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Houston Zoo to Host 2008 Texas Wildlife Diversity Conference
Carter Smith Opens Three Day Conference
HOUSTON — Are black bears coming back to East Texas? How are exotic invasive species affecting native Texas plants and animals? Are roads and highways having an effect on amphibian and reptile populations? Find out the answers to these questions and be a part of the implementation of the Texas Wildlife Action Plan during the 2008 Texas Wildlife Diversity Conference at the Houston Zoo’s Brown Education Center Jan.17 through Jan. 19, 2008.
Former Nature Conservancy of Texas Director and incoming Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith will open the conference with remarks on partnership building Thurs., Jan. 17 at 1:20 p.m. A highly respected conservationist, Smith understands the conservation challenges for a rapidly growing and changing state. His address will provide a unique perspective to the goals of the Texas Wildlife Action Plan.
The 2008 Texas Wildlife Diversity Conference provides a wonderful learning opportunity for anyone who cares about non-game species in Texas. Sessions will focus on implementation of the Texas Wildlife Action Plan and the status of nongame research. There will also be a unique session on Texas Plant Communities dedicated to developing a process to expand the Texas Native Plant Conservation Plan, which currently exists as only an outline.
"This is the third Wildlife Diversity Conference over the last 18 years. Each meeting has brought together an energized constituency of scientists, land managers, and others simply interested in the biological wealth of this great state," said TPWD Wildlife Division Director Mike Berger, Ph.D. "The Texas Wildlife Action Plan provides a road map for addressing priority species and habitats in need of conservation attention. As we move from planning to implementation, we need stakeholders and others that know how to get things done on the ground to attend and participate in this conference."
Some of the speakers featured at the conference are listed below. For a complete list, see the online conference schedule.
- Hannah Bailey, Houston Zoo Bird Curator; Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Recovery
- Donna Shaver, Padre Island National Seashore; Kemp’s Ridley Turtles
- Heather Prestridge, Texas A&M University; Non-game reptile and amphibian trade in Texas.
- Chris Best, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Texas Plant Recovery Initiative
- Damon Waitt, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; The Pulling Together Initiative
- Clint Boal, U. S. Geological Survey/Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit; Facilitating wildlife conservation with wind energy development.
- Warren Conway, Stephen F. Austin State University; Control and Management of Exotic Invasive Plants in Coastal Prairies of Texas
- Jerry Cook, Sam Houston State University; Conservation of a Rare Texas Harvester Ant.
- Lawrence Gilbert and Robert Plowes, UT-Austin; Phorid fly releases for biocontrol of fire ants in Texas.
- Jim Willis, WW Ranch; Private Landowners Restore Wildlife Habitat for Quail.
- Brent Ortego, TPWD; Coastal Prairie Restoration.
- Mylea Bayless, Bat Conservation International; Monitoring Artificial Roosts for Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bats.
- Timothy Siegmund, Stephen F. Austin State University; Black Bear Occupancy and Habitat Suitability of Three Northeast Texas River Systems.
On the Net:
- Texas Wildlife Action Plan: http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/pwd_pl_w7000_1187a/
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