Press Release: 01/09/2015

Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series Presents, “Wolves of California: The Long Journey Home”

Contact:
Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130 (510) 632-9525 ext. 122
nmora@oaklandzoo.org amy@oaklandzoo.org


Oakland, CA – On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, the public is invited to attend a Conservation Speaker Series focused on the California Wolf Center and efforts to reintroduce the gray wolf to California.

Oakland Zoo welcomes guest speaker Karin Vardaman, Director of the California Wolf Center. Ms. Vardaman will share an inspiring conservation story of the gray wolf and its possible return, after being absent in the state for decades. “Oakland Zoo is honored to welcome Karin Vardaman and the California Wolf Center to our Conservation Speaker Series,” said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo. “We hope wolves will inhabit California once again, and we are committed to being part of their secure future. We know public education about this charismatic animal is crucial to their success, and partnering with California Wolf Center is a wonderful step in that direction”.

This lecture will focus on how the human wildlife conflict played a role in this issue and how the California Wolf Center is working to forge a visionary path for wolf recovery that focuses on solutions, instead of conflict. “California is in the midst of what could be one of the most inspirational conservation stories in our state's history,” said Karin Vardaman, Director of California Wolf Center. “We are very excited to partner with Oakland Zoo in sharing the story of wolves in California.” Oakland Zoo is committed to taking action for wildlife, and conservation is at the center of our mission. We are deeply involved with conservation efforts globally, locally and right on our own zoo grounds. As we move closer to the opening of our California Trail Exhibit, our focus on California wildlife will expand even further. We are dedicated to working in partnership with organizations, like the California Wolf Center, to create a state that will serve as a protected home for wolves.

The Conservation Speaker Series will take place in Oakland Zoo’s Zimmer Auditorium, located in the lower entrance of the Zoo. Parking is free and the admission price for the evening’s speaker presentations is $12.00 - $20.00 per person (sliding scale). All proceeds from this event will be donated to the California Wolf Center. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information about Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series, please contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director.

ABOUT WOLVES:
Wolves are extremely social animals who live in packs of 2 to 36 individuals. They work in remarkably complex packs and communicate in a variety of ways, including vocalizations, eye contact, facial expressions, body movement and posture, and scent marking. The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone has clearly demonstrated that they play an important role as engineers of biodiversity, helping to keep the essential balance of predator and prey species which results in healthy waterways, vegetation growth, and food for scavenger species. Wolves have been absent from the state of California for nearly 90 years, after being eradicated in the early 20th century through an extermination campaign. Their conservation challenge, whether real or based solely on myth and fear, is human-wildlife conflict. Both Oakland Zoo and the California Wolf Center are concerned about these issues and committed to creating a state that will serve as a protected home for wolves.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA WOLF CENTER:
The California Wolf Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the recovery of wolves in the wild lands they once roamed. They work to forge a visionary path for wolf recovery that focuses on solutions, instead of the conflict that often pervades wolf recovery elsewhere. It is also a one-of-a-kind, conservation, education, and research center dedicated to wolf recovery in the wild. Founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, the Center is currently home to several packs of gray wolves, some of which play an important role in their educational programs. These wolves serve as ambassadors representing wolves in the wild. The California Wolf Center is also host highly endangered Mexican gray wolves, now being reintroduced into the southwestern United States. A visit to the Center provides a unique experience involving one of the most charismatic and controversial species in North American history.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.