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What's the future look like for wilderness and wildlife?

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American plains bison
The American plains bison, once numbering in the tens of millions, began its journey back from the brink of extinction more than a century ago when just two dozen survivors were given refuge in Yellowstone National Park.
Charlie Hamilton James | Courtesy of National Geographic

The future of wilderness and of the animals that live in it is uncertain here in Minnesota and across the globe because of human activity.

This week, three University of Minnesota experts will gather to talk about how humans are affecting the wild and what the latest research tells us about how to fix some of the problems we've created. 

How, for example, do you make sure there are still lions decades from now? How does climate change fit in? And what will "wilderness" mean for future generations?

Their talk is called, "Where the Wild Things Aren't," and it's part of a series the U is calling "The Petri Dish." Two of the speakers joined the program: Craig Packer, a renowned lion researcher, and Jessica Hellmann, an expert on ways of helping species and ecosystems survive the effects of climate change.

To hear the entire discussion, select the audio player above.