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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 9, 2012  

Departmental/Bureau News – Current

  • Vulnerability Assessment Course: Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC Science Coordinator John Tirpak and USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Mike Osland helped present a workshop on Vulnerability Assessment to conservation and resource managers. The course was held at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Moss Point, Mississippi July 31 through August 2. More than 40 students participated, representing numerous nongovernmental organizations, universities, and state, local, and federal agencies. (John Tirpak; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8565)

  • Feral Hog Collared: Data Will Help Control Population: NWRC researchers are using the “Judas pig” system of attaching GPS-satellite telemetry collars to select feral swine, an invasive species. Once a collar has been attached to an individual, usually a large boar or sow, it is released and returns to its group. The group’s movements and locations can then be tracked through the collared individual, the “Judas pig,” allowing researchers and managers to better target removal efforts. NWRC Geographer Steve Hartley, refuge staff, and personnel from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service collared a feral hog on Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge near Tallulah, La., on August 1. Data from the collar will help biologists track the hog and will eventually help with population control. Because of detrimental impacts of feral hogs—including rooting, damaging agricultural lands, destroying the habitats of native animals, and spreading diseases and parasites—many public lands implement feral swine control programs on an annual basis. (Steve Hartley; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8543)

  • NWRC Scientist Presents Work at World Congress of Herpetology: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Hardin Waddle will discuss long-term trends in anuran occupancy in the Louisiana Atchafalaya Basin during the 7th World Congress of Herpetology in Vancouver, Canada on August 9. His presentation is part of a symposium sponsored by the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI). (Hardin Waddle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8671)

  • Future of Collaborative Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ecosystem Research: The Louisiana Chapter of the Wildlife Society will meet in conjunction with the 2012 Fall Symposium of the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists August 16-17 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Gulf Coast Prairie LCC Coordinator Bill Bartush, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC Science Coordinator John Tirpak, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, and USFWS Lafayette Field Office Chief Jeff Weller will team up to present “Collaboration in Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Region: A Crucible for the Future.” Turnipseed will also serve as a judge for student presentations and posters. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Congressman Boustany’s Staff Visits NWRC: Staff members from U.S. Congressman Charles Boustany’s office toured the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on August 6 to learn about research and coastal Louisiana’s wetland issues. Deputy District Director Michael Hare and Scheduler Paige Hensgens accompanied new staffer Kaitlin Sighinolfi, who will cover wetlands and coastal restoration issues for the Congressman’s Washington, D.C., office. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)
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