According to wildlife ecologist Anna Chalfoun, PhD, “Habitat loss, fragmentation, and alteration resulting from human activities continue to be the greatest threats to wildlife populations and biodiversity world-wide.” She discusses the topic at the next Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expedition.
Chalfoun presents Wyoming’s Wildlife Amidst Human-induced Rapid Environmental Change on Thursday, September 1, 12:15 p.m. The free lecture takes place in the Coe Auditorium at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.
An Associate Professor within the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming, Chalfoun and her graduate students study wildlife-habitat relationships and the effects of anthropogenic (human-caused) habitat changes on multiple species including songbirds, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals within diverse Wyoming systems such as sagebrush steppe, grasslands, riparian habitats, and alpine.
To illustrate these key habitat challenges, Chalfoun’s talk includes discussion of some Wyoming case studies including the influence of natural gas development on sagebrush steppe-obligate songbirds, and what climate change may mean for two alpine wildlife species, the black rosy-finch and American pika. Chalfoun notes, “Understanding wildlife responses to human-induced habitat change and the underlying mechanisms responsible for those effects is of critical importance.”
Chalfoun also serves as Assistant Unit Leader for Wildlife at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, where her primary role is to train graduate students in wildlife science, and work with the nongame division of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other agencies to address key questions related to the species of greatest conservation concern within the state.
Chalfoun earned her master’s degree from the University of Missouri in Wildlife Sciences, and her PhD in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana. She has authored several articles in top peer-reviewed ecology and conservation biology journals, and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012.
To learn more about Lunchtime Expeditions and other natural science programs at the Center, contact Draper Museum Curatorial Assistant Bonnie Smith at [email protected] or 307-578-4020, or explore centerofthewest.org/explore/greater-yellowstone-natural-history. At the October 13 talk, Dr. Doug Smith discusses the wolves of Yellowstone since their reintroduction more than 20 years ago.
For the Center’s full calendar of events, explore centerofthewest.org/calendar.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page.