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(Washington, D.C.) – Sunday, September 13, 2020, kicked off the #BlackMammalogists Week. This event was created in partnership with the American Society of Mammologists, and is designed “to provide opportunities for current and aspiring Black mammalogists across the Diaspora to form conscious, fruitful connections, in addition to illuminating historical and present-day Black contributions to the field of Mammalogy.”

Rhiannon Kirton, one on the organizers of #BlackMammalogists Week, connected with the Hunting, Trapping and Conservation Working Group (HTCWG) of The Wildlife Society and the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (Council) to host a special event within #BlackMammalogist week called Forage Friday to highlight the experiences of four Black hunters from the U.S. and Canada. In this session, a panel of hunters will share their reflections, their perspectives on barriers to participation, and opportunities to increase participation in hunting. The session will occur on Friday, Sept .18, 2020 from 4-5:30 p.m. est .

Recent research conducted by the Wildlife Management Institute (2020) investigated the concept of mentoring and the potential for new hunters who desire personal instruction in the U.S. Of those surveyed who were interested in learning to hunt, approximately 2 in 12 were Black; yet in the 2016 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, the estimated number of active Black hunters and anglers in America was only 1 in 12. (Specific participation numbers for hunting only were too small to reliably report.) In describing #BlackMammalogists Week, Kirton and her colleagues share that “in our ideal future, young Black people of all backgrounds will realize that they are not only welcome, but needed and vital, to the future of this field.” While each hunter’s experience will be unique, this panel can offer some insights to help R3 professionals build a welcoming environment to recruit and retain more Black hunters in the future.

To join the Forage Friday conversation during #BlackMammalogist Week, visit to register. The session will be recorded and available through after the event.

#BlackMammalogists Week will continue throughout the week and includes different panel sessions with wildlife biologists from across the world as well as interactive activities for aspiring mammologists of all ages. Learn more at