From funding habitat acquisition and restoration to keeping an excess of deer off the roads, where they may cause fatal accidents, regulated hunting plays a critical role in wildlife management.
Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is teaming with Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow and the Max McGraw Foundation on a new online course that delves into the cultural, biological, economic and policy aspects of hunting. Overall, the course, called Hunting for Conservation, provides a detailed look at the unique North American (U.S. and Canada) system of public lands and wildlife resources, their management as a public trust resource and hunting’s place in a system that sustains wildlife diversity. Purdue wildlife majors take Hunting for Conservation as part of their major’s requirements. But the partners are making the new online version available to colleges and universities around the country. Even before an on-campus version of the course was offered, Purdue sent top wildlife students to Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow workshops covering the material, and Purdue faculty members often served as instructors at those sessions. The new online version was in the works before COVID-19, with the goal of making the material more widely available than possible with in-person classes and workshops. “The pandemic thrust us into pushing ahead,” said Zachary Lowe, national coordinator for Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow. “The partnership with Purdue was a natural fit. There’s no way we could have done this without Purdue’s expertise in distance learning.” [full article]