A life in the wild
DEEPA H. RAMAKRISHNAN
Wildlife and forest studies attract young environmentalists.
Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar
DISAPPEARING TREASURE: Many rare species, like this Hoolock Gibbon, need systematic study.
Those who want life to be an adventure and close to nature could well opt for this field. “Studying wildlife is a very interesting job option. One has to walk about 20-30 km every day in the forests. It’s good life and you will be healthy with all the walking in forests without any pollution… studying animals and their behaviour,” explains S.M. Vairavel, who has a doctorate in wildlife sciences and has spent three years studying the Indian Bison.
Courses like B. Sc. Forestry programme (Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Coimbatore), M.Sc. Animal Biotechnology, M.Sc. Animal Science, M.Sc. Wildlife Biology, M.Sc. Forestry (economics and management) from the Forest Research Institute (deemed university), Dehra Dun, could lead you to research in wildlife.
P. Devaraj, Conservator of Forests, Puducherry, explains that even those who have just completed their Plus-Two science group can become forest guards. Those possessing undergraduate degrees, including in arts, can become foresters. Selection for these posts is through the department.
The qualification for range forest officer is any science degree. Assistant Conservator of Forests come under Group B. Training is provided by the respective State governments for those joining these posts. After selection, forest rangers get training at three places — Burnighat and Kurchang in Assam and Coimbatore — for two years in various aspects of forests and wildlife management.
The Indian Forest Service is another option for those wanting to become custodians of forests and wildlife. One has to posses a basic degree in science and pass the competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to get into the IFS.
For those who want to pursue a management course, the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, conducts a two-year postgraduate programme in forestry management. The three major specialised modules offered in the programme are: conservation and livelihood, environmental management, and developmental management. Graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission. Selection is through IIM-CAT score/group discussion and interview.
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