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Park and wildlife rangers
The Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory employs two types of rangers, park rangers and wildlife rangers.
A ranger job is highly rewarding, days are never the same and it provides exciting challenges.
If you love the outdoors, are passionate about wildlife protection and want to help manage the Northern Territory's natural and cultural assets, then this is the job for you
Becoming a ranger
You will need all of the following to be a ranger in the NT:
- an appropriate tertiary qualification in Natural Resource / Park Management, Conservation and Land Management or a related discipline is desirable - for more information on courses, contact a relevant university or TAFE in your area
- high level of motivation and passion for the natural and cultural environment
- experience in conservation or land management areas
- good communication skills
- experience in animal handling and identification
- current NT Class 'C' driver licence and a current Senior First Aid Certificate - or be able to obtain both of these
- a good level of physical fitness and willingness to handle wildlife and get your hands dirty
- be able to move to remote parks - rangers may need to transfer to any park or reserve within the NT, go to the guide for park rangers working remote for more information.
Park rangers at work
The roles of park rangers in the NT are outlined below.
Environmental management and protection
As a park ranger, your role in environmental management and protection includes any of the following:
- planning, conducting and reporting on controlled burns, ecological burns and responding to wildfires
- protecting and maintaining biological diversity by managing threats such as feral animal populations and eradicating or controlling weeds and participating in scientific surveys
- protecting endangered and/or threatened native plants and animals
- patrolling the park to check fences, monitor invasive species and visitor activities
- assisting in wildlife management projects, including surveying, and monitoring of wildlife.
Visitor management and services
A park ranger's role in visitor management and services includes:
- planning for developments within parks, including camping areas, picnic areas, tracks, trails and various outdoor activities
- delivering face-to-face interpretative activities such as guided walks and talks, slide shows and junior ranger activities to promote understanding and appreciation of natural and cultural aspects of NT Parks
- development and maintenance of walking, bike and 4WD tracks on parks
- representing Parks and Wildlife on a daily basis and interacting with park visitors to inform them of park rules and regulations, and conducting law enforcement duties
- responding to emergency situations such as 'search and rescue'
- managing and developing staff, volunteers, contractors and work experience students.
The roles of a park ranger in the area of joint management include:
- working in partnership with Indigenous traditional owners to best manage the park estate
- conducting programs to develop and involve Indigenous ranger groups and communities in land management activities
- building relationships and working with remote community groups on a diverse range of park developments
- protecting and recording cultural and historic sites.
Read the Park Ranger brochure for more information.
Wildlife rangers at work
Roles carried out by wildlife rangers include those outlined below.
Wildlife management includes the following responsibilities:
- taking part in problem wildlife control programs and providing advice to others
- providing technical assistance to other departments about feral animal management
- monitoring the snake removal hotline, providing appropriate advice, removal and relocation of the animals as needed
- monitoring the crocodile sightings hotline and taking appropriate action when sightings or other information is reported
- trapping, capturing and removing crocodiles
- maintaining crocodile traps and equipment
- assisting with sample collections from crocodiles and other wildlife for research
- surveying crocodile and waterfowl populations by boat and plane
- assisting with scientific surveys and the protection of threatened and endangered species populations
- working with other organisations in relation to mistreated or problem animals.
Wildlife rangers provide information to people, businesses and school groups in relation to native wildlife, pest animals, permits and wildlife crime.
The roles of wildlife rangers in the area of law enforcement include:
- assisting in audits on individual and commercial wildlife permit holders
- investigating information received in relation to possible criminal activity, unlawful treatment or possession of wildlife
- assisting with patrols and compliance duties during waterfowl hunting season
- assisting in gathering intelligence through database checks, photographs and any other available means
- assisting with warrants, searches and compiling prosecution briefs of evidence
- assisting in the formal interview process of suspects and witnesses.
Read the Wildlife Ranger brochure for more information.
How to apply
All Parks and Wildlife vacancies are advertised on the Careers in Government page.
Employment decisions are made on the basis of merit and job requirements.
Parks and Wildlife ranger jobs are highly sought after and limited in number with so many students undertaking some form of volunteer or work experience in parks, zoos, fire-fighting, tour guiding or other relevant work places before applying.
Go to the Northern Territory Government website to find out how to volunteer in parks.
Last updated: 18 April 2016