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WSF Chair Appointed to IUCN Specialist Group

May 27, 2021
posted in: News

Bozeman, Montana. May 27, 2021. The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) announced the appointment of its Chair, Peregrine (Peri) L. Wolff, DVM, to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Caprinae Specialist Group.
“Peri has been a solid captain for our ship,” said Gray N. Thornton, president, and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “We couldn’t be more pleased that her professional expertise as a wildlife veterinarian and conservationist is now being recognized and will be utilized on a global scale for the betterment of wild sheep.”

The IUCN is the largest body of scientists in the world. It is a membership union composed of both government and civil society organizations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organizations and the input of more than 18,000 science experts. The Caprinae Specialist Group promotes conservation of wild sheep and goats and their environments, endorsing and helping in any initiative that helps to promote the status and habitat of these species.

Wolff commented, “It is an honor to be invited to join such an esteemed group of international experts who are dedicated to expanding the science and conservation of mountain ungulates.”  
Wolff’s veterinary career spans 30-years. She currently serves as the Executive Manager of the Wildlife Disease Association after her retirement as the state of Nevada’s wildlife veterinarian and has been closely involved in mountain ungulate disease research and conservation programs. She has worked with agency biologists, managers, and veterinarians across western states and provinces to develop standardized handling and welfare and disease testing protocols and conducted hands-on training for capture, handling, translocation, and disease investigation in wild sheep. She joined the Wild Sheep Foundation Board in 2015, was elected Chair of the Board in 2020 and was reelected for a second term in 2021.

“The Caprinae Specialist Group was looking for a wildlife health and infectious disease specialist, and the chose the best,” said Kurt Alt the Wild Sheep Foundation’s Conservation Director for Montana and International Sheep and Goat programs, and IUCN representative.

As the world’s preeminent conservation body, WSF applied and was granted membership into IUCN in 2018 to add its voice to the discussions of sustainable use conservation and to actively contribute to the Caprinae Specialist Group. In 2019, WSF hosted the IUCN-endorsed 7th World Mountain Ungulate Conference in Bozeman, Montana. This was the first time this international conference was held in North America.

The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), based in Bozeman, Mont., was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 10,000 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep on the Mountain®.” These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 85,000 today.


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