Are you concerned about the fast depleting biodiversity? Do you want to protect the wild animals and their natural habitat? Does rapid urbanisation, increase in human population and unplanned use of forest resources disturb you? Then you are the right candidate for a career in Forestry and Wild life.
Forestry essentially entails outdoor work. You'll be spending most of your time mapping forested areas, particularly during the initial years of your career. If you take this up as a career, you can choose to work for:
Indian Forest Service & State Forest Service
There are many wild life species in India that are endangered and need to be protected and conserved. As an Indian Forest Service or State Forest Service Officer, your core job will be protection and conservation of forest resources and wild life.
In India, there are over 500 protected forest areas. If you get a job in one of these areas, you will be devising, implementing and monitoring detailed management plans. You will be constantly monitoring habitat parameters, resources and human population. You will also be in charge of preservation and protection of forests from campers and poachers.
As a forest management professional, your core job will be managing forest resources in such a way that they are not depleted. You will prepare documents about forest resources such as timber, ground for cattle grazing, shelter for wild animals, food and water for animals, etc. You will also identify areas, which require particular attention for fresh planting, felling, and thinning of dense forests or pruning, or pest control.
You will also plan wildlife reserves, roads leading to interesting spots, recreation points, lakes, etc. You will supervise the crew conducting these assignments and maintain progress records.
There are a number of areas in which you can be involved. You may choose to be involved in research in various areas. For instance:
Biological diversity: You will find out how biological communities are organised; what is the impact of various forms of land use on the levels of biological diversity; how we can preserve biological diversity, etc
Human Ecology: Here you'll find out what role man plays in biological communities. How do his activities affect productivity and diversity of biological communities?
Eco-development: You will break your head to find out how humans can manage the ecological environment and improve the habitat. How can we improve the efficiency of the use of fuel, fodder, construction material, etc., to reduce demand for these materials?
Climate Change and Tropical Forests: You will study the impact of climatic change on forests. You will find out the potential of forestry as an option for improving the environment.
Animal Communication: It will be exciting to find out song pattern recognition in insects (say, cricket or grasshoppers), communication signals during courtship and their role in male mating success.
Wildlife Biology And Management
You will identify wild life habitats, carry out census, devise plans for conservation and monitor the implementation of the plans.
You will standardise fertiliser dosage for plants, say, for teak plantation. You will recommend where to plant the trees and conservation policies.
Qualities Required For Enrollment in Forest Service and State Forest Services
For Indian Forest Service and State Forest Services you need to be physically strong with a lot of adventure and risk taking attitude in you. Your height should at least be 165 cms. Be prepared for a walking test for 25 km. The minimum height for women is 150 cms, with corresponding weight. The walking test in your case would be for 14 km.
You should love flora and fauna and should be able to adapt to difficult living conditions. To be a successful forest manager, you must have all the skills of a business manager. Your analytical, reasoning and mathematical skills should be very strong. You should have excellent
Communication skills, good leadership abilities, strong determination and lots of patience. You should also enjoy mixing up with people from different background.
As for the educational qualifications, you should at least be a graduate. In addition to this, you will need a degree/diploma in Forest Management/Plantation Management/M.Sc. in Forest Economics and Management or other related subjects.
To be a Forest Researcher, Wildlife Biologist or other forest professionals you should have an explorative and inquisitive mind. You should have a keen interest in biological science and academics. Of course you should have a love for the wild.
As for the educational qualifications you should at least have a M.Sc. in Zoology, Wildlife Biology, Forestry, Forest Resources, Agricultural Science, Botany or other related subjects.