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Deer in the Driveway? Urban Wildlife Conference Draws Global Crowd
AUSTIN, Texas — Can people in cities and wildlife coexist? Must urbanization mean the decline of biodiversity? Those are among the questions that will be on the minds of more than 250 attendees from across the U.S.A and eight foreign nations at the international Urban Wildlife Management and Planning Conference to be held May 22-25 in Austin.
The conference is drawing wildlife biologists and researchers, architects, academicians, urban planners, and policy makers from 21 U.S. states, as well as from India, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Gambia, and Guyana.
In several ways, Austin is an ideal host city. Austinites live with urban wildlife issues on a daily basis, from the problems of overpopulated deer and encroaching coyotes to the ecotourism marvel of the Congress Avenue bats. The conference aims to combine the best of wildlife science with urban plans and designs to benefit both people and wildlife, and conference planners say it marks the first time these issues have been addressed holistically.
Austin is one of the cities featured in the documentary film The Nature of Cities by Timothy Beatley, one of the conference keynote speakers. Like other enlightened cities, Austin models various ways to include nature rather than exclude it from urban life.
News outlets are encouraged to attend and take advantage of expert interview opportunities. The agenda features more than 80 presentations that offer a range of story opportunities, including:
- Help! Some Wild Animal is Eating the Roses in My Backyard – Geva Pereenboom, University of Freiburg, Germany
- When Good Birds Go Bad: Human-Bird Conflict in Residential Landscapes – Rob Fergus, Bird B-Gone, Inc.
- Wildlife in Neighborhoods: Conservation and Management of Everyday Nature – Charles Nilon – University of Columbia, Missouri
- Seeing Beyond the Glare of Eco-Bling: Sensible Leadership in Green Building – Peter Pfeiffer – Austin, Texas
- Uneasy Neighbors? A Review of Coyotes in Urban Landscapes – Stanley D. Gehrt – Ohio State University
- Urban Bat Management and Conservation – Laura s. Finn, Fly By Night, Inc.
- Encouraging Wildlife on Golf Courses – Mark Claburn, Tierra Verde Golf Club
- How an Urban Playscape Can be a Natural Oasis for Playful Learning – Tenna Florian, Lake Flato Architects
- Thriving by Living Green: Creating Your Sustainable Home & Future – LaVerne Williams, Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
- What Can We Learn From 55,000 Urban Wildlife Hotline Calls? – Kathy Milacek, Dallas-Fort Worth Wildlife Coalition
- Managing White-Tailed Deer in Urban Environments: An Animal Protection And Welfare Perspective – panel discussion
See the complete list of sessions and topics, plus speaker bios and other information on the conference website. Anyone can also follow the discussion the Urban Wildlife 2011 Facebook page.
Registration is limited, but there is still some space available. The conference is approved to offer continuing education credits for various interests, including animal control officers, planners, wildlife biologists, and master naturalists.
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