The Modesto Area Partners in Science (MAPS) will offer the presentation “Mountain lions and bighorn sheep: risks, rewards, or range abandonment?” by Jeff Villepique, Ph.D., a wildlife biologist with California Fish & Wildlife, Inland Deserts Region. The free event is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Sierra Hall 132 on Modesto Junior College’s West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave., Modesto.
After discussing the biology and status of bighorn sheep in California, Villepique will share his experiences researching the influences of mountain lions on bighorn sheep behavior.
Based in Big Bear Lake, Villepique works on research and management of bighorn sheep and mule deer in the San Bernardino, San Gabriel and San Jacinto mountains. He began work on predator-prey relationships between these large animals and their primary predator, the mountain lion, in the eastern Sierra Nevada as a Ph.D. student in 2001.
Villepique has conducted wildlife research in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Alaska, and California on gray fox, gray squirrel, box turtle, black bear, mule deer, mountain lion and bighorn sheep. His research interests include spatial modeling of animal movements, investigation of the behavioral ecology of predator-prey interactions, and the use of remote sensing to evaluate wildlife-habitat relationships.
Villepique studied at De Anza College before transferring to San Jose State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He went on to complete a master’s degree from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, and was awarded a doctoral degree by Idaho State University in 2014. He currently advises a master’s student and serves as Associate Editor for large mammal research submissions to the journal, California Fish and Game.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife bighorn sheep projects are listed online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/snbs/ProgramProjects.html#project7. A list of Villepique’s publications is available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jeffrey_Villepique.
The free public MAPS event is intended for people over 12 years of age. MAPS programs are made possible by contributions from ASMJC, the MJC Foundation and the MJC STEM program.