ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION OF MOUNTAIN LIONS IN GREATER LOS ANGELES
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Dr. John Benson on May 19, 2022 at 6 pm Eastern for an engaging discussion about these elusive beings. Dr. Benson and his colleagues with the National Park Service have been studying behavior and population dynamics of mountain lions in southern California for almost 20 years to investigate their ecology in and adjacent to Los Angeles. These mountain lions face many obstacles– high rates of inbreeding, low genetic diversity, isolated home ranges, vehicle collisions, and more – but Dr. Benson’s research suggests that conservation is possible if landscape connectivity is prioritized.
SEARCHING FOR RED WOLF GHOSTS - THE GULF COAST CANINE PROJECT
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Drs. Kristin E. Brzeski, Bridgett M. vonHoldt, and Joseph W. Hinton on January 27, 2022 at 6 pm ET for an overview of the research, including next steps. They summarized their current research activities and some preliminary findings to illustrate how these canid populations along the Gulf Coast harbor lost red wolf genetic ancestry and how that ancestry may influence their unique morphology and behaviors. If these canid populations are reservoirs of lost red wolf genetic ancestry, they may be used to bolster the small and vulnerable red wolf population.
SCIENCE AND ETHICS AGREE: COEXISTENCE MUST REPLACE KILLING WOLVES
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Francisco J. Santiago-Ávila, PhD on March 31, 2022 for an informative discussion about the need for ethically-based scientific oversight of wolf populations.
Dr. Santiago-Ávila described how the removal of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections and state policies liberalizing wolf-killing dismisses scientific and ethical evidence promoting wolves’ moral consideration. State policies in the wake of gray wolf delisting also reject more robust, compassionate, just, and democratic worldviews, which are highly valued by a majority of Americans.
The "Decolonization" of Conservation
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Jazmin “Sunny” Murphy at 6 pm ET on June 15, 2022 for an enriching discussion about the decolonization of conservation and how to dismantle violent exclusion in U.S. conservation.
Sunny covered a wide range of conservation and Indigenous and Black history in the United States, beginning with Indigenous genocide via ecological devastation, the parallels of Eurocentric ideological perspectives toward Indigenous people and native carnivores, and culminating with ongoing efforts to exclude Black and Indigenous people from wildlife management.
Carnivore Coexistence in California's Central Valley
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Petros Chrysafis, MS on September 6, 2022 at 6 pm ET for an engaging discussion about carnivore coexistence.
Petros reflected on his experiences as an independent human-wildlife conflict specialist in Central California. He discussed his experience deterring mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, gray and red foxes and black bears in chaparral foothills, high elevation old growth forests and grassland habitats. During his talk he also discussed how he approaches conflict cases and his protocol as well as what has worked, what has not worked and what research he has done in the area.
Reviving Ghost Alleles: The Importance of Admixed Canids Along the American Gulf Coast for Saving the Endangered Red Wolf
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Drs. Kristin E. Brzeski, Bridgett M. vonHoldt, and Joey W. Hinton on September 15, 2022 at 6 pm ET for an informative discussion about their work to better understand canids along the Gulf Coast.
Their research along coastal Texas and Louisiana documented significant but unexplained red wolf ancestry in coyote-like canids. They detected 38-69% of the canid genomes contained red wolf ancestry acquired in the past 30 years and wolf ancestry was positively correlated with bigger canids. One out of four canids in their study had genomes consisting of at least 50% red wolf ancestry. Here, they discussed their research findings, the importance of these canid populations for red wolf recovery, local support for protecting these unique populations, and future directions for their research in the region.
DIRE WOLVES: THE LAST OF AN ANCIENT NEW WORLD CANID LINEAGE
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Dr. Angela Perri on February 25, 2021 at 2:30 PM EST for a discussion about about the evolution of dire wolves and their potential New World origins, in contrast to the evolution of gray wolf ancestors in Eurasia.
Dire wolves are one of the most common and widespread large carnivores in Pleistocene America, yet relatively little is known about their evolution or extinction. New results indicate that although they were similar morphologically to the extant grey wolf, dire wolves were a highly divergent lineage that split from living canids around 5.7 million years ago.
RED WOLVES: A CROSS-SECTION OF CONSERVATION CHALLENGES & RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE WOLF CONSERVATION CENTER
On September 14, 2021 at 6 pm ET, the Wolf Conservation Center's Senior Research Scientist Dr. Joseph W. Hinton hosted a webinar discussing past and present research on red wolves to illustrate how research at the WCC can be used to resolve key threats to wolves and promote recovery throughout their historical range.
Dr. Hinton summarized his past and present research on red wolves to illustrate how research at the Wolf Conservation Center can be used to resolve key threats to wolves and promote recovery throughout their historical range. Understanding and predicting how red wolves will respond to modern landscapes requires coordinated research to investigate needs of direct relevance to recovery efforts. Such research will reduce our uncertainties about wild red wolf populations, thereby improving our conservation and management of the species.
AN HISTORICAL VIEW: A LOOK BACK AT THE RED WOLF IN LOUISIANA AND TEXAS
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Amy Shutt of The Canid Project on September 23, 2021 at 6 pm ET for a discussion about the history of red wolves in North America.
When and why did the Red Wolf disappear from Louisiana and Texas, the last strongholds of this endemic North American species? By tracking down archival reports of the Red Wolf in Louisiana and Texas, including previously overlooked newspaper accounts and unpublished correspondence, and by compiling an atlas of all known specimens by location and date, a timeline is constructed of the disappearance of this small wolf.
UNRAVELING THE EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF WOLVES IN SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
Lauren Hennelly joined the Wolf Conservation Center on November 3, 2021 to present recent findings on the evolutionary history of wolves in South and Central Asia.
These wolves live in some of the world's highest mountains and hottest deserts. New research has now revealed that some of these wolf populations are also the most evolutionarily distinct lineages. These findings have significant conservation implications, especially regarding the Indian wolf, which represents one of the world's most endangered and oldest wolf lineages.
THE USE OF SCENT MARKING TO FOSTER COEXISTENCE
HOW DO WOLVES AMBUSH BEAVERS?
RED, GRAY, AND ISOLATED: NEW DISCOVERIES OF TWO EMBLEMATIC WOLF POPULATIONS
NON-LETHAL WOLF AND LIVESTOCK COEXISTENCE WITH THE WOOD RIVER WOLF PROJECT
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GUT BIOME AND GASTROINTESTINAL HEALTH IN CAPTIVE RED WOLVES
WILD CRIMES: THE EXPLOITATION OF OUR WORLD'S MOST VULNERABLE ANIMALS
HISTORY, IMMORTALITY, POWER, AND WILDLIFE TRADE
WOLVES ALTER WETLAND CREATION BY KILLING BEAVERS
WOLF RESTORATION IN ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK
The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Dr. Rolf Peterson on November 19, 2020 at 6 PM EST for a discussion about the wolves of Isle Royale National Park.
Isle Royale is a remote wilderness island in Lake Superior and home to populations of wolves and moose that are known worldwide. These animals are the focus of the longest-running study of a predator-prey system in the wild, and Dr. Rolf Peterson, an internationally recognized wildlife ecologist at Michigan Technical University, has been at the helm of the project for over four decades.
THE ROLE OF REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT IN MEXICAN GRAY WOLF RECOVERY WITH CHERYL ASA, PHD
THE IMPORTANCE OF WOLVES IN ISLE ROYALE WITH DR. ROLF O. PETERSON
RED WOLVES REDISCOVERED: RED WOLF ANCESTRY ALONG THE GULF COAST WITH DR KRISTIN BRZESKI
UNDERSTANDING POLICY: HOW WE PROTECT OUR MOST AT-RISK SPECIES
GENETICS OF URBAN COYOTES IN LOS ANGELES
THE SECRET LIVES OF WOLVES IN VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK
TAXONOMY, ECOLOGY, AND MANAGEMENT OF EASTERN COYOTES
HIMALAYAN WOLVES: TAXONOMY, ECOLOGY, AND CONSEQUENCES FOR CONSERVATION
ECOLOGY, MANAGEMENT, AND RECOVERY OF RED WOLVES IN EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA WITH JOSEPH HINTON, PHD
In an effort to broaden awareness and understanding for the red wolf recovery effort in North Carolina and the implications of a federal rule proposed in June 2018 that sought to significantly change the size, scope, and management of the current red wolf recovery program in the state, the Wolf Conservation Center extended this webinar with Joseph Hinton, Ph.D. (Recorded on July 18, 2018)
HYBRIDIZATION DYNAMICS BETWEEN WOLVES AND COYOTES IN CENTRAL ONTARIO WITH JOHN F BENSON, PHD.
Eastern wolves (Canis lycaon) have hybridized extensively with coyotes (C. latrans) and gray wolves (C. lupus) in Ontario but little is known about the mechanisms underlying Canis hybridization. On September 5, 2018, the Wolf Conservation Center hosted a webinar with wildlife research biologist John F. Benson to discuss hybridization dynamics between eastern wolves and coyotes. Benson discussed his intensive field study in Algonquin Provincial Park (APP) and the adjacent unprotected landscape where he investigated Ontario canids, hybrid zone dynamics, wolf ecology, and canid predation.
THE RED WOLF: DISEASE, GENETICS, AND THE FUTURE WITH KRISTEN BRZESKI, PHD
On October 23, 2018, the Wolf Conservation Center hosted a webinar with wildlife ecologist Kristin Brzeski, PhD to discuss the history, controversies, and ecology of red wolves. Brzeski presented her research evaluating disease interactions between red wolves and coyotes, discussed the importance of genetic variation, and explained how a relatively unimportant debate regarding red wolf evolutionary origins has overwhelmed conservation efforts. Given current policy initiatives and a taxonomic review, Kristin also discussed future opportunities and hurdles facing red wolf restoration.