Last Wednesday, Ashley Leonard, a member of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department came from Cheyenne and spoke to teacher Danielle Kunkel’s Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources class.

Kunkel’s Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources class has been going over how to identify a species, but mostly they have been reviewing how to identify scat (animal poop).

“Leonard brought in hides, pelts, skulls, and pictures of different animal tracks which goes along with our identification unit,” Kunkel said.

Identification has a very high importance in the wildlife and environment world. It helps the community in many ways such as these. When hunters go hunting, it may be hard to tell what the tracks they see are, or scat, or even the sex of the animal.

Leonard comes from the Information and Education Program at the Game and Fish Department. Leonard is an education specialist, meaning she educates about many different species of both plants and animals.

“We provide learning and participation opportunities relating to wildlife management, both aquatic and terrestrial, wildlife conservation, wildlife related skills and lawful and ethical behavior,” according to wgfd.wyo.gov.

If Leonard were in the Information work field of this program, she would be writing news releases for things like the Wyoming Wildlife Magazine. She would also oversee many of the publications and be involved in lots of activities in the community.

For example, Robin Kepple, an information specialist stationed in Laramie, teaches classes about hunting and fishing skills, along with hunter education classes. Even though she is stationed in Laramie, she does a lot of work in Cheyenne. Last week, she judged a local science fair in Cheyenne.

 

With the help of Education Specialists, younger generations will have a better understanding, as their two main goals are to, “…provide learning and participation opportunities to youth and adults in outdoor skills, and to create awareness in youth and adults of the importance for the planned management practices of wildlife and their habitats within their specific ecosystems,” according to wgfd.wyo.gov.

Along with identification comes management, which is also very important.

“Wildlife management and wildlife stewardship is the practice of conserving habitat and populations of wildlife, as well as helping people share habitat with wildlife. Wildlife management is also an important part of environmental conservation, helping people coexist with wildlife and its broad array of habitats,” according to wgfd.wyo.gov.