Dr. Mark Atkinson selected as NDOW Game Division Chief
Nevada Appeal Outdoors Editor
According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), Dr. Mark Atkinson is the new Game Division Chief.
Trained as a veterinarian, Dr. Atkinson’s background is in farming and ranching. He is a hunter, angler and conservationist who has worked in the field of wildlife management and research for more than 15 years on three continents.
The Game Division focuses on four current program areas: Avian and terrestrial game species management, wildlife depredation control, predator management and wildlife health and disease monitoring.
Atkinson plans on a continued push for the use of good science in wildlife management in decision-making, and to emphasize the importance of wildlife and ecosystem health at the agency and state level.
“Knowing first-hand the skill, passion and dedication of the talented staff at NDOW I consider it a great honor to represent the Game Division as Chief,” said Atkinson.
Dr. Atkinson is a licensed and federally accredited veterinarian in the states of Nevada and Montana. He began his wildlife career in southern Africa providing management advice and veterinary supervision to the capture and translocation of wild ungulates (hoofed animals) throughout the region. After intimate involvement with rhino and elephant conservation issues in Zimbabwe in the early 1990’s, he transferred to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management to develop that agency’s first wildlife health program.
In addition to his conservation work with rhinos, he became closely associated with many other game and wildlife projects including management, conservation and research programs focused on elephant, cheetah, lion, buffalo, honey badger, wild dog, crocodile and ostrich.
Leaving Zimbabwe in 1996, he moved to the United States to become the Director of Wildlife and Conservation Medicine at the Wilds, an international wildlife conservation facility based in Ohio.
In 2004, Atkinson moved to Montana where he was employed as the first wildlife veterinarian with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. There he worked extensively with bighorn sheep, bison, moose, deer and elk, as well as with grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves.
In 2007, Dr. Atkinson was selected for NDOW’s newly-created Wildlife Health Specialist position. Since joining the department he has focused on establishing wildlife health as a key program area of the Game Division.
For information, call the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 688-1500.