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Webinars

Learn directly from leading experts in ethology, training, and conservation. As part of our commitment to creating diverse educational opportunities, Wolf Park regularly offers webinars that feature current research in a variety of fields. Explore our archive of past webinars and register for upcoming events here!

UPCOMING WEBINARS

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“Conservation Dogs: A Bumblebee’s Best Friend” with Laura Holder

June 19, 2024 @ 6pm

Registration fee: $10

We all know how nosey dogs are, but did you know dogs are being utilized for their sniffing superpowers to locate endangered and invasive species of plants, animals, and insects? Join Laura Holder of Conservation Dogs Collective for an informative presentation about how their Finders (the superhero sniffer dogs!) are lending a high-capable nose in locating bumblebee nests to assist with species preservation and protect.

Driven by her boundless curiosity about how dogs think, learn and detect scent, Laura has been nose-deep in the professional fields of scent-detection, nose work and dog training since 2009. Her lifelong fascination with canines, especially their unique ability to work alongside humans, inspires her every day in her work. Her passion lies in leading and deploying the Finder-Keeper teams of Conservation Dogs Collective to support clients in their critical conservation efforts, and especially loves working alongside her two Finders, Ernie and Betty White.

 

PAST WEBINARS

a fox standing in the grass

“The Island Fox and the Island Spotted Skunk: Small Predators–Big Ecosystem Impact” with Friends of the Island Fox.

February 20, 2024

Six of California’s Channel Islands are home to the endemic island fox (Urocyon littoralis). Despite their diminutive size, these four-pound descendants of the mainland gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) are the dominant terrestrial predator in their island ecosystem. On two islands, the island fox shares its habitat with the tiny (and adorable) island spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis amphiala). How these two mesopredators compete, influence, and depend on each other is under investigation across Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands. Without the presence of large terrestrial predators, these two small carnivores play modified roles and are shining a spotlight on the complexity of mesopredators in ecosystems. As island fox populations reach carrying capacity on the islands, how are island spotted skunks impacted? How are climate influences changing the dynamics between these two species? What can two island species reveal about inter-species dynamics and mainland populations of gray foxes and spotted skunks?

Friends of the Island Fox is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a joint effort between conservation professionals and concerned private citizens striving to create public awareness about the Channel Island fox and to raise funds to support education, research and conservation measures to ensure the island fox’s survival. For more information see www.islandfox.org.

“America’s War on Wolves: Recent Battles and Future Fights” with Animal Wellness Action 

May 11, 2022

Protecting North America’s threatened wolf population is a never-ending struggle that requires closely coordinated and strategic legal, policy, conservation and public education efforts. In the last year alone, we have witnessed the lifting and then reinstatement by the federal courts of Endangered Species Act safeguards, while Wisconsin took advantage of the gap in federal protection to sanction a disastrous wolf hunt in early 2021. Meanwhile, states like Idaho and Montana have ramped up their efforts to eradicate wolf packs, allowing all methods of inhumane hunting and killing techniques. While recent legal victories have sustained some level of protections for wolves across much of the lower 48 states, Congressional efforts are already underway to undo these courtroom wins and allow the killing to continue. This webinar will examine some of the recent work to protect wolves at both the state and federal levels and look forward to the battles to come to preserve future wolf populations in this ever shifting conservation landscape.

“Conservation Dogs: Advancing conservation, one wet nose at a time” with Conservation Dogs Collective, Inc.

April 20, 2022

Dogs. They truly are man’s best friend. By lending a helping paw and highly capable nose, they can be conservation’s best friend, too. Around the world, conservation dogs are assisting boots-on-the-ground land managers by helping locate and monitor endangered and invasive species, helping with anti-poaching efforts, both on land and in water, with efficiency. This non-invasive survey method can offer huge benefits to programs where current, human-only tools are being utilized. Join us for a live webinar from Conservation Dogs Collective, a non-profit organization, that trains and deploys their Finder-Keeper (dog-handler) teams to locate conservation-centric species, including endangered bumblebees, threatened plants, aquatic invaders, and more!

“Introduction to the Island Fox” with Friends of the Island Fox

March 30, 2022 

The Channel Island fox is a rare species of canine found only on California’s coastal islands. Between 1994 – 2000 the populations of island foxes on four islands plunged toward extinction. Why did this happen? What efforts were taken that changed near-tragedy into the most successful recovery of an endangered species in North American history? Discover the unique ecosystems of the California Channel Islands, the world of the Channel Island fox, and how a community working together can save a species. In addition, Dr DeCandia will share her investigation into the island fox microbiome. A healthy animal has a diversity of microbes. In this way, a single island fox is like an island. If something should happen to the biodiversity of microbes on an individual, its ecosystem might become out of balance and leave that individual susceptible to disease.

“#RelistWolves: The campaign to save wolves” with Wolves of the Rockies

March 22, 2022 

Recently, gray wolves were relisted to the Endangered Species Act. Or were they? Wolves of the Rockies Vice President, Kim Bean, will dive into the nuanced regional listings (and delistings) of the gray wolf and detail why the most vulnerable wolf populations remain under attack. She will share the efforts of a coalition of private citizens, experts, and NGO’s to work together on the #RelistWolves campaign— a campaign to relist ALL wolves. #RelistWolves and Wolves of the Rockies know that the fight is far from over and this team will do whatever it takes to save wolves.

a wolf that is standing in the grass

“Red Wolf Update, Advocacy, & Documentary Film Screening” with Defenders of Wildlife

November 10, 2021 

The American Red Wolf is at a crossroads of a complicated conservation story. This webinar includes a red wolf population update from the Southeastern field office of Defenders of Wildlife and a red wolf documentary film screening recently produced by Defenders of Wildlife. The Southeastern team will discuss their goals and focus for continuing the push to recover the red wolf population in North Carolina. Wolf Park’s Education Director, Christopher Lile, will end the webinar with an update on Wolf Park’s efforts to inspire youth to take action on behalf of red wolves and other wildlife.

“Red Wolf Policy and Population Update” with Defenders of Wildlife & Red Wolf Coalition

March 24, 2021

The American Red Wolf was a conservation success story for nearly thirty years, but this critically endangered canid has faced policy changes and shifts in management over the last 8 years that caused the population to plummet to fewer than 15 individuals in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was recently mandated to revise their management strategies and resume releasing new red wolves into the North Carolina recovery area. Representatives from Defenders of Wildlife and Red Wolf Coalition will review the history of red wolf conservation, discuss updates and implications of the USFWS proposed management strategies, and provide methods for listeners at home to help conserve the red wolf.

a man wearing a hat

“Patience is a virtue: How wolves choose ambushing locations to catch beavers”
with Dr. Tom Gable

March 10, 2021

Beavers are important prey for wolves throughout the boreal ecosystem…but how on earth do wolves catch these semi-aquatic rodents that spend very little time on land? People have assumed that beavers must be easy prey for wolves to kill but that is almost certainly not true. For the past 5 years, the Voyageurs Wolf Project (VWP) has been studying how wolves actually hunt and kill beavers. The VWP quickly learned in 2015 that wolves mainly hunt beavers by ambushing them. But that was only the beginning! Since 2015, the VWP has meticulously documented >750 instances of where wolves have waited to ambush beavers and >240 instances where wolves successfully killed beavers. This has revealed unprecedented insight about how, where, and when wolves choose to ambush beavers, and how beavers avoid fatal encounters with wolves!

lindsaydogsphoto

Choice & Control for Companion Animals During COVID-19: Lessons from the Science of Enrichment, Learning Psychology, and Behavior Analysis
with Dr. Lindsay Mehrkam, BCBA-D

February 11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to come up with creative ways to maintain our well-being — for people and pets included!  In this webinar, Dr. Mehrkam will share how the theories and principles of behavior analysis and the psychology of learning can be applied to training and enrichment plans for companion animals, while considering the latest data and research on CDC guidelines and how human-pet relationships are affected by the pandemic. By the conclusion of the webinar, attendees will be able to take away enrichment and training ideas you can try at home with your own dogs, cats, and yes, even goldfish!

Clive Wynne with Wolf

“What’s The Point? Why canine behavior scientists want to know which animals follow human gestures” with Dr. Clive Wynne

January 27, 2021

For over 20 years now, canine behavior researchers have been curious to the point of obsession with whether a wolf can follow a human pointing gesture. Dr. Clive Wynne will explain why this is an important question to answer and how studies at Wolf Park were crucial to clarifying that following human gestures is not a unique ability in dogs but can also be found in wolves – those few wolves who have been carefully hand-reared and spend their lives around people. This research is crucial to understanding what domestication did to dogs and to unraveling the intertwined roles of nature and nurture in the lives of wolves and dogs.