Blog — June 13, 2011

Check your mailboxes this week or next, because the Summer 2011 issue of The Wildlife Professional is out and packed to the brim with insights, news, commentary, and scientific findings.

Among this issue’s offerings:

In the cover story “Why Diversity Matters,” authors Roel Lopez and Columbus Brown discuss why achieving workforce diversity isn’t just about what’s “right,” it’s about what’s smart. “Unless we diversify our ranks and become more representative of the nation’s changing demographics,” they write, “our profession and the resources we protect will not survive.” Lopez and Brown argue that we in the wildlife profession must reach out to underrepresented groups and engage people in nature from an early age if we want them to care about sustainability and conservation into the future. See a press release on the feature here.

A pair of articles in the new issue take on a broiling issue in the wildlife profession: feral pigs. In one piece Jessica Tegt and coauthors chronicle the devastation that pigs can cause, from directly competing for food with native wildlife, to increasing erosion that damages watersheds, to transmitting diseases that can affect livestock, wildlife, and human health. An accompanying article by Bill Hamrick and colleagues tells the story of what managers can do to handle the feral pig invasion, actions that can range from taking a stand at a policy level to designing clever traps that trick the intelligent animals. You can read our pig press release here.

In contrast, another smart animal is hard at work to help conserve wildlife. Megan Parker authors a story for the summer issue about how she and others are relying on dogs to search out wildlife scat, which provides data on animal habits, diets, health, and genetics. Parker’s article, “Wildlife Detection Dogs,” describes the rigorous training that handlers and dogs undertake, and illustrates the superb value of the canine nose–able to sniff out a target scent with perfect accuracy–in supporting conservation work. A press release on these “sniffer dogs” can be found here.

Finally, author Susan Bernatas presents another way of studying wildlife in her article “We Can See a Deer’s Ears from Here,” which explains how she harnessed the power of infrared technology to survey wildlife from her Cessna airplane. Using an infrared sensor, Bernatas can detect, identify, and differentiate wildlife species from well over 1,000 feet above the ground. She’s used the technique on wildlife from sage-grouse to elephants, and quite a few species in between. Our press release on the article is here.

You can read any of the articles mentioned above for free, just click on the links in this post. To read the other valuable articles in the Summer issue, however, you have to be a member of The Wildlife Society. Login here to start your summer reading now! Not a member? Join today.

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Katie Unger