Wildlife Management Institute

Florida Management Success Leads to First Black Bear Hunt in Decades
Monday, 16 November 2015 11:51

image of Black Bear, Credit: National Forests in Florida, Flickr

The first legal black bear hunt in Florida was held in October, the culmination of a long-term effort to restore the species in the state and to develop a scientifically credible management plan for the charismatic species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) led a process that carefully evaluated the population status of black bears and integrated a long stakeholder engagement process before implementing the management plan. The process used serves as a valuable model for successful use of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Genetic Study Confirms Growth of Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Population
Monday, 16 November 2015 11:37

A recent paper by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (study team) and collaborators documents that, in spite of a century of isolation from other bears and moderately low genetic diversity, grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) are not losing genetic diversity or suffering from inbreeding. In addition, the study provides independent evidence that the population has increased substantially since the mid-1970s and is approaching the point where the number of breeding individuals is sufficient to assure long-term genetic viability. These results could play a key role in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision on the future status of this population. A proposed rule once again delisting the GYE population could be released in early 2016.

Conservation Briefs
Monday, 16 November 2015 11:09

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. The stories include links to online resources for more details on each topic.

This Month:

USDA Funds Projects to Improve Mississippi River Water Quality
Monday, 16 November 2015 10:48

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it will direct $30 million toward projects that improve water quality in the Mississippi River Basin, according to the Wildlife Management Institute. A total of 73 projects – 33 new and 40 existing – will receive funding.

CRU Corner: Tracking Alligator Movements in South Carolina to Understand Population Trends
Monday, 16 November 2015 09:32

image of USGS Cooperative Research Units logoimage of alligator, Credit: Abby Lawson

Researchers in the South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit based at Clemson University have teamed up with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) to conduct a study that will identify causes of alligator population fluctuations. The findings will be used to help predict population outcomes of management decisions in the northern portion of the species’ range.

WMI Landscapes: New Report Assesses the Impacts of Emerging Threats on Gulf Coast Species and Ecosystems
Monday, 16 November 2015 11:42

image of island with birds, Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS

Climate change, sea level rise, and land use change are expected to have large impacts on natural resources – particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. Released on November 13, the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA) is a comprehensive report evaluating the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and urbanization on four Gulf Coast ecosystems (mangrove, oyster reef, tidal emergent marsh and barrier islands) and 11 species (roseate spoonbill, blue crab, clapper rail, mottled duck, spotted seatrout, eastern oyster, American oystercatcher, red drum, black skimmer, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and Wilson’s plover) that depend on them.

Worth Reading: Jack Ward Thomas Trilogy
Monday, 16 November 2015 11:28

image of Jack Ward Thomas on a hunt in Scotland

In the wildlife conservation community, there are a handful of tremendous scientists, managers and administrators that helped build the foundation of our profession. These icons have taken our country’s wildlife resources from a time of depletion to abundance, have managed the growing challenges that come with that abundance while other species slowly dwindle, and are continuing to adapt as we face a nation that is farther and farther removed from our natural world. These men and women paved the way for all of us, and yet it is a much smaller group who have the ability to eloquently communicate their experiences and weave their knowledge into good storytelling that stand tall in carrying forward our legacy – names like Pinchot, Leopold, Carson and others come immediately to mind. With the publishing of Jack Ward Thomas’ three books that bring together the lessons he learned across his life and career, he has rightly earned his place as one of the great ones and his writings should be required reading for all who work for and care about our natural world.

Colorado State University Wildlife Management Short Course Scheduled for March
Monday, 16 November 2015 11:02

Colorado State University’s (CSU) Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology will hold its annual Wildlife Management Short Course on the campus in Fort Collins, Colorado during the week of March 28 – April 1, 2016. This popular course was developed for laypersons and agency personnel with non-wildlife training. A number of agencies have sent administrators, commissioners, planners, information and environmental education personnel, legislators, and other staff to this course to obtain a broad exposure to wildlife conservation and management issues. Non-profit conservation organizations have also sent staff members.

The Wildlife Society Honors Ducks, Geese & Swans of North America with Wildlife Publication Award
Monday, 16 November 2015 10:54

image of book covers of  Ducks, Geese & Swans of North America

The Wildlife Management Institute’s Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America was selected by the Wildlife Publications Awards Committee of The Wildlife Society as top authored book of the year. The award was presented posthumously to author Guy Baldassarre during TWS’ 77th Annual Awards at their annual meeting in Winnipeg, Canada. Ducks, Geese and Swans is a comprehensive reference book on the waterfowl species and their habitats within North America. Originally written in 1942, the latest version is the fourth edition of this book and maintains the tradition of excellence found in previous volumes.