The Sci-Files – 03/08/2020 – Nick Jaffe – Gray Wolves

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

This week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts Chelsie and Danny interview Nick Jaffe. Nick is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Fisheries and Wildlife. Nick studies gray wolf movement, behavior, and conflict with people.

Over the last 25 years, gray wolves have successfully recolonized the entirety of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP). Wolves have, on multiple occasions, also crossed over to the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP) of Michigan, highlighting the potential for continued expansion. If wolves did recolonize the NLP, they would find a much larger population of prey (mainly white-tailed deer and elk) and much denser human population, which would likely lead to conflict. Nick’s research works to anticipate this challenge using agent-based modeling to predict when, where, and how many wolves could recolonize the NLP. The goal of this research is to help prepare wildlife agencies, inform policymakers, and minimize human-wildlife conflict.

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