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AWMS Newsletter

  May 2022

Volume 36 Issue 1   

From the President

Thomas Newsome

Welcome to 2022!

This year is flying by, but I would firstly like thank all the departing 2021 AWMS Committee members for their efforts. We welcomed eight new people to the AWMS Committee this year along with a new public officer. Check out the new AWMS Committee.

The 2022 AWMS Committee decided to meet every second month this year to stay in touch more regularly. In our first meeting the Committee decided to proceed with a face-to-face conference this year, and everyone agreed that we are long overdue for a conference in New Zealand.

Details of the 2022 conference have been on our website for a while, and I am very pleased that we will be heading back to Napier, New Zealand, for our 35th annual conference.

We last held a conference in New Zealand in 2016 in Auckland, and in 2009 we had the annual conference in Napier.

In the 2009 Napier conference we focused the symposia on interactions among invasive mammals, mitigating the impacts of pest species through non-lethal management strategies, genetic management of fragmented populations, translocations and climate change, and game and pest management in the south pacific.

We could probably run a whole conference again on these themes as they are (unfortunately for some) all still relevant…

Members survey

AWMS ran a members benefit survey last year from July to December, to help us understand how we can improve AWMS.

Your voice was heard and here are some of the results, thanks again for taking the time to fill in the survey.

The survey consisted of the following sections: 1) Personal Information, 2) Policy, 3) Policy Communication strategies, 4) Newsletter/ Communication outreach and 5) Members Benefits.

Overall, there were 28 responses.

For the first section, 36% (most) of the respondents have attended 5 or more conferences and 21% have attended no conferences. Also, 57% of the respondents have not served on the AWMS committee. We also asked for ORCID IDs.

In the policy section, 75% of the responses showed that people are aware of relevant position statements on the AWMS website. 68% of the respondents have not advised on the drafting and/or review of an AWMS position statement, but 96% will consider drafting or reviewing a position statement and 96% suggested that AWMS should engage more with government enquiries and also make public comments on relevant issues in the media.

Some of the issues listed that AWMS should seek to make public comment on were:

  • Debates and effects of climate change on wildlife and how it can be mitigated.
  • Emerging research on biodiversity decline, its drivers and what can be done about it.
  • Dingo and wild dog management biosecurity.
  • Border protection for invasive species.
  • Threatened species funding.
In the communication strategies section, the following was rated effective for influencing wildlife management: social media, media engagement, communication with policy makers. Communicating with politicians was rated as very effective.

    The newsletter section responses showed that more than 80% of the respondents read and think that the AWMS newsletter is helpful; 74% follow one or more of the AWMS social media accounts and 26 % follow none. Emails seem to be the most effective way to reach people and 78% would like to receive more communications from AWMS. And the type of information that most of the respondents would like AWMS to provide is on a specific topic is wildlife management news and research and the least on employment, volunteer and study opportunities.

    For the last section on Members benefits, the following were considered as a great idea: to have publishing discounts with CSIRO, increased public exposure for relevant issues, increased engagement in government enquiries and advertisements of jobs and funding rounds and mid-year workshops and increased conference events.

    Some of the additional benefits suggested by the respondents were:

    • Merchandise and clothing made with Australian materials.
    • Amplify the voice of its members, share stories and papers.
    • More workshops and seminars in person and virtual.
    • Workshops or advice on how to work with policy makers.

    These responses are very useful and will help with our ongoing planning of communications and events over the coming years.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Thomas Newsome

    COnference wrap-up Social Media Officer

    Margarita Medina

    Last December the 34th #AWMS2021 conference was held online on Zoom. I had the opportunity to be part of the local organiser committee as the original plan was to have the conference held in Canberra. There were amazing talks on many different topics like conservation, eradication and wildlife management.  

    In 2021 we missed again the conference dinner and the traditional dress-up competition but it will be back this year as we are heading to Napier, NZ.

    If you would like to check the highlights of the conference on social media, you can follow us on twitter @AWMSociety or use #AWMS2021.

    These are the AWMS social media stats

    For any feedback and/or contributions to the website, newsletter and/or social media send me an email,  I am sure there are lots of interesting and exciting stories out there. 

    See you in Napier.  #AWMS2022

    Conference Liaison Officer Report

    Konnie Gebauer

    Virtual Conference Round 2!  We started off planning for a Hybrid (face-to-face and online) conference in Canberra, but had to move to an online only format in August 2021 due to the developing COVID situation in Australia.

    As preparing and holding the conference is not without cost to the society, we decided to charge a small registration fee and not hold it for free as last year. We had 205 people registered for the conference. The program contained 70+ presentations on a wide range of topics within the applied wildlife management field.

    The conference could not have happened without the fantastic work by the Canberra based conference organising committee: Jim Hone, Terry Korn, Melissa Snape, George Wilson, Stephen Sarre and Margarita Medina!

    I would also like to extend a special thank you to our Sponsors:

    •  A special thanks to our major conference partners: ACT Government, NSW Save Our Species, University of Canberra and DArT.
    •  Our Trade Exhibitors: Advanced Telemetry Systems Australia, Trapping Australia, Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control, Heli Surveys, Wildlife Drones, Lotek NZ Ltd., DArT and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.
    •  Advertising and Symposium Sponsors: Australian Deer Association, Great eastern Ranges and Wildlife Health Australia
    •  A very special Thank you to Advanced Telemetry Systems Australia for sponsoring the Student Prices

    Sebastien ComteTreasurer Report 

    Sebastien Comte

    Based on the status of the accounts on the 05/12/2021 the AWMS financial position is keeping the stable and positive trend of the last two years. The total assets increased from $246,494.61 in FY2019 to $268,284.41 in 2020 and then stabilised at $272,530.29 today. A full breakdown is below:

    Note that the total current assets above includes the public fund, which is audited separately (total $99,970.24) – the remaining balance is $172,560.05.

    Total income in the 2021FY was $28,797.95. Expenses totalled $26,577.89 which provided a net income of $2,220.06.

    As of 8/12/2021 for the 2022FY, total income is $9,767.68. Running expenses are $7,611.70 for a net income of $2,512.16.

    Membership Report

    Shannon Dundas

    Our membership numbers have increased from last year. The current membership numbers stand at 216. The breakdown is:

    This compares to 159 for 2020, 183 for 2019 and 230 for 2018. The discounted conference fees for this year seems to have boosted our membership numbers. We had 44 new member applications (31 Full, 9 Student, 4 Retired/Unemployed) from the start of November. Remember to fill out our member benefits survey on the AWMS website.


    Congratulations to the AWMS 2021 Award Winners!

    • Tim Henderson - Best 5 minute presentation
    • Jade Harris - Best 5 minute presentation (runner up) 
    • Aline Gibson-Vega - Best Full presentation
    • Scarlett Li-Williams - Best Full presentation (runner up)
    • Claire Sharp - Postgraduate Research Award
    • Shannon Kleemann - Braysher Management Award
    • Dr Carolyn King and Dr Andrea Byrom - Caughley Medal
    • Peter Caley - Caughley Travelling Fellowship

    On that note the 2022 AWMS Awards round will open soon (June1 - August 31), don't forget to apply or let people know about  these awards

    You can read more about the work of our other award winners in our next newsletter.

    AGM 2021 Outcomes

    Election office Bearers and 2021 Draft Minutes

    35th AWMS conference       #AWMS2022

    Save the date! 

    The Australasian Wildlife Management Society will be holding its 35th annual conference on 6-8 December 2022 at the Napier War Memorial Centre in Napier, NZ. Our conferences normally attract 100-200 delegates. We are currently finalising the conference program details and will update this conference page as new information becomes available. 

    want to be a sponsor at AWMS 2022?