The University of Maine Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society is very active in their community. Members volunteer at several local events and wildlife refuges and in turn learn about various field techniques and wildlife species.
Each year, students volunteer at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Milford to fix duck boxes along the Pushaw Stream. This year, more than 25 members repaired nesting boxes while canoeing in the brisk fall weather.
The student chapter also painted decoys for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) seabird restoration project at The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. A chapter member who had previously worked for the Refuge taught participants about Atlantic puffins, razorbills, and common, roseate, and Artic terns. USFWS uses the decoys to attract the birds to the islands and to establish breeding colonies.
Other activities during the academic year included educating high school students on animal and plant identification at the Orono High School Envirothon, climbing Mount Katahdin during fall break, attending a presentation by the National Tigers for Tigers Coalition with the Unity Chapter of TWS, and organizing a graduate student panel for undergraduates to ask questions about life after graduation.
The Chapter recently held their Annual Game Banquet, a popular fundraising event that offers a wide array of game meat from local sportsmen and other sources. Past menu items have included elk, salmon, beaver, and rabbit.
It has been a fun and eventful semester for the UMaine Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. With so many opportunities to both learn and teach others about wildlife membership is higher than ever, which means plenty of new ideas for future activities. The Student Chapter looks forward to participating in many more fun and educational events.