Project leader to discuss wolf reintroduction project in Yellowstone

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-04-04 10:02:48 - General

Doug Smith, project leader for the wolf reintroduction project in Yellowstone National Park, will present "Wolves in Yellowstone: The First 20 Years" at Coe College. The lecture will take place on Monday, April 17, beginning at 7 p.m. in Cherry Auditorium in Peterson Hall of Science. It is open to the public at no charge.

In his presentation, Smith will discuss the on-again, off-again politically rich history of this reintroduction and the never-ending controversy and political fights surrounding wolves in the Rocky Mountain West. Wolves were nearly hunted to extinction in Yellowstone in the 1800s and early 1900s, but were reintroduced to the national park in 1995. The wolves have since proliferated in what is regarded as one of the most successful conservation efforts in U.S. history. Smith and his team track wild wolves in Yellowstone, keeping tabs on movements, hunting habits, pack traits and disease.

Smith has been with the wolf restoration project in Yellowstone since its inception. He has studied wolves for more than 20 years. Prior to Yellowstone, he worked with wolves in Isle Royale National Park in Michigan and in Minnesota. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology from the University of Idaho, a Master of Science in biology from Michigan Technological University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada - Reno in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology.

The author of numerous publications on the subject of both the wolf and the beaver, Smith has contributed many hours of lecture time on both topics. He also co-authored the book "The Wolves of Yellowstone," a chronology of the first two years of the wolf restoration effort in Yellowstone National Park. Smith is an avid canoeist, having run many wild and remote rivers within Alaska, Ontario, Nunuvut, Yukon and Northwest Territories.

The lecture is sponsored by the Coe College Biology Department. For more information, visit or call 319-399-8605.