"A Century of Commitment to Research, Education and Conservation"

AWCF and Wildlife in the News

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The American Wildlife Conservation Foundation has been around for more than 100 years. In the early 1900’s the founding fathers rallied to finding ways to stop the rampant slaughter of our fish and wildlife resources. For about 25 years they lobbied to have state and federal agencies enact rules, regulations and laws that addressed that issue.

By the 1940’s they changed the foundation’s modes operandi by starting to fund fish and wildlife research. After WWII they saw a need to fund habitat management and acquisition of important wild areas, such as wetlands. Around the 1960’s the goals of the organization widened to include conservation education. For the past two decades the focus indeed has focused on research, education and habitat conservation.

How has AWCF done this? The vast majority of projects funded have originated from State and Federal Fish and Wildlife agencies, Universities, Nature Centers and museums that concentrate on the natural world. Project proposals are received by our Grants committee, lead by John Hasenjager. This committee is rather selective because we fund only 6-8 project proposals each year. The committee is now reviewing projects to be funded this spring.

As we go forward we want to continue in the direction of our mission in regards to funding projects. Annually we receive more projects than we can support. On the other hand, our members may see things that should be researched and investigated. Or, there might be a significant habitat that needs to be acquired/manipulated to afford additional protection/enhancement. Or, there may be a need to develop a new census technique for a fish or wildlife species.

If you have an idea along these lines please let the President know. If you can suggest an institution that would be best able to solve the issue let us know that as well. You can make the suggestion via this website or contact the current President at gwill@twcny.rr.com.

Climate change drives destructive beetle northward

The southern pine beetle ( Dendroctonus frontalis) — one of the world’s most destructive tree-killing insects — is moving north in the United States, likely a result of climate change, according to recent research.

The beetle, native to the southern United States, has been making its way north for quite some time now. In the early 2000s, the beetle arrived in New Jersey where it quickly reached outbreak stage and began damaging forests. It reached Long Island, N.Y., in 2015 and was soon damaging trees in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

For more information:

Partnerships critical for wildlife conservation

While big game animals are mostly thriving, O’Mara said, “About a third of all wildlife species are in trouble. … The challenge has been to tell this story systematically to inspire the American people to speak up.”

He called for a plan to improve wildlife habitat, boost federal funding and connect more Americans with wildlife, urging conference participants to “do our part and stand as tall as the giants that came before,” including respected conservationists Aldo Leopold, Ding Darling and Theodore Roosevelt.

The message can unite conservatives and liberals, O’Mara said, if conservationists can tell the story in a way that reverberates with people. He pointed to Darling, whose cartoons and artwork made a compelling case for wildlife conservation.


Birds at greater risk of hitting windows in rural areas

Nearly 1 billion birds in North America are estimated to die annually from striking windows or building exteriors, and researchers conducting a recent comprehensive study of the phenomenon found the threat is greater for birds in rural areas than it is for urban birds.

“If you take the same building and put it in a very urbanized area, the number of window collisions we found was lower,” said Stephen Hager, a biology professor at Augustana College in Illinois and lead author of the  study  published in  Biological  Conservation.

For more information: http://wildlife.org/birds-at-greater-risk-of-hitting-windows-in-rural-areas

Court upholds decision on Great Lakes gray wolf population

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court decision on Aug. 1, causing federal protections to continue for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region. The Court’s ruling voided a 2011 rule issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist gray wolves ( Canis lupus) in the western Great Lakes region due to recovery of the population.

For more information: http://wildlife.org/court-upholds-decision-on-great-lakes-gray-wolf-population

USFWS releases report on national wildlife related recreation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released the  preliminary report of the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation . The survey — which has been produced every five years since 1955 — is designed to collect  and report information on wildlife related recreation activities participated in by individuals 16 and older. In the time since this survey began, it has become one of the most important sources of information on fish and wildlife recreation in the United States.

For more information: http://wildlife.org/usfws-releases-report-on-national-wildlife-related-recreation

For Full Report: https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/nat_survey2016.pdf

DEC Confirms Emerald Ash Borer in Northern New York

First Time Invasive Pest Found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that invasive pest emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found and confirmed for the first time in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties. DEC captured the insects in monitoring traps at the two locations.

For more information: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/111380.html

How can businesses be involved in conservation?

Corporations and conservationists aren’t always on the same side, but green infrastructure is one area where they can find common ground, said speakers at Wednesday’s keynote at The Wildlife Society’s 24 th Annual Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

From Katrina to Sandy to Harvey, they noted, hurricanes have shown that natural landscapes can be more resilient than manmade infrastructure, but undertaking those natural infrastructure projects isn’t always easy.

The presentation, “Business Fundamentals for Restoring Natural Infrastructure,” sponsored by Caterpillar Inc., brought together leaders from Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy and Caterpillar to discuss the importance of these partnerships to build green infrastructure, benefiting communities, wildlife and business.


Wildlife Society Publishes Fact Sheet on the Problem of Feral Cats




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