Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | Doors open at 6:30p.m.; light refreshments will be served (Snow date, February 3rd)
Ages: Adults and children over 10
Cost: Advanced ticket sales have closed. There will be a limited number of $10 tickets available at the door until sold out.
Location: The News Bank Conference Center (352 Main Street in Chester, Vermont)
Need a reason to come out of hibernation this winter? Join Susan Morse, nationally known wildlife ecologist and tracker, and The Nature Museum for “Coming Soon: The Cougar Comes East.” Morse, one of the most experienced naturalists in the United States, will present her findings on cougars returning to the East. "We need our apex carnivores in a big way," Morse says. "We need them for the health of our forests.” In some areas of the east, the absence of apex predators has led to a surplus of deer, which have then ravaged the understory and ground levels of vegetation.
Vermont's last known cougar, also known as a mountain lion or catamount, was killed in 1881 in Barnard. A cougar, now stuffed, is on display at The Nature Museum in Grafton. In 2011, a cougar was hit by a car and killed on a Connecticut highway. Subsequent DNA testing found that the animal was from South Dakota. There is no question about it: cougars are not only being seen in eastern North America, some are attempting to recolonize their former habitats. Where once it was flatly dismissed as an impossibility in the so-called “developed” east, scientists have now documented cougar dispersals and occupancy of a growing list of eastern states and provinces. Join us for a magnificently illustrated introduction to cougar biology and ecology in the broad diversity of habitats where Sue has studied them, from Alberta to the Mexican border. We will also get the low-down regarding the latest confirmations of cougars in the east, including the recently documented suitability of a substantial amount of wild habitats from Manitoba to Louisiana and Maine to Georgia.
This program is geared for adults and children over 10, and is designed to be an educational workshop for wild animal lovers and conservationists.
About Sue Morse
Sue Morse is a nationally recognized naturalist and habitat specialist with forty years of experience tracking and monitoring wildlife uses of habitat throughout North America. When not in the field conducting research, leading training programs or photographing wildlife, Sue can often be found presenting her findings and award-winning images to a wide range of audiences, including the general public, conservation leaders and students of all ages. She has been monitoring wildlife since 1977, with an emphasis on documenting the presence and habitat requirements of bobcat, black bear, Canada lynx and cougar. Sue lives in Jericho, Vermont at the edge of a rich and diverse forest which she has helped conserve and which serves as a living laboratory for her own wildlife research and the training of wildlife monitoring teams.