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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! Please note, this event has passed. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 

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HOPE BALLROOM B [clear filter]
Monday, January 28
 

10:20am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-02) Tracking Recovery Goals for the Conservation Reliant Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
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 EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Eastern Massasauga Demography and Extinction Risk Under Prescribed-Fire Scenarios
AUTHORS: Eric Hileman, U.S. Geological Service; Richard King, Northern Illinois University; Lisa Faust, Lincoln Park Zoo

ABSTRACT: Population viability analysis is a useful tool for comparing alternative management scenarios but requires accurate estimates of demographic parameters. A major threat to the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is habitat loss due to encroachment of woody vegetation and invasive species. Current land management practices include prescribed fire and mechanical control to maintain habitat suitability. Although these methods improve habitat quality, they may increase the risk of depredation due to reduced ground cover and can cause mortality if conducted when snakes are active. We estimated demographic parameters from an 8-year study of an Eastern Massasauga population near the range center of the species in southern Michigan. From 2009 to 2016, we captured 826 Eastern Massasaugas 1,776 times. Annual survival increased with increasing age (age 0=0.38, age 1=0.65, age 2=0.67, age >3 females=0.71, age >3 males=0.66), abundance ranged from 84 to 140 adults, annual reproductive frequency was 0.44, and litter size averaged 7.6 offspring. Using these parameter estimates, we created a baseline population viability model that incorporated current prescribed-fire practices. This model projected a stable population with only a 0.2–0.6% probability of extinction over 100 years, suggesting that current management practices at this site are sustainable. Simulations of modest increases in mortality due to fire changed the probability of extinction little over 50 years (<0.7%) but increased probability of extinction up to 24.5% over 100 years in the most pessimistic prescribed-burn scenario. These prescribed-burn simulations may be comparable to burn regimes used at other Eastern Massasauga sites. As information on geographic variation in Eastern Massasauga demography accumulates, population viability can be modeled more widely.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) The Epidemiology of Snake Fungal Disease in Eastern Massasaugas over the Last 10 Years
AUTHORS: Matthew C. Allender, Ellen Haynes, Marta Kelly – Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory, University of Illinois; Sarah J. Baker, Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory and Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: Snake fungal disease (SFD), caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, emerged as a wildlife disease threat over the last 10 years and specifically may threaten the conservation of free-ranging Eastern Massasaugas. Historical records and museum collections have now indicated that SFD was present in some populations in Illinois at least a decade before its description in the literature. The disease syndrome involves clinical signs ranging from minor raised and thickened scales to severe crusts or ulcers on the head and body and can cause death in severe cases. The disease has been found to affect at least 31 snake species. As part of ongoing surveillance for SFD, the Wildlife Epidemiology Lab routinely tests samples for the presence of O. ophiodiicola using qPCR. Since 2013, we have tested over 2000 snake samples from 69 species. In total, 616 positive samples have been recorded across 31 species in 11 states. Despite the apparent sensitivity of pit vipers, only 12.5% (n=99/693) of Eastern massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus) were positive, whereas nearly 60% (n=218/365) of water snakes (Nerodia sp.) were positive for O. ophiodiicola. Host factors, such as hematology and protein electrophoresis have demonstrated individual Eastern Massasaugas respond immunologically, but the basis for disease protection is unknown. This presentation will synthesize historical and existing knowledge of SFD in Eastern Massasaugas and plans for future efforts. Characterizing the epidemiology of this disease can improve future surveillance and management efforts that may mitigate its effects on snake populations worldwide.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Status and Assessment of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus) in Berrien County, Michigan
AUTHORS: Roshelle Hall (Masters in Biology); Dr. Daniel Gonzalez-Socoloske (Associate Professor); Dr. Peter Lyons (Associate Professor) – Andrews University

ABSTRACT: The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus; EMR) is a small robust pit viper currently found in nine states and the province of Ontario, Canada.  Wetland habitats have experienced significant destruction and fragmentation by humans; as a result, the current distribution of the EMR is a fraction of its historic distribution. For this reason, the EMR has been federally listed as threatened.  In general, little is known about the current distribution of this rattlesnake (in the southwest corner of Michigan), the size of local populations or their stability and genetic diversity. Much of this knowledge is based upon historical data.  Our purpose was to update the available information on the current status in Berrien County and one Van Buren County site. This was done through presence/absence surveys, evaluation of potential threats at each site visited and genetic analysis at the haplotype level.  Through our field surveys we confirmed presence of EMRs at 4 of the 6 historic locations surveyed.  Current threats at these sites include human encroachment, road traffic, and general health of the particular habitat.  Despite the relatively small sample size and isolated populations in these counties,  the haplotype diversity discovered appears to be high in comparison to the rest of their range. 

Monday January 28, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Monitoring Eastern Massasauga Populations Within the Carlyle Lake Region
AUTHORS: Michael J. Dreslik, Illinois Natural History Survey; John A. Crawford, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center; Sarah J. Baker, Illinois Natural History Survey; Christopher A. Phillips, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: For effective conservation and recovery, an adaptive management framework is often best when paired with monitoring population-level responses. In many species, monitoring abundances over time using traditional capture-mark-recapture (CMR) methods is logistically challenging. N-mixture models are an extension of the occupancy and detection probability framework and can estimate abundances across multiple populations. The models use raw abundance counts taken during surveys, model the distributions of capture frequencies, incorporate density-dependent effects and can provide population estimates when recaptures are too few. When validated with traditional CMR estimates, they can provide robust estimates for multiple populations across the landscape. We chose to determine the effectiveness of an N-mixture modeling approach to generate population size estimates for the Eastern Massasaugas within the Carlyle Lake region in Illinois. Our results will be used to determine regional population trends and provide a foundation to assess the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Combating Threats to the Eastern Massasauga with Directed Conservation Actions in Illinois
AUTHORS: Christopher A. Phillips, Sarah J. Baker, Michael J. Dreslik – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Conservation and recovery of declining species are costly endeavors often forcing difficult decisions with limited conservation funds available. Therefore, having a firm understanding of the specific threats a species or population faces can afford the development of more targeted actions. Conservation actions focusing on the most severe threats might have the largest benefit, but they must be achievable, realistic, and measurable. Small population dynamics necessitate the protection of individuals in addition to larger-scale actions to secure the whole population. Over our long-term study of the Eastern Massasauga at Carlyle Lake, we have identified numerous threats to population persistence. We have consistently applied directed conservation actions and reassessed their utility in an adaptive framework. Herein we provide a summary of how we are combating the threats to the Carlyle Lake population through planning and implementation.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Conservation and Recovery of the Eastern Massasauga in Ohio
AUTHORS: Gregory Lipps, Jr., Nicholas Smeenk – Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Once widely distributed throughout the glaciated portion of Ohio, the Eastern Massasauga is now extirpated at all but 12 sites in the state.  As part of a statewide comprehensive conservation plan for the species, three meetings with resource managers and researchers were convened in 2017-2018 to document the status of each site and prioritize conservation activities.  We developed a worksheet to record multiple metrics that describe the status of populations, habitat conditions, and changes to these values over time.  Occupied Massasauga sites in Ohio can generally be described as having small populations (estimated mean of sites: 59 adults; range: 3-433) but high densities (mean: 5.75 adults/ha; range: 0.7-15).  The amount of available herbaceous habitat at each site varies greatly, but is less than 28 ha for 75% of sites, with a mean of 51% of available habitat at each site known to be occupied (range: 1.5-100%).  The greatest challenge to conserving known populations is maintaining herbaceous habitat through snake-friendly management techniques to control woody and invasive species.  Recovery to more robust populations with predicted long-term viability will require expanding the amount of suitable habitat adjacent to occupied fields (which we have observed to be colonized at two sites) and investigating techniques for augmenting declining populations and repatriating snakes to suitable habitat. 

Monday January 28, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Validating a Habitat Suitability Index Model for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in Southern Michigan
AUTHORS: Stephanie A. Shaffer, Michigan State University; Henry Campa, III, Michigan State University; Daniel Kennedy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Gary Roloff, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is a federally threatened species ranging throughout the Great Lakes region. Conservation concerns for the species include declining availability of suitable areas due to habitat degradation and fragmentation. Our goal was to quantify habitat suitability for massasaugas using the Bailey (2010) habitat suitability index (HSI) model and validate this model throughout southern Michigan at 27 20-ha study sites. Sites were selected based on historical or current presence of massasaugas. Following methods described in the HSI model, in 2015 and 2016 we measured vegetation characteristics at 10 - 12 randomly selected locations within each site. As described by the HSI model, we quantified % live herbaceous cover (optimal suitability 60-100%), % dead herbaceous cover (51.5-96%), stem density of trees and shrubs > 3 m (0-58 per ha), basal area of trees and shrubs > 3 m (0-12.1 m2/ha), % area of early deciduous upland (0-57%), and % area of early deciduous wetland (23-73%). To validate the model, we used a resource selection probability function to identify disproportionate use by massasaugas of microhabitat structures defined as important for massasaugas by the HSI model (i.e., % live and dead herbaceous cover, number and average DBH of stems). Based on HSI modeling, habitat suitability rankings for massasauga locations compared to random locations throughout the study sites corroborated structures defined as “optimal” for the species by the HSI model. The resource selection probability function illustrated a positive relationship between massasauga use and the amount of live and dead herbaceous cover, and a negative relationship between use and the number and average DBH of woody stems. Our validation of the Bailey (2010) HSI model indicates that this habitat model is applicable when defining massasauga habitat throughout habitats of varying quality within Southern Michigan.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) An Experimental Assessment of Habitat Restoration Efforts for Eastern Massasaugas in Pennsylvania
AUTHORS: Howard K. Reinert, The College of New Jersey; Lauretta M. Bushar, Arcadia University; B. Scott Fiegel, Ecological Associates, LLC; Brandon M. Ruhe, Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation; Christopher A. Urban, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

ABSTRACT: Sistrurus catenatus in Pennsylvania has experienced a massive reduction in its distribution over the past 100 years, and it is now limited to four isolated populations. One of the greatest threats to these remaining populations is the succession of open, wetland and meadow habitat (previously maintained by cattle grazing and hay production) to forest. This study took an experimental approach to determine the efficacy of forest removal to re-establish suitable habitat. The study site selected had served as the site of the first telemetric field study of massasaugas in Pennsylvania from 1976-78. At that time the area supported a large population of snakes, and 28 ha of occupied habitat. By 2012, maturation of conifer plantation plantings and encroaching deciduous hardwood forest had reduced the area of open habitat to 2.5 ha. During the winter of 2012, 10 ha of forest was convert to open habitat by a combination of commercial logging, mulching of woody debris, and seeding with native grasses and forbs. Radio tracking of snakes began one year prior to habitat restoration (Spring 2012) and continued for three years after initial restoration activities (to Fall 2015). A total of 24 male, non-gravid female, and gravid female massasaugas were monitored. Prior to restoration activity (2012) and immediately following forest removal (2013) snakes did not utilize the newly altered habitat. In 2014, 9 out of the 15 monitored snakes used the restoration area, and 36.5% of all observations were in the restored habitat. In 2015, all 6 monitored snakes used the restoration area, and 52.5% of all observation were in the restored habitat. Successful foraging, mating, gestation, and overwintering were observed in restored habitat indicating that the restoration successfully re-created suitable habitat. The observations further indicate that massasaugas had the ability to rapidly locate and utilize newly created habitat.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Translocating Eastern Massasaugas: Approaches and Limitations
AUTHORS: Bruce Kingsbury, Purdue University Fort Wayne; Jillian Josimovich, US Geological Survey; Monica Matthews, Purdue University Fort Wayne; Sasha Tetzlaff, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Brett DeGregorio, US Army Corps of Engineers

ABSTRACT: Wildlife translocation involves moving animals to augment depleted populations or to repatriate extirpated ones, or to move “nuisance” animals from places where they might cause harm or be in harm’s way when non-conservation activities threaten them. Many translocations are occurring ahead of our understanding of best practices, and are often unsuccessful as evidenced by increased mortality or departures from a targeted destination. We have been studying the translocation of Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), a small, federally threatened rattlesnake, at a site in Michigan near the northern extent of the species’ range. As part of this ongoing research, we have also been exploring the utility of “soft-release”, which involves temporarily keeping some individuals in an outdoor enclosure at the release site in the hopes that they will acclimate to the new environment more readily than those immediately “hard-released”. To date, we have radio-tracked over 50 translocated and resident (control) massasaugas to investigate their habitat use, spatial ecology and behavior. We report on our findings. Notably, among male massasaugas (the group we had the largest sample for at time of writing), residents had a survival rate of 0.72 (+ SE = 0.21), while hard-released snakes had a reduced annual survivorship of 0.40 (+ 0.20) and soft-released 0.44 (+ 0.18). Evaluations of females are forthcoming. These preliminary outcomes indicate that translocated snakes may experience higher mortalities, and that soft-release does not appear to improve that outcome. Given the increased rates of mortality for individuals moved into unfamiliar territory, nuisance animals should be moved the shortest distances possible, and ideally within their home ranges. Massasaugas translocated out of their home ranges will likely experience higher mortality than residents, and translocation efforts should incorporate that result during planning.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Case Study: Using a Drone Mounted Thermal Camera to Detect Eastern Massasaugas at Jennings Environmental Education Center, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
AUTHORS: Christine Proctor, Albert Sarvis – Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

ABSTRACT: Once a widespread and common snake, the eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is protected in every state where it currently occurs and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. The use of drones to count wildlife is increasing, however they are primarily used to quantify conspicuous endothermic species. This ongoing study is exploring the potential of drone mounted thermal imaging to increase detection of this cryptic reptile. We hypothesized that thermal imaging captured via a remotely controlled drone will increase our ability to accurately quantify eastern massasauga populations, as compared to more traditional methods. A thermal sensor mounted to a drone was manually flown over a 20-acre managed prairie with a confirmed population of eastern massasaugas in a systematic pattern at an elevation of 10 meters, providing a ground resolution of 1.85 centimeters. Two controllers were used, allowing one person to focus on flying the drone while the other closely monitored the imagery. A third person was directed to the location of a suspected snake for visual confirmation. Once visual confirmation was made, we collected temperature data for both the snake and the ambient environment using a laser thermometer. This allowed for an increased understanding of the minimal temperature difference between the snake and ground required for detection, helping to set target temperature ranges and improve overall detection. During this process we also collected data on thermal signatures of non-snake items such as small mammals, branches, ant hills, and water, helping to train observers on how to interpret the imagery at a higher accuracy. The results from this study have the potential to improve the accuracy of data collection, influencing the future of cryptic reptile detection.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Overview of a New Initiative That Engages Private Landowners in Eastern Massasauga Conservation in Ontario
AUTHORS: Crystal Robertson, Andrew Lentini, Rick Vos – Toronto Zoo

ABSTRACT: Much of the habitat for Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in Ontario is held under private ownership. While the value of engaging private landowners in massasauga conservation has long been recognized, many general education efforts have limited on-the-ground impact. The Toronto Zoo has been involved with massasauga conservation since the 1980s through assurance population management and the development of various outreach resources. The type of messages shared with the public has evolved over time and increasingly requests are fielded about roles played by individual landowners in conserving massasaugas. Over the past four years, Toronto Zoo redeveloped our education materials and landowner engagement offerings to better meet these needs. We now design personalized habitat management guidelines for landowners to enhance their stewardship role. This initiative involves reaching out to landowners through our network of partners and arranging for Zoo staff to gather information on resident snakes during site visits to private properties. The habitat management guidelines offer information on areas of seasonal massasauga activity allowing landowners to plan activities, such as selective tree harvesting, at times that minimize impacts on resident snakes. The guidelines also identify potential habitat enhancement or restoration activities that landowners can undertake with Zoo support. An updated suite of outreach products has been developed to support this initiative and allow participating landowners to spread the word about massasauga conservation. We also utilize visual storytelling in a new video with messaging about massasauga status in Ontario, relevant stewardship actions and local projects being undertaken to support its recovery.  With its accompanying resources, the program now engages the public in safe and relevant actions that reinforce their role in species conservation while developing a new generation of advocates for coexisting with Ontario’s only venomous snake.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Inferring Landscape-scale Connectivity Between Local Populations of the Eastern Massasauga Using Genome-scale Markers
AUTHORS: Scott Martin, H. Lisle Gibbs – Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University and Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University; Greg Lipps, Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Effective management of rare species relies on knowing the spatial structuring and connectivity between populations. For example, the ability of individuals to move between populations increases the likelihood of long-term persistence of a species by promoting gene flow and buffering populations against stochastic demographic events, whereas a lack of movement leads to population isolation and an increase in genetic drift. Genetic markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), can be used to determine if individuals successfully disperse between populations with a high degree of resolution. We used genome scale genetic markers to study the population connectivity of the federally threatened Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) which exists across the US portion of its range in small isolated populations. Specifically, we generated ddRADseq data for 114 individuals from sixteen fields comprising six putative populations in NE Ohio. We then calculated pairwise genetic distances between all sites. These distances were used to optimize resistances maps based on elevation and landcover in R. The top resistance values were then added to the program ‘Circuitscape’ which uses circuit-theory based modelling to map areas critical to maintaining genetic connectivity between sites while allowing for multiple pathways between sites. Our results show how genetic data can be used to determine spatial structuring in a patchily distributed species, and to map critical corridors that maintain connectivity between sites.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Using Landscape Genetics to Understand Connectivity of an Island Population of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus)
AUTHORS: Nathan Kudla, Grand Valley State University; Eric McCluskey, Grand Valley State University; Jen Moore, Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT: Populations with low gene flow can become negatively influenced by increased levels of inbreeding, lower genetic diversity, and reduced adaptive potential. Landscape genetics allows for spatial and genetic information to be analyzed simultaneously to better understand how the landscape influences gene flow. This information is then used to estimate population connectivity and identify landscape features which act as barriers or promoters of gene flow. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) is a federally threatened viper typically found in wetlands throughout the Great Lakes region. Due primarily to a loss of habitat, many remaining populations are small and isolated. This lack of connectivity brings into question the survival of these populations into the future. Unlike many other populations, the eastern massasauga rattlesnakes on Bois Blanc Island, Michigan live in a relatively undisturbed habitat with a potential for high connectivity across the 88 km<sup>2</sup> landscape. We used landscape genetics to estimate genetic connectivity of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes across Bois Blanc Island. 109 Individuals were genotyped at 16 microsatellite loci and pairwise genetic distances were calculated as the proportion of shared alleles (D<sub>ps</sub>). We used resistance surface modeling to assess how the island landscape is influencing gene flow. Our results will provide insight into how eastern massasauga rattlesnake populations function in areas with limited human presence and minimal landscape alteration and if population connectivity can be maintained across a well-connected landscape with high abundance.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

4:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Does Habitat Area Influence Genetic Diversity? A Case Study with the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)
AUTHORS: Eric McCluskey, Grand Valley State University; H. Lisle Gibbs, The Ohio State University; Scott Martin, The Ohio State University; Jennifer Moore, Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT: The loss of genetic diversity in fragmented landscapes is a major concern for threatened and endangered species. Reductions in patch size and connectivity are expected to further erode genetic diversity for isolated populations. In order to preserve genetic diversity, most conservation efforts are focused on ameliorating the connectivity issue via corridor creation to promote gene flow. Addressing the potential loss of genetic diversity from a habitat perspective is less straightforward because the relationship between habitat area and genetic diversity has not been thoroughly investigated across taxa in the field of landscape genetics. We examined this relationship for a federally threatened species, Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus), that is largely restricted to isolated populations making loss of genetic diversity a pertinent management issue. We obtained genetic diversity data from populations across the range that varied in habitat amount and land use history. A subset of these are in states (IL, MI, and OH) with historic land cover datasets, derived from Public Land Surveys conducted prior to most land alterations associated with European colonization and expansion. We evaluated the relationship between various habitat metrics and genetic diversity across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Across the range, genetic diversity does not appear to be directly related to habitat area at the patch level within contemporary environments. We did detect a lasting genetic signal from historic habitat levels at a broad scale. Populations with high habitat area estimates from the 1800s exhibited moderate to high genetic diversity, despite dramatic habitat loss in some cases. These results demonstrate a certain degree of genetic resiliency among historically robust populations. Hence, even small, remnant populations may still harbor allelic diversity that could be maintained with proactive habitat management to boost population size and connectivity.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B
 
Tuesday, January 29
 

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Wetland Habitat and Bird Population Changes over Time: the Dynamics of Coastal Wetlands
AUTHORS: John Simpson, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy

ABSTRACT: The lower Great Lakes region has experienced one of the greatest rates of wetland loss in North America. The remaining coastal wetlands, though naturally resilient and dynamic, are subjected to a wide variety of anthropogenic stressors, and losses in both quantity and quality continue. Using western Lake Erie as an example, we can trace changes in wetland habitat and losses since European settlement through a variety of historical records, including changes in wetland-bird, plant abundances and assemblages, and waterfowl populations. While the Great Lakes wetlands remain still under threat, many groups are attempting to restore and protect wetlands throughout the basin and great interest is currently being placed on the role wetlands could possibly have in reducing and mitigating harmful algal blooms that are occurring throughout the lower Great Lakes system.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Evolution of Wetland Conservation and Policy: Developing Programs and Partnerships
AUTHORS: Steven A. Gray, Retired Ohio Division of Wildlife; Gildo M. Tori, Ducks Unlimited; David Brakhage, Ducks Unlimited;

ABSTRACT: Wetland conservation in the Lower Great Lakes region occurred shortly after European settlement.  The rich marshes provide excellent waterfowl hunting, spurring the growth of private duck hunting clubs, maintained and managed the land for hunting, fishing and trapping. These early sportsmen spawned the development of early conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited and state Fish and Wildlife Agencies in the early 1900s.  With the initiation of funding mechanisms like duck stamps, hunting licenses and excise taxes on sporting equipment, lands were purchased as state and national wildlife areas and opened to the general public for outdoor recreation.  As populations expanded, conservation became more sophisticated with the development of flyway councils to regulate harvest of migratory birds, but conservation of habitats did not keep pace.  As a result the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and habitat joint ventures was born aimed at dramatically increasing wetlands and associated habitats throughout North America.  Subsequent policy efforts created the North American Wetlands Conservation Act in 1989, which encouraged partnerships and provided federal grants to advance conservation.  The lower Great Lakes region was a focal area and received many grants to facilitate wetland restoration, on both public and private lands.  The 1985 and 1991 Farm Bills created programs such as the Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs that conserved soil, water and wildlife.However, wetland loss and need continued to grow. In May 2004 President George Bush issued an Executive Order, which recognized the Great Lakes as a "national treasure” and in 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched out of the collaboration, and President Barack Obama and Congress provided federal funding to support habitat conservation efforts.This presentation will focus on the historical development, challenges and opportunities, and advancement of wetland conservation in the lower Great Lakes region.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Synthesizing the Science to Support Management of Invasive Plants
AUTHORS: Kurt P. Kowalski, U.S. Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: The invasion of non-native wetland plants is one of the many stressors degrading Lake Erie and surrounding watersheds. Once established, invasive plants often outcompete native plants, impair fish and wildlife habitat, degrade recreational opportunities, increase fire hazard, and reduce property values. Resource managers and regional funding agencies (e.g., the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative) invest a significant amount of resources to address this high priority issue. However, the conventional approaches to invasive plant management (e.g., herbicide, cutting, burning, flooding) often only provide temporary control, are difficult to maintain at the landscape scale, and are not species specific. Efforts to collaborate on a local scale (e.g., Cooperative Weed Management Areas) and at the basin-wide scale (e.g., Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative, Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework) are maximizing the impact of investments, but additional management options are desired by resource managers. Phragmites australis, Typha spp., Butomus umbellatus, Phalaris arundinacea, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, Hydrilla verticillata, and Myriophyllum spicatum are just a few of the many non-native plant species found in Lake Erie coastal habitats. Although all of these species are being managed at some level, a few widespread species (e.g., Phragmites) are very visible, of great concern to private and public landowners, and targeted for intensive research efforts into new management approaches that can be adapted to the other species. For example, recent advances have revealed the extensive suite of microbes (e.g., bacteria, fungi) that live symbiotically in and around non-native Phragmites. The relationship between microbes and the plant can enhance the plant’s ability to outcompete native plants and is a target for new control approaches (e.g., disrupting important mutualisms). Ongoing research focused on Phragmites is laying the groundwork for application to other undesirable non-native plants and enhancing the growth of desirable native or crop species.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Great Black Swamp Region of Northwestern Ohio
AUTHORS: Matthew Kovach, Tara Baranowski – The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: Ohio has lost over 90% of its wetlands with the majority of that loss occurring in the Great Black Swamp region of northwestern Ohio. The Nature Conservancy and many other partners are working to restore this important habitat. The restoration of wetland plant communities differs based upon the site specific conditions present: Hydrological reconnection types and regimes, Lake Erie water level fluctuations, native sediment loss and alteration, watershed dynamics and historical landscape alterations, climate change implications, coastal erosional processes, and wetland mitigation. This work also varies based upon the ultimate goals of the restoration. This presentation will discuss how all of those factors play into The Nature Conservancy’s work to restore and create native wetland plant communities and the benefits and tradeoffs associated with that work.   

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-08) A Decade of Privately Owned Wetland Restorations in the Lake Erie Marsh Focus Area
AUTHORS: Jeff Finn, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Mark Witt, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Joe Uhinck, Ottawa County Soil and Water Conservation District

ABSTRACT: The wetland habitat of the Western Basin of Lake Erie has endured significant loss since the settlement of Europeans in the area. Some estimates put the loss at over 90%. The area is listed as a crucial element in the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan and significant in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture plans of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The importance of coastal and interior wetlands has become increasingly apparent due to recent water quality issues within the Western Basin of Lake Erie. There are a variety of agencies and organizations that have been working together to restore wetlands within the Lake Erie Marsh Focus Area. Ohio Division of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, and Ottawa County Soil and Water Conservation District have worked together to create a cumulative effect that is transforming much of this area from farmed or degraded land, to productive wetland habitat. Accomplishments are often measured on an annual basis, taking a snapshot of what has occurred within a given year. The cumulative effect of restoration efforts is not readily apparent unless one takes the time to capture and quantify what each organization or agency has accomplished over a longer period of time. The most important factor may not be the influx of government agencies but the willingness of landowners to restore wetland habitat on privately owned land. What motivates each of these landowners can be vastly different. Monetary incentives, recreational opportunities like hunting and trapping, or simply having a conservation ethic to restore habitat are all drivers that motivate landowners to restore habitat.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Waterfowl Ecology and Management in the Lower Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Matthew Palumbo, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, David Luukkonen, Michigan State University; John Coluccy, Ducks Unlimited

ABSTRACT: Abstract: Applied scientific research has been an underpinning of sound waterfowl and wetland conservation for decades. The Lower Great Lakes (LGL), especially wetland and adjacent upland habitats near Lakes Erie, St. Clair, and Ontario, were historically and remain a critical region for waterfowl of the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. In fact, hundreds of thousands of waterfowl use this landscape as their primary breeding location and millions use the resources of the region during migration between breeding and wintering areas. Waterfowl managers and researchers in the LGL have strong partnerships and have largely focused efforts in this region on studies that improve understanding of the overall ecology of the species and how management actions can influence these birds. Specifically, the LGL have been the home to seminal studies on waterfowl bioenergetic modeling during spring migration, habitat use and movement for key focal species (e.g., mallards), monitoring and evaluation of diving sea duck distributions on the Great Lakes, studying the potential limiting factors for Great Lakes mallard populations, and influence of weather, wetland availability, and mallard abundance on productivity of Great Lakes mallards. Importantly, these studies have critical linkages to management which have serviced wetlands conservation. Our objective is to synthesize recent research that has improved our understanding of waterfowl ecology and habitat management in the region. Additionally, we will identify future research needs and information gaps to expand waterfowl conservation in the LGL.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Recent Advancements in Our Understanding of Secretive Marshbirds in the Lower Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Brendan Shirkey, WInous Point Marsh Conservancy, Doug Tozier, Bird Studies Canada, Mike Monfils, Michigan Natural Features Inventory

ABSTRACT: Historically, wetland research and management in the lower Great Lakes region has focused on waterfowl given the vested human interest and continental significance of the area as migratory stopover habitat. Recently, additional research focused on secretive marshbirds (e.g., king rails, yellow rails, Virginia rails, sora, least bitterns and American bitters) has gained momentum. Unlike waterfowl populations that are at historically high levels, many secretive marshbird species have experienced significant population decline in the past several decades. However, due to the extremely limited amount of research and secretive nature of many of these bird species, population trend data is lacking and any understanding of habitat associations that might be causing population declines is nonexistent. Many state and federal agencies as well as NGO’s have begun to work collaboratively throughout the Great Lakes region to monitor secretive marshbird populations to fill some of these knowledge gaps. The objectives of this presentation are to: 1) summarize historical marshbird research in the region, 2) highlight recent research that has improved our understanding of secretive marshbirds in the region, and 3) identify future research and information needed to improve our conservation of secretive marshbirds in the lower Great Lakes region. We hope that a continued to effort to understand the life history and habitat associations of secretive marshbirds will ultimately lead to improved habitat management with the potential to benefit waterfowl and simultaneously other wetland-dependent birds and wildlife, including secretive marshbirds.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Ecology and Management of Fall and Spring Migrating Shorebirds in the Western Basin of Lake Erie
AUTHORS: Robert J. Gates, Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources; Mark Shieldcastle, Black Swamp Bird Observatory; David Ewert, American Bird Conservancy; Keith Norris, The Wildlife Society; Tara Baranowski, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio

ABSTRACT: The Lake Erie Marsh region, long recognized as a continentally significant migratory crossroad for waterfowl and other migratory birds with a rich tradition of waterfowl hunting was recognized as a regionally significant migration staging area by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).  Nomination as a WHSRN site was based on counts of 38 shorebird species with minimum known numbers >100,000 birds, compiled from standardized surveys by Black Swamp Bird Observatory during 1993-1999.  Repeated surveys of random plots during springs and autumns 2002-2003 revealed shorebird populations that exceeded 100,000 birds on and near just two major marsh complexes (Winous Point Marsh Conservancy and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area) in the Lake Erie marsh region.   Shorebird habitats in the region principally comprise managed impoundments where water levels are manipulated to produce food and cover for waterfowl and create hunting opportunity.  Managed marshes were the mainstay for shorebirds during autumn and spring migration in 2002-2003, although estuaries attracted large numbers during seiche events.  Surrounding crop fields were used sporadically after precipitation events in spring but were generally too vegetated to attract shorebirds in autumn.  Four shorebird species gained 0.28–1.49 g body mass/day with invertebrate biomass densities that ranged from 3.7–12.1 kg/ha during fall migration 2006-2013.  Estimated stopover durations were 12-16 days.  The Lake Erie marsh region likely merits WHSRN status as an internationally important shorebird area.  Results from our studies are used to inform habitat conservation planning and management by state and federal agencies and NGOs in the region.  We discuss gaps in our knowledge of migrating shorebirds in the region, including spring vs. fall habitat limitation and energetic carrying capacities of cover types used by migrating shorebirds.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

2:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-08) Great Lakes Shorelines: Influence on Landbird Distribution
AUTHORS: David Ewert, American Bird Conservancy; Christopher Tonra, The Ohio State University; Tom Will, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT:  The importance of shoreline habitats to landbirds varies with latitude, shoreline substrate, and by season.  Metamorphic bluffs with high gradient bathymetry adjacent to boreal forest along Lake Superior provide strikingly different habitat than low gradient, silty shorelines bordered by deciduous forest and forested wetlands on or near Lake Erie shorelines.  In turn, these ecologically diverse landscapes result in different land-water interactions that influence how landbirds use shoreline habitat. During stationary periods of the annual cycle, breeding and wintering seasons, species characteristic of wetlands or beach and dune habitats may be relatively common near Great Lakes shorelines.   This includes breeding Bank Swallows and Prairie Warblers and wintering Snowy Owls.  Indirect effects of a relatively cool and moist nearshore microclimate also influence distribution and relative abundance of species such as the Northern Parula and Canada Warbler.Perhaps the best known use of shoreline habitat by landbirds is that of fall-out areas, especially for passerines, and as migratory corridors for raptors and diurnally migrating passerines that follow Great Lakes shorelines.  Additionally, during spring and fall migration at least some Great Lakes shorelines and islands provide important refugia, foraging, and molt-migration areas for landbirds.   Conservation efforts for landbirds focused on Great Lakes shorelines have primarily focused on ensuring suitable habitat for migrating landbirds.  This includes formation of the Midwest Migration Network, shoreline protection, habitat restoration near Great Lakes shorelines, lights-out programs, especially in major cities, use of bird-friendly glass, and posting of a Great Lakes migration portal that provides guidance for conservation of stopover sites near the Great Lakes. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Full Annual Cycle Ecology and Conservation of Migratory Birds in the Lower Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Christopher M Tonra, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Increasingly the bias in research towards the stationary portion of the breeding season in animal ecology is being recognized as a barrier to effective conservation. While breeding seasons limit productivity, survival can be most limited outside of the breeding season, and determining limiting factors during these stages can be critical to understanding population dynamics and habitat requirements. This is the case for many populations of migratory birds in the either breed, stage/stopover during migration, or overwinter in the lower Great Lakes. I will present an overview of full annual cycle research on migratory birds in the coastal lower Great Lakes, as well as a more detailed look into several case studies that have advanced our knowledge in this area. This will include an examination of applications for emerging technologies and coordinated monitoring to bridge current information gaps.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) The Effect of Hydrological Restoration on Nutrient Concentrations and Macroinvertebrate Communities in Lake Erie Coastal Wetlands
AUTHORS: Elizabeth A. Berg, Lauren M. Pintor – Ohio State University, School of Environment & Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Growing concern over the occurrence of harmful algal blooms has prompted efforts to reconnect coastal wetlands to Lake Erie and its tributaries in order to restore ecosystem functions and provide biodiversity support. In particular, stakeholders have collaborated to hydrologically reconnect approximately 2,397 acres of protected, diked wetlands in Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in an effort to reduce nutrient inputs from the Maumee Area of Concern and improve habitat for economically important fisheries and wildlife. However, hydrologic connection to Lake Erie and impaired tributaries within the watershed may expose biota in previously diked wetlands to new stressors such as nutrient enrichment and invasion of non-native species. Here we examined the effect of hydrologic reconnection of diked wetlands on nutrient concentrations and macroinvertebrate biodiversity. Specifically, our objectives were to: 1) compare phosphorous and nitrogen concentrations between diked and reconnected wetlands,  2) compare taxonomic and functional trait diversity of macroinvertebrates between diked and reconnected wetlands, and 3) examine the relationships between nutrients and macroinvertebrate communities. If the reconnection of coastal wetlands had an effect on nutrient levels and macroinvertebrate communities, we predicted that 1) nutrients and macroinvertebrates would differ in reconnected and diked wetlands, and 2) macroinvertebrate communities would be impaired in wetlands with higher nutrient concentrations. We found total nitrogen was lower in reconnected wetlands, but total phosphorus was similar in reconnected and diked wetlands. All macroinvertebrate taxonomic metrics and most functional metrics were similar in reconnected and diked wetlands. Nutrient concentration gradients and yearly nutrient fluctuation, rather than wetland restoration, drove shifts in macroinvertebrate community structure.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

3:40pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-08) Prioritizing Regional Landscapes to Achieve Biological and Social Objectives Through Wetland Bird Habitat Conservation
AUTHORS: Gregory J. Soulliere, Mohammed A. Al-Saffar – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Targeting conservation to achieve biological objectives for waterfowl and social objectives for people is an emerging priority for bird conservation Joint Ventures implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP).  To help achieve NAWMP goals in the Upper Mississippi / Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region, we integrated objectives related to waterfowl population demography, conservation supporters (hunters and birders), and ecological goods and services important to society and developed a Decision Support Tool (DST).  Starting with a table of contemporary conservation issues, we transformed related biological and social data into a family of six spatially explicit model-based maps designed to achieve individual objectives.  Output maps were weighted based on discussion with regional decision makers (i.e., the JV Management Board) and then combined, resulting in an aggregate DST to target conservation for waterfowl and people in the JV region.  The tool was designed to be flexible and adaptable; objectives and objective weights may be adjusted and subsequent output maps customized depending on stakeholder priorities.  Current JV objectives to retain and restore high value waterfowl habitats, while enhancing hunting and birding opportunity and addressing watershed impairments, resulted in a spatially explicit DST with solid emphasis in the lower half of the Great Lakes region.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B
 
Wednesday, January 30
 

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) It's Time to Change the Game: How Can Natural Resource Agencies Use New Communication Tools to Stay Relevant?
AUTHORS: Sawyer Briel, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: New technology has given way to a sea change in how many of our users receive and interpret. So, what does this mean for state fish and wildlife agencies? To stay relevant and share our message, we need to adapt and use modern tools in our communications and outreach. Whether through podcasts, vlogs or a number of other tools, there are cost-effective and efficient ways to reach new (and current) users. In turn, partnerships and connections that may not have been possible ten years ago are now a reality, thanks to social media and other new communication tools.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Seizing an Opportunity for Engagement with New Stakeholders: Building Wildlife Policy and Agency Relevancy
AUTHORS: Barbara Avers, Amy Derosier – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: State wildlife agencies (SWAs) have limited opportunities to interact with new constituents, and many times these are unsolicited interactions. Yet these exchanges can provide important opportunities for SWAs to build trust and relevancy with new stakeholders by creating strong processes that include transparency and clear decision space. We will share an example in Michigan where Michigan DNR engaged with a new group of constituents to develop a policy and program to address swimmer’s itch concerns.  Residents of several northern Michigan lakes had serious concerns that swimmer’s itch was negatively impacting local economies and were seeking a solution.  Since previous research indicated that common mergansers (Mergus merganser) are an important host for the parasite that causes swimmer’s itch, there was a desire by several lake associations to control these waterfowl despite concerns by state and federal wildlife agencies and other stakeholders.  Concerned citizens turned to their state legislators for relief and the Michigan DNR was tasked with resolving the issue. The Michigan DNR convened a core team of diverse stakeholders to co-develop a policy and program for common merganser control and used an interest-based approach that recognized multiple and diverse interests in the issue (e.g., lake residents for and against lethal control, tourism industry, wildlife managers, health departments, bird watchers, waterfowl hunters). Through the engagement process, a common understanding of the issue was developed, and the agency was able to better understand and manage stakeholder expectations.  Using this example, we will present challenges and successes of the engagement process, as well as provide tangible recommendations and tools for future stakeholder engagement opportunities.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Differential Constraints and Preferences of Anglers and Non-anglers in Urban Areas of Iowa
AUTHORS: Rebecca M. Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Like many other states, Iowa faces dwindling fishing participation and increasing urbanization. To better target urban and suburban anglers, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources created a community fishing program. To guide the program, a general population survey was conducted in Iowa’s urban and suburban communities. Survey questions focused on constraints to fishing participation, characterization of an ideal fishing trip, identification of important amenities and features, and identification of useful outreach programs. Cluster analysis yielded several groups defined by unique sets of constraints, including concern over the safety of eating fish, family friendliness, marginality, lack of basic knowledge, need for mentorship, accessibility, and catch quality and quantity. The importance of various constraints differed by demographic group and by background of the respondent (i.e., whether they grew up in a rural location, urban center, or other). In addition, preferences for an ideal fishing location and educational programs differed by cluster, demographic group, and level of fishing experience. Interestingly, the most common features characterizing an ideal fishing trip were experiential (e.g., being able to fish a location with good water quality) rather than catch-oriented (e.g., being able to catch many or large fish). These data were combined with tapestry data, allowing the characterization of neighborhoods by their probable reception to various fishing opportunities and programs. The results provide guidance to Iowa’s community fishing program for strategic fishery planning and marketing.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Breaking It Down: Communicating Complex Subjects to the People We Serve
AUTHORS: Beth Fults, Kathleen Lavey – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Professional marketers and communicators spend their careers finding the right images and words to sell a product or service, share news, or to help people learn – many times all at once. This is an important job, and in science-based worlds, carefully chosen and easily understood words are especially vital. Oftentimes the subject matter that needs to be shared with the public – those who are the true owners of our natural resources – is the most difficult to understand outside the world of biologists. This symposium will provide real examples of successful communication and marketing campaigns the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has spearheaded -- including a current television, digital, radio and outreach campaign that is reaching urban areas in Michigan to explain the importance of forest management -- advice, and expertise on how science professionals can best work with communications experts to get messages out to the masses. 

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Learning from Michigan’s Women Anglers Through Community Engagement and Photography
AUTHORS: Erin M. Burkett, Michigan Technological University; Amanda Popovich, Lake Superior State University

ABSTRACT: Recreational fishing is an important part of Michigan’s economy and outdoor culture, and women’s participation in recreational fishing is on the rise. Providing fishing opportunities for all stakeholders, including women, requires fisheries management agencies to gain a better understanding how women are recruited into fishing, what draws them to fishing, and what aspects of the sport they enjoy the most. This includes information about their experiences, values, and preferences regarding fishing and fisheries more broadly. Previous studies found that men and women sometimes ascribe different values and meanings to recreational fishing, but the underlying gender-based reasons for these differences, and how they relate to the underrepresentation of women in recreational fishing, has not been explored. Gendered expectations and related social processes are linked to both how natural resource management operates and what outdoor recreation activities are perceived as appropriate for women. This study’s purpose is to use a community and participant-centered method called Photovoice to better understand Michigan’s women anglers. I ask the following research questions: 1) Why do Michigan women fish?; 2) What does fishing mean to them?; and 3) What experiences or perceptions shape their initial decision to fish and continued participation in recreational fishing? Photovoice allows participants to record their experiences, values, and opinions through pictures and develop personal narratives during facilitated group discussions. This approach can invoke explanations of social processes that are inaccessible to more traditional social research methods like surveys. In this talk I will present the study findings including the participants’ own photographs, the major themes that emerged from their experiences and conversations with other participants, and how the participants decided to use this project as a means of organizing some policy-related action.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B
 


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  • Main Agenda Item
  • PLENARY SESSION
  • Poster
  • S01: Using Standardized Assessments to Evaluate Harvest Regulations: Advancing Science-Based Fisheries Management
  • S02: Eastern Massasauga Conservation - Management - Recovery
  • S03: Application of environmental DNA-based tools for aquatic invasive species monitoring and management
  • S04: Great Lakes Trophic Structure: Innovations and ongoing studies of predatory fishes
  • S05: Migratory wildlife collisions with manmade structures: monitoring - prevention - patterns from collision data
  • S06: Considering New Paradigms in the Management of Beaver - Trout - Riparian Habitats
  • S07: Use of Acoustic Telemetry to Inform Fisheries Management Across Midwestern US and Canada
  • S08: Science in service to wetlands conservation and wildlife management in the lower Great Lakes region: history - status - state of the art
  • S09: Carbon Dioxide As An Aquatic Resource Management Tool
  • S10: The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership: An Innovative University-State Agency Partnership for Conservation in Ohio
  • S11: Dreissenid Mussels: Advancements in control - detection - management - biology
  • S12: Reading the aquatic landscape and connecting restoration design
  • S13: Sea Grant role in communicating needs to inform research and conservation
  • S14: Bridging the Gap between Fish and Wildlife: Discussions on Multi-Species Interactions and Ecosystem Stability
  • S15: Collaborating with community members: the human side of fish and wildlife management and research
  • S16: Agriculture and Wildlife Coexistence in the Midwest United States
  • Student Event
  • T01: Fisheries: Great Lakes I
  • T02: Wildlife: Urban-Wildlife Conflict
  • T03: Fisheries: Behavior & Physiology
  • T04: Wildlife: Wetland Conservation
  • T05: Lightning Talk Session: Fisheries
  • T06: Human Dimensions: Fisheries I
  • T07: Fisheries: Rivers & Streams
  • T08: Wildlife: Waterfowl
  • T09: Human Dimensions: Wildlife
  • T10: Fisheries: Invasive Species I
  • T11: Fisheries: Fish Conservation
  • T12: Wildlife: Cervids
  • T13: Fisheries: Habitat
  • T14: Fisheries: Great Lakes II
  • T15: Fisheries: Lakes & Reservoirs
  • T16: Fisheries: Invertebrates
  • T17: Wildlife: Mammals
  • T18: Human Dimensions: Policy & Engagement
  • T19: Fisheries: Early Life History
  • T20: Wildlife: Upland I
  • T21: Fisheries: Invasive Species II
  • T22: Wildlife: Turtles
  • T23: Fisheries: Big Rivers
  • T24: Wildlife: Upland II
  • T25: Fisheries: Techniques
  • T26: Fisheries: Invasive Species III
  • T27: Wildlife: Avian
  • T28: Lightning Talk Session: Wildlife
  • T29: Human Dimensions: Fisheries II
  • Workshop