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The anthology you hold in your hands is a window into the wildlife profession, a career peopled by wildlife biologists, game wardens, land managers, researchers, students, and the community of peers who have built their careers (and sometimes, their lives) around working with wildlife. Members of the biologist community may specialize in a certain group of wildlife – like entomologists (insects), ichthyologists (fish), ornithologists (birds), herpetologists (reptiles and amphibians), and mammalogists (mammals) – or practice their “–ology” on a larger scale – like law enforcement, policy, habitat restoration, resource management, research, outreach and education – but they share in common a passion for wildlife and the outdoors, and a learned (resigned?) resiliency to the pitfalls and mishaps inherent in a career that revolves around wildlife. Anyone who has caught a glimpse of a nature documentary or watched hummingbirds at a feeder in their backyard has probably entertained the inkling that wildlife can be unpredictable; the only real difference between Jack or Jill Public and A Wildlife Biologist is that the latter has undoubtedly experienced it first-hand, and probably has a story or two to tell. These are their stories.

The authors whose stories have been collected here represent men and women from all walks of wildlife biology – State and Federal biologists, consultants, students, professors, interns – and take place across North and Central America, from the Gulf of Alaska to San Ignacio, Belize, from the tropics of the Hawaiian Islands to the deserts of Arizona, and in the desert springs, coastal bluffs, national parks, stock ponds, pick-up trucks, traplines, doctor’s offices, roof tops, outhouses, and bombing ranges scattered everywhere in between.

With Your Money

The Wildlife Confessional was conceived by members of The Wildlife Society to serve three primary purposes: (1) to record the oral histories, memories, and experiences of wildlife professionals in a way that promotes collegiality and camaraderie; (2) as a recruiting tool to educate and attract students to enter the field of wildlife biology and join The Wildlife Society, and; (3) to apply money raised through book sales to support student involvement in the society by funding scholarships, grants, and training opportunities.