The Greenville Zoo continues its popular Conservation Lecture Series this Thursday, June 21 with special guest Brett A. Wright, PhD., Dean of Clemson University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, who will discuss The Global Tiger Initiative. As director of the U.S. Tiger University Consortium (a four-university collaborative to support the Global Tiger Recovery Program), Dr. Wright will describe the dire situation facing tigers in the wild, some of the primary issues causing their decline and how Clemson University, Auburn University, Louisiana State University and the University of Missouri (all tiger-mascot schools) are trying to reverse this trend.
The vision of the U.S. Tiger University Consortium is to raise awareness of the challenges facing tigers in the wild and provide practical solutions through a collaborative network of passionate professionals and concerned citizens. The four partner universities employ training and capacity-building, research, technology transfer and outreach and alignment to meet this vision. The initiative currently involves tiger conservation in India, with the potential to expand to other countries with tigers in the future.
The unique initiative seeks to engage support using the popular tiger mascots of the respective universities to draw much-needed attention to tiger decline and the need for their conservation and protection. “Land-grant universities have been instrumental in the conservation of virtually all of North America’s significant ecosystems, including the Everglades and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems,” said Dr. Wright. “They also played a critical role in protecting species such as the California condor, grizzly bear, timber wolf and bald eagle, and now we have four universities that are more than a little enamored by the tiger!”
The lecture series is part of the Greenville Zoo’s conservation program, with conservation a critical part of the zoo’s mission and a core value for staff. According to Dr. Nikolay Kapustin, deputy zoo administrator and veterinarian, it is an opportunity to share information about the many wildlife conservation initiatives, both here and throughout the world, with the greater Greenville community. “We are very pleased to provide this lecture from one of our community partners, Clemson University, which values conservation as much as we do, and to help make the public more aware of the university’s dedication to conservation.”
The lecture begins at 7 p.m. at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, located at 300 College Street. The Conservation Lecture Series is free and open to the public and the subject matter is appropriate for the entire family. While not required, attendees are asked to pre-register online if possible. The lecture will be held on the first floor and attendees should use the museum’s side entrance off Academy Street. Free parking is available at the Heritage Green parking deck.