February 2013 Introductory Training Course
(3rd year, Department of Veterinary Science, Nippon Veterinary & Life Science University)
I decided to participate in this course because I am hoping to work with wildlife in the future, and because I had become interested in Australia's unique animals such as marsupials and monotremes after previously taking part in my university's study tour to Australia. I was able to see many animals that just can't be seen in Japan, and really got a feel for what it is like to take care of these creatures and understand the problems that they face. Having learned that many people in Australia take part in wildlife conservation by volunteering to work at the koala hospital and the like, and that there are facilities that only keep and display Australia's unique animals, I gained the strong impression that concern for and education about wildlife is stronger than in Japan. Despite this, Australia shares some problems with Japan in the form of the reduction and fragmentation of habitat due to development and natural disasters, as well as issues surrounding introduced species, and it was evident that wildlife conservation is no simple matter but requires the understanding and cooperation of a large number of people. A feature of this course is that it does not impose a certain way of thinking or certain solutions to problems; rather, participants are taught about the current circumstances and given food for thought about how to resolve issues regarding wildlife and how humans and wildlife can best co-exist. As such, there are many opportunities during the course to consider such matters, which prompted me to also seriously think about what I want to do in the future. I hope to put the experience I gained from this course to full use to ponder how to prevent the extinction of wildlife and how humans and animals can co-exist in order to save as many wild animals as possible.