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Students promote wildlife conservation through Tigers for Tigers

Published: 07/20/2015

By: Lindsay Miles

Students from the Department of Biological Sciences have teamed up with Tigers for Tigers, a national coalition that joins academic institutions that have a tiger mascot to help spread awareness of the survival challenges tigers face, including habitat destruction, poaching and pet trade.

Jessie Schieler, an upcoming sophomore studying organismal biology, and Robin Lloyd, a senior in conservation biology, were chosen to attend the program’s national summit held at Louisiana State University. The summit allowed students involved with Tigers for Tigers from around the nation to come together for a weekend of “tiger talk” and team-building activities. Students also had the opportunity to meet authors and activists who share their passion for wildlife conservation.

“Tigers are disappearing all over, and what would the Auburn Tigers be without our beloved mascot?” said Schieler. “I couldn’t be more proud to call myself a tiger, and Tigers for Tigers is an organization that builds on that pride and promotes awareness.”

Robert Boyd, professor and interim chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, introduced both students to the program after he noticed their interest in big cats and conservation.

Schieler and Lloyd currently lead the Tigers for Tigers club at Auburn, and Schieler hopes to launch a chapter of the Tigers for Tigers mini-program, Cubs for Cubs, in the fall. Cubs for Cubs allows students to work with local elementary and middle schools to teach children about the importance of conservation.

The organization is allowing students to promote wildlife conservation locally, as well as nationally.

This summer, Lloyd traveled to Washington, D.C. with other Tigers for Tigers schools from around the nation to lobby Congress for the Wildlife Trafficking Enforcement Act and Global Anti-Poaching Act, which would give the United States greater enforcement to minimize illegal wildlife smuggling.

“Most of the senators and representatives backed our bills, and it is looking promising for tigers in the wild,” said Lloyd. “It was a great experience using my voice at our nation’s capital to help save our mascot and tigers in the wild. It was a great honor to represent Auburn University and the state of Alabama.”

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