When Carnivores Become Neighbors

Experts at the Pace Academy discuss what it means to restore Westchester’s carnivores to their native habitats and how it will affect the county’s human inhabitants.

On Thursday, October 11 join the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies as they gather together to discuss what it means to rewild Westchester County and what the restoration of carnivores will mean for the community.

Carnivores provide essential ecological benefits and play a unique role in preserving and maintaining ecosystems. When carnivores are locally extirpated, ecosystems are imbalanced and unhealthy. Changing landscapes and the ability of some carnivores to adapt to human-dominated settings has led to increased human-carnivore interactions in Westchester County.

Intolerance and misinformation can impede the restoration and conservation of these important animals. Efforts to rewild Westchester with carnivores must consider the ecological, ethical, and social aspects of predators and people coexisting.

Conrad Reining, eastern program director of the Wildlands Network, will open the forum with a keynote  address that will introduce the idea of thinking “eco-regionally” and the importance of large, well-connected habitats. After which, Michelle Land, director of the Pace Academy, will moderate a roundtable discussion featuring Reining, Dyson Professor Melissa Grigione, PhD, director of the graduate program in Environmental Science and co-founder of Bordercats Working Group, and Pace Law Professor and Director of the Brazil-American Institute for Law and Environment David Cassuto. These experts will explore how we as a community can embrace and manage this phenomenon and how wildlife managers and urban planners can rewild Westchester with predator species, while also mitigating avoiding harmful impacts to the County’s citizens.

For more information, visit www.pace.edu/paaes