The Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute announced today that it has hired wolf biologist Adrian Wydeven to head its Timber Wolf Alliance program.
“When it comes to understanding wolves, there is no one better qualified than Adrian,” said Mark Peterson, SOEI executive director.
Wydeven retired from the Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife biologist earlier this year after over thirty-two years working for the agency, and served on the Timber Wolf Alliance advisory council since 1990. He headed up the Wisconsin wolf recovery program that included intense monitoring of the state wolf population from 1990 through 2013.
Northland College started the Timber Wolf Alliance in 1987 with the Wisconsin DNR and other organizations to promote wolf recovery and educate people about wolves in the state. In the early 1990s, TWA expanded to promote wolf recovery into Michigan as wolves began to recolonize that state.
“Wolves are still controversial and the issues around wolves are more complex,” Wydeven said. “I look forward to helping TWA continue to be a leader in promoting science-based conservation, sound management, and public education about wolves.”
Wydeven previously was senior editor of “Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States: An Endangered Species Success Story,” and recently wrote a chapter for “Wild Wolves We Have Known.” He is author of forty-two papers on wolves.
Wydeven recently coauthored a paper with Northland College professor Erik Olson that argues that pendulum swings in wolf management have led to conflict, poaching, and a legislated wolf hunt. Their research now provides the first demonstrated link between illegal wildlife killing and the lack of authority that the regional resource managers have under the Endangered Species Act.
The paper appeared last fall in the journal Conservation Letters; another version will be published in the International Wolf Center magazine later this fall.
Wydeven says he hopes to raise the prominence of TWA in promoting good science regarding wolves and sound conservation practices.
“TWA has always had strong working relationships with both the Wisconsin and Michigan DNRs,” he said. “I hope to continue those relationships and to work toward making wolf management more inclusive.”
Specifically he hopes to add more voices—like the tribes—to the conversation around wolves.
“There’s still is a lot of misinformation regarding wolves,” he said. “Such misinformation about wolves caused them to disappear from the state in the first place. In the past, TWA provided educational programs that allowed wolves to return to Wisconsin and Michigan on their own.”
He hopes to continue that tradition, by responding quickly to correct misleading information “so we can continue to maintain healthy populations of wolves in our region.”
To find out more about the Timber Wolf Alliance or about the upcoming Wolf Awareness Week October 12-18 visit northland.edu/twa.