To help the public understand two predators that have an increasingly strong presence in the Midwest, Conserve Lake County and Friends of Ryerson Woods are bringing two experts on wolves and coyotes to Lake County for a program at Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Greenbelt Cultural Center.
Stan Gehrt began researching coyotes in urban Chicago in 2000, and what was supposed to last one year has become an ongoing project that is revealing new information.
In the course of tagging and tracking more than 200 coyotes, Gehrt has discovered, for example, that populations of urban coyotes are much higher than guessed and help control geese populations. They also live longer than their rural cousins, pose little threat to humans, and are 100 percent monogamous.
Gehrt is an associate professor and wildlife extension specialist at The Ohio State University and senior scientist at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.
Adrian Wydeven has headed the wolf recovery program for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources since 1990. After being considered extinct in Wisconsin in the 1960s, and with just 25 wolves present in the state in 1980, there has been an amazing recovery as the wolf population now stands at 800.
Wydeven is now involved in the sometimes heated discourse about how Wisconsin will manage wolf populations moving forward now that they are spreading southward and living closer to people.
According to a recent published report, seven gray wolves have been seen in Illinois since 2000. There have been two confirmed sightings in Lake County.
The program, "The Hidden World of Wolves and Coyotes," will be at 7 p.m. at the Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago, 1215 Green Bay Road.
Register in advance at www.conservelakecounty.org or call (847) 548-5989, ext. 33. Admission is $15 per person. Discount rates are available for students and groups. Partners in presenting the program include the Lake County Forest Preserve District, Lake Forest Openlands, and Wildlife Discovery Center.