Written by: Sam Webb, Wild Wise Society President
This summer, Wild Wise hosted our second annual summer course. It was an eight week-long course that ran every Tuesday evening. We focused on a variety of topics around animal behaviour, ecology, conservation and coexisting with wildlife. We had 20 people register for the course including our youngest student of 6 years of age! Although this course was primarily geared toward adults, this youngster held her own and scored 100% on her final exam!
We started the course off by talking about bears, of course! Discussing physical features, behaviour traits and common areas of conflict. In fact, this was the general lay out for most of the week’s presentations. Other topics included: wolves, cougars, deer and rabbits, other small mammals, birds and marine mammals. Participants learned about taxonomy (classification of living things) and discussed how closely, or distantly related species are from each other and from us as humans. We talked about all the challenges wildlife face and realized how many (if not most) of them are human driven.
One of the main take always from the course was the various classifications of various species according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is an international list that ranks all species around the globe according to how stable or vulnerable they are. It was eye-opening to learn that many species right here in Canada are classified as threatened, including the Vancouver Island Marmot which is Canada’s most endangered mammal; classified as critically endangered and declining.
Students finished the course with a final exam and received their well-deserved certificates, well done Wild Wise class of 2021!
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