Welcome to Wildlife University

Welcome to Wildlife University

Stephanie Eskins

How do salmon find their way back to the streams where they were born? Why are endangered species called “nature’s fire alarms”? Does the Houston toad actually live in Houston? How is the Karner blue butterfly connected to the wild lupine? Now you don’t need a degree in wildlife biology to find out. The answers to these and many more questions about wildlife and wild places can be found at Wildlife University, an online learning program developed by the National Wildlife Federation. Wildlife University offers interactive courses, downloadable study guides, presentations from wildlife experts, and information exchange “study lounges.” Best of all, this university is tuition free.

Currently, there are two series of courses: “Creating Places for Wildlife” and “Endangered Species.” The Creating Places courses teach the basic guidelines for making landscapes more hospitable to wildlife, whether these places are in backyards, schoolyards, or throughout communities. The Endangered Species series, developed with support from the Surdna Foundation, contains courses that provide in-depth looks at the issues facing endangered and threatened species including the gray wolf. Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, whooping crane, Florida panther, chinook salmon, and Houston toad. Other courses now available or under development investigate the causes of species loss and decline, the reasons for protecting imperiled species, and the Endangered Species Act.

One of the newest additions to the Endangered Species series is “The Karner Blue Butterfly and Other Imperiled Pollinators.” This 30-minute course explores the role of pollinators in the natural world and describes the plight of one endangered pollinator, the Karner blue. Course participants learn about this species’ natural history, threats to its survival, and efforts to save it from extinction. Participants also learn how they can contribute to the species’ recovery.

All of the courses at Wildlife University are designed for people who have a basic understanding of conservation and at least a 10th grade reading level. Check it out at www.nwf.org/wildlifeuniversity.

For more information, contact Stephanie Eskins at eskins@nwf.org or 703-438-6343.

COPYRIGHT 2004 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group