lizard

Scope & Content

Technical Reviews are scientific analyses related to prominent topics and issues in wildlife science, management, conservation, and policy that are written by panels of experts and are often used in preparing TWS Position Statements. Information regarding the writing and review process for Technical Reviews can be found in A Guide to TWS Technical Reviews.

Access

Technical Reviews can be accessed free of charge by downloading individual reports below.

For questions and comments, please contact:

Keith Norris, AWB ®
Director of Wildlife Policy & Communications
keith.norris@wildlife.org
(301) 897-9770 ext 309

October 2016

EFFECTS OF PRESCRIBED FIRE ON WILDLIFE AND WILDLIFE HABITAT IN SELECTED ECOSYSTEMS OF NORTH AMERICA

Prescribed fire is applied widely as a management tool in North America to meet various objectives such as reducing fuel loads and fuel continuity, returning fire to an ecosystem, enhancing wildlife habitats, improving forage, preparing seedbeds, improving watershed conditions, enhancing nutrient cycling, controlling exotic weeds, and enhancing resilience from climate change. Regardless of the particular objective, fire affects ecosystem structure, composition, and function in many ways. This review uses a regional approach, focusing on selected vegetation types, including southeastern pine and mixed pine-oak forests, eastern coastal marshes, midwestern jack pine forests, sagebrush ecosystems of the interior West, mixed-severity forests of the northern Rocky Mountains, subalpine and montane forests of the Canadian Rockies, southwestern ponderosa pine forests, desert grasslands, and shortgrass steppe ecosystems. Each regional account reviews historical and current uses of fire, and also discusses fire effects on wildlife and the challenges of using prescribed fire in each system.

Revised January 2013

Effects of Bioenergy Production on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat

This technical review offers an essential and concise introduction to the concepts and history inherent in the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD). This doctrine represents an essential element of North American wildlife law, establishing a trustee role for government in the management of natural resources. PTD suggests that natural resources are universally important and collectively owned; the public therefore has a right to access these resources for purposes including subsistence, economy, and recreation. It also acts as the cornerstone of the North American Model of Wildlife conservation (Geist 1995), a model that underpins most modern and historic wildlife legislation in the United States and Canada.

December 2012

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is a set of principles that, collectively applied, has led to the form, function, and success of wildlife conservation and management in the United States and Canada. This technical review documents the history and development of these principles, and evaluated current and potential future challenges to their application. Describing the Model as North American is done in a conceptual, not geographical, context. Wildlife conservation and management in Mexico developed at a different time and under different circumstances than in the U.S. and Canada. The latter two were hand in hand. The history, development, and status of wildlife conservation and management in Mexico are outlined separately as part of this review.

December 2012

Ungulate Management in the National Parks in the United States and Canada

Historically, many different strategies have been used to manage ungulates within national parks. Concern about the ecological impacts of ungulates, disease transmission, interactions with predator species, and conflicts between agencies has caused much deliberation over management. National parks need clear management goals and a plan for reviewing and adapting management as new knowledge is gained. The Wildlife Society convened an expert committee to analyze reviews of ungulate management in national parks, examine the most significant issues facing management of ungulates in national parks of the U.S. and Canada, and provide recommendations to professionals grappling with these challenges. This Technical Review considers several ungulate species as well as predator species and vegetation impacted by ungulate management.

Revised August 2012

MANAGEMENT OF LARGE MAMMALIAN CARNIVORES IN NORTH AMERICA

As human populations expand, conflicts between larger carnivores and human interests, such as public safety and property value, are increasingly common. Yet these species are also vital components in maintaining healthy ecosystems in many regions. This review addresses the current management of larger mammalian carnivores to increase, maintain, or reduce their numbers, while taking into account the population of certain ungulate prey and their relation to predators, social pressures and attitudes of the public towards predators, and the effects of sport hunting and trapping on carnivore population dynamics. Species of carnivores evaluated in this review include: brown bears, black bears, coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions.

August 2012

Impacts of Crude Oil and Natural Gas Development on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat in the Rocky Mountain Region

The Rocky Mountain region plays a significant role in meeting the growing energy needs of North America as well as supporting a variety of the fish and wildlife species relied upon by many stakeholders, including sportsmen, nature enthusiasts, and tourist-dependent businesses. This review analyzes the latest scientific literature on the impacts of crude oil and natural gas developments on wildlife and habitat in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S. and Canada, examines the extent of these developments and processes used, and provides recommendations to wildlife professionals grappling with these challenges. The review considers ungulate species, greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), waterfowl, and songbirds.

October 2010

THE PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE: IMPLICATIONS FOR WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

This technical review offers an essential and concise introduction to the concepts and history inherent in the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD). This doctrine represents an essential element of North American wildlife law, establishing a trustee role for government in the management of natural resources. PTD suggests that natural resources are universally important and collectively owned; the public therefore has a right to access these resources for purposes including subsistence, economy, and recreation. It also acts as the cornerstone of the North American Model of Wildlife conservation (Geist 1995), a model that underpins most modern and historic wildlife legislation in the United States and Canada.

Guide to Technical Reviews

  • Overview

    The Wildlife Society Council periodically charges a special committee to develop a technical paper on a wildlife management or conservation issue of current concern. These papers are published in the Society’s Technical Review series. The process of producing a Technical Review can be divided into five steps, as explained in further detail below: proposal, committee formation, committee work, Council review, and publication. Deadlines for each stage are a necessary component of the review process so Technical Reviews are published in a timely manner and the information contained within is still current and relevant. Technical Reviews must follow the formatting guidelines described in the Formatting Guidelines for TWS Technical Reviews.

  • Proposal

    A proposal for a Technical Review may be submitted to the President by TWS members, TWS Chapters or Sections, Council members, or TWS staff. Proposals should include a concise explanation of the topic to be covered by the review, the relation of the topic to the work of the Society, and a description of the need for the review.

    Council votes on all proposals; if the proposal is approved, committee formation begins. If the proposal is not approved, the President so notifies the party that submitted it.

  • Committee Formation

    The President appoints a three-member Council Subcommittee, the chair of which will serve as Council Liaison to the Technical Review Committee, to oversee the work of the Technical Review Committee, within two weeks of a vote.

    The Council Subcommittee prepares a charge for the Technical Review Committee and TWS staff, which should address product, budget, timeline, and ownership of copyright, within two weeks of Subcommittee formation.

    The President, with the advice of Council, appoints the Technical Review Committee and chooses the committee chair. Committee members generally should be members of The Wildlife Society (although exceptions may be made if outside expertise is needed) and should represent a broad range of expertise on the topic. In some instances, geographic distribution or employer diversity of committee members also may be important. Technical review committees generally consist of 8-10 members, although they may be smaller or larger depending on the issue and the discretion of Council. The committee will be appointed within six weeks of vote, concurrent with Subcommittee formation and charge development.

  • Committee Work

    The Technical Review Committee Chair convenes the committee to initiate committee work (TWS recommends that the first meeting be in-person; later meetings can be conference calls), within three weeks of committee formation.

    The chair finalizes the timeline and prepares a budget for the committee’s work, within two weeks of convening committee, assigns and coordinates the work of the committee members, and communicates regularly with TWS staff and Council, and works with staff to secure outside funding as needed.

    The Council Liaison regularly contacts the committee chair (every two months) to ensure progress. The Council liaison must confirm with TWS staff that contact with the committee has been made.

    The Council Liaison reports to Council on committee’s progress at Council meetings.

    The Committee prepares a draft document that adheres to the Formatting Guidelines for Technical Reviews, which should consist of a review of relevant peer-reviewed literature, and submits it to TWS Staff. This draft will be prepared within one year of committee formation. If this is not possible because of extenuating circumstances, the Committee Chair must provide a report explaining reasons for the delay for the Council Liaison and TWS Staff. If the delay is expected to be prolonged, the Committee Chair may be replaced.

    If outside funding cannot be secured by the committee, funding will be provided by The Wildlife Society for costs associated with meetings, conference calls, etc., not to exceed $3000 per Technical Review. Such costs should be itemized in the budget prepared by the Committee Chair.

  • Editor Review

    TWS Staff submit the draft technical review to the Technical Review Editor for review, comment, and validation of adherence to the charge and the formatting guidelines. If no Technical Review Editor has been appointed, the draft is sent to the editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management. The Editor provides comments electronically to TWS Staff, who then provides the comments to the committee chair. The Editor will have three weeks for review.

    The Technical Review Committee incorporates the comments, and the revised draft is then resubmitted to TWS Staff. The committee will have three weeks to incorporate comments.

  • Council Review

    TWS Staff submit the draft technical review to the Technical Review Editor for review, comment, and validation of adherence to the charge and the formatting guidelines. If no Technical Review Editor has been appointed, the draft is sent to the editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management. The Editor provides comments electronically to TWS Staff, who then provides the comments to the committee chair. The Editor will have three weeks for review.

    The Technical Review Committee incorporates the comments, and the revised draft is then resubmitted to TWS Staff. The committee will have three weeks to incorporate comments.

  • Publication

    TWS publishes Technical Reviews, upon approval of Council. In some instances, Council may elect to publish the review in an alternative medium (such as The Wildlife Professional).

    TWS makes PDFs of Rechnical Reviews available to TWS members and the interested public free; hard copies are available for a nominal fee. Members of the Technical Review Committee receive a complimentary copy of the technical review. An electronic file will also be made available to committee members.

    TWS staff distributes Technical Reviews to various organizations, depending upon the topic, including other professional societies, nonprofit organizations, federal and state governmental agencies, and Congress.

    Please note that Technical Reviews present technical information and the views of committee members and do not represent the official position of The Wildlife Society. Once the Technical Review has been approved, Council may decide to ask the Technical Review Committee to prepare a one-to-two page TWS Position Statement based on the Technical Review that will define TWS policy on the issue.

MORE FROM OUR ARCHIVES