2005-11-24 / Upcoming Events

Deer management topic of lecture at URI on Dec. 1

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey will host a free lecture entitled “White-Tailed Deer: Natural History and Management,” by noted wildlife biologist Gary Alt at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1. The lecture will be at Edwards Auditorium on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston.

Alt is former leader of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Deer Management Section and an outspoken advocate for new approaches to deer herd management. From 1999 to 2004, he oversaw the largest field studies of deer, and recommended the most sweeping changes in deer management ever in Pennsylvania. His ideas included dramatically increasing the annual take of deer — including does — and were intended to halt forest habitat destruction and create a smaller, stronger, sustainable deer population. They were controversial with deer hunters, and ultimately Alt resigned.

Alt is a veteran biologist who earlier in his career was credited with unprecedented success in returning the black bear to Pennsylvania. He was recently featured in Time magazine as an “innovator” because of his unconventional, though pragmatic, ideas.

In this lecture, Alt will discuss the biology of deer, conflicts between deer and humans, and deer management options in an educational and entertaining program with appeal to all ages, interests, and levels of training.

“Scientists have been studying deer for decades, but what we’ve learned about their biology won’t help us if we can’t come up with workable management strategies that factor in the political and cultural issues surrounding hunting. Alt will give all of us interested in wildlife and its management a lot to think about and hopefully some ideas about how to avoid others’ mistakes,” said David Gregg, executive director of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. For more information and directions, call 874-5800, or e-mail: programadmin@rinhs.org or visit www.rinhs.org.

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