UCONN Professor Set To Speak Nov. 14 at Aspetuck Land Trust Talk Exploring
Why are people seeing more and more black bears, bobcats and other large mammals in Connecticut these days?
That’s the focus of a special talk by wildlife expert Dr. Tracy Rittenhouse sponsored by Aspetuck Land Trust on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 10 Lyons Plains Road, Westport.
Admission is free to members of Aspetuck Land Trust with a $5 suggested donation for non-members. A dessert reception will follow the talk. Seating is limited. Those planning to attend should RSVP by Nov. 1 to Alice Cooney at RSVP@Aspetuck LandTrust.org or 203.260.4737.
Dr. Rittenhouse, Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut, will talk about her four-year research project studying Connecticut’s growing black bear populations and her ongoing bobcat research project.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reports there were 2,251 bear sightings and 3,249 bobcat sightings in Connecticut in 2017. Dr. Rittenhouse’s research estimates there are as many as 700 individual bears—adults and cubs—currently living in Connecticut.
“Back in the late 1800s, almost all forest in Connecticut had been logged and removed for agriculture, fuel and construction. Large mammals, such as deer, bear, and bobcat became rare here. Over the last 100 or so years, there has been significant forest regrowth in Connecticut and strong laws regulating hunting. Consequently, today we have an enhanced habitat for large animals,” according to Dr. Rittenhouse.
Dr. Rittenhouse’s talk is the 2018 edition of Aspetuck Land Trust’s Haskin Lecture Series which honors noted scientists Caryl and Edna Haskins. The couple bequeathed their Westport estate on Green Acre lane to the Aspetuck Land Trust in 2002 creating the 16 acre preserve named after them.
The Aspetuck Land Trust (ALT) is a local non-profit land conservation organization founded in 1966 to preserve open space in the towns of Westport, Weston, Fairfield and Easton. ALT preserves provide passive recreation and educational opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy nature, while preserving the flora and fauna and rural characteristics of local communities. ALT maintains 45 trailed nature preserves and other conservation-only properties on over 1,800 acres of land. More than 1,000 individual members support the organization through annual membership contributions. For more information visit www.aspetucklandtrust.org