Presidents Message

 

SCIF CONSERVATION COMMITTEE

 

 

On Monday, February 22, 2010 I attended the SCIF Conservation Committee budget planning meeting held at theGrand Hyatt hotel in Dallas, Texas.  We spent thirteen hours on Monday (7:00 AM to 8:00 PM) reviewing projects and setting the 2010/2011 budget for the Conservation Committee.

 

Prior to and during the meeting, we reviewed a number of conservation projects submitted from various entities and/or organizations requesting varying degrees of funding from the Safari Club International Foundation.

 

Projects submitted for evaluation included:

 

  • Alaska Wood Bison Restoration Program.  $190,000.  The State of Alaska has approximately 82 disease-free wood bison in various enclosures around the state awaiting transplant to three potential locations within Alaska including the Yukon Flats, Minto Flats, and the lower Innoko River.  Release of bison at one of these sites is contingent upon the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Alaska developing special regulations for the release thereof under the Endangered Species Act, which is expected to occur sometime in late 2010.  Once these special regulations have been adopted, Alaska is seeking funding for the transportation of the bison to the selected release site, erection of temporary enclosures to facilitate said release, and funding for supplemental feeding both prior and subsequent to release.
  • Conservation Status for the African Lion in Namibia.  $20,000.  Proposal to quantify lion populations and incidents of lion/human conflicts in the Kaudom/Caprivi area of Namibia in order to develop an adaptive management strategy for lion conservation in the area.
  • Game Management Unit 15A (Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula) Moose Productivity Study.  $249,200.  Proposal to try and determine declining pregnancy rates and subsequent recruitment in the Alaska-Yukon moose population in GMU 15A.
  • Juvenile Dall’s Sheep Ram Survival, Home Range and Movements.  $50,000.  Dall sheep populations on the Kenai peninsula have decline by as much as 50% in some units in the last 20 years, which has resulted in a concomitant decline in available permits as the population drops.  Juvenile rams (3-5 years of age) would be collared with a radio-collar to determine survival rates, movements and home range in an attempt to understand why many of the juvenile rams are not surviving to maturity.
  • Seasons of the Caribou.  $300,000.  Proposal to fund an in-depth film of the Woodland caribou life cycle in Newfoundland, with a primary focus on the predation issue of these herds, the affects of habitat degradation and human intrusion on these herds, and the massive science-based research project currently underway (which is partially funded by SCIF) to determine the causative factors in the precipitous decline of caribou in Newfoundland.
  • Advancing the Conservation of Jaguar in Paraguay.  $44,000.  Proposal to fund the preparation of a National Conservation Plan for jaguars in the Paraguayan Chaco.  In addition to the Conservation Plan, data would be collected on the distribution, occurrence and home range of jaguars in the Chaco.
  • Portable Digital Dental X-Ray Machine.  $20,500.  Request to purchase a portable dental x-ray machine to be used to age lions taken in Zambia.  Use of the portable x-ray machine would eliminate the need to extract a tooth from each lion, which must then be sent to a laboratory for aging.  Use of the x-ray technology would allow for the immediate aging of lions taken recently as well as provide the ability to quickly collect data from lions taken in 2009.  This data is then used by the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to effectively manage ion population throughout the country.

In addition to these proposals, the Conservation Committee approved funding for the following projects at our meeting held in Reno on January 22, 2010 in conjunction with the Annual Hunter’s Convention:

 

  • Funding the Operation and Maintenance of the Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCH) 5H Micro-light.  $60,000.  The FCH runs an anti-poaching operation on 9,000,000 acres in Tanzania which employs 80 game rangers utilizing two micro-light aircraft, fourteen land cruisers, a small aircraft and several watercraft.  The proposal from FCH was to fund the operation and maintenance of one 5H Micro-light for a period of five years.
  • Evaluating the Influence of Climate and Bear Predation on Shiras Moose Declines in the Rocky Mountain States.  $50,000.  Project proposed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department through the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to review the causative agents in the dramatic declines in Shiras moose population in historic habitats across the Rocky Mountain west.  This study will look at climatic factors affecting habitat function and the effects of predation on these moose populations and represents a first step in producing a comprehensive management plan for managing moose population in Wyoming and the surrounding range states.

 

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