JONESBORO – Students, faculty and other interested individuals will gather Saturday morning, Jan. 21, for an educational workshop on preserving the red wolf species, according to Dr. Tom Risch, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and professor of animal ecology.
Everyone is welcome to attend the 10 a.m.-12 noon session led by staff from the Endangered Wolf Center (EWC) of St. Louis in the third floor auditorium of the Reng Student Union. Admission is free.
“The goal of the red wolf naturalist course is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the conservation efforts for the critically endangered American red wolf,” according to Regina Mossotti, carnivore biologist and director of animal care and conservation at the EWC and Red Wolf Species Survival Plan management team member.
“With less than 50 red wolves left in the wild, this national treasure is on the brink of extinction,” she continued. “This course is designed to help participants learn about and become ambassadors for this amazing species. This fun and informative course will cover the red wolf’s natural history, why carnivores are keystone species, how they benefit humans, how we can coexist with them, what their current situation is in the wild and how we can help them.”
Instructors will be Mossotti and Ashley Rearden, director of education at the EWC and Red Wolf Species Survival Plan education advisor. Participants are asked to bring pen and paper.
The educational workshop will follow a screening of “Red Wolf Revival,” the award-winning short documentary by the Nestbox Collective and Susannah Smith, Friday evening.
Open to students, faculty and the public, the screening will start at 7 p.m. in the third floor auditorium of the Reng Student Union (GPS 101 N. Caraway Road). The North Parking Facility, adjacent to the Union, will be open to the public at no charge.
A panel discussion featuring Smith, an award-winning film producer, and the EWC representatives will follow the presentation. More information is available in a news release.
Several faculty members in the Department of Biological Sciences and student members of the Wildlife and Fisheries Club at Arkansas State visited the EWC in December to follow-up on their interest in the preservation efforts. Students are especially interested in the project because A-State’s mascot is the “Red Wolves.”