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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! The schedule is subject to change (as of November 7, 2018). Please check back for updates. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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Monday, January 28 • 10:20am - 10:40am
(SYMPOSIA-02) Tracking Recovery Goals for the Conservation Reliant Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

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AUTHORS: Michael Redmer, Michael J. Dreslik, Eric T. Hileman – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: One of the most consistently cited threats to the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake (EMR), even on protected lands, is the loss of preferred habitat (sunny, gramminoid-dominated plant communities) to succession from woody plants and invasive species.  The EMR is a conservation or management reliant species, and preferred management techniques (e.g., prescribed fire, mowing, and brush removal) converts and maintains preferred habitat. Life history studies indicate EMR populations can be sensitive to even small amounts of additive mortality, and crucial habitat management actions such prescribed fires present risks. Risks are especially apparent when actions are implemented during periods where populations are most concentrated and vulnerable, such as spring egress, thus creating a paradox amongst habitat and population needs.  Development of recovery implementation strategies will require monitoring to: (1) ensure habitat goals and responses are being achieved, and (2) populations of the EMR respond positively, both in an adaptive management framework. A monitoring protocol initially developed for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and then modified/implemented by the Illinois Natural History Survey (1999-present) and others, is now or will soon to be used to monitor at least six EMR populations in four states. The protocol gathers data on relative abundance, individuals within monitored EMR populations, and a suite of habitat variables. We propose  that mplementing the protocol at additional select EMR sites where habitat management is planned could be done relatively inexpensively and would allow a direct comparative approach to monitoring range-wide EMR recovery.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am
HOPE BALLROOM B