Wildlife Management Institute

WMI Landscapes - Gulf Coast LCC Evaluates Riparian Corridor Restoration Efforts
Friday, 17 April 2015 10:51

image of Green Jay, Credit: Francesco Veronesi, Flickr

In the arid southwestern United States and northern Mexico, riparian corridors have long served as key wildlife habitat. The wetlands and naturally sub-irrigated uplands adjacent to rivers and streams provide vital food, water, and cover for hundreds of species of breeding and migratory birds. However, these corridors were also the most attractive for development leading to significant loss of riparian habitat. New research coordinated through the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC) evaluated efforts to restore riparian corridors and the implications for native wildlife populations.

Conservation Briefs
Friday, 17 April 2015 10:21

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:

New Research Assesses Grassland Conversion
Friday, 17 April 2015 09:58

image of Grasslands in Wisconsin, Credit: USFWSmidwest, FlickrA significant loss of grassland habitat has been documented recently, likely as a result of high agricultural commodity prices. A study recently released by the University of Wisconsin indicates that 7.3 million acres of non-cropland was converted to cropland in the conterminous United States from 2008 to 2012, reports the Wildlife Management Institute. Slightly over 5.6 million (77 percent) of those acres were grasslands prior to conversion. That total includes 1.6 million acres of native prairie lands. These losses were offset somewhat by the retirement of 4.36 million acres of croplands during the same period, mostly due to enrollment of these lands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Southern Company, Stewardship Partners Meet
Friday, 17 April 2015 10:41

In addition to providing power to 4.4 million customers throughout their service area (the southeastern United States), the Southern Company puts their money where it counts when it comes to conservation. Their primary stewardship focus is on building collaborative partnerships to conserve habitat, protect wildlife, and educate children, among other services. At their most recent Stewardship Partners meeting this spring in Pensacola Beach, Florida, the Southern Company and their partners discussed the challenges and opportunities of several conservation issues in the southeast, according to the Wildlife Management Institute.

WMI Honors Batcheller with Grinnell Award
Friday, 17 April 2015 09:52

image of Gordon Batcheller Receiving Grinnell Award, Credit: Dave Windsor

Gordon Batcheller, Chief Wildlife Biologist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was honored with the Wildlife Management Institute’s (WMI) 2015 George Bird Grinnell Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation. The award was conferred last month during the annual Conservation Administrators Luncheon at the 80th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

CRU Corner: Gray Wolf Management in the Northern Rockies
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 14:38

image of USGS Cooperative Research Units logoimage of Gray Wolves, Credit: David E. Ausband, University of Montana, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit

The Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit (CRU) has been providing science support to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MFWP), the Nez Perce Tribe, and Idaho Fish and Game on gray wolf populations since 2006. Most of this research focuses on the monitoring of wolves over large spatial scales. Over the past 10 years, the growing wolf population of the northern Rockies exceeds the capacity of traditional monitoring methods (capturing and collaring wolves, radio-tracking) to provide reliable estimates. Abundant, wide-ranging carnivores that exist at low densities are notoriously difficult to monitor, and no means of generating reliable estimates of population size or breeding pairs for wolves on a statewide scale existed. To provide more accurate and reliable statewide estimates of the number of packs and abundance, the Montana CRU adapted occupancy modeling to the unique application of monitoring wolves as well as an estimator for the number of breeding pairs that is equally robust.