Florida's Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society - 36th Annual Beast Feast

Florida's Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society - 36th Annual Beast Feast

The University of Florida's Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society is holding their 36th Annual Beast Feast this Saturday, February 23rd at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company in Gainesville, FL. The event is an all-you-can-eat, buffet-style wild game dinner, featuring species such as hog, lionfish, python, red stag, and more! This is the club's main source of funding which helps provide UF wildlife ecology students with professional development opportunities. There will be live music, living animals, and educational materials about the benefits of hunting to wildlife and habitat management. 


The Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society is seeking applicants for the 2019 'Courtney Tye Graduate Student Memorial Scholarship' ($2,000), the 2019 ‘Greater Everglades Undergraduate Student Memorial Scholarship’ ($1,500), and the all-new 2019 ‘Minority Undergraduate Wildlife Student Scholarship’ ($1,500). The deadline for applications is mid-December, recipients will be contacted in March, and checks will be presented at the annual Spring meeting of the Chapter, April 10-12. Feel free to share the announcements with others who can help spread the word.

FLTWS 2018 Spring Conference 11-13 April, 2018

FLTWS 2018 Spring Conference 11-13 April, 2018

The Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society will hold its annual Spring Meeting at the Planation, 9301 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL, 34429. 

The conference theme is Managing Florida’s Coastal Resources, but papers and posters dealing with any wildlife-related topic are encouraged, including ecology, economics, management, restoration, risk assessment, policy, evolutionary biology, and interdisciplinary projects.

The Florida Wildlifer

The Florida Wildlifer

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).

Dear Members,

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.

Scholarship winners!

Scholarship winners!

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.

FLTWS Board Nominations

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.

BEAST FEAST!!! Feburary 18th, 2017.

BEAST FEAST!!!  Feburary 18th, 2017.

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.

FLTWS Representatives Develop Position Statement and Attend Meeting On Bear Hunting

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:

Greater Everglades Student Memorial Scholarship

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.

Newest Issue of The Florida Wildlifer Now Available!

Newest Issue of The Florida Wildlifer Now Available!

Dear Members,
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!

Click here to keep reading...

Or browse previous issues of the Wildlifer

FWC biologist receives prestigious wildlife conservation award recognizing young professional

FWC biologist receives prestigious wildlife conservation award recognizing young professional

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.

FWC's Revised Panther Postion Paper

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.

Open letter on Amendment 1

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.