Important Note

Tufts ended funding for its Open Courseware initiative in 2014. We are now planning to retire this site on June 30, 2018. Content will be available for Tufts contributors after that date. If you have any questions about this please write to

Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Paul Waldau

The goal of this lecture is to introduce students to the history of our attitudes toward and relationships with wildlife. Our discussion will focus on the truly diverse range of problems that have developed as a result of the inevitable interactions between growing human and wildlife populations.

1. Readings

  • Meyer, S. M. 2004. The end of the wild. Boston Review, April/May 2004.

  • Wilcove et al.1998. Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. BioScience. Vol. 48, No. 8. pp. 607-615.

  • Williams, T. 2005. Incite: Public menace. Audubon, July 2005.

  • MassWildlife 2006. Beavers in Massachusetts.

2. Reflection Journal Assignment

Due at beginning of next session

Looking Back —This question again focuses on distinctions among roles that can be taken by (1) individual veterinarians, (2) veterinary education, and, (3) the veterinary profession as a whole. What role(s), if any, do you think each has in guiding our society’s attitudes and treatment of wildlife?

Looking Forward —It turns out that we learn in very diverse ways about each category of nonhuman animals. Up to the age of 10, how did you learn about the category “farm animals”? How accurate, if at all, was the information you received? In what ways, if any, is that information relevant to today’s farm animals?