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Boone and Crockett Club Honors Applied Wildlife Research Institute
Wednesday, April 06, 2016

A university research program in South Texas is the recipient of the Boone and Crockett Club’s second Conservation and Stewardship Award.

The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI) was founded at Texas A&M University -- Kingsville in 1981 by the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation. During the past 35 years, CKWRI has grown to become the leading wildlife research organization in Texas and one of the best university wildlife research programs in the nation.

Research at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is largely focused on the habitat and population ecology of game species of the South Texas ecological region. Its primary product is applied wildlife research that is of high value to land managers, hunters, ranchers and other conservationists to sustain and enhance wildlife populations and their habitats.

"What makes Caesar Kleberg unique among research facilities is that their focus is on the reality that people do live, work and recreate on the land," stated Tom Price, chairman of the Club’s Habitat and Multiple Use/Sharing committee. "Study of biotic communities on preserves and national parks is important work, but applying what is learned there falls short of what is needed to be good stewards of working landscapes and shared habitats where wildlife and people interact."

The Conservation and Stewardship Award was presented at a dinner last week hosted annually by the Boone and Crockett Club during the North American Wildlife Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
"Compared to many other university wildlife programs that now have a strong focus on conservation biology and the non-consumptive use of wildlife, we are completely unapologetic of our research focus on game species and our avid support of hunters and hunting," explained Dr. Fred Bryant, Director of Caesar Kleberg. "At the same time, however, we also conduct research on threatened and endangered species, and other non-hunted species. We respect and embrace the culture and ranching heritage of South Texas."

Graduate students come from all over North America as well as many other parts of the world to this research institute to learn how to conduct wildlife research. Each student ends up not just learning how to do wildlife research, but they also learn how special a place South Texas really is. They graduate knowing and appreciating how much private landowners care about their land. They become leaders in their profession.

All Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute scientists believe that "science without publication is recreation." Since 1981, CKWRI scientists have produced 24 books, with at least 3 more currently in preparation. More than 800 peer-reviewed articles written by CKWRI scientists and graduate students have appeared in scientific journals that are published around the world. More than 500 articles for popular literature such as magazine, and newsletters have been written by CKWRI scientists.

"It is for Caesar Kleberg's track record of producing applied wildlife research and defining successful management strategies for both hunted and non-hunted wildlife across more than 10 million acres of rangelands in South Texas that it has been chosen to receive this award," Price continued.

CKWRI represents a unique model for wildlife research because it is largely funded by private donations and endowments, but administered within a public university setting. This public-private model of administration and support is what has kept the CKWRI focused on generating reliable knowledge for the informed management and conservation of both private and public lands.

To learn more about the Cesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, visit

About the Boone and Crockett Club

North America's first hunting and conservation organization, the Boone and Crockett Club was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887. Its mission is to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship. Join the Club at


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