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Center for the Environment speaker to discuss African lion

Community Calendar

Center for the Environment

SALISBURY — Andrew Stein, National Geographic Explorer and founder and director of CLAWS (Communities Living Among Wildlife Sustainably), will speak Feb. 5 at the Center for the Environment at Catawba College.

His presentation, “Can a Story Save the African Lion?” will explore his team’s successes and challenges in turning around the slaughter of lions and livestock in northern Botswana.

Stein is an assistant professor of natural science at Landmark College and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has more than a decade of experience studying human-carnivore conflict, from African wild dogs and lions in Kenya and Botswana to leopards and hyenas in Namibia.

Stein grew up fascinated by nature documentaries of exotic wildlife in far-off destinations. A native of central Massachusetts, he thought the opportunities to explore and contribute to wildlife conservation seemed unlikely until he studied in Kenya through the School for Field Studies. There, he saw a confluence of his greater interests in culture, wildlife conservation and problem solving.

He returned to Africa to make a contribution to the wildlife he was passionate about and the people who faced the challenges of living with their livestock among great predators.

Since his 2001 leopard study in South Africa, Stein has become a leader in leopard conservation as he pursued his doctoral field study on Namibian farmlands and leopard feeding ecology in Botswana.

In recent years he has been chosen to assist in national leopard surveys and lead an international team for the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List to assess the global status of the leopard. He has expanded his interests to explore nonlethal approaches to mitigate livestock conflict with lions in northern Botswana and wolves on Montana ranchland.

Stein has published a dozen scientific articles, organized field training courses with the Smithsonian Institution and been featured in wildlife documentaries on National Geographic Wild and BBC Wildlife. He is also a member of both the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and Hyena Specialist Group.

His presentation, scheduled for 7 p.m. in Room 300 of the Center for the Environment, is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To register, visit www.CenterForTheEnvironment.org or call 704-637-4791.

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