From October 17 to 21, 2015, wildlife biologists from across the world came to Manitoba to discuss the latest science and technology, and how they relate to the fish and wildlife populations they help manage.
About 1,500 people, largely professional wildlife managers and graduate students, converged on the Winnipeg Convention Centre for The Wildlife Society’s annual conference, bringing the event to Canada for only the second time.
The TWS’s local fundraising committee had applied to our Hunter and Angler Preservation Fund to help sponsor the conference, and the MLOA board was proud to approve a grant of $1,000 in support of the non-profit organization, which has been promoting a scientific approach to fish and wildlife management for more than 75 years.
The MLOA had a booth at the event, along with 50 or so other exhibitors ranging from government agencies and universities to the makers of scientific equipment. We received a warm welcome and a positive response from both the conference organizers and attendees. We spent much of the time speaking with visitors from other parts of North America, many of whom were avid hunters or anglers and wanted to see what opportunities Manitoba had to offer (we do know a few outfitters after all!)
We also had the opportunity not only to converse with our local biologists and their international colleagues, but to listen to them speak and to learn from their posters and presentations.
There were hundreds of topics on offer, including wetland ecology and restoration, population modelling, indigenous people’s involvement in wildlife management, hunting’s role in the management of birds and big game populations, and several species-specific talks covering the likes of sage grouse and woodland caribou.
The HAPF’s mandate is to support organizations and initiatives that promote and preserve opportunities to hunt and fish in Manitoba. We believe science plays a key role, certainly in preserving those opportunities, if not in promoting them as well, and we were therefore happy to sponsor and attend this event.