Keynote Speakers and General Presentations Sneak Peek


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Professor Norman Owen-Smith
Emeritus Research Professor in the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences

Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh
Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore and WWF-India

Dr. Shane Mahoney
Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Professor Boguslaw F. Bobek
Head of Department of Ecology, Wildlife Research and Ecotourism, Pedagogical University of Cracow

Cow investigating a dead possum
© Graham Nugent

Optimising the balance between lethal host control and disease surveillance during the eradication of a wildlife disease
Presented by Andrew Gormley

The number of livestock herds infected with TB in New Zealand has been greatly reduced following intensive management of livestock and large-scale lethal control of brushtail possums, the primary maintenance host. We present methods to minimise the time and cost to achieve and prove TB freedom.

Brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) - © Nga Manu Images

Conservation benefits of controlling an invasive folivore
Presented by Andrew Gormley

The invasive brushtail possum is widespread and highly abundant in New Zealand. Selective browsing by possums causes large negative impacts on New Zealand’s ecosystem. Significant conservation benefits can be achieved via sustained, large-scale control, resulting in improved canopy cover and reduced mortality of susceptible tree species.

International Law Tangibly Advances Conservation: The Bern Convention, the EU Habitats Directive and Wolf (Canis lupus) Recovery in Western Europe
Presented by Arie Trouwborst

Two international legal instruments, the Bern Convention and the EU Habitats Directive, are exercising a tangible positive influence on wolf recovery in Western Europe. The applicability of these instruments goes a long way to explaining why recolonization attempts by wolves have been more successful in some countries than in others.

Waste not want not: managing raiding incentive in chacma baboons in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa
Presented by Bentley Kaplan

Baboons in the Cape Peninsula, Cape Town, South Africa have become highly successful at targeting waste as a food source. Join PhD student, Bentley Kaplan (University of Cape Town) as he shows how research has thwarted these wily baboons and reduced their conflict with humans."

Poster Title: Site Fidelity of Newfoundland Caribou across Seasons, Herds, and Decades
Presented by Colleen Soulliere

Using three decades of telemetry data for caribou in Newfoundland, Canada, site fidelity was measured at multiple scales. Fidelity was strongest during the calving season and relatively weak in winter. Summer fidelity was relatively weak in the 1990s, correlating with high population densities that preceded the current population decline.

© Afripics - Wayne Matthews

Porcine zona pellucida immunocontraception of African elephants (Loxodonta africana): Beyond the experimental stage
Presented by Henk Bertschinger

The use of pZP-immunocontraception for fertility control of smaller African elephant populations is beyond question having been used successfully on over 200 cows. It is effective once all pregnant cows have calved, is safe and reversible. The vaccine is delivered remotely with darts making the method both economical and practical.

Using Threatened And Endemic Species To Prioritise Conservation Action For Intact Highland Grassland
Presented by Ian Little

Some grassland species such as African Pipits Anthus cinnamomeus frequently nest amongst grazing cattle in highly disturbed areas (nest circled in red) and show considerable resilient to disturbance. Others, such as Yellow-breasted Pipits (Anthus chloris- inset), are highly sensitive to disturbance, lending them to be useful indicators of habitat condition.

Living on the edge: Livestock depredation by tigers at fringe areas of Kaziranga Tiger Reserve Assam, India.
Presented by Jimmy Borah

Human Tiger Conflict (HTC) is a complicated aspect of wildlife management. Mitigating conflicts requires understanding the behavior of both tigers and people where they overlap in resource use. Therefore, effective interventions of HTC should become a key component of management wherever tigers remain.

Facing the challenge: rewilding South China tigers in South Africa
Presented by Maria Fabregas

The future of South China tigers depends on the reintroduction of captive born animals to their former range. For that, tigers must be able to hunt proficiently; Save China’s Tigers has established a rewilding facility in South Africa, where wildlife management expertise, land, and prey species are available.

Photo compliments of Associated Press

Road ecology in Africa: State of the science and future directions to achieve an ecologically sustainable transportation system.
Presented by Rodney Van Der Ree

Roads and traffic have serious impacts on adjacent habitats and wildlife, including mortality and barrier effects, thereby increasing the risk of extinction. This workshop will document these negative impacts, and explore the mitigation options. A synthesis of priorities will be developed to advance the field of road ecology in Africa.

Killing with kindness: feeding wildlife and its lethal consequences
Presented by Sara Dubois

The feeding of wildlife takes place at local parks, in backyards, and even on vacation. Whether intentional or unintentional through access to garbage, the artificial feeding of wildlife often leads to lethal outcomes. This presentation will address the often well-meaning practice, and discuss how to prevent ‘killing with kindness’.

The spatial ecology of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa: Towards improved management and conservation efforts.
Presented by Tali Hoffman

By examining the ranging patterns of a baboon population living in close proximity to humans, this study demonstrates how an understanding of wildlife spatial ecology can assist in improving wildlife management and conservation efforts, and highlights the complexities of wildlife conservation at the interface of natural and human-modified habitats.

White-tailed deer and vegetation dynamics: Evidence of a browsing lawn effect in Tamaulipan shrubland?
Presented by Timothy Fulbright

Browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in thornscrub plant communities in southern Texas may stimulate compensatory growth in woody plants such as blackbrush acacia (Acacia rigidula). High densities of white-tailed deer appear to have little effect on vegetation dynamics in this semiarid ecosystem.

Beyond peace: Biodiversity and community structure across the Israel-Jordanian border
Presented by Uri Shanas

A red fox inspecting a rodent Sherman trap on the Israeli side of the Israel – Jordanian border. Red foxes, abundant on the Israeli side due to intensive agricultural practices, pose pressure on Israeli but not Jordanian gerbils, resulting in dichotomy of gerbils’ behavior across the political border.

Attitudes towards hunting amongst the economically active public in Port Elizabeth
Presented by Wentzel Coetzer

Hunting is believed to be a controversial issue and its social legitimacy is often questioned. While animal rights movements often claim that the majority of the public supports their cause of banning hunting, research seems to suggest otherwise.

Stewardship - The role of well managed rural residential estates in nature conservation
Presented by William Fox

We should no longer rely on government bodies alone to be the guardians of our natural heritage. The future of conservation lies in the hands of private landowners, who need to strive towards maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity, ecological processes, and historical and cultural heritage of a nature reserve.

In the process of reviewing the need for guidance for proposed relocations, we looked at 419 reports across these groups. We found that fewer than half of these relocations were successful. Does this mean that they should be restricted? Prohibited? Have new rules? Better review and oversight?What is your opinion?

Wildlife management and welfare in southern Africa: legal instruments for regional cooperation
Presented by Mandy Lombard

South African legislation does not address conflict between sustainable use, conservation and wildlife welfare. We discuss legal instruments that can address this problem, namely South Africa’s TOPS regulations, provincial and CITES permit conditions, and the Animal Welfare Strategy being developed for southern Africa by the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Sustainable resource use? A case study from South Africa National Parks
Presented by Nicola van Wilgen

Natural resources have always been used to meet basic human needs. Historically protected areas were designated to preserve resources (or ‘nature’) with minimal human intrusion, while more recently protected areas also seek to benefit people. This change presents some challenges, which we explore using the SANParks system of parks.

Differential responses of two threatened Australian marsupials to a planned burn
Presented by Justine Smith

We highlight the need to understand species-specific responses to fire, by contrasting responses to a planned burn by two threatened Australian marsupials. Following fire, potoroos occupied unburnt patches of vegetation, whilst bandicoots were undetectable for 12 months. These results suggest that fire management must be tailored to suit each species.

Managing the impacts of the invasive plant Parthenium hysterophorus in wildlife reserves
Presented by Lorraine Strathie

The invasive plant Parthenium hysterophorus significantly impacts on biodiversity, crop and animal production, and human and animal health in Africa, Asia and Australia. Its continuing spread presents a severe threat to wildlife management. Increased awareness and the timeous implementation of management strategies (such as herbicides, host-specific natural enemies, wash-down facilities) that are essential to reduce the impacts of parthenium weed, are discussed.

Communicating across diverse landscapes
Presented by Carmen Curtayne

Aspects of intercultural communication around natural resource use can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings and
ultimately a breakdown in communication between parties involved in the conservation of South Africa’s national Parks,
and local communities who want increased access to them. A case study on how the language we use reflects deep cultural
beliefs about how South Africa’s protected areas should be governed.

Mesic tall-grass savannas are difficult habitats for ungulate grazers, but does frequent burning help?
Presented by Werner Suter

Humid tall-grass savannas are difficult habitats for ungulates because of the low nutritional quality of most grasses. This coastal tall-grass savanna in Tanzania was very patchily grazed, reflecting the occurrence of few palatable grass species. Intensive burning is a frequent management option but will lead to long-term nutrient losses. It is important to adapt management strategies to such savanna types that often support very peculiar grazer communities (here a Bohor Reedbuck).