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Ellen Paul

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AOU/COS 2015 Travel & Presentation Award Applications

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  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/03/02/ravens-mated-another-species-into-oblivion-their-twisted-family-tree-shows/?utm_term=.a1a1aa7d8d05 And here is a link to the actual paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03294-w
  2. For those considering attending the AFO-WOS meeting here in June, don't forget that the deadline for travel award applications is MARCH 2nd! The deadline for early bird rates is March 30th, which will be here before you know it! Information about applying for travel awards, as well as registration, abstract submission, and other meeting details can be found at www.cvent.com/d/4tqzbk.
  3. The Southern Sierra Research Station is excited to offer Institute for Bird Populations Advanced Bird Banding Course. Classes fill quickly, so be sure to register early! The Advanced Bird Banding Course is limited to 9 participants and will be taught by Lauren Helton of IBP (Institute for Bird Populations) Dates: Sept 10-14, 2018 This advanced bird banding class is designed to help participants fine tune the banding skills they already possess and to advance their comprehension of molt strategies and ability to recognize molt limits and plumages on birds in hand. Classes are very individualized and the rate of progression will be dependent upon the skill level of the participants. There will be a concentration on details of feather morphology, plumages, and molt limits. We will spend the morning mist-netting and banding birds, and in the afternoon will have classroom lectures and discussions on ageing and molting songbirds. Some of the skills that will be reviewed and expanded upon in the morning field sessions include: operation of and removal of birds from mist nets so that extraction speeds and safety are increased bird-handling skills, e.g. using proper grips to minimize bird stress in-hand ageing and sexing techniques, e.g. fine tuning of skulling, scoring on the data sheet, recognizing molt limits Lectures and discussions in the afternoons cover: avian life histories molts plumages the role of banding in research and monitoring Before attending an advanced class, participants should be able to handle and set up mist-nets; be able to extract birds from mist-nets; and have familiarity with ageing hatch-year versus after-hatch-year birds. Cost: $850.00 A $150 non-refundable down payment is required to hold a spot in the class. Housing may be available at an additional cost on a first come, first serve basis. To register participants should email michelleatssrs@gmail.com. In the registration email, please include your name, address, and phone number where you can be reached. Please pay for the course using a credit card or pay pal account at: http://www.southerns...op/BirdBanding/. Alternatively, payment by check can be made payable to the Southern Sierra Research Station and mailed to the research station PO box mailing address: Southern Sierra Research Station P.O. Box 1316 Weldon, California 93283 phone: 760-378-3345 ssrs@southernsierraresearch.org
  4. The Southern Sierra Research Station, Weldon, CA, will host a fall Beginner Bird Banding course. The beginner course is intended for birders and wildlife biologists and will be taught by Patti Wohner. Patti has been banding passerines and near passerines on research projects for over 18 years and will teach necessary skills for monitoring and research programs involving bird banding. The specific skills taught will include: safe operation of mist nets, methods of extraction of birds from mist nets, bird-handling skills, a primer on in-hand ageing and sexing techniques, and data scoring and recording using MAPS protocol and forms. Target netting skills may also be taught depending on interest. Dates: September 17 - 21, 2018 The course will be taught at the height of migration in riparian forest at 3 MAPS sites in the Audubon Kern River Preserve. Each site has 10 mistnets and ample opportunities for each student to handle many different passerines and near-passerines including warblers, sparrows, woodpeckers, flycatchers, and others. Each day will consist of a morning practical mistnetting and banding birds, and an afternoon class session. Cost of the course with rustic lodging including breakfast and lunch is $2000/ person. Cost without lodging and food is $1500/ person. A $150 non-refundable down payment is required to hold a spot in the class. Classes fill quickly, so be sure to register early! The Beginner Bird Banding Course is limited to 6 participants! To register participants should email michelleatssrs@gmail.com. In the registration email, please include your name, address, and phone number where you can be reached. Please pay for the course using a credit card or pay pal account at: http://www.southerns...op/BirdBanding/ Alternatively, payment by check can be made payable to the Southern Sierra Research Station and mailed to the research station PO box mailing address: Southern Sierra Research Station P.O. Box 1316 Weldon, California 93283 phone: 760-378-3345 ssrsATsouthernsierraresearch.org
  5. Well-deserved, Anna! Anna Chalfoun, a University of Wyoming associate professor of zoology, will receive the first-ever Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award at the American Ornithological Society’s (AOS) annual meeting in mid-April. Chalfoun, also an assistant leader for the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and a member of the UW Program in Ecology faculty, will receive an award certificate and honorarium at the meeting in Tucson, Ariz. She termed the upcoming honor as “an incredibly exciting surprise!” for her service to the AOS, which resulted after the merger of the Cooper Ornithological Society (COS) and the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) in 2017. The AOS is an international society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds; enriching ornithology as a profession; and promoting a rigorous scientific basis for the conservation of birds. “I love the people and the mission of the society, and have enjoyed being at the forefront of societal operations,” says Chalfoun, who plans to attend the annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz. “As scientists and faculty, moreover, there tends to be more criticism than accolades, so this was a nice acknowledgment to receive.” Stettenheim, for whom the award is named, was a noted ornithologist. “I have never met him,” Chalfoun says of Stettenheim, who passed away in 2013. “But, he sounds like a person who epitomized passion for ornithology and mentoring, and was a consistent contributor to the ornithological leadership.” The award recognizes an individual established in his or her career, and who has performed outstanding and extensive service to the AOS. The award recognizes people who may have served in elected or appointed positions, but also emphasizes volunteer contributions, mentoring and committee participation. Chalfoun currently serves on the AOS Conservation Committee; was an AOS Council member from 2015-17; and was on the AOU-COS Merger Advisory Committee during 2016-17. She is currently revising the Birds of North America account for the Brewer’s sparrow and sage thrasher -- two sagebrush songbirds that she and her students study. She served on the Scientific Program Committee of the North American Ornithological Congress, based in Washington, D.C., from 2014-16. She was president-elect of the COS from 2015-17; was a member of the COS Board Nominations Committee in 2015; and was a COS Board member and student awards chair from 2011-14. Chalfoun started the student presentation feedback program for conference talks and poster presentations. The Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit conducts ecological research to help better understand, manage and conserve animal populations. The unit’s applied research program builds knowledge about fish and wildlife populations, and communities by seeking general solutions to specific management and conservation challenges. Chalfoun’s research in her lab spans the disciplines of ecology, evolution, behavior and conservation biology; and diverse taxa, including birds, mammals and herpetofauna. Her main research focus is understanding the processes and factors that influence wildlife-habitat relationships, particularly in understanding why organisms select particular habitats and under what contexts such choices are adaptive. In 2014, Chalfoun received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. That year, she was among 102 researchers presented the award, the U.S. government’s highest honor for science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Presidential Early Career Award winners are selected for their “pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.”
  6. the website of the Ornithological Council - has been providing information to ornithologists for the past 20 years with the generous hosting of the National Museum of Natural History. It's finally time to leave that nest and strike out on our own, so you can now find us right here: https://birdnet.org/ We have transferred all the content but we are still working on updating some content. The new site already features: Updates for all 50 state permitting pages The new literature review on the impacts of small unmanned aircraft on birds Of course, you will also find: Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research The Model Wildlife Protocol And much more, including the OC newsBRIEF, outlining all the work that OC does by and for ornithologists! BIRDNET is provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council!
  7. My student and I are doing a study examining effect of holding bag composition on stress. What type of bag do you currently use? opaque cloth (muslin, cotton) mesh cloth combination Thanks! Renee' E. Carleton, DVM, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Berry College 2277 Martha Berry Highway, NW Box 430 Mount Berry, GA 30149 706-238-5892
  8. Greetings: Academic scientists share similar vocabulary, approaches, values, and ways of knowing. Non-scientists who may have knowledge of analogous systems may provide fundamentally different perspectives and beneficial insights. Scientists who intentionally step out of their comfort zone to engage non-scientists may gain fresh ways of carrying out and interpreting their research. However, there is little documentation of these interactions. Nalini Nadkarni (University of Utah) and Doug Levey (National Science Foundation), along with a group of other scientists and communicators are documenting how interactions between scientists and non-scientists can directly benefit the research, careers, and perspectives of individual scientists. We seek examples from scientists at all career stages and disciplines who, through their public engagement or outreach activities with non-scientist audiences, have enhanced their research, advanced their careers, or shifted their perspectives. Have you directly benefitted as a scientist from engaging with the public? Are you aware of any scientific breakthroughs in the past that occurred as a result of a scientist's engagement with non-scientists? We welcome your example(s) of these interactions. It would be helpful if you fill out the form on the link below. You may submit the form multiple times for multiple engagement events. Your responses in any format can also be e-mailed to Caitlin Weber at caitlin.weber@utah.edu. Please submit your responses by March 30, 2018. Survey link Many thanks! Nalini M. Nadkarni Professor, Department of Biology University of Utah Doug Levey Program Director, Division of Environmental Biology National Science Foundation
  9. Dr. James F. Reilly, II, Ph.D., of Colorado Springs, CO, to be Director of the USGS. Dr. Reilly currently serves United States and allied militaries as a subject matter expert on space operations, and he is a technical advisor supporting the National Security Space Institute of the U.S. Air Force. Previously, Dr. Reilly held management positions in academia, as well as at TAEUS Corp., and PhotoStencil, Corp. in Colorado Springs. During his 13 year career at NASA, he flew 3 spaceflight missions conducting 5 spacewalks for a total of over 856 hours in space. Prior to NASA, he was chief geologist at Enserch Exploration, Inc., working projects around the world including in Antarctica and on the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico. He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in geosciences from the University of Texas at Dallas.
  10. The AFO/WOS 2018 meeting website is now online and registration opens Jan 26. Abstract Submission Opens: January 26th, 2018 Abstract Submission Deadline: March 30th, 2018 More info about abstracts Coming soon - room/ride sharing forum...
  11. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! In November the Ornithological Council reported on pending legislation that would codify the view that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act does not cover incidental take: http://ornithologyexchange.org/articles/_/community/serious-threat-to-migratory-bird-treaty-act-r257 Here's the current status: The bill as reported by the committee to the full House does NOT include the Cheney amendment (not sure why but it doesn't) so it would have to be offered from the floor if the matter goes to the full House for a vote. This particular legislation (H.R.4239) seems not to be moving. No one seems to be pushing it. It has 16 co-sponsors with no new co-sponsors added since early December. It was reported out of Committee (i.e., it could now be taken up by the full House) on November 8 but there is no indication that it is going to be scheduled for a floor vote. That isn't surprising when you consider that this is an election year and the Congress already has a full load of far more pressing legislation to address. Further, very knowledgeable colleagues who spend most of their time addressing such legislation advise that there seems to be some reason that the Republican leadership is not interested in pursuing this legislation. That's not to say that it won't move. It could and if there is any indication that it will, then letter-writing and sign-ons might be advisable. In that case, OC will post an action alert.
  12. Deadline is 3/26. [Federal Register Volume 83, Number 15 (Tuesday, January 23, 2018)][Notices][Pages 3179-3182]From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov][FR Doc No: 2018-01128]=======================================================================-----------------------------------------------------------------------DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORFish and Wildlife Service[FWS-HQ-IA-2017-0079; XXXXX-XXX-0000 FY18-XX]Species Proposals for Consideration at the Eighteenth Regular Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and FloraAGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.ACTION: Notice.-----------------------------------------------------------------------SUMMARY: We (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) invite you to provide us with information and recommendations on animal and plant species to be considered as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend Appendices I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, or the Convention) at the upcoming eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18). Such amendments may concern the addition of species to Appendix I or II, the transfer of species from one Appendix to another, or the removal of species from Appendices. We also describe the U.S. approach to preparations for CoP18. We will publish a second Federal Register notice specifically to solicit information and recommendations on possible resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP18 and to provide information on how to request approved observer status.DATES: We will consider all information and comments we receive on or before March 26, 2018.ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2017-0079. Hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public Comments Processing; Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2017-0079; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosemarie Gnam, Chief, Division of Scientific Authority, 703-358-1708 (phone); 703-358-2276 (fax); or scientificauthority@fws.gov (email).SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hereby notify you of the convening of 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, or the Convention), which is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka from 23 May to 3 June 2019. We invite you to provide us with information and recommendations on animal and plant species to be considered as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend Appendices I and II of CITES at CoP18. Such amendments may concern the addition of species to Appendix I or II, the transfer of species from one Appendix to another, or the removal of species from Appendices. We also describe the U.S. approach to preparations for CoP18. We will publish subsequent Federal Register notices to request information and recommendations on resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP18 and to provide information on how to request approved observer status.Background The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, or the Convention) is an international treaty designed to regulate international trade in certain animal and plant species that are now, or potentially may become, threatened with extinction. These species are included in the Appendices to CITES, which are available on the CITES Secretariat's website at http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/species.php. Currently there are 183 Parties to CITES, 182 countries, including the United States, and one regional economic integration organization, the European Union. The Convention calls for regular meetings of the Conference of the Parties (Conference, or CoP) every 2-3 years, unless the Conference decides otherwise. At these meetings, the Parties review the implementation of CITES, make provisions enabling the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry out its functions, consider amendments to the list of species in Appendices I and II, consider reports presented by the Secretariat, and make recommendations for the improved effectiveness of CITES. Any Party to CITES may propose amendments to Appendices I and II, resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for consideration by all the Parties at the meeting. This is our first in a series of Federal Register notices that, together with a public meeting (time and place to be announced), provide you with an opportunity to participate in the development of the U.S. submissions to, and negotiating positions for, the 18th regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP18). Our regulations governing this public process are found in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at Sec. 23.87.U.S. Approach for the Conference of the PartiesWhat are the priorities for U.S. submissions to CoP18? Priorities for U.S. submissions to CoP18 continue to be consistent with the overall objective of U.S. participation in the Convention: to maximize the effectiveness of the Convention in the conservation and sustainable use of species subject to international trade. With this in mind, we plan to consider the following factors in determining issues to submit for inclusion in the agenda at CoP18: (1) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife or plant trade issue that the United States is experiencing as a range country for species in trade? Since our primary responsibility is the conservation of our domestic wildlife resources, we will give native species the highest priority. We will place particular emphasis on terrestrial and freshwater species with the majority of their range in the United States and its territories that are or may be traded in significant numbers; marine species that occur in U.S. waters or for which the United States is a major trader; and threatened and endangered species for which we and other Federal and State agencies already have statutory responsibility for protection and recovery. We also consider CITES listings as a proactive measure to monitor and manage trade in native species in order to preclude the need for the application of stricter measures, such as listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), or inclusion in CITES Appendix I. (2) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife or plant trade issue for species not native to the United States? As a major importer of wildlife, plants, and their products, the United States has taken responsibility, by working in close consultation with range countries, for addressing cases of potential over-exploitation of foreign species in the wild. In some cases, the United States may not be a range country or a significant trading country for a species, but we will work closely with other countries to conserve species being threatened by unsustainable exploitation for international trade. We will consider CITES listings for species not native to the United States if these listings will assist in addressing cases of known or potential over-exploitation of foreign species in the wild, and in preventing illegal, unregulated trade, especially if the United States is a major importer. These species will be prioritized based on the extent of trade and status of the species, and also the role the species plays in the ecosystem, with emphasis on those species for which a CITES listing would offer the greatest conservation benefits to the species, associated species, and their habitats. (3) Does the proposed action provide additional conservation benefit for a species already covered by another international agreement? The United States will consider the inclusion of such a species under CITES when it would enhance the conservation of the species by ensuring that international trade is effectively regulated and not detrimental to the survival of the species.Request for Information and Recommendations for Amending Appendices I or IICriteria for Inclusion The purpose of this notice is to request information and recommendations that will help us identify species that the United States should propose for addition to, removal from, or reclassification in the CITES Appendices, or to identify issues warranting attention by the CITES specialists on zoological and botanical nomenclature. This request is not limited to species occurring in the United States. Any Party may submit proposals concerning animal or plant species occurring in the wild anywhere in the world. We encourage the submission of information on any species for possible inclusion in the Appendices if the species is subject to international trade that is, or may become, detrimental to the survival of the species. We also encourage you to keep in mind the U.S. approach to CoP18, described in this notice in the section U.S. Approach for the Conference of the Parties, when considering which species the United States should propose for inclusion in the Appendices. We are not necessarily requesting complete proposals, but they are always welcome. However, we are asking you to submit convincing information describing: (1) The status of the species, especially trend information; (2) conservation and management programs for the species, including the effectiveness of enforcement efforts; and (3) the level of international as well as domestic trade in the species, especially trend information. You may also provide any other relevant information, and we appreciate receiving a list of references. The term ``species'' is defined in CITES as ``any species, subspecies, or geographically separate population thereof.'' Each species for which trade is controlled under CITES is included in one of three Appendices, either as a separate listing or incorporated within the listing of a higher taxon. The basic standards for inclusion of species in the Appendices are contained in Article II of CITES (text of the Convention is on the CITES Secretariat's website at http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/text.php). Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction that are or may be affected by trade. Appendix II includes species that, although not necessarily now threatened with extinction, may become so unless trade in them is strictly controlled. Appendix II also includes species that must be subject to regulation in order that trade in other CITES-listed species may be brought under effective control. Such ``look-alike'' inclusions usually are necessary because of difficulty inspectors have at ports of entry or exit in distinguishing one species from other species. CITES specifies that international trade in any readily recognizable parts or derivatives of animals included in Appendices I or II, or plants included in Appendix I, is subject to the same conditions that apply to trade in the whole organisms. With certain standard exclusions formally approved by the Parties, the same applies to the readily recognizable parts and derivatives of most plant species included in Appendix II. Parts and derivatives often not included (i.e., not regulated) for Appendix-II plants are seeds, spores, pollen (including pollinia), and seedlings or tissue cultures obtained in vitro and transported in sterile containers. You may refer to the CITES Appendices on the Secretariat's website at http://www.cites.org/eng/app/index.php for further exceptions and limitations. In 1994, the CITES Parties adopted criteria for inclusion of species in Appendices I and II (in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17)). These criteria apply to all listing proposals and are available from the CITES Secretariat's website at http://www.cites.org/eng/res/index.php or upon request from the Division of Scientific Authority at scientificauthority@fws.gov, or via mail from CITES--Division of Scientific Authority; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: IA; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803. Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17) also provides a format for proposals to amend the Appendices. This information is also available upon request from the Division of Scientific Authority or via mail (see contact information above).What information should be submitted? To provide us with information and recommendations on species subject to international trade for possible proposals to amend the Appendices, please include as much of the following information as possible in your submission: (1) Scientific name and common name; (2) Population size estimates (including references if available); (3) Population trend information; (4) Threats to the species (other than trade); (5) The level or trend of international trade (as specific as possible, but without a request for new searches of our records); (6) The level or trend in total take from the wild (as specific as reasonable); and (7) A short summary statement clearly presenting the rationale for inclusion in, or removal or transfer from, one of the Appendices, including which of the criteria in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17) are met. If you wish to submit more complete proposals for us to consider, please consult Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17) for the format for proposals and a detailed explanation of each of the categories. Proposals to transfer a species from Appendix I to Appendix II, or to remove a species from Appendix II, must also be in accordance with the precautionary measures described in Annex 4 of Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17).What will we do with the information we receive? The information that you submit will help us decide if we should submit, or co-sponsor with other Parties, a proposal to amend the CITES Appendices. However, there may be qualifying species for which we may decide not to submit a proposal to CoP18. Our decision will be based on a number of factors, including available scientific and trade information; whether or not the species is native to the United States; and, for foreign species, whether or not a proposal is supported or co-sponsored by at least one range country for the species. These factors and others are included in the U.S. Approach for the Conference of the Parties section. We will carefully consider all factors of the U.S. approach when deciding which species the United States should propose for inclusion in the Appendices. We will consult range countries for foreign species, and for species we share with other countries, after receiving and analyzing the information provided by the public in response to this notice as well as other information available to us. One important function of the CITES Scientific Authority of each Party is monitoring the international trade in plant and animal species and ongoing scientific assessments of the impact of that trade on species. For native U.S. species included in Appendices I and II, we monitor trade and export permits authorized so that we can prevent overutilization and restrict exports if necessary. We also work closely with the States to ensure that species are correctly listed in the CITES Appendices (or not listed, if listing is not warranted). For these reasons, we actively seek information about U.S. and foreign species subject to international trade.Next Steps The next regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka 23 May to 3 June 2019. The United States must submit any proposals to amend Appendix I or II, or any draft resolutions, decisions, or agenda items for discussion at CoP18, to the CITES Secretariat at least 150 days prior to the start of the meeting. In order to meet this deadline and to prepare for CoP18, we have developed a tentative U.S. schedule. We plan to publish a Federal Register notice approximately 16 months prior to CoP18; in that notice, we intend to request potential resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP18. Approximately 12 months prior to CoP18, we intend to announce the tentative species proposals that the United States is considering submitting for CoP18 and request further information and comments. Approximately 10 months prior to CoP18, we plan to publish a Federal Register notice announcing proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items the United States is considering submitting for CoP18. Approximately 5 months prior to CoP18, we will post on our website an announcement of the species proposals, draft resolutions, draft decisions, and agenda items submitted by the United States to the CITES Secretariat for consideration at CoP18. Through a series of additional notices and website postings in advance of CoP18, we will inform you about preliminary negotiating positions on resolutions, decisions, and amendments to the Appendices proposed by other Parties for consideration at CoP18, and about how to obtain observer status from us. We will also publish an announcement of a public meeting tentatively to be held approximately 5 months prior to CoP18; that meeting will enable us to receive public input on our positions regarding CoP18 issues. The procedures for developing U.S. documents and negotiating positions for a meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES are outlined in 50 CFR 23.87. As noted, we may modify or suspend the procedures outlined there if they would interfere with the timely or appropriate development of documents for submission to the CoP and of U.S. negotiating positions.Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly available at any time. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.Author The primary author of this notice is Thomas E.J. Leuteritz, Division of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).Gregory J. Sheehan,Principal Deputy Director.[FR Doc. 2018-01128 Filed 1-22-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-55-P
  13. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! On 24 January 2018, the Ornithological Council (OC) submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of the Interior, asking that the USFWS re-write its regulations pertaining to the Airborne Hunting Act. Earlier in the month, OC asked the Office of the Solicitor to advise the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), other federal agencies, and the state agencies that this activity is not subject to the Airborne Hunting Act. OC also asked that if the Solicitor determines that the use of drones to study wildlife is subject to the AHA, that the Solicitor address the need for permits, and specifically federal permits, given the lack of state laws pertaining to drone use for wildlife research and monitoring. In support of that request, OC submitted the entire legislative history of the AHA, a comprehensive review of the state laws pertaining to drones, and a critical literature review. The requested rulemaking is needed because under current regulations, the USFWS actually prohibits itself from issuing permits under the AHA, except in very limited circumstances. It was thought in 1972 (when the AHA was enacted) that the states would develop their own airborne hunting regulations. Most have done so but those laws pertain only to actual hunting and only to game species;. Some states reiterate the exemption language of the AHA regulations but, as explained below, that exemption is unclear at best as to scientific research and monitoring generally. More specifically, it is not clear if the exemption is limited to state and federal agencies and their contractors. Only a few states allow use of drones for research and monitoring to some extent. Therefore, if the Solicitor determines that the use of drones for wildlife research is covered by the AHA, permits would be needed and a single federal permit would be far more efficient and practical than waiting for dozens of states to promulgate their own statutes and regulations, particularly in the case of states that already have statutory restrictions on drone use that would have to be amended. It would also allow researchers to obtain a single permit for research and monitoring to take place in more than one state. The petition asked that the USFWS issue permits for SUA use for ornithological study under existing MBTA regulations rather than establishing a new permit, which would be time-consuming. Obviously, such a permit would be needed for other taxa but allowing the use of MBTA permits for ornithological research would avert that delay. NOTE: The critical literature review has been published as an addendum to Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research and is now available on the new OC website. If you are writing your animal care protocol, it should be very helpful to you and your IACUC. More background, for those who want to know... The AHA originated with a 1969 television documentary about airborne hunting of wolves in Alaska. In response to the ensuing public outcry, two congressmen sponsored legislation to ban the practice of hunting from aircraft. The legislation was intended to address hunting and nothing other than hunting. As is the ordinary practice in the legislative process, federal agencies with an interest in the subject were consulted. The Department of the Interior (DOI) raised concerns that the statute might prohibit scientific research. In response to that concern, the language of the bill was revised to include an exemption for persons operating under a license or permit of, any State or the United States to administer or protect or aid in the administration or protection of land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life, or crops. As the legislative history (below) makes clear, this exemption addressed DOI’s concern that the language of the bill as introduced might prohibit research by private universities, institutions, and foundations. At the first hearing on H.R. 15188, Leslie Glasgow (then Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife, Parks, and Natural Resources) voiced the objection of the Department of the Interior to enactment of the several bills introduced to prohibit airborne hunting. He explained: Among are objections are the scope of their language and their form as an amendment to the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956. Though we do not anticipate that enactment would hamper the conduct of most airborne research activity undertaken by employees of the States or Federal Government, such research by a private university, institution, or foundation would be curtailed. However, the bill does not clearly exempt governmental employees engaged in duties other than those associated with the administration or protection of land, water, or wildlife (16 March 1970 hearing, p. 23). That the statute does not prohibit the use of aircraft for research activities is unequivocally supported by the statement of co-sponsor of H.R. 15188, Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI) when the original legislation came to the House floor in 1970: Mr. Speaker, the substantive objections to this legislation have been met. It will not prohibit research by university or other personnel. It is flexible enough to allow either State or Federal authorities to issue permits which will exempt persons from the prohibitions provided for in the bill (116 Cong. Rec. 40205; 7 December 1970). Unfortunately, the actual language of the bill, as enacted, failed to express that clear intent to exempt non-governmental scientific research from the statutory prohibitions. The definitions failed to stated that “administer[ing] or protect[ing] or aid[ing] in the administration or protection of land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life, or crops” was intended to include scientific research and monitoring. The lack of specificity in the statutory language has resulted in uncertainty as to the application of the exemption to research and monitoring. Given this uncertainty, many state wildlife agencies and FWS officials seem to err on the side of caution and determine that aircraft (manned or unmanned) can be used only by state agencies or contractors of state agencies.
  14. New Tool Launched to Track Politicization of Science The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund have announced a new joint initiative: Silencing Science Tracker (SST, http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/silencing-science-tracker/). According to the groups, the project is intended to record reports of government attempts to silence science. At present, the SST includes actions taken by Federal agencies. The initiative plans to track state level actions in the future. Per the SST website, “silencing science” is defined as any action that has the effect of restricting or prohibiting scientific research, education or discussion, or the publication or use of scientific information.
  15. Taken from a statement from Louisiana State University at Shreveport James Larry Ingold (1951-2018) Professor of Biological Sciences, LSUS, Hubert and Patricia Hervey Professor for the Museum of Life Sciences. James L. Ingold was born in 1951 in Erie, Pennsylvania, and earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at Edinboro State College, Edinboro, Pennsylvania in 1973, his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1977 and his doctorate at the Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in 1984. A specialist in ornithology, Jim was a member of several societies and was elected a member of the American Ornithologists Union in 1998, and served as President of the Inland Bird Banding Association from 2006 to 2009. He was also a life member of the Association of Field Ornithologists and the Wilson Ornithological Society. His wide-ranging interests included systematics, molecular studies and the breeding behavior and migration patterns of birds. During his career Jim published some thirty two research publications and made more than fifty presentations. His considerable reputation as a scientist engaged him in a large number of editorial and advisory activities. On the LSUS campus Jim served on a large number of committees, and participated in numerous community outreach activities. This morning at approximately 4 o’clock Jim succumbed to the cancer that he had fought bravely for more than two years. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
  16. http://wos.salvereginablogs.com/ General Information and Requirements The deadline for applications and recommendations is Feb. 1, 2018 midnight EST.Membership in the Wilson Ornithological Society is required Each year, the Wilson Ornithological Society offers four types of research grants for a total of up to 11 awards. The focus of each of the four types of grants differs somewhat, as does the amount of the award. Membership in the Wilson Ornithological Society is required. Willingness to report results of the research as an oral or poster paper at an annual meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society within the next five years and a brief write-up and a photograph of the awardees for the webpage are conditions of the three listed below. Click here for more information. Louis Agassiz Fuertes Grant The Wilson Ornithological Society’s most prestigious award is available to all ornithologists, although graduate students and young professionals are given preference. Up to two grants of $2,500 are awarded given annually. George A. Hall / Harold F. Mayfield Grant This grant, formerly known as the Margaret Morse Nice Award, is limited to independent researchers without access to funds and facilities available at colleges, universities, or governmental agencies; it is restricted to non-professionals, including high school students. Any kind of avian research is eligible. One $1,000 award may be given each year. Wilson Ornithological Society Research Grant Up to four grants of $1500 are given annually, for work in any area of ornithology. Two of these will be limited to research by Masters students. Paul A. Stewart Grant These grants are available to all avian researchers and will be awarded with preference given to proposals for studies of bird movements based on banding, radio or satellite telemetry (or similar methods), or with an emphasis on economic ornithology. Up to eight awards of $1,000 (as of 2012) are given annually. General Eligibility Rules and Requirements An applicant may be a citizen of any country. Membership in the Wilson Ornithological Society is required. Click here for more information about membership. Applicants may be of any age. Generally, any avian research is eligible (see Stewart and Hall Award restrictions above), conducted anywhere in the world. Award monies are expected to be used for equipment, supplies, travel, and living expenses. Salaries for applicant and field assistants should not be included; however, stipends that cover only basic living expenses are allowed. Individuals are limited to one grant per degree program or project. Applicants may apply for more than one grant. Grant winners will be announced at the banquet during the annual meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society. Winners (if not present at the meeting) will be notified within two weeks of the annual meeting. A list of winners will also be posted on this website within two weeks of the annual meeting.
  17. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! Enacted in 2017, the "COMPETES" Act provides that: SEC. 202. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COLLABORATION. (a) DEFINITION OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL WORKSHOP.— In this section, the term ‘‘scientific and technical workshop’’ means a symposium, seminar, or any other organized, formal gathering where scientists or engineers working in STEM research and development fields assemble to coordinate, exchange and disseminate information or to explore or clarify a defined subject, problem or area of knowledge in the STEM fields © ATTENDANCE POLICIES.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the heads of the Federal science agencies shall each develop an action plan for the implementation of revisions and updates to their policies on attendance at scientific and technical workshops. Full Bill Text: https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ329/PLAW-114publ329.pdf Per COMPETES Reauthorization of 2010 the definition of federal agency is "any Federal agency with an annual extramural research expenditure of over $100,000,000."
  18. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! The New York Times reports that nine of twelve members of the National Parks System Advisory Board, a Department of the Interior panel of outside experts, originally created in 1935, have resigned in protest of Trump administration policies that the board members say have ignored science, squelched efforts to address climate change and undermined environmental protections. “From all of the events of this past year I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside,” wrote Tony Knowles, the head of the advisory board. “We resigned because we were deeply disappointed with the department and we were concerned,” Mr. Knowles said in an interview. Mr. Zinke, he said, “appears to have no interest in continuing the agenda of science, the effect of climate change, pursuing the protection of the ecosystem.” The Washington Post reported that, "Members, most of whom have worked together for seven years, were surprised to not be consulted on Interior’s recent decisions to increase visitor fees and reverse a ban on plastic water bottles in the park system."
  19. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! The Washington Post reports that the Department of the Interior plans to re-organize its entire structure, forcing employees to move (or leave). The reorganization, which would come at an enormous cost for employee moving expenses, acquisition of new office space, employee buy-outs, and other expenses at a time when the Interior agencies are already facing hefty budget cuts, is seen by many as an attempt by Zinke to simply shrink staffing levels. Re-organizations of this magnitude also result in loss of morale and chaos, causing work to slow drastically for long periods of time. Even after the re-organization, it takes time for new working relationships to form. The re-organization is based on dividing the country into thirteen regions, supposedly on a biogeographical basis (watersheds and geographic basins). Co-locating agencies within these regions would allegedly facilitate coordination among the agencies to work together to manage particular locations, notwithstanding the fact that their missions and realms of authority differ from one another. Further, existing laws already require consultation and coordination. The re-organization would require Congressional authority. With discretionary budget-cutting as a top priority, it may be that the Congress will not appropriate funding for this plan. Zinke intimated that Interior would simply move positions as employees retire, but that would leave agencies divided among numerous locations for at least several years.
  20. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! The report accompanying the pending Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (which ends 30 Sept 2018) includes the following language: PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES The Committee recognizes that maintaining the professional competencies of the Federal workforce is necessary to assure sound scientific management principles are applied to resource management. Professional societies, such as the Society of American Foresters, the Society for Range Management, The Wildlife Society, American Fisheries Society, and others provide opportunities for employees to maintain professional competencies through continuing education, scientific journals, and interaction with other professionals. The Committee encourages the Federal agencies funded in this bill to support the participation of employees in such professional societies in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Government Ethics through 5 CFR Part 2640.203, Official Participation in Nonprofit Organizations. Analysis: "Language" is non-binding and more to the point, the agencies will be far too cash-starved to allow employees to attend scientific society meetings. Staffing levels in most agencies are already so low that employees won't have the time needed to engage in activities such as continuing education. Staffing levels are going to dip to lower lows, especially if the planned DOI reorganization goes forward. And that OGE guidance was issued during the Obama Administration, so it may as well be blank paper as far as the current Administration is concerned.
  21. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! In May 2017, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke took action that delayed the issuance of of all planned FY 2017 grants and cooperative agreements in the amount of $100,000 or more. Now, as reported by the Washington Post, the Department of the Interior has issued a new policy that steers all grants to 10 priorities of the Administration. The policy instructs staff to ensure that awards to outside groups “promote the priorities” of the Trump administration. This politicization of grants follows that now in place at the Environmental Protection Agency, which has instituted a system requiring that a political appointee in the public affairs office sign off on each grant before it is awarded. Scott J. Cameron, Interior’s principal deputy assistant secretary for policy, management and budget, instructed other assistant secretaries and bureau and office heads to submit most grants and cooperative agreements for approval by one of his aides. Those include any award of at least $50,000 “to a non-profit organization that can legally engage in advocacy” or “to an institution of higher education.” These reviews are unrelated to the merit of the potential grant and worse, the Congress established and funded these programs for particular purposes. Re-directing them to fulfill political goals unrelated to those Congressional mandates may be illegal, according to former deputy secretary of the Interior David Hayes. He explained that under the Clinton and Obama administrations, "“... we recognized that government contract processes are complex, and that political interference would sully the integrity of contracting processes that applicants have a right to expect are governed with fairness, impartiality, and integrity as their guide.” The policy also threatened Interior employees who fail to comply. A sentence that is bolded as well as italicized warns that employees who defy the directive will be subject to even stricter oversight as a result. “Instances circumventing the Secretarial priorities or the review process will cause greater scrutiny and will result in slowing down the approval process for all awards.” Interior has already ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to halt two studies that conflict with the administration’s goal of expanding domestic fossil fuel production. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), top Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources opined, "“This grant approval process looks like a backdoor way to stop funds going to legitimate scientific and environmental projects.” He added, “Using the federal grant process to punish scientists doing important work because they disagree with that philosophy is unacceptable, and there’s good reason to think that’s what’s really happening here.” This post has been promoted to an articleInterior-guidance-for-fiscal-2018-grants.pdf InteriorGrantPriorities2018.pdf
  22. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including Ornithology Exchange and the Ornithological Council! In May 2017, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke took action that delayed the issuance of all planned FY 2017 grants and cooperative agreements in the amount of $100,000 or more. Now, as reported by the Washington Post, the Department of the Interior has issued a new policy that steers all grants to 10 priorities of the Administration. The policy instructs staff to ensure that awards to outside groups “promote the priorities” of the Trump administration. This politicization of grants follows that now in place at the Environmental Protection Agency, which has instituted a system requiring that a political appointee in the public affairs office sign off on each grant before it is awarded. Scott J. Cameron, Interior’s principal deputy assistant secretary for policy, management and budget, instructed other assistant secretaries and bureau and office heads to submit most grants and cooperative agreements for approval by one of his aides. Those include any award of at least $50,000 “to a non-profit organization that can legally engage in advocacy” or “to an institution of higher education.” These reviews are unrelated to the merit of the potential grant and worse, the Congress established and funded these programs for particular purposes. Re-directing them to fulfill political goals unrelated to those Congressional mandates may be illegal, according to former deputy secretary of the Interior David Hayes. He explained that under the Clinton and Obama administrations, "“... we recognized that government contract processes are complex, and that political interference would sully the integrity of contracting processes that applicants have a right to expect are governed with fairness, impartiality, and integrity as their guide.” The policy also threatened Interior employees who fail to comply. A sentence that is bolded as well as italicized warns that employees who defy the directive will be subject to even stricter oversight as a result. “Instances circumventing the Secretarial priorities or the review process will cause greater scrutiny and will result in slowing down the approval process for all awards.” Interior has already ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to halt two studies that conflict with the administration’s goal of expanding domestic fossil fuel production. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), top Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources opined, "“This grant approval process looks like a backdoor way to stop funds going to legitimate scientific and environmental projects.” He added, “Using the federal grant process to punish scientists doing important work because they disagree with that philosophy is unacceptable, and there’s good reason to think that’s what’s really happening here.” View attachment: Interior-guidance-for-fiscal-2018-grants.pdf View attachment: InteriorGrantPriorities2018.pdf
  23. http://watch.wliw.org/video/3008162467/ Engineering bird-friendly glassEvery year hundreds of millions of birds die from accidentally flying into glass buildings and windows. But now, new types of glass may make this easily preventable. Daniel Klem, Professor of Ornithology and Conservation Biology at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss creating bird-friendly glass. Ed: Dan has been the hero of this story for decades. It is great to see him getting the recognition he deserves.
  24. Editors-in-Chief Keith Hobson and Ryan Norris are pleased to announce the publication of Volume 12, Issue 2 of Avian Conservation and Ecology. This issue marks the publication of the special feature: Advancing bird population monitoring with acoustic recording technologies edited by Steven Van Wilgenburg and Brian Klingbeil. The Editors are also pleased to announce the opening of a feature on Conservation of Boreal Birds and welcome submissions on this topic. To read the full text of all the articles published in this issue, please see the table of contents online. Messieurs Keith Hobson et Ryan Norris, corédacteurs en chef, sont heureux de vous annoncer la parution du plus récent numéro d'Écologie et conservation des oiseaux (volume 12, numéro 2). Ce numéro clos le dossier relatif aux: Technologies d’enregistrement acoustique pouvant améliorer le suivi des populations d’oiseaux codirigée par Steven Van Wilgenburg and Brian Klingbeil. Les rédacteurs en chef en profitent également pour annoncer le prochain dossier : la conservation des oiseaux boréaux; les soumissions d’articles sur ce sujet sont donc les bienvenues! Si vous souhaitez lire un ou des articles figurant dans ce numéro, nous vous invitons à consulter la table des matières en ligne sur le Web.
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