Understanding Wolf Behavior, Pack Dynamics, and Conservation Efforts
June 14 @ 9:00 am - June 16 @ 4:30 pm EDT$200 – $400
Dr. Jason Badridze will be discussing the ontogeny of cognitive skills in the gray wolf. His discussion will cover reasoning, extrapolation, social behavior, the role of play in pack structure, and learned skills, including hunting behaviors. He will also discuss his method for training captive bred animals for reintroduction into natural habitats, which although developed with wolves, may be applied to other large mammals. Jason will also talk about the two years he spent with a wolf pack in Georgia.
Nelson Hodges, Director of the Canine – Human Relationship Institute will be discussing the ancient history of Wolves, Canids, and how and when dogs came into existence. Details will include the blending of various scientific disciplines to understand the genetic make-up and archaeological records of ancient canid lineages.
Dr. Nino Badridze will be discussing contrasts in public policy addressing endangered species in a variety of countries. She will also speak about what may be learned from the successes and failures in practice, both in this country, and abroad. Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation at the Endangered Wolf Center, will be discussing historical and recent efforts to save and repatriate the Mexican Gray Wolf and other species of endangered predators. She will also address the need for apex predators in the North American landscape.
Saturday dinner and auction to benefit Mexican Gray Wolf and Red Wolf recovery efforts
Auction will include photos taken by Dr. Badridze during his time with the wolves and many other valuable items.
Lunch will be served daily.
Jason Badridze, PhD, has spent his life living with, studying, and understanding wolves. He has been a powerful influence in reviving the wolf
populations in Georgia by reintroducing captive bred animals into the wild. Dr. Jason Badridze began studying wolf behavior in 1973 in the country of Georgia, which at the time was one of the Soviet republics. His interests focused on behavioral and cognitive development during the ontogenesis, as well as feeding and social behavior. Jason spent two years following a wolf pack in Central Georgia, sharing their trails and hunting with them. The numbers of the Gray Wolf were very low at the time, due in part, to long standing government instituted bounty on the animal. Jason was determined to save the wolf population in Georgia and by integrating his experimental research with his observations in the wild, he devised a method for reintroducing captive bred animals into their natural habitats. A total of 22 captive raised wolves (four packs) were released by his research group over the years. Each of these packs was successful in the wild and produced multiple generations of offspring, passing down the knowledge they had obtained through the training before their release. The subsequent generations remained averse to signs of human activity and did not prey on domestic animals, while becoming effective predators of their natural prey species. Jason currently is working on a number of manuscripts and is a professor at Ilia State University of Georgia.
Nelson Hodges, IACP, CDT, CDTA, PDTI, CIS, of the Canine – Human Relationship Institute has worked in animal behavior and rehabilitation for
over 40 years. He specializes in canine behavior, helping others to understand the nature, intelligence, language and motivations of canines. He is the founder of, Director and primary instructor at, the Human – Canine Relationship Institute.
Nino Badridze, PhD, daughter of Dr. Jason Badridze, grew up studying, raising and working with wolves in the country of Georgia. The former Soviet government had a long-standing bounty on all wolves; her father paid for wolf cubs, and in turn, the government allowed the adult wolves to live. Nino moved to the United States in 1992 to work as a biologist on the Red Wolf Recovery Project at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. She has pursued her passion for teaching and currently teaches courses in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Psychology at Ramapo College of New Jersey.
Regina Mossotti, MS, began working as a wolf keeper at the Endangered Wolf Center (EWC) after college. She went on to pursue her Master’s of Science in Zoology, researching cheetah mating behaviors. After obtaining her MS, Regina worked as a biologist, researching wolf behavior in the wild, as part of the Yellowstone Wolf Project. She returned to the EWC in 2011, where she is currently the Director of Animal Care and Conservation. Regina serves on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) Management Teams for the Red Wolf, Mexican Wolf and African Painted Dog. Jaime Pinkham, A.S., Forestry, Peninsula College B.S., Forestry, Oregon State University, is a citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe. In 2009 he became Vice President of the Bush Foundation, a private foundation started in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush in St. Paul, MN. He led the Foundation’s Native nations program where he worked with tribes across North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota as they redesigned their governing systems. His work led to the creation of the Native Governance Center, a native led non-profit delivering technical support to tribes in government redesign. In early 2016 he became a loaned executive to the Center as a Senior Advisor to assist in their startup. He spent the previous two decades in the Pacific Northwest advocating for tribal sovereignty, self-determination and treaty rights. Before joining the Bush Foundation, he worked for the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission as Watershed Department Manager and supported the Commission in regional coordination and Congressional affairs. From 1990 to 2002 he worked for the Nez Perce Tribe where he was elected twice to the
Nez Perce Tribe’s governing body successfully retaining the position of Treasurer as the tribe was launching into gaming. He also led the tribe’s
natural resource programs and was involved in salmon restoration, water rights negotiations, wolf recovery and land acquisition.