Rice Creek talk to focus on large predators’ role in curbing deer

OSWEGO, NY – John Laundre, a predator biologist and SUNY Oswego adjunct instructor, will make a free Rice Creek Reflections presentation titled “Landscape of Fear: Large Carnivores and Ecosystem Integrity” at 11 a.m. March 31 at the college’s Rice Creek Field Station.

Laundre, who has studied cougars for more than 20 years in the United States and Mexico, will focus on the role of large meat-eating animals in ecosystems.

“The talk will look at the role of large carnivores in ecosystems, specifically how they create a ‘landscape of fear’ where, because of the fear of being killed, large prey such as deer change how they use the landscape,” Laundre said.  “It will show how deer without predators roam like cattle eating everything they want, any time they want. In the Northeast, this is leading to destruction of forests. I then provide examples of where large predators have returned and re-established the landscape of fear and thus maintain ecosystem integrity.”

Rice Creek Field Station, located a 400-acre preserve on Thompson Road about a mile south of State Route 104, is a unit of SUNY Oswego dedicated to the support of academic instruction, research and public service, including nature programming such as Rice Creek Reflections.