Diversify Land for Non-Game Wildlife Species

Deer management doesn’t just affect whitetails and many landowners, leaseholders or managers know a well-rounded plan benefits many species from turtles and snakes to big game and songbirds.

If you’re interested in learning more about non-game species, the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries will hold its third Alabama Nongame Wildlife Conference at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building at Auburn University on July 23-24. Sessions will be held on the following species groups: Mammals, Birds, Reptiles/Amphibians, Fishes, Crayfishes, Snails and Mussels.

The last Nongame Wildlife Conference was held 10 years ago. During that landmark meeting, more than 140 participants were involved in discussions on the status, distribution, habitats of, and priority designation for, each species group. Annotated lists of all vertebrate and some invertebrate species (mussels and aquatic snails) and/or subspecies in Alabama were developed and published.

WFF Nongame Wildlife Coordinator Mark Sasser says that information produced by the last conference needs to be updated.

“Since 2002, the status of many of these species has changed,” Sasser said. “To maintain healthy and diverse populations of wildlife in our state, we need to reassess many of these species. Committees have been formed and leaders assigned who are experts in their fields to assist us with this important scientific review.”

Other sponsors of the conference include Auburn University, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, The Alabama Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Birmingham Audubon Society, Alabama Ornithological Society, Weyerhaeuser and Sybil and Carroll Deschaines.

Attendees are encouraged to pre-register for the conference, which is open to the public. Registration is $40 before July 9, after which the fee increases to $50.

For registration information, visit http://www.outdooralabama.com/nongameconference. Along with pre-registration, attendees are asked to confirm their attendance on the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Facebook page under “Events.”

For additional information, contact co-chairs Mark Sasser or Steve Rider, WFF, 64 N. Union St., Montgomery, Ala.,  36104; or call (334) 242-3469 or (334) 844-8978.