Recent sightings of black bears, cougars, and wolves in the Chicago area have garnered significant public attention. These species are reclaiming their historic ranges in the Midwest. While this is a national conservation success story, it presents new challenges for residents and wildlife managers across the Chicago region as we learn how best to co-exist with these animals.

The one-day workshop will bring together more than 200 local and national experts consisting of wildlife professionals, educators, and other stakeholders, who will lead discussions on the biology and ecology of black bears, cougars, and wolves as well as share information and knowledge, identify needs, and build partnerships to address the wildlife management and community relations aspects of living with these three large carnivore species in Illinois. This workshop is also the first step in developing a coordinated, regional strategy.

The schedule of speakers include:

  • Stuart Strahl, Ph.D., Chicago Zoological Society—Opening Remarks
  • Stanley D. Gehrt, Ph.D., Ohio State University and Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation— Shifting Carnivores, Shifting People: Chicago Coyotes Set the Stage for Larger Species
  • Suzanne Malec-McKenna, Ph.D.—Collaborative Wildlife Management within the Chicago Wilderness Alliance
  • Robert C. Willging, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, Rhinelander, WI—Management of Black Bear – Human Conflicts in Wisconsin
  • John Hart, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, Grand Rapids, MN—Management of Wolf-Human Conflicts in Minnesota
  • Doug Dufford, Wildlife Diseases and Invasive Wildlife Program, Illinois Department of Natural Resources—Large Carnivores in the Land of Lincoln – Department of Natural Resources Preparations For Large Carnivores in Illinois
  • Julia B. Smith, Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, Arizona Game and Fish Department—Illinois Resident Attitudes Toward Recolonizing Large Carnivores
  • Adrian Treves, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison—Predators and the public trust: predicting and preventing poaching and predation on property
  • Gary Glowacki, Lake County Forest Preserves—Closing Remarks/Wrap-up 

This workshop is supported by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA Wildlife Services, and the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo. Additional planning partners include: Animalia Project, Center for Humans and Nature, EcoMyths, the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University, and Lake County Forest Preserves.

Where:  Brookfield Zoo’s Discovery Center, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield 

When:   Thursday, September 25, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Contact: For further information or if you would like to cover this workshop, please contact Sondra Katzen, (708) 688-8351 or (708) 903-2071 (cell)