March 29, 2012
Quonset O Club, North Kingstown, RI
The theme was human-wildlife conflict, focused on problems in southern New England. Recent research, management directions, and public outreach initiatives about animal impacts on human activities (wildlife damage management) and human impacts on animals (conservation biology) were presented through oral papers and poster displays. Suburban development and increased transportation utilization have put larger numbers of people into habitats that are used increasingly by animals that were formerly much reduced or even extirpated but have now re-occupied former range. The physical gap is closing between everyday human activity and everyday wild animal activity, leading to increased conflicts and increased calls for active management of wildlife such as coyotes, beaver, deer, geese and other species. The conference was intended to help attendees think about trends in human-wildlife interactions in a systematic manner, apply scientific knowledge to conflict reduction, and have greater awareness of the issues.
Features included presentation of a posthumous RINHS Distinguished Naturalist Award to journalist Peter Lord. It was accepted by Providence Journal Executive Editor Tom Heslin. Also the presentation of a Golden Eye award to David Prigmore. Introductory remarks were made by Monte Chandler, director of USDA Wildlife Services for RI, CT, and MA. A panel discussion at lunch was entitled “Domestic Cats, Wildlife Rehabilitation, & Public Health.” The day ended with another panel discussion entitled “What’s in the Human-Wildlife Interaction Toolbox?”
2012 Conference Program (PDF)