2020 has been widely described as “unprecedented” due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and associated impacts to every kind of human system. Here at the Camp Fire Program in Wildlife Conservation, we are thankful for the commitment and expertise of the hardworking, dedicated group of staff and students highlighted in this report. Because of them, we are continuing to make progress toward our shared goal of wildlife conservation and expand our e effectiveness and impact, even under conditions of primarily remote communications and delayed eld activities.
As you read our annual report, you will see that we have continued to focus on conducting applied wildlife science to inform conservation and management practices. Our work has become increasingly diverse, using citizen science and observations to estimate statewide and regional large carnivore distributions, initiating regional gray wolf research responding to species recovery and federal Endangered Species Act listing, and conducting multiple investigations identifying and seeking to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. These efforts are in tandem with our longstanding, ongoing work on predator-prey relationships and human impacts on wildlife.
To further represent the ongoing and expanding scope of our work, we have extended our ability to participate in global conservation issues. To that end, we recently were welcomed as a voting member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), affording us opportunity to help guide the direction of the “global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it”.
We have had a number of additional changes with several people joining our program and others moving on to new opportunities. Congratulations to Jacob Hill, a research scientist with our group who has transitioned to the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Ken Kellner has transitioned to our newly created Wildlife Conservation Scientist position and continues his important role in numerous projects. We also have three new Ph.D. students: Hailey Boone, Nate Wehr, and Merijn van den Bosch who will be working on ungulate and carnivore ecology and conservation in the Great Lakes region. We are excited to have these individuals join our program!
This program and report would not have been possible without the generous support of the Camp Fire Conservation Fund. Through this support and with our current students, staff , collaborators, and sponsors, we look forward to many opportunities and discoveries in 2021!