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President Gary White promotes TWS at Mexico gathering
After appearing at the National Conference of Wildlife Management and Conservation in Mexico, current TWS President Gary White and Fidel Hernández, president-elect of the TWS Southwest Section, say a Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society is closer to being developed.
The conference, held Nov. 12-15 in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, brought together around 350 wildlifers, half of whom were students. White and Hernández presented information regarding the Society at the conference that TWS helped sponsor.
White opened the first plenary, presenting information on TWS publications and working groups. He provided an overview of TWS history and how the society is run and managed by a 12-member council. He also discussed the TWS scientific journals and the content available electronically to TWS members. Hernández translated White’s talk and discussed the benefits of working with TWS.
“I was really impressed at how professional the whole conference was organized and conducted,” White said. “The organizers Dr. Luis Antonio Tarango Arámbula, Dr. Raul Valdez, and Dr. César Posadas Leal deserve a big pat on the back. I really appreciate the hospitality shown to me by everybody at the conference, but particularly Luis and Raul.”
The rest of the conference consisted of 20-minute presentations on wildlife research being conducted in Mexico as well as 19 poster presentations, workshops and plenty of networking events. Many presentations emphasized major issues like climate change, felids in Mexico and rabies in vampire bats.
Workshops included topics such as predator identification, photo traps as a tool for wildlife management and estimation of populations in management, sustainable use of wildlife and more.
Wildlifers also discussed at the meeting an interest in creating a Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society. There are currently 14 TWS members in Mexico.
“Clearly with the attendance and interest in this conference, there is potential for many more members,” White and Hernandez wrote in a report about the conference. Raul Valdez, one of the conference organizers said they are not yet ready to create a TWS chapter, but he is working to create an endowment fund to support a chapter with goal of $500,000.
The next Mexico conference, which will be the third, is expected to take place in two years in the northern Mexico city of Chihuahua.
“I think in two years, we will see an effort to form a Mexico Chapter, as the momentum from this meeting will continue to a third conference,” White said. He recommends a reduction in TWS international membership to make it more affordable.