The newest issue of our newsletter is available for download here. Below is an excerpt from the president's message (follow the link for the full message).
In North America, wildlife is considered a public resource, owned by no one. This is one of the two fundamental principles that sets apart wildlife management efforts in the U.S. and Canada from those elsewhere in the world. The other fundamental principle that guides wildlife management here is that wildlife is managed in a way that ensures populations are sustained for future generations. The healthy status of wildlife in North America relative to other countries is widely attributed to adoption of these principles long ago.
This 2-day workshop (October 18-19, 2017) will be taught by Brent Sellers and Greg Hendricks, and will include indoor and outdoor classroom exercises in identification and management of native and invasive grasses in Central Florida.
Please join us in recognizing the recipients of this year's FLTWS student scholarships.
The Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society is pleased to announce that Samantha Baraoidan of the University of Florida is the 2017 recipient of the Courtney A. Tye Memorial Graduate Student Scholarship, and that Alana Boyles of the University of Tampa is the recipient of the 19th annual Greater Everglades Student Memorial Scholarship.
We will be electing an all new board in 2017, and that means a board made up of YOUR peers who represent YOUR interests. The board welcomes new and "seasoned" members alike to run in these positions. Being part of the FLTWS board offers a great opportunity to learn more about The Wildlife Society on a state and national level, and provides a forum to share innovative conservation solutions in the face of an ever changing world. The board meets quarterly, at 1 Winter board meeting, 1 Summer board meeting, 1 Spring Conference Business Meeting and 1 Fall board or business meeting. Although in-person attendance is preferred, teleconferencing may be available at the summer or winter board meetings.
I strongly encourage you to nominate a fellow member, or yourself, to run for one of these officer positions:
President Elect, will assume the duties of the President in the absence or upon the inability of the President to serve, and shall perform any duties assigned by the President, including assistance with planning and implementing board meetings, Spring Conferences and Fall workshops. The President-Elect shall assume the position of President upon the expiration of the President-Elect term.
Treasurer, is responsible for the funds of the Chapter and shall submit complete financial reports to the secretary before each of the quarterly meetings. Duties shall also include the receipt and disbursement of funds, submitting the annual tax report form to the Parent Society, renewing the state certificate of exemption, assisting with Spring Meeting registration, working with the Membership Committee Chair in the maintenance of the membership rolls, and chairmanship of the Budget Committee.
Secretary, is responsible for the correspondence files, the recording and distribution of the meeting minutes in a timely fashion, working with the website committee to maintain current information and assisting with Spring Conference Outreach.
Member at Large (2), shall serve as field representatives of the Executive Board, provide liaison with Chapter members, and perform other duties as assigned by the President.
Southeastern Representative, represents the Chapter at Southeastern Section meetings, advises the Section on Chapter affairs, and serves as a member of the Executive Board. The Representative will assist the Membership Committee with conducting membership drives and developing membership surveys. Representative will provide the editor of the Southeastern Section newsletter with news and items of interest from the Chapter area.
This is a great opportunity to network with other conservation professionals, young and older, share ideas and help lead the Chapter into the future. AND it looks great on a resume!!!
Send nominations to Erin.Myers@fltws.org by Feb 1, 2017
Voting will begin in mid February.
The University of Florida Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society is looking for meat donations for their annual fundraiser, Beast Feast. Beast Feast is a conservation event with a buffet dinner featuring game meat and invasive species, an outdoor-oriented silent auction, raffle, and educational booths. This event funds their chapter, providing them with opportunities to attend conferences, educational trips, and the TWS Southeastern Conclave, a competition where members get to compete with other college chapters in wildlife academics and practical field skills. Beast Feast will be held early February, and officers can travel to pick up any donations prior to the event. All donations are tax deductible and donors will be publicized. If you have any meat or in-kind donations for their event, please contact Vice President Ashley Meade at UFBeastFeast@gmail.com.
The Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society is seeking applicants for the 2017 ‘Greater Everglades Undergraduate Student Memorial Scholarship’ ($2,000) and the 2017 'Courtney Tye Graduate Student Memorial Scholarship' ($3,000), and the supplemental Graduate Student Recommendation Form.
The FLTWS Executive Board and other FLTWS members developed a Florida Chapter Position Statement on the 2016 bear hunt being considered by the FWC commissioners at their June Commission meeting. Our statement specifically did not address any of the four bear hunting options presented by FWC staff, and did not endorse the staff’s recommendation of Option #2. It did, however, endorse the North American Model and recognized hunting as a legitimate management tool. We expressed support for a limited bear hunt, provided that several issues were adequately addressed. A paraphrase of these provisions follows:
We are pleased to announce that Brian Smith is the 2016 recipient of the annual scholarship for graduate studies, administered by the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Brian is expected to graduate with his Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in 2016.
We are pleased to announce that Lauren Diaz is the recipient of the 18th annual scholarship for undergraduate studies, administered by the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Lauren is a 4th year student in the University of Florida’s department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, with a minor in Sustainability Studies and an interest in the field of herpetology.
Happy New Year! I am looking forward to a productive, meaningful 2016 as we continue to positively impact Florida’s wildlife resources. Our new Executive Board and committee chairs are an enthusiastic, no-nonsense group that has already made great progress on several fronts that will propel us into the new year. To mention a few: We are in the process of improving our membership records database so that we can better use you and your skills, our greatest assets, to achieve the Chapter’s mission. (If you are unfamiliar with our mission, please go to www.fltws.org and read it. It is important.) We will also be able to more easily remind you to pay your membership dues!
Claire Sunquist Blunden, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) employee since 2010, has received the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ 2015 Mark J. Reeff Memorial Award that recognizes a young professional for outstanding service in the conservation of fish and wildlife resources.
“This award is a huge honor,” said Commission Chairman Brian S. Yablonski. “Claire has done an excellent job working on the Imperiled Species Management Plan ̶ a first-of-its-kind conservation tool. We are very proud of Claire.”
Blunden’s work was commended by the association for being far-reaching and significant to conservation in Florida, particularly for state and federally listed species.
The Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society is seeking applicants for the 2016 ‘Greater Everglades Undergraduate Student Memorial Scholarship’ and the 'Courtney Tye Graduate Student Memorial Scholarship'! Please help us spread the word.
The Conservation Committee has reviewed FWC's revised Panther Position Paper:
The revision no longer implies that there are too many panthers nor that panther protections should be relaxed. Instead it focuses on the respective roles of the FWC and USFWS in the continued recovery of the Florida panther. Given these changes, the Conservation Committee isn't recommending any changes to the paper.
The Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society (FLTWS) is a non-profit conservation organization of wildlife professionals, educators, and college students dedicated to sustainable management of wildlife resources and their habitats in Florida. With approximately 250 members, the FLTWS is recognized as a proactive group that promotes wildlife research and management, and develops positions on natural resource issues based on sound biological data and principles. Our parent organization, The Wildlife Society, has over 10,000 members and is the certifying body for wildlife biologists in North America.
The 2014-2015 Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarships are now open to applications.
The Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society, in conjunction with the Florida Wildlife
Federation and the National Wild Turkey Federation, is sponsoring the Courtney A.
Tye Memorial Graduate Student Scholarship ($3,000), and the Greater Everglades
Student Memorial Scholarship ($2,000).
Please see the scholarship page for more information.
If you are a resident of Escambia County, please contact your county commissioners before Thursday, August 21, and ask them to vote against the proposal to institute TNR as a method to reduce feral cat populations. It looks as though the vote is going to be very close; Commissioners Barry and Valentino are potentially undecided, so contacting them could be extremely helpful.
Conservation Committee Chairperson
FLTWS members, Please take a moment to read the following message from national TWS regarding invasive species. There is a letter you can send on-line if you choose.