Expert to Speak on Effects of Wolves on Yellowstone Ecosystem

OGDEN, Utah – The project leader for the Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Project, Douglas W. Smith, will present the 2007 Ritchey Lecture on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in Weber State University's Lind Lecture Hall 125-126.

Smith, who has been involved with the project since its beginnings, will discuss "Ecology and Ecosystem Effects of Wolves in Yellowstone National Park."

In 1995, the Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Project began by reintroducing 41 gray wolves from Canada to Yellowstone National Park after nearly a 70-year absence in the park due to predator control in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Thanks to the project's efforts, however, the wolf population today boasts 13 packs with about 136 wolves.

In addition to helping re-establish an endangered species, the project gives scientists a glimpse into the effects wolves have on the ecosystem they live in based on data before and after 1995. At the Ritchey Lecture, Smith will discuss what scientists have learned so far.

For more than 27 years, Smith, who holds a doctorate in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, has worked with and studied wolf populations in the United States. Prior to joining the Yellowstone project, Smith studied wolf populations in Michigan and Minnesota.

The lecture, which is a biannual event hosted by the WSU College of Science, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the College of Science at 801-626-6159.

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Travis Clemens, assistant director of Media Relations
801-626-7948 •

Dale Ostlie, College of Science dean
801-626-6201 •

Sam Zeveloff, Department of Zoology chair
801-626-6655 •