people holding big check
From left, Courtney Kajikawa, vice president and personal trust manager, First Hawaiian Bank; Jean Creadick, vice president, Philanthropic Services, First Hawaiian Bank; UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, Bruce Mathews, interim dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, UH Hilo and Mariko Miho, executive director of development, UH Hilo, UH Foundation

The W. T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust has donated $275,000 to establish and support the W.T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife Habitats and Large Land Mammals at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

This undergraduate scholarship provides multi-year support to students pursuing studies in terrestrial mammalian habitat conservation and/or the conservation of large land mammals. The gift will also support the initial offering of a synthesis course in wildlife science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

Understanding terrestrial mammal habitats

Large terrestrial mammals are in particular peril due to loss of habitat and poor game management practices. Understanding the complex role of these animals in the ecosystem processes is essential for effective terrestrial management of wild areas and rural multiple use areas where agriculture and forestry play an extensive role.

“As the human population grows, so too do the demands on land for food, feedstock and fiber,” said Bruce Mathews, interim dean, UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management. “More and more, people are encroaching on wildlife habitat, with tragic results for animals and the environment. In order to have a sustainable balance between that which we extract from the ecosphere and that which needs to be replenished, we need to think beyond the designation of specific conservation areas and national parks.”

UH Hilo is working to help address this need by educating people who have a sound understanding of terrestrial mammal habitat and are also able to strike a balance among conservation efforts, more sustainable agricultural and forestry production systems and rural socio-economic issues,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney.

“On behalf of the trustees of the W.T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust, we are very pleased to enter into this partnership with UH Hilo,” said Jean Creadick, vice president of philanthropic services at First Hawaiian Bank. “We look forward to working with Chancellor Straney, Dean Mathews and UH Hilo to support undergraduate students as they build the foundation of their careers in wildlife science and terrestrial mammal habitat conservation.”

Read the UH Foundation news release for more information.