Conserve Wildlife Blog

Women & Wildlife 2019 Service Award Honoree Dorothy ‘Dede’ Manera

October 30th, 2019

Dorothy ‘Dede’ Manera, Senior Special Agent, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Congratulations to the 2019 CWF Women & Wildlife Service Award honoree Dorothy ‘Dede’ Manera, Senior Special Agent at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Join us to celebrate Dede, and the four other 2019 Women & Wildlife Award honorees, on Wednesday, November 13 at 6 PM. Purchase events tickets and find more information.

Over the course of Dede’s 27 years as a Senior Special Agent, she has used her investigative talents to protect and preserve New Jersey native species as well as exotic wildlife trafficked in our state. She has been part of an elite team of wildlife agents, conducted and participated in many successful joint investigations and enforcement efforts with NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife conservation officers and selflessly dedicated her time to mentoring young conservation officers.

Thinking back on her career, Dede has many fond memories. She says “My career has afforded me the opportunity to work with and learn from agents, conservation officers, prosecutors, wildlife professionals, wildlife-lovers, wildlife haters and people in between. The knowledge, experience, and amazing memories that I have gained as a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service special agent could never be replaced.”

We asked Dede a few questions about what inspires her to dedicate her career to New Jersey’s conservation:

Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?

A: The diversity that it offers. Over the course of my career I have investigated a wide variety of wildlife crimes, involving many different species, both native and non-native. I’ve partnered with conservation professionals and law enforcement officials in the U.S. and abroad and traveled across the United States and several foreign countries.

Q: Do you have a New Jersey wildlife species that you like best?

A: I enjoy all wildlife, but if I had to choose a favorite, I would say the Great Blue Heron. I think they look very noble standing in the marsh.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to change the world for wildlife?

A: My one piece of advice would be: Be persistent, don’t give up and never take no for an answer. If you want to initiate changes that support and preserve wildlife, you have to be dedicated, work hard and inspire others who will carry on when you are no longer around.

Q: What do you find most challenging about your profession?

A: The most challenging thing about the profession of conservation law enforcement to me is doing more with less. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has approximately 250 special agents in the U.S. and several international attaché positions. That number includes supervisory agents, the number of field agents conducting active wildlife investigations is less than that. It is a challenge knowing that there is more work than the current staff of agents can handle.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

A: When I am not working, I enjoy spending time in the outdoors with my family. We love outdoor activities which often include hiking, biking, kayaking and canoeing.

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