Twenty students visited the Wilds this past weekend for the second annual Pseudo In-situ Conservation Short Course. Students spent two days listening to guest lectures and participating in hands-on activities including sleeping outside near rhino for a "bush camp" experience.
The first lecture of the weekend introduced welfare and behavior assessment processes which was led by CHAIRE graduate students Brittany Fischer, Yolonda Bradshaw, Madeline Winans, and Zach England. Students later had the opportunity to perform assessments and observations of African painted dogs, cheetahs, and rhino.
Dr. Chris Tonra, Avian Ecologist in the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, gave a lecture titled "Utilizing Tracking Technologies to Unravel the Annual Cycles of Migratory Birds." During this lecture, Dr. Tonra highlighted the great work his lab has been conducting and the many advancements researchers have made in relation to learning migratory bird patterns.
Dr. Stan Gehrt, Wildlife Extension Specialist in the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, gave a lecture titled "Large Carnivores Conservation and Conflict." Students learned information about species considered large carnivores, including research Dr. Gehrt is conducting with coyotes.
Dr. Priscilla Joyner, Director of Animal Health at the Wilds, also spent time with students. Dr. Joyner shared videos demonstrating the work the Animal Health Staff does to take care of their animals and shared her background as a veterinarian.
Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management at the Wilds, led students on an open vehicle safari. Students learned about species' natural histories as well as conservation programs the Wilds participates in to help increase species numbers.
Dr. Kim Cole, Unit Supervisor of the OSU Equine Center and Associate Professor in Animal Sciences, led a rhino fecal collection and analysis lab on Sunday. Students has the opportunity to participate in a fecal flotation and egg count using a microscope.
Special thanks to Dave Clawson, Animal Management Staff, and Andrew Schaefer, CHAIRE member, for their help facilitating animal encounters this weekend.