Recognizing and Sustaining Conservation Success

ROOM: HCCC, Ballroom AB

The challenges facing the conservation of wildlife and their habitats can be daunting and provide the impetus for much of the research we undertake and the management actions we prescribe and implement. They also dominate our policy discussions, and of course, conference themes. Research into the life histories and population dynamics of wildlife species, their habitat associations, and human-wildlife interactions have formed the basis for many successful management programs restoring species through concerted efforts to apply science to conservation, both in North America and beyond. The policy discussions have led to the implementation of laws, regulations, and management plans designed to overcome and reverse a wide range of threats to wildlife and their habitats. These conservation successes are important to recognize and appreciate, as they provide examples to inspire other successes and document the work done by wildlife scientists, managers, and citizens to achieve unthinkable results. Too often, we focus our attention solely on the challenges, as there is always a new crisis to confront, another species in decline. However, it is just as vital that we take time to appreciate and learn from those successes that have happened, not by accident, but by design. We must take time to sustain the progress made on so many fronts, as these stories provide inspiration for addressing the next challenge, and examples for society at large that conservation is not just constant crisis management, but that success is not only possible but is happening. The conservation success stories in this session each document approaches to wildlife conservation that involved the application of science, the building of partnerships to implement actions on the ground, and policy struggles to have those successes recognized by the public and decision-makers.


Kirtland’s Warblers Sing the Sweet Song of Success! How Collaborative Conservation Can Recover a Conservation-reliant Species.

Dr. Carol I. Bocetti
Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Bocetti received degrees at University of Florida and Ohio State University where she was inspired to work with land managers to recover endangered species. She continued to foster these collaborative research/management relationships at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and then at California University of Pennsylvania. She worked for 32 years with the Kirtland’s Warbler recovery effort where her contributions were recognized by two national awards from the USDOI Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Forest Service. The de-listing of this species was just proposed this year. She also collaborated for 23 years with the Delmarva fox squirrel recovery effort where received one national award from USDOI Fish and Wildlife Service. This species was de-listed in 2015. Dr. Bocetti will share her insights about how collaborative conservation was essential to recover and sustain the fully conservation-reliant Kirtland’s Warbler.


Conservation efforts contributed to an improved IUCN Red List status for snow leopards – so why are we not all happy?

Tom McCarthy
Executive Director, Snow Leopard Program, PANTHERA, New York, NY

McCarthy directs Panthera’s wide-ranging snow leopard program in central Asia. After his ground-breaking study of the elusive species in Mongolia (Ph.D., UMass-Amherst, 2000), he went on to establish numerous successful community-based snow leopard conservation projects in China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Such conservation efforts, coupled with better information, recently led to revising the cat’s IUCN Red List status from Endangered to Vulnerable, a move not welcomed by all in the snow leopard community.


The Return of River Otters in North America

Ron Andrews
Iowa Department of Natural Resources (retired)

Andrews retired in 2010 after nearly 45 years with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, where he spearheaded several major research studies, and assisted on many more. In his later years he served as the mountain lion sighting “clearinghouse” for the many supposed sightings in Iowa. He received his B.S. in fisheries and wildlife biology from Iowa State University, has authored several scientific studies, and received many professional and civic honors in his career. His talk will chronicle the comeback of river otters in North America, a story that can be described as the most successful carnivore restoration effort in the history of conservation and management.


Location: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Date: October 8, 2018 Time: 10:20 am - 11:50 am