American Predators: Wolves, Coy Wolves, Cougars and Jaguars [S-18-4]

Presenter: John McDonald
Location: SUNY: Maxcy 104
Classes: 3 Sessions 1.5 hours
Dates: Mon 2:00 PM 04/30, 05/07, 05/14
Status: Course Closed

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Learn about the evolution of wolves, coy wolves, cougars and jaguars - their history, and their similarities and differences. Wolves are the only species of Canis that have a range encompassing both the old and new worlds as an apex predator. Coy wolves, a hybrid, continue to expand their territory into the northeastern United States. Cougars, ranging from the Canadian Yukon to the Andes of South America, are the most widespread of any wild large terrestrial mammal in the western hemisphere. Jaguars are the only members of the Panthera genus (lions, tigers and leopards) in the Americas; unfortunately, they have become extinct in the US. These animals play a key role in keeping an ecosystem healthy. We will examine the human vs. animal conflicts, along with the vilification and political influences which have resulted in the total or near extermination of these animals in North America. Should they be preserved for future generations, perhaps even be reintroduced into the Adirondack Park?

John McDonald retired from IBM and Arrow Electronics. He has had a life-long interest in large predators, especially the big cats. John has also worked in primate research, spending some time with Dave Hoover (the lion and tiger trainer for the Clyde Beatty and Cole Bros. Circus), and conducting field research on George Adamson’s (of book and movie Born Free fame) lions in Kenya. Also, John has spent time working as a volunteer with wild cheetahs at the Cheetah Conservation Fund research facility in Namibia, Africa. More recently, he has focused his attention on large American predators, working with organizations in the U.S. involved with wolves and cougars.

Cap: 50

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