Session of the Week: Private sector wildlife biologists

Private sector biologists, like Tom Hudson, a biologist with The Peregrine Fund, play a growing role in wildlife management. ©George Andrejko/Arizona Game and Fish Department

Registration for The Wildlife Society’s 25th Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, is open! Visit twsconference.org for details, or register now by logging in to Your Membership and clicking on the Conference tab.

The profession of wildlife biology has centered on government agencies, with academia providing supporting roles in research and education. Biologists working within the private sector, both nonprofit and for profit, are often overlooked. However, private-sector biologists have existed since the genesis of the profession, and with societal and legal changes such as the National Environmental Policy Act and increasing human-wildlife conflicts, the number of private-sector professionals has increased.

A recent survey of the TWS membership records indicates that there are about as many members within the private sector as there are in federal agencies. About one third of the members who are certified wildlife biologists work within the private sector. This symposium will feature professionals from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to discuss what it means to be a wildlife professional within the private sector.

It will especially focus on how this relates to the public trust doctrine, which holds wildlife as a public resource, and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Topics include:

Welcome and Overview – the History and Status of Wildlife Professionals in the Private Sector — Lynn BrabandThe Public-Private Conservation Institution: An Enduring Success of North American Wildlife Conservation — John F. Organ

The Future of the Conservation Is Understanding People — Jeremy T. BruskotterThe North American Model of Wildlife Conservation: the Past, Present, and Future of Non-Profit Research Organizations — Tim L. Hiller

The Role of Private Sector Wildlife Biologists in Management and Conservation of Waterfowl in North America — Thomas E. Moorman

The Role and Relevance of Private Consulting to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation — Michael S. Fishman

The Private Wildlife Control Industry: Enhancing Educational Opportunities for Wildlife Control Operators — Paul D. Curtis; Raj Smith; Scott E. Hygnstrom

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Professionalism, and the Role of Wildlife Control Operators — Stephen M. Vantassel; Charles Holt

Panel Discussion

Organizers: Lynn Braband, Cornell University, Rochester, NY

Supported by: Wildlife Damage Management Working Group; USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units; Cornell University including The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program; the Department of Natural Resources; Wisconsin Center for Wildlife at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point