Guest lectures are an almost daily occurrence at Yale F&ES. This semester, the F&ES course Conservation in Practice: International Perspective, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the student interest group, ConBio, are hosting a six-part series called “Talks on the Wild Side”. The series will bring a number of professionals in the field of wildlife and ecosystem conservation to campus on Thursdays throughout the semester.

Last week, Dr. Justina Ray kicked off the series with her talk entitled, Challenges of Species-Level Conservation Policy and Practice. Dr. Ray is the Executive Director and Senior Scientist of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. As a wildlife biologist, she has studied the community ecology of forest carnivores in Central Africa and is now involved in research and policy related to conservation planning in various northern landscapes, including those that span jurisdictional boundaries. Her species focus is on wolverines, caribou and other large mammals.

Dr. Ray’s talk focused on the plight of Boreal Caribou in Canada. Once abundant in the United States, there are now only twenty-seven individuals living in Idaho. In Canada, continued habitat loss and alteration threaten the species.  Dr. Ray discussed the important role of endangered species legislation in protecting biodiversity and the benefits and challenges of species-based conservation.

The “Talks on the Wild Side” series is an important component of the seminar course Conservation in Practice: International Perspective taught by Drs. Amy Vedder and Bill Weber. The small, discussion-based course examines key topics in conservation, drawing on examples from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States.

Talks are open to the Yale F&ES community and are held on Thursdays at 5:30pm in Sage Hall, room 24.