South Africa has unique species richness, diversity and endemism with over 20 000 plant species and 75 000 animal species that include mammals, birds, reptiles and other species. This diversity of animals is found in conservation and tourist contexts and also play a key role in supporting local livelihoods. As ecological habitats change over time, for example as a result of climate change, zoology is the science of understanding the interaction and adaptation of animals within and to their physical environment to inform the development of strategies to manage and conserve species populations.
Zoologists typically work between an office environment, laboratory and the field, observing species and collecting samples for testing. They can be consulted by behaviourists, zookeepers, marine and wildlife biologists and veterinarians to understand and manage animal populations.
Zoologists must have a comprehensive knowledge of biological and environmental characteristics of animal species, coupled with:
Design and conduct research projects, analysing data and writing scientific papers
Study animals in their natural habitat, collecting specimens for testing
Dissect and examine specimens to carry out experimental studies
Assist captive breeding programmes and promote conservation efforts
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences specialising in Zoology at all universities
B.Sc.Agric., B.Sc.Agric. (Hons), M.Sc.Agric. in Animal Science at NWU, SU, UFH, UFS, UNISA, Univen, Unizulu and UP
National, provincial and local wildlife parks.
NGOs, conservation sanctuaries and private consultancies.
Museums, zoos and aquariums.