Wildlife Management Institute

USDA Announces Funding for First Regional Conservation Partnership Projects
Friday, 16 January 2015 13:11

image of RCPP Proposal MapDepartment of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced on January 14 the 115 projects in all 50 states and Puerto Rico that were selected to receive a total of $370 million through the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The projects are expected to leverage approximately $400 million more in partner contributions to improve water quality, support wildlife habitat and enhance the environment, reports the Wildlife Management Institute.

North American Special Session 4: The Evolution of Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research
Friday, 16 January 2015 12:49

image of CRU researcher Nick Forman collecting samples for an otter project, Credit: Penn State University

Conservation of natural resources has become increasingly complex and diverse during the past century. In the early years, fisheries and wildlife professionals often dealt with science needs that focused on a single species of importance to the state fish and wildlife agency or national wildlife refuge, for example. Current conservation challenges often require scientific inquiry at scales that involve multiple stakeholders, suites of species, and entire landscapes. The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (CRU) system has evolved to meet these challenges while adhering to its founding principles and mission. Special Session 4 at the 80th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, The Evolution of Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research: The Past, Present, and Future of Applying Science to Management, will explore the evolution of CRU research from localized conservation problems to global thematic science needs and will outline a vision for the future of the CRU program.

USDA Evaluates Use of Auctions for Conservation Program Funding
Friday, 16 January 2015 12:34

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spends over $5 billion per year on conservation programs. Most of these programs are voluntary for landowners, and participants in these programs are paid to apply conservation to lands they own. In most cases, demand for conservation program participation exceeds available funding, so a form of auctions is used to select which offers for conservation will be the most cost-effective. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) recently evaluated the use of these kinds of auctions to facilitate application of conservation measures through the various USDA programs, reports the Wildlife Management Institute.

Gulf Coast Prairie LCC Funding Opportunity
Friday, 16 January 2015 12:16

image of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in Texas, Credit: Randall Chancellor, Flickr

The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC) is seeking Statements of Interest by January 31 for funding to conduct priority science projects. For this grant opportunity, the GCP LCC is requesting statements of interest on six priorities: quantification of alligator gar recruitment dynamics; shallow water oyster reef mapping; Guadalupe bass flow-ecology relationships; validation and refinement of mottled duck habitat decision support tool; impacts of habitat fragmentation on northern bobwhite quail; and strategic coordination of Quadrula spp. research and conservation.

North American Special Session 1: Conservation Controversies - Avoiding a House Divided
Friday, 16 January 2015 13:06

“We must hang together or we will surely hang separately.” Those words, spoken by Ben Franklin, were meant to remind America’s founding fathers of the importance of unity as they worked together to form a new nation in spite of their deep philosophical differences. As we face the daunting challenges of climate change, rising sea levels, and a global population careening toward nine billion whose demands for water, land, food, energy and resources seems insatiable, the conservation community can ill afford to allow our differences to dilute our efforts. Conservation Controversies - Avoiding a House Divided, one of four special sessions at the 80th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, will feature presentations by several current champions of efforts to avoid a house divided.

WMI Landscapes: Conservation Assessment and Prioritization of Odonata in the Northeast
Friday, 16 January 2015 12:38

image of Dragonfly, Credit: e_monk, Flickr

The New York Natural Heritage Program and fellow contributors recently completed a region-wide conservation assessment of Odonata that was funded by the Regional Conservation Needs Grants program. The prioritization framework for 228 species of dragonflies and damselflies occurring in the northeastern US (Virginia to Maine) applies consistent and comprehensive criteria across all states to identify which species are most important regionally as well as the most vulnerable. This work can help direct limited state and regional resources toward conservation actions that benefit Odonata and their habitats and thereby guide implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs).

Conservation Briefs
Friday, 16 January 2015 12:01

Conservation Briefs is a compilation of short news stories of interest to Outdoor News Bulletin readers. The stories cover a number of issues that have developed in the past month or provide updates on issues that were featured in previous ONB editions. Each story includes links to online resources for more details on each topic.

This Month:

Continuous Digital and Audio Recordings Help Quantify Shorebird Disturbance
Friday, 16 January 2015 11:46

image of USGS Cooperative Research Units logoimage of adult American Oystercatcher feeding its chick. The bird is wearing leg bands and a satellite transmitter used in survival and movement studies, Photo Credit: Walker Golder

As human populations and associated development increase, human-wildlife conflicts are occurring with greater frequency. How human activity affects wildlife, particularly species with declining populations, is of great interest to ecologists, land managers, and natural resource policymakers. The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), a species of federal and state management concern, nests on coastal beaches where they are subject to various forms of anthropogenic disturbance. The North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit has been studying the effects of a variety of human activities on nesting American Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras National Seashores on the Outer Banks of North Carolina since 1997. Using low cost, low power, digital audio and video recording devices, the researchers have been able to quantify animal behavior in ways that were not previously possible.