Special Symposia

A symposium is comprised of a series of presentations that address aspects of a single topic. Eight special symposia will be included as part of the technical program at the 2017 SEAFWA Annual Conference; they will run concurrently with other technical sessions. If you have questions about a symposium, contact the organizer using the email address provided below. 

(1) Aquatic At-Risk Species

Organizers: Cindy Williams, USFWS, cynthia_williams@fws.gov; Mike Harris

The Center of Biological Diversity sued the USFWS for failure to list an excess of 600 species nationally. Approximately 60% of those species are in the Southeastern US. Until a species is listed under ESA, the States have jurisdiction over these species, and it is the goal of the USFWS to keep as many of these species OFF the ESA list. The SEAFWA has established a committee represented by each state within SEAFWA to address these species, led by USFWS. Thru diligent work of this committee and a number of partnerships working together, a number of these species have been removed from the Mega Petition. This symposium, if selected, would inform attendees of the work process, successes and challenges, and present the latest information on species that fit the category of AT RISK species, and how we propose to look forward. 


(2) Asian Carp: Research, Prevention, Control, and Reduction

Organizer: Ron Brooks, Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, ron.brooks@ky.gov

This symposium strives to provide a forum for information exchange concerning all aspects of Asian carp. There is a considerable amount of research being conducted to understand the population dynamics of Asian carp as they relate to life histories and population range expansion and controls. It is important that scientists and state biologists keep ongoing discussions concerning advancements and discoveries with these aquatic nuisance species. 


(3) Connecting Conservation on Southeast Private Lands: People Working Together

Organizer: Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie LCC, bill_bartush@fws.gov; Steve Jester, Partners for Conservation 

Private landowners are the backbone of landscape conservation in the eastern United States. With less than 10% public lands in many SE states, incentives to promote conservation must be more targeted towards the end-recipient. The social context of conservation incentives, farm bill programs, and pro-active conservation strategies must be rooted in sound social science in order to understand what causes private landowners to engage. This symposium is focused on the human dimension of wildlife conservation, from theory to practice, utilizing social science and the engagement of people through processes to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation efforts. This session will explore the valuable element often missing in conservation processes – that is, full integration of the Human Dimension well in advance of initiating a specific effort. Through the use of case studies and applied research, the talks will focus on Human Dimensions science as tangible and relevant to successful conservation work. This session will appeal to those interested in defining, demonstrating, and discussing the application of the social sciences and most importantly, the strategic identification and meaningful engagement of people in the development of our future conservation landscape. Learn from social scientists about how they have been involved in conservation efforts at scales as small as your backyard, or as large as a migratory pathway for birds, well-integrated with examples pertinent to landowners, their experiences, and successful on-the-ground conservation. 

 

(4) State Level Habitat Protection Initiatives Development 

Organizers: Buddy Baker, LDWF, bbaker@wlf.la.gov

This symposium will be geared towards helping state wildlife agencies develop the tools needed to establish successful habitat protection initiatives. Speakers from successful initiatives will share their approaches to establishing land protection programs through perpetual easements and acquisition utilizing tax incentives, dedicated funding sources, and federal programs. 


(5) Innovative Ecological Restoration Tools and Analyses for Southeast U.S. Conservation and Land Management

Organizer: Rickie White, NatureServe, rickie_white@natureserve.org; Will Mcdow, Environmental Defense Fund, wmcdow@edf.org

Each year, land managers, planners, and scientists produce valuable baseline research that helps us better understand the key issues that we all face in the conservation community. The primary research produced from this community of experts on rare species habitat needs, shifting climate envelopes, pollinator requirements, etc. can be used to develop management plans, funding proposals, and inform policy recommendations. But what is often missing from research and data collection are practical tools that can translate the primary research and data into information that can make policy and management decisions more effective and funding allocations more efficient. By using the best available science to evaluate both quantity and quality of habitat, practitioners and others can drive greater project success. This symposium proposes to focus on some of the tools and products in development or available now for use by conservation practitioners and land managers with an interest in conservation of species and/or habitat. 

(6) Peering into the Future of Southeastern Wildlife Conservation: Understanding Key Drivers of Landscape Changes

Organizers: Bruce Stein, National Wildlife Federation, steinb@nwf.org; Kirstin Dow, University of South Carolina; Bill Reeves, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency; Nils Peterson, North Carolina State University

Wildlife conservation in the Southeast increasingly needs to be carried out in the context of a rapidly changing landscape. Climate change, urbanization, and bioenergy production are three drivers of landscape change that have the capacity to dramatically transform the region and constrain options for wildlife conservation now and into the future. This symposium will focus on the potential effects of these drivers of landscape change on southeastern wildlife and habitats, and on emerging strategies and approaches for carrying out future-oriented conservation, drawing from the work of the USGS-funded Vital Futures Project, the SEAFWA-sponsored Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS), and other state and regional efforts. The symposium will be divided into four parts. The first will provide an overview of the current status of conservation in the Southeast and current role of these three drivers of landscape change. The second part will peer into the future through considering future projections of climate change, urbanization, and bioenergy development across the region. The third part will address how wildlife conservation is and should be responding to this rapidly changing conditions, drawing from regional, state, and local-scale examples. The symposium will conclude with an interactive discussion regarding development of a set of Southeast-specific principles for conservation adaptation. 

 

(7) The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy: Aligning Actions for Success

Organizers: Cynthia Edwards, Wildlife Management Institute, SECAS Coordinator c.kallio.edwards@gmail.com; Ed Carter, TWRA and SECAS Liaison to SEAFWA; Cindy Dohner, US FWS and SECAS Liaison to Federal Agencies; Bill Reeves, TWRA and SEAFWA Wildlife Diversity Committee member; Bill Uihlein, US FWS 

The dramatic changes sweeping the Southeastern United States offer a clear opportunity to unite the conservation community around a shared, long-term vision for the future, embodied in The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS). Through SECAS, diverse partners are working together to design and achieve a connected network of landscapes and seascapes that supports thriving fish and wildlife populations and improved quality of life for people across the southeast. Following from the successful SECAS Conservation Leadership Summit that was held in Baton Rouge during the 2016 SEAFWA conference, this symposium will take a ‘deeper dive’ into the use of SECAS. 


(8) Toxicants and Wild Pigs: Being Careful Not To Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater

Organizers: Mark D. Smith, Alabama Cooperative Extension/School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, mds0007@auburn.edu;  Jessica Tegt, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University; Jim LaCour, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Micheal Bodenchuk, USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services-Texas; J.P. Fairhead, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Wild pigs are arguably one of the greatest wildlife management challenges facing natural resource professionals this century.  Despite widespread damage reduction and eradication efforts by private individuals and state and federal agencies, wild pig populations continue to increase over much of their range.  In early 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of a warfarin-based bait (Kaput Feral Hog Bait) to be applied using hog feeders equipped with heavy lids to limit access to bait by non-target animals.  The Texas Department of Agriculture subsequently became the first state to approve its use for wild pigs with many additional states agriculture commissions also considering its use.  Despite the common use of warfarin-based baits for controlling small mammals, mostly invasive rodents, significant concerns have arisen regarding its use for wild pigs as well as for other toxicants, such as sodium nitrite, that are being developed and may become available in the near future.  The legal, social, economic, and biological implications of using toxicants to manage wild pigs and perceived or real potential adverse impacts are not well understood. The objective of this symposium is to provide attendees information regarding the scope of the wild pig problem, the relative effectiveness and limitations of currently used management tools and potential role of toxicants when used properly, the latest information regarding currently (warfarin) and potentially (sodium nitrite) available toxicants for use in managing wild pigs, and insight regarding the opportunities and challenges to using toxicants for managing wild pig populations.