Wolf Populations in Yellowstone National Park
By Doug Smith
October 3, 2019
Join us for our October Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expedition lecture. Doug Smith, Senior Wildlife Biologist in Yellowstone National Park, gives us an update on populations and dynamics of the wolves of Yellowstone National Park. The talks in this series are free, and take place in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Coe Auditorium the first Thursday of the month.
About our speaker
Douglas W. Smith, PhD, is a Senior Wildlife Biologist in Yellowstone National Park. He supervises the wolf, bird, and elk programs—formerly three jobs now combined into one under his supervision. His original job was the Project Leader for the Yellowstone Wolf Project, which involved the reintroduction and restoration of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. He helped establish this project and position. Smith received a BS degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Idaho in 1985. While working toward this degree, he became involved with studies of wolves and moose on Isle Royale with Rolf Peterson, which led to long-term involvement (1979–1994) with this study as well as a MS degree in Biology under Peterson at Michigan Technological University in 1988. Smith then moved to the University of Nevada-Reno where he received his PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology in 1997 under Stephen H. Jenkins.
Smith has published a wide variety of journal articles and book chapters on beavers, wolves, and birds, and has co-authored three popular books on wolves (The Wolves of Yellowstone and Decade of the Wolf, which won the 2005 Montana book award for best book published in Montana) as well as publishing numerous popular articles. The third book, Wolves on the Hunt, came out in May 2016, and his fourth book summarizing wolf restoration in Yellowstone is due out in a year. He has participated in numerous of documentaries about wolves for National Geographic and British Broadcasting Company (BBC), as well as participating in other media. He is interviewed widely—with about 2,000 media interviews to his credit—and speaks often about wolves to audiences all over the world. Smith is a member of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team, the Re-Introduction Specialist Group, and Canid Specialist Group for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He has studied wolves for forty years. Besides wolves, birds, elk, and beavers, he is an avid canoeist, preferring to travel mostly in the remote regions of northern Canada with his wife Christine and their two sons, Sawyer and Hawken.
Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expeditions are supported in part by Sage Creek Ranch and the Nancy-Carroll Draper Foundation.
Join us the first Thursday of each month February through December for a Lunchtime Expedition! These free lectures explore a variety of natural history subjects and issues. Lectures take place in our Coe Auditorium at 12:15 p.m. and are free and open to the public.