Lead in Wildlife Symposium
Co-Chairs: Rick Watson, Todd Katzner, Mark Pokras
The Lead in Wildlife Symposium focuses on the science, policy, and mitigation actions underway surrounding issues related to anthropogenic sources of lead impacting wildlife around the world. The symposium will feature oral and poster presentations by global experts in the science, philosophy, and action surrounding the anthropogenic sources of environmental lead contamination. This symposium will promote communication among experts, inform stakeholders, and engage a global audience regarding a major environmental and human health risk. In doing so, our ultimate objective is to foster cohesion and galvanize momentum among stakeholders that will be necessary for solving the issues associated with anthropogenic sources of environmental lead contamination.
Conservation of Eurasian steppe ecosystems with a focus on top avian predators
Co-Chairs: Rick Watson and Todd Katzner
Extensive anthropogenic alteration of steppe ecosystems throughout the world leaves parts of Eurasia and central Asia with some of the world’s last remaining large expanses of intact steppe habitat. Consequently, central Asia has become the sole remaining stronghold for populations of many steppe species, including avian top predators. It is a crucially important area for biodiversity conservation. The goal of this symposium is to create an international exchange of knowledge about the steppe ecosystem, threats, and challenges to its structure and function by using a focus on birds of prey as top predators and indicators of ecosystem health. Outcomes are expected to be shared and improved knowledge, and links and partnerships among participants built for future collaborations on research, education and conservation action to preserve the world’s largest remaining steppe ecosystems as a globally important heritage.
The Barred Owl Invasion of Western North America
Chair: Phil Detrich
The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is a common native species in eastern North America. As of 1900, occurrences west of the 100th meridian were rare. By 2020, thousands of Barred Owls were resident in the western U.S. states of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, and southeastern Alaska; and in the western Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Barred Owls have completely occupied the range of the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) (NSO) and are now extending southward into the range of the California Spotted Owl (S. o. occidentalis). The Barred Owl is recognized as the primary current threat to the NSO, which is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. Based on recovery goals, a pilot research program has killed several thousand Barred Owls in the NSO range. In this symposium, authorities on Barred Owl biology and management will address the history, ecology, and controversies of this remarkable range expansion. Subjects will include demographic impacts to the NSO; effects on other wildlife taxa; habitat relationships; and the progress, legality, and ethics of control attempts. The symposium also will consider comprehensive management strategies for the future.
Global priorities for raptor ecology and conservation
Co-Chairs: Evan Buechley and Chris McClure
Raptors serve critical ecological functions, are particularly extinction‐prone and are often used as environmental indicators and flagship species. Two recent papers provided the first systematic, global syntheses of the conservation status of and threats to all raptors (McClure et al. 2018), as well as a framework by which to prioritize research and conservation actions on them (Buechley et al. 2019). In this symposium, we will build off of these two papers to provide a global overview of the status, threats, and research history for all raptors, while incorporating talks that highlight conservation and research priorities in greater detail for different species groups and regions, such as conservation priorities for Old World vultures (Botha et al. 2017; Santangeli et al. 2019a); conservation priorities for raptors in Asia (Concepcion et al. 2018); and research priorities for Neotropical Accipitriformes (Monsalvo et al. 2018). Further, we will incorporate talks that investigate the usefulness of using raptors as indicator and umbrella species to help promote the conservation of other species or ecosystems as a whole (i.e. Burgas, Byholm, & Parkkima, 2014; Regos, Tapia, Gil-Carrera, & Domínguez, 2017; Senzaki, Yamaura, & Nakamura, 2015) and talks that address the human components of raptor conservation (DeVault 2015; Santangeli et al. 2019b). Lastly, we will incorporate talks that highlight cutting-edge methodologies applicable to raptor conservation (Ferrer-Sánchez & Rodríguez-Estrella 2016; Watson 2018).
Symposium proposals may be submitted online at: https://bit.ly/2Q7L5nn
Questions regarding symposia should be directed to David Anderson (email: [email protected]).
General questions regarding the conference should be directed to Sarah Schulwitz (email: [email protected] ).