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The Wolf Connection

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Welcome to 'The Wolf Connection' podcast where we will be exploring the intricate bond between humans and wolves, seeking to better understand our true relationship with one of humankind's earliest teachers; the wolf. Re-discovering this human-wolf connection and remembering the primal wisdom may prove to be essential to our development as individuals, the cultivation of productive societies, and sustainable civilization on this planet. Our discussions will include the experiences had by our visitors, students and staff during programs, events, and day-to-day operations at Wolf Connection, the dynamics of the wolf pack at Wolf Connection, wolves in the wild and their impact on the national landscape, and stories of human and wolf empowerment through all facets of the organization and beyond! For more than a decade, people have visited the land at Wolf Connection and experienced life changing bonds and interactions gained valuable knowledge from our pack of 30+ wolves and wolf-dogs located in Acton, CA , which is just an hour north of Los Angeles.
48 Episodes
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Adrian Wydeven is a former Wildlife Biologist and Wildlife Manager for the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin. He headed up the Wisconsin wolf recovery program that included intense monitoring of the state wolf population from 1990 through 2013. He is currently a member of the conservation group Wisconsin's Green Fire and chair of the Timber Wolf Alliance. Adrian spoke about his time as a wildlife manager and biologist, the intricacies of Wisconsin's wildlife landscape and his role with wolves in the state both past and present. Timber Wolf Alliance Wisconsin's Green Fire @wolfconnection
Delia Malone is the Wildlife Chair for the Sierra Club's Colorado Chapter and an Ecologist with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Delia spoke about the ecological impacts that the wolf reintroduction could have on Colorado's West Slope, the history of wolves in Colorado and how the state is managing expectations for the reintroduction. Rocky Mountain Wolf ProjectSierra Club ColoradoWolf Connection
Wolf Connection's Pack Services Manager, Elena Albanese, joins John, Stephen, and Renee to share their personal stories from their recent trip to Yellowstone National Park. They also recall the changing dynamics between bison and elk within the park and discuss the possibility of wolves evolving to kill larger prey.Wolf Connection@calfanation@srprodllc@reneealfero22@elena_ny2ca
Podcast Producer Stephen Rivera, Wolf Connection Behavior Specialist Renee Alfero,  and host John Calfa recap their recent experience in Yellowstone National Park. Learn more about the amazing people they met, new information about wolves, Yellowstone’s ecosystem, and how humans affect the wildlife inside the park. Wolf Connection@wolfconnection@srprodllc@calfanation
Adrian Treves is the founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab based in Madison, Wisconsin. His research focuses on ecology, law, and human dimensions of ecosystems in which crop and livestock ownership overlaps the habitat of large carnivores from coyotes up to grizzly bears. Adrian earned his PhD at Harvard University in 1997 and is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Adrian spoke about his start in carnivore coexistence in Africa, the parallels he saw with wolves in North America and the dynamics of wolf recovery and management in Wisconsin. Wolf ConnectionAdrian TrevesCarnivore Coexistence Lab (Wolves) 
Ellen has studied and investigated the effects of pathogen infections on social groups within wolf and elk populations in Yellowstone National Park. Her research is focused in canine distemper virus, sarcoptic mange, and chronic wasting disease. She has also been involved in research that informs wolf management, such as disease risk analyses for endangered species act petitions and wolf re-introductions. Ellen spoke about the effects of these diseases & pathogens in wolf packs and how they can impact multiple facets of their life. Ellen Brandell@eeeeeeb8Wolf Connection
Karin is the founder and director of Working Circle, a comprehensive community-based program dedicated to supporting working ranch stewardship to ensure that wolves, livestock, and people can thrive on shared landscapes in today's world. The effort continues to focus on sustainable and long-term strategies to reduce wolf-livestock conflict; strategies that unite rather than divide the values and views of urban and rural communities surrounding sustainable ranching and large predator conservation.Karin spoke about her path to working with wolves, Working Circle's mission and personal experiences from her career.Working CircleWolf Connection   
Rachel Tilseth has been a volunteer winter wolf tracker for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources since 2000. Rachel has also worked with the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program since 1998. She is an author for the Wolves of Douglas County News website as well as artist, educator and environmentalist. Rachel joined us to discuss the recent wolf hunt in Wisconsin that took place in February of 2021, and the steps that are being taken to change how wolves are managed in the state.Wolves of Douglas County WisconsinWisconsin Wolf Management PlanWolf Connection
Wendi McLendon-Covey is an actress and comedian who stars in the television series Reno 911!  (Comedy Central) & The Goldbergs (ABC) and played a supporting role in the movie Bridesmaids (2011). She has been in multiple movies and television shows over the course of her career and is currently involved in three new releases:  Sylvie's Love, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, and Long Weekend. Wendi spoke to us about her career and the profound effect Wolf Connection has had on her since first visiting. Wendi and her husband Greg have sponsored Annie for the last few years and continue to be supportive members of our pack. @wendimclendoncoveyThe Goldbergs@wolfconnection  
Suzanne has spent over 30+ years looking to restore wolves to the Rockies and Pacific Northwest. She was a member of both the Idaho and Yellowstone wolf reintroduction teams that restored wolves to central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. She is co-founder of the Wood River Wolf Project which promotes the coexistence of livestock and wolves by proactively using non-lethal  measures to prevent depredation. Suzanne spoke about her experiences in the Idaho wolf reintroduction project, the mission and success of the Wood River Wolf Project, and how their non-lethal methods are being used across the globe.Wood River Wolf ProjectInternational Wildlife Coexistence NetworkWolf Connection
Mike Phillips has played a key role in wolf conservation and recovery for 40+ years. He was part of the red wolf & gray wolf recovery efforts in the 1990's and is a founding member of the Turner Endangered Species Fund and Turner Biodiversity Divisions. As a former Democratic legislator in Montana, Mike helped inform the public about Colorado Proposition 114, which will be reintroducing gray wolves back to Colorado west of the continental divide. Mike offered his thoughts on the Colorado wolf reintroduction project, his work throughout the years, and the state of wolves & our natural world as it stands today.Rocky Mountain Wolf ProjectTurner Endangered Species FundWolf Connection   
Carter Niemeyer retired from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 2006 as the Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the state of Idaho. He was an integral part of the Federal Wolf Reintroduction in both Yellowstone and Idaho. Carter has authored two books, Wolfer and Wolf Land which can be purchased through multiple book retailers. He spoke about growing up in Iowa, his time spent as a government trapper and the experiences he had as he helped bring wolves back into the western United States. CarterNiemeyer.comWolfer & Wolf Land wolfconnection.org
**Click the link to view Kate's pictures that we discuss on the podcast**  https://www.instagram.com/p/CLe9h2eAgtg/?igshid=sg4hdl5rcgp1Kate Ochsman is a wildlife photographer, certified South African Safari Guide and conservationist. She has traveled the globe photographing, guiding and conserving wildlife until it landed her in Montana - on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park. Kate spoke about her artistic process and the techniques she uses while taking photographs of animals, all while being non-invasive to the natural landscape. She shared with us 4 photos of wolves that have impacted her on a personal level. Her work can be seen at the links below.KateOchsman.com@kateochsmanWolf Connection
Maddy Jackson is a Project Technician with the Yellowstone Wolf Project. She is currently working on studies pertaining to wolf scat and the information that can be gathered non-invasively from wolf packs. She has a B.S. in Ecology/Evolution/Behavior from the University of Minnesota and currently resides in Gardiner, Montana. Maddy described growing up in Minnesota close to the Superior National Forest & The Boundary Waters. She talks about her work for wolves in Minnesota, Idaho and Yellowstone and the studies she's conducting with the Yellowstone Wolf Project. @mountain_maddyInternational Wolf CenterWildlife Science CenterWolf Connection
Taylor Bland has been a wildlife guide and wolf observer for over 2 years with Yellowstone Wolf Tracker. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Zoology, studied abroad at Kruger National Park in South Africa and now sits on the board of the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.Taylor talks about her guiding style when she takes groups around Yellowstone. She also discusses the effects she sees that photography and videography are having on wolves in the park and how wolves may be becoming habituated to human presence inside and outside the park. Yellowstone Wolf Tracker@taylorlbland@wolfconnection
Jack Rabe is currently obtaining his Master's Degree in Conservation Sciences at the University of Minnesota in conjunction with the Yellowstone Wolf/Elk/Cougar projects. Jack has studied all 3 species at length as a Biological Technician and examined the dynamics they have within Yellowstone National Park. He has a B.S. in Forest, Fishery and Wildlife from The Ohio State University. Jack discusses prey sites of elk and bison, how wolves & cougars differ in the way meat is consumed on a carcass and how they impact each other on the landscape. We also touch on possible migration shifts in elk & bison out west and how that is affecting wolf packs in Yellowstone National Park. @jrabe21Cougars in Yellowstone National ParkCycles and Process in Yellowstone National Park@wolfconnection
Dylan Sanborn is an Avian Field Technician and Park Ranger in Yellowstone National Park. He has studied corvids and raptors for the last few years and their impact on the environment inside the park. Dylan joined us to discuss the unique dynamic between birds and wolves - specifically ravens - since wolves have rejoined the landscape. He spoke about foraging strategies and pack detections used by different bird species, and gave us his thoughts on the future of wolves being reintroduced into Colorado.  @hikingbirdYellowstone Bird Studies@wolfconnection
Rick Lamplugh is an Amazon best selling author who has written 3 books, including In The Temple of Wolves: A Winter's Immersion in Wild Yellowstone, and Deep Into Yellowstone: A Year's Immersion in Grandeur & Controversy. A naturalist and wildlife advocate, Rick weaves his knowledge and experience into all of his works.  He writes and speaks about wildlife to help preserve wild lands across the United States.Rick spoke to us about In The Temple of Wolves, his experiences within Yellowstone National Park and the advocacy work he's currently involved in on behalf of wolves in the United States.Rick Lamplugh Books on AmazonRick Lamplugh BlogRick Lamplugh on Facebook
Wolf Tracker, Naturalist and Field Biologist Nathan Varley studied the relationship and impact between wolves and elk in Yellowstone National Park for almost 20 years. He was involved in the Yellowstone Gray Wolf Recovery Project and studied the environmental impacts of reintroducing wolves to the park. Nathan and his wife Linda Thurston now run a wildlife guide service called Yellowstone Wolf Tracker where they specialize in providing a rich natural history experience to see wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.Nathan discusses growing up with Yellowstone in his backyard, the time spent studying wolves, elk and the ecosystems since the reintroduction and starting his own wildlife guide service. @wolftrackerYellowstone Wolf Tracker Company@wolfconnection
Wolf Tales explores the journeys of Wolf Connection's staff and volunteers explaining how they made their way to Wolf Connection and the impact that the wolves and the organization has had on their lives.Stephen Rivera relocated to Los Angeles from Connecticut at 23 years old and joined Wolf Connection in 2018. He has immersed himself in all forms of media at Wolf Connection from photography, videography and musical production. Stephen is also the co-host and producer of 'The Wolf Connection' podcast and helps with the care, feeding and enrichment of the pack at Wolf Connection.When he's not with the wolves, Stephen runs his own production company called SR Productions LLC where he collaborates on many different projects for music and film. @srprodllcStephen Rivera Link Tree@wolfconnection
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