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.

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.


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.



Becky Bolt

Conservation Committee Chairperson

Florida’s Springs and Aquifer Protection Act

Dear Florida Chapter Members,

Please read the this letter from our Society to two Florida senators co-sponsoring the Florida’s Springs and Aquifer Protection Act (SB 1576). If you agree that this is an important conservation initiative, please take a moment to email your Senator (as a private citizen) and ask that a strong, meaningful bill be passed. 

Thank you,

Becky Bolt

FLTWS Conservation Chairperson

Announcing the 2013 FLTWS Photo Contest Winner!

Announcing the 2013 FLTWS Photo Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Ms. Jenny Adler, for her winning photo "Deep Breath"!

Please visit the photo contest gallery to view the runner up images.  (other great contestant photos will be added soon!)

Thanks, also, to our judges for their time and effort. They had to judge 45 photos, and I can tell you there were many beautiful and interesting ones to review, it was no easy process!

Letter from the FLTWS Conservation Committee Chair

Dear FLTWS Members,

Protecting our waters, natural areas, and wildlife are fundamental to the goals and vision of the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Please consider helping us help Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign place a critical conservation amendment on the November 2014 ballot. The coming months offer the most productive signature gathering opportunities during this campaign while festivals are happening around the state. Volunteers are needed now to sit at tables and ask festival participants to sign petitions.

There is less than one year to gather the remaining 480,000 volunteer signatures needed to put the Water and Land Conservation Amendment on the 2014 ballot. Right now, the most important thing you can do to protect our rivers, springs, beaches, and wildlife is to volunteer. Please visit Florida’s Water and Land Legacy website (http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/) to learn more about the campaign and sign up to volunteer today.

FL WaterandLandLegacy.jpg

Thank you,

Becky Bolt

FLTWS Conservation Committee Chair

Imperiled Species Management Planning – A New Conservation Model

Submitted by Claire Sunquist Blunden
Beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is introducing species action plans and an imperiled species management plan for 60 species on Florida’s Threatened Species list. A State Wildlife Grant provides funding for additional staffing and other resources
that are being utilized for this five year project, which includes planning for the development and implementation of the imperiled species management plan. The FWC began this process by adopting a new conservation model in September 2010 to evaluate the status of species listed as state threatened or species of special concern. As part of the new conservation model, there were updates made to the rules for Florida’s endangered and threatened species, Chapter 68A-27, Florida Administrative Code, which were approved by the FWC Commission in September 2010. The rule is important for identifying and protecting Florida’s imperiled species.

Dr. Richard Seigel - Recipient of the 2013 Paul Moler Herpetological Conservation Award

At the 2013 spring conference, Dr. Richard Seigel was awarded the 2013 Paul Moler Conservation Award.

Rich’s work on KSC in the 1970s formed the basis for an ideal long-term look at variations in the herp populations over time.  There have been a number of changes in abundance and distribution of amphibians and reptiles at the site, especially for diamondback terrapins, which have declined dramatically.  Data on snake populations have also shown major declines for several species, but apparent increases in others.  Recent Masters’ degree projects have focused on the ecology, movements, and survival of juvenile gopher tortoises, and the use of ephemeral wetlands by sirens and aquatic snakes.

Rich’s contribution to the knowledge of herps in Florida is eclipsed only by the contribution he has made nationally.  With over 75 peer-reviewed publications and five books to his credit, there is little doubt that his knowledge and influence have made a huge impact.  Even more importantly is the role he has played teaching and mentoring hundreds of students, many of whom have become well known herpetologists in their own right.  Richard Seigel epitomizes the intent of the Paul Moler Herpetological Conservation Award and is an excellent, deserving recipient.


You can read more about Dr. Seigel and the award, right here.