USFWS Acting Director Visits the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center’s Wood Bison Handling Facility and Experimental Reintroduction Herd

wood bison calf (photo by Doug Lindstrand)On June 29th, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Acting Director, Rowan W. Gould and Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ADF&G) endangered species coordinator, Doug Vincent-Lang, and colleagues visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) to see the experimental reintroduction herd of wood bison that will soon be released into the wild. Mike Miller, the Center’s executive director, and wildlife planner in charge of the wood bison restoration program, Randy Rogers, greeted the distinguished guests.  The visitors toured around the 200 acre facility which is home to native Alaskan wildlife and over 100 wood bison including multiple generations of offspring from founder stock originating from Canada’s Elk Island.

Wood bison are the northern subspecies of American bison and the largest terrestrial mammals in the Western hemisphere. The AWCC had over 20 calves born this year. The calves will be part of an inaugural herd to be introduced into the Alaskan Interior in the next few years. The AWCC once exhibited plains bison, the more common and better known subspecies found in the Lower 48. For more information on the wood bison, please visit this earlier post

Just a week prior, Senator Lisa Murkowski visited the Center to see the wood bison program.

Human Journey

Meet the Author
With training in wildlife ecology, conservation medicine and comparative psychology, Dr. Schaul's contributions to Nat Geo Voices have covered a range of environmental and social topics. He draws particular attention to the plight of imperiled species highlighting issues at the juncture or nexus of sorta situ wildlife conservation and applied animal welfare. Sorta situ conservation practices are comprised of scientific management and stewardship of animal populations ex situ (in captivity / 'in human care') and in situ (free-ranging / 'in nature'). He also has a background in behavior management and training of companion animals and captive wildlife, as well as conservation marketing and digital publicity. Jordan has shared interviews with colleagues and public figures, as well as editorial news content. In addition, he has posted narratives describing his own work, which include the following examples: • Restoration of wood bison to the Interior of Alaska while (While Animal Curator at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and courtesy professor at the University of Alaska) • Rehabilitation of orphaned sloth bears exploited for tourists in South Asia (While executive consultant 'in-residence' at the Agra Bear Rescue Center managed by Wildlife SOS) • Censusing small wild cat (e.g. ocelot and margay) populations in the montane cloud forests of Costa Rica for popular publications with 'The Cat Whisperer' Mieshelle Nagelschneider • Evaluating the impact of ecotourism on marine mammal population stability and welfare off the coast of Mexico's Sea of Cortez (With Boston University's marine science program) Jordan was a director on boards of non-profit wildlife conservation organizations serving nations in Africa, North and South America and Southeast Asia. He is also a consultant to a human-wildlife conflict mitigation organization in the Pacific Northwest. Following animal curatorships in Alaska and California, he served as a charter board member of a zoo advocacy and outreach organization and later as its executive director. Jordan was a member of the Communication and Education Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (CEC-IUCN) and the Bear Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (BSG-SSC-IUCN). He has served on the advisory council of the National Wildlife Humane Society and in service to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA Bear TAG). In addition he was an ex officio member of council of the International Association for Bear Research and Management. Contact Email: