Message from the Meeting Chair
2021 Annual Meeting Plenary Theme:
Conservation in Challenging Times
Conserving wildlife and biodiversity is our calling. It has always been difficult, but never as much, it seems, as today. Our challenges have included needs for information, public and political support, and adequate funding, among others. But today, those challenges seem dwarfed by massive challenges. The global COVID-19 pandemic has limited our ability to conduct our work and threatens funding for our programs. The nation is awaking to the urgent need to address long-term systematic racism in our society, and we need to understand how we can do better within the Wildlife Profession. Climate change is hard upon us, changing the distributions of wildlife species and their habitats, including causing secondary effects such as the massive increases in fire extent and intensity. Massive recent increases in insecticide use are threatening insect biodiversity and biomass and disrupting the food chain. Invasive species continue to arrive and, of course, the human population continues to grow and develop more areas of wildlands and agricultural landscapes.
Our 68th Annual Western Section meeting has forced us to go virtual to ensure our safety. Nonetheless, we pledge to offer a dynamic meeting that will be useful to you in dealing with today’s many challenges. We intend to have speakers who can offer comprehensive overviews of the problems we face and useful strategies to deal with them. We invite you to share your challenges and solutions via the many venues we will offer. With easy and flexible virtual access, no travel hassle, and lower cost, we hope to attract a record number of attendees and presenters. Join us for a safe, convenient, and stimulating Western Section Annual Meeting!
Dan Airola, President-Elect
The Western Section of The Wildlife Society