Nine organized symposia will be offered as part of the technical program at the 9th International Deer Biology Congress. Their overviews are listed below. Review the Congress scheduleto see a schedule of talks within each symposium, and read their abstracts.
(S-01) Overabundant deer management: focusing on sika deer in the USA and Japan
Co-Chairs: Masahiro Ohnishi, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University (email@example.com) Jacob Bowman, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Description: Deer population management is a common practice, which permits sustainable harvest opportunities and preserves ecosystem balance. Some cervid species are able to better adapt to different habitat types resulting in overabundance. Sika deer (Cervus nippon) are a native species in Japan and have been to the Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland, USA. Both populations have increased rapidly and negatively affect other species, vegetation communities, and human activities. The current range of Delmarva sika deer populations is expanding and may have influence on white-tailed deer (Cervus virginianus), the native deer species. Due to the unique culture and geography of both countries, local biologists have developed overabundant deer management strategies for their specific regions. Sharing information regarding sika deer management methods from these two countries will provide biologists with unique insights. This symposium will contrast deer management strategies and policy from both Japan and the USA to further enhance research and the management of this overabundant species.
Description: Management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) can and does occur at differing temporal and spatial scales. The sharing of CWD-management knowledge is critical for management agencies currently managing the disease and those that may do so in the future. Various CWD talks and symposium often focus on status of positive or not-detect numbers or on research that is in progress, that may or may not show utility in the future. What needs to be shared with and among agencies right now, however, is what they are doing to managing the disease that seems to be meeting their objectives, what hindrances(e.g., management, politics, logistics, etc.) are they running into, what they are doing to overcome hindrances when possible, and what management do they want to do but have not either tried or can’t for some reason. Management of CWD is ever evolving and sharing of operational strategies and tactics is critical. This symposium is meant to get past just status reports and in-progress research and share on-the-ground management for those fighting this disease and those who soon will be struggling with CWD.
Description: This symposium will focus on the current status of the various deer species endemic to central and south America, presenting results of scientific research conducted since the 2010 IDBC in Chile, with an analysis of progress made, and recommendations for future emphasis in research and conservation efforts. The role of policy in scientific research of threatened deer species in Latin America will be evaluated.
(S-05) Does knowing about deer behavior help establish strategies for managing CWD?
Chair: Evelyn Merrill, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta (email@example.com)
Description: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease of cervids that is spreading across North America and now has been detected in Norway. Knowledge of mechanisms at the cellular levels that influence CWD transmission are advancing, but developing predictive models of disease transmission and spread at the whole-animal level are slow to emerge. Improving our understanding of factors influencing direct and indirect pathways of transmission and how these changes over the course of the disease is needed to support management actions. The purpose of this symposium is to focus attention on elements of animal behavior that may be key to transmission and spread of CWD to improve our risk assessments and predictive modeling in free ranging cervid populations. The symposium will synthesize the current state-of-knowledge, identify gaps, propose potential approaches, and assess whether a more detailed understanding of behavioral details of CWD transmission will further control strategies.
Description: Aldo Leopold indicated that game can be restored by hunting. Laws and regulations for sport hunting differ from one country to another as well as the hunting culture. Even within a country the perspectives of people about sport hunting may vary from region to region. The hunting culture in Texas is different compared to other states. Northern Mexico has evolved more rapidly in terms of conservation and sport hunting as compared to central and southern Mexico. Japan on the other hand the hunting culture is limited. Our objective is to present the current situation and perspectives of deer conservation and sport hunting in three countries with contrasting cultures, traditions, and advancement in management and conservation.
(S-07) Influence of predators on deer in North America
Co-Chairs: Gino D’Angelo, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources University of Georgia (firstname.lastname@example.org) Michael Cherry, Virginia Tech Fish and Wildlife Conservation (email@example.com)
Description: Deer-predator interactions influence the population demographics, behavior, and habitats of deer and other species. There are wide-spread efforts to restore and conserve large carnivores across much of North America. The complexities and uncertainties of deer-predator relationships make management of deer populations challenging. In these systems, optimal regulation of deer populations depends on developing an understanding of the suite of predators and their impacts on prey, human preferences for deer and predator management, regulations, and other factors. This symposium has two main objectives: (1) to present case studies of management scenarios where deer populations are influenced by predators, and (2) to provide insight into management strategies for deer populations in predator-rich ecosystems.
(S-08) Wild-harvested venison as a coupler between human and natural systems
Chair: Shawn Riley, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Michigan State University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Description: This symposium provides a forum to explore linkages between important outputs of deer management: wild-harvested venison, and human connections to hunters, hunting, and natural systems. The speakers will provide data to a crucial comparison of these attributes of venison between countries with formal markets for wild-harvested meat and those without such markets. Data and analyses presented in this symposium will contribute novel insights to deer management wherever hunting is used to influence deer populations.
(S-09) An old concept with new uses - carrying capacity
Chair: Floyd W. Weckerly, Department of Biology, Texas State University (email@example.com)
Description: The concept of carrying capacity has been around for some time. Pierre Verhulst derived the logistic population growth curve in 1838, range managers introduced carrying capacity in the 1890s and in 1953 Eugene Odum labeled the point when logistic population growth reached the maximum, sustained population size as K carrying capacity. Throughout much of the 20th century, however, deer ecologists and managers have often considered the concept to be vague, theoretical, too simplistic and therefore unrealistic. Consequently, there has been much confusion and discussion about whether carrying capacity can be measured, how to measure it and the application of the concept to the ecology and management of deer populations. In this symposium we will present new tools for estimating carrying capacity as well as conceptual advances that have facilitated the study of deer distribution and abundance. This new information will reveal how integrating carrying capacity into ecological studies of deer populations will improve an understanding of the factors driving distribution and abundance in a wide variety of environmental settings. Our symposium should alleviate some of the concerns from the past about carrying capacity and will be useful to deer biologists, conservationists and managers.