Thursday, May 18
John Laundre: ‘Predators and Fear: Aiding Survival of Ground-Nesting Birds
John Laundre has studied large mammal predator-prey ecology for over 30 years in the western U.S. and northern Mexico; including working with cougars, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, deer, elk, bison, and bighorn sheep. His study of cougar ecology and behavior is one of the longest to date, 17 years.
He originated the concept of the landscape of fear, proposing that fear of prey for their predators drives many, if not all ecological processes. The one important aspect of this concept is that predators become instrumental in maintaining the balance between prey species and their habitat, not so much by killing their prey but affecting how they use the landscape.
He is author of the book Phantoms of the Prairie: The Return of Cougars to the Midwest, that looks at the phenomenon of cougars actually returning to the Great Plains region of the U.S.
John is a native of Wisconsin and received his Bachelors and Masters degrees there, going on for his PhD at Idaho State University in 1979. He currently lives in western Oregon where he is “semi-retired” and teaching part-time at Western Oregon University. He is the Vice President of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation whose goal is the eventual re-establishment of viable cougar populations in the Eastern U.S.