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News Release 4/12/12


April 12, 2012

Groups Sponsoring Predator Ecology Program Next Week

 Moscow- ID – Friends of the Clearwater, the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, and the Kootenai Environmental Alliance are each sponsoring events next week with ecologist, author, and wildland photographer George Wuerthner. The title of the program, Predator Ecology: the Ecological Niche of Wolves On the Landscape will focus on why some scientists believe that robust wolf populations increase biodiversity production and are important for ecosystem health, and how hunting and trapping the iconic predator may lead to social disruption within the pack, potentially causing conflicts between wolves and humans. Wuerthner will be delivering a program in Moscow on Tuesday April 17, 7pm, at the 1912 Center 116 E. Third Street, in Sandpoint on Wednesday April 18, 6pm, at the Sandpoint Community Hall 204 South First Avenue,and in Coeur d’ Alene on Thursday April 19, 12pm, at the Iron Horse Bar & Grill 407 E. Sherman Avenue.

“The more we study predators, particularly wolves, the more we realize that they are essential to maintaining resilient ecosystems,” said Brett Haverstick, Education and Outreach Director for Friends of the Clearwater. “This is a great opportunity for members of the public to learn why wolves are so important to have on the landscape.”

With over five hundred wolves killed in Montana and Idaho since federal delisting, the groups are concerned that wolves are not being allowed to fill their natural order.

“Predators like grey wolves keep ungulate populations on the move, which helps prevent over browsing in riparian areas and leads to an increase in biodiversity,” said Ann Sydow, lead organizer with the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance. “We need our state agencies to stop demonizing wolves and instead give them a chance.”

Questions abound on what type of impact hunting and trapping wolves will have on the animal. Some people think the management model employed by Idaho will have a negative effect.

“Wolves are socially dynamic animals. When older wolves are removed from a pack, that can lead to social disruption, possibly causing younger, less experienced wolves to kill livestock,” said Adrienne Cronebaugh, Conservation Advocate for the Kootenai Environmental Alliance. “The more wolves we kill, the more conflicts we may see in the future. It doesn’t make sense.”