Scope and 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.


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
(301) 897-9770 ext 309

Effects of Prescribed Fire on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat in Selected Ecosystems of North America

October 2016

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.


Effects of Bioenergy Production on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat

Revised January, 2013

The production of biobased feedstocks (i.e., plant– or algal-based material used for transportation fuels, heat, power and bioproducts) for energy consumption has been expanding rapidly in recent years. Biomass now accounts for 4.1% of total U.S. primary energy production. Unfortunately, there are considerable knowledge gaps relative to implications of this industry expansion for wildlife. This review analyzes the latest scientific literature on the effects of growing, managing, and harvesting feedstocks for bioenergy on wildlife and wildlife habitat, and provides answers to questions and variables affecting bioenergy development and wildlife so that site managers might better predict consequences of managing bioenergy feedstocks.

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The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

December, 2012

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.

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

December, 2012

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.


Management of Large Mammalian Carnivores in North America

Revised August, 2012

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.

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

August, 2012

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.

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The Public Trust Doctrine: Implications for Wildlife Management and Conservation in the United States and Canada

October, 2010

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.


More From our Archives

Click the title to download

Sources and Implications of Lead Ammunition and Fishing Tackle on Natural Resources (June, 2008)

Impacts of Wind Energy Facilities on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat (September, 2007)

Fish and Wildlife Response to Farm Bill Conservation Practices (September, 2007)

Baiting and Supplemental Feeding of Game Wildlife Species (December, 2006)

Practical Solutions to Improve the Effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act for Wildlife Conservation (December, 2005)

Global Climate Change and Wildlife in North America (December, 2004)

The Status of Northern Goshawks in the Western United States (February, 2004)

The Relationship of Economic Growth to Wildlife Conservation (March, 2003)

Biological and Social Issues Related to Confinement of Wild Ungulates (November, 2002)

Wildlife Fertility Control (July, 2002)

Performance Measures for Ecosystem Management and Ecological Sustainability (March, 2002)

The Role of Bowhunting in Wildlife Management (August, 1999)

Northern Goshawk and Forest Management in the Southwestern United States (March, 1996)

Wildlife Management in North American Wilderness (January, 1996)

1995 Farm Bill: Wildlife Options in Agricultural Policy (March, 1995)

Mitigation Banking and Wetlands Categorization: The Need for a National Policy on Wetlands (June, 1994)

Acidic Depositions: Effect on Wildlife and Habitats (November, 1993)

Restoration of Wolves in North America (February, 1991)

Traps, Trapping, and Furbearer Management: A Review (June, 1990)