We are thrilled for our first presentation of our 2017-18 Winter Speaker Series, featuring Aly Courtemanch, a wildlife biologist with the Wyoming Department of Game & Fish (WGF). Join us on Tuesday, November 7, at the Teton County Library at 6:00 p.m. for the presentation.
Currently one of the biologists for the Jackson area with WGF, Aly received her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University and an M.S. in Wyoming Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research at the University of Wyoming. She has studied raptors, sage grouse, elk, bison, black bears, and the Teton population of bighorn sheep. Internationally, she has studied livestock effects on wild range in Kenya and agoutis in Panama. Along with her position with Game & Fish, she currently serves as the President of the Board of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, a position she has held since 2015.
Aly’s presentation will focus on the effects backcountry recreation can have on ungulates in winter, a good reminder as to why we run our Don’t Poach the Powder campaign. This campaign, aimed at bringing awareness to the needs of wildlife during our long, cold winters and informing backcountry recreationists which areas are closed seasonally to protect wildlife habitat, is of vital importance now that cold weather has returned. As people who love wildlife, we have a responsibility to know before we go which backcountry areas serve as critical winter habitat and migration pathways for wildlife and are closed seasonally to protect wildlife.
Title: Life on the edge: history, status, and conservation concerns of Teton Range bighorn sheep
Summary: The Teton Range is home to a small population of bighorn sheep whose conservation status is of concern due to a declining population, isolation from neighboring herds, low genetic diversity, and loss of historical winter ranges. This presentation discusses the history, current status, and concerns surrounding the future of the herd. We highlight the conservation measures taken to shore up the herd’s future and the challenges the herd still faces for long-term persistence. We will also discuss the findings of recent research on the impacts of backcountry skiing on the herd and the importance of Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance’s Don’t Poach the Powder program.
Aly Courtemanch is a Wildife Biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in Jackson. Her work includes managing the many ungulate populations in and around Jackson Hole, including elk, moose, bison, mule deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep. She completed her undergraduate degree at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York and her Master’s degree at the University of Wyoming. Research for her Master’s degree focused on the Teton bighorn sheep herd.
Sarah Dewey is a Wildlife Biologist at Grand Teton National Park, where she has worked since 2003. Her research interests include predator-prey ecology and animal movements and spatial ecology, including migrations. Sarah’s work in Jackson Hole has included investigations of elk, moose, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mesocarnivores, wildlife-vehicle collisions, and wolf pack dynamics and predation patterns. Sarah is a graduate of Colby College in Maine and Colorado State University where she earned an MS in Wildlife Biology.