Outdoor News Bulletin

Outdoor News Bulletin

September 2017 Edition | Volume 71, Issue 9 | Published since 1946

Zinke Signs Secretarial Order Supporting Sportsmen and Coordination with States

On September 15, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356 that strengthens the Department of the Interior’s commitment to sportsmen’s issues and wildlife management. There are three main components of the order including directives to improve wildlife management and access on departmental lands; increase participation in fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation; and enhance cooperation with state and local partners.

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Woodcock Conservationists to Convene in Michigan for Rangewide Symposium

Conservationists – including biologists, administrators, and communication specialists – will gather for the 11th Woodcock Symposium from October 24 to 27, 2017, at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon, Michigan. At the meeting, research findings and population and habitat management accomplishments from the last 10 years will be presented. In addition, participants will plan cooperatively for the future of woodcock management in North America.

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WMI Completes Second Wildlife Governance Training Session

The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) completed a second training session to help state wildlife agencies align programs and practices with Wildlife Governance Principles based on public trust thinking and good governance norms. Instructors from WMI, Cornell University, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Michigan Division of Wildlife led participants from several Midwestern states through the two day workshop. Participants learned about the public trust doctrine and broader public trust thinking, good governance, and ways to assess and improve agency alignment with the Wildlife Governance Principles. The participants expressed appreciation for the engaging discussions and identified concrete ways to begin applying the principles in their agencies.

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RCN Study on Leopard Frogs Sheds Light on this Cryptic Species

Wildlife conservation depends on understanding the species in each region, including the status and distribution of individual species within a given range. Each species has its own habitat and management needs; therefore, the natural history of each species must be studied. Sometimes, during inventories and natural history observations, cryptic species are discovered. These are species that are represented as one individual species when in fact they should be split into two or more species that are morphologically similar but phylogenetically distinct. Conservation decisions for newly discovered cryptic species will depend on ecological differences among the similar species as well as how easily the species can be correctly identified as distinct. Recent research, funded through the Regional Conservation Needs Grants Program, assessed the population distribution and conservation status of the three species of leopard frogs in the northeastern United States.

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Cooperative Research Unit Corner

Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems to Support Informed Decision Making

The need for cost-effective monitoring of wildlife populations and habitat is common to natural resource managers in many state and federal agencies as well as to the private sector. Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) have immense potential as a tool to fill the gap between a biologist on the ground with a pair of binoculars, and satellite imagery. The University of Florida Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Program (UFUASRP) was the first in the U.S. and possibly the world, to custom design a sUAS explicitly for natural resources assessment and monitoring. Scientists at the USGS Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit are working with UFUASRP to solve specific ecological questions.

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