also known as game wardens or natural resource officers, are law enforcement officers that specialize in enforcing laws involving wildlife and natural resources. Conservation officers must be physically fit, willing to work irregular or odd hours and enjoy the outdoors.
Conservation officers typically work at state and national parks, campgrounds, and other wildlife areas. The work of conservation officers is physically demanding and sometimes dangerous. Officers must pass rigorous training and fitness tests. Conservation officers must be able to apprehend suspects who violate wildlife laws and rescue individuals in danger. They spend substantial time interacting with the public and must have excellent communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.
Conservation officers are certified peace officers and, as such, must be American citizens and have no criminal history. Some states require conservation officers to possess a bachelor's or associate degree in wildlife management, forestry, environmental science or related fields, particularly if their duties require extensive research. They must complete basic training and intensive field training prior to swearing in to duty.