“Rewilding the Adirondacks” is the theme for this year’s 8th Annual Adirondack Habitat Awareness Day, which will be held this Sunday, September 6th, from 10 am to 5 pm, at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehab Center, at 977 Springfield Road in Wilmington.
In addition to discussions about the return of megafauna like wolves, elk, and cougars to the Adirondacks, visitors will be able to encounter wolves, eagles, coyote, fox, bobcat, porcupine, owls, hawks and falcons and learn about critter tracks and the sounds heard while camping or hiking.
On hand will be wildlife rehabilitators such as Wendy Hall who helped a huge eagle recover from lead poisoning, for a successful return to the wild in April, and rehabbed a severely undersized and malnourished young black bear, who came into the refuge weighing just 22 pounds in May, and was released as a healthy 90-pound bear in August.
John Davis and Kathy Henley of Wildlands Network will discuss the benefits of rewilding the Adirondacks including the example of what happened in the greater Yellowstone National Park ecosystem and the local economies when wolves returned. They will also discuss the role safe passage corridors between parks like Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada, the Adirondack State Park and the Catskill State Park and the potential of megafauna to return on their own.
Jon Way, of Eastern Coyote Research, will discuss Adirodnack canids today, in the past, and their possible future including explanations of coywolves, coydogs, gray wolves, and eastern wolves.
Peter Bauer of Protect the Adirondacks will trace the local natural history of the mountain lion, from its previous role in our ecosystem, to its decline, and how its status today.
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge will have three gray wolves in their new, enlarged half acre enclosure. Steve and Alex Hall will discuss the role of wolves as keystone predators, the evolution of dogs from wolves, and the impact dogs have had on our culture, from farming to security to their emerging roles as service animals in healthcare.