Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society Newsletter


December 2019 - Vol. 12 Issue No. 3

The Mission of the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society is to foster excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education among wildlife professionals in Canada
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Executive Reports
President's Message
Dr. Sonja Leverkus, Ph.D., PAg RPBio FIT EP
Canadian Section President
Ecosystem Scientist and AFE Certified Wildlife Fire Practioner
Shifting Mosaics Consulting
Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta 

Greetings from the great white north as we plow right into a brilliant Canadian winter!  I hope this newsletter finds you enjoying good work for wildlife and its habitat.  
One of the greatest aspects of being a member of The Wildlife Society is the amazing network of professionals and colleagues we become part of when we enroll as members. In November, I attended the Northern Guides Association of British Columbia AGM and banquet in Fort St. John and was fortunate to cross paths with Kevin Hurley (Wild Sheep Foundation and TWS Fellow) and Sejer Meyhoff (Masters student at the University of Lethbridge and TWS Member and past-president of the Lethbridge College Student Chapter). It was great to hear about the good support from the Wild Sheep Foundation to our wild sheep herds in Canada and to connect with TWS members. I also believe it is very important to work together with foundations, fellow biologists, governments, and local knowledge holders with extensive experience on the land to conserve all wildlife and its habitat. I would encourage everyone to explore the opportunities of collaborating with guide outfitters, trappers, ranchers, Indigenous and Metis communities amongst others who live and work with wildlife on a daily basis. Mobilizing science with traditional and local ecological knowledge and experience will provide the best path forward for Canadian wildlife and its habitat.  
Several TWS members also attended the inaugural Aerial Ungulate Survey course in central BC where we learned techniques and methodologies in the classroom and in the field. Professional development opportunities are really important for all of our members to ensure we remain current in our field of work and to continually build our professional networks. Upcoming opportunities include the many provincial chapter AGMs ( and our joint Section AGM and conference with the Ontario chapter (

Should you have any questions, suggestions, or a good wildlife story to share, please feel free to contact me at

Left: Dr. Sonja Leverkus, Kevin Hurley, and Sejer Meyhoff in attendance of the 2019 Northern Guides Association of British Columbia in Fort St. John. Right: Freeze-up in the great white north, central BC, November 2019.

“The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, so we must and we will.”

- Sonja Leverkus, President – Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society 
Canadian Section

Dr. Evelyn Merrill Ph.D., CWB®
CSTWS Representative to Council
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Alberta 

I hope you all have had a bountiful fall and your freezers full of plants and animals to share over the winter. Most of my efforts in the last two months for TWS have been focused on supporting conservation efforts, planning for future meetings, streamlining internal documents, and promoting TWS certification standards. TWS has provided input on a range of wildlife conservation issues both in North America and elsewhere. To indicate the diversity of efforts are letters in support of US Bureau of Land Management career professionals in employment policies; limitations on funding for assessing Endangered species status for sage grouse; acting as one sponsor of the film Horse Rich & Dirt Poor addressing the wild horses issues in arid lands (see film; actively sponsoring the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act: A 21st Century Model of Wildlife Conservation Funding; individual Council members have engaged in major efforts for US federal funding for chronic wasting disease. For other news, see the Conservation Affairs Network portion of TWS’s website (especially see update on Alberta’s letter on caribou conservation). TWS is busy with reshuffling TWS bylaws to make sure they are efficient, and details of procedures allocated to operations manual. It also looks like TWS may take up some grappling with trapping best practices this year and we are hoping to bring Canadian perspectives to the table. Coming up are two items to consider PLEASE!! 1) TWS is seeking an Editor-In-Chief for the Wildlife Bulletin (see the announcement in this newsletter) and 2) TWS Award nominations are coming up. We have many deserving Canadians so please visit the various categories from groups to individuals to publications. See the various categories on TWS websites. Finally, we are making definite progress on our TWS-CSTWS Memorandum of Understanding and to follow on that will be more updates for the Chapters so stay tuned.


Executive Coordinator
Dr. Erin McCance Ph.D., P.Bio.® EP®
CSTWS Executive Coordinator
Partner, Senior Wildlife Biologist
Ecologic Environmental Inc.
Sessional Instructor, University of Manitoba

Hello Fellow Wildlifers,
I want to begin by taking an opportunity to wish you and your families a very peaceful and wonderful Holiday Season! Hopefully, you will all have an opportunity to slow down and enjoy some quiet time over the Holidays.
The CSTWS continues to make progress on initiatives associated with our incorporation and hopefully charitable status. The CSTWS is moving forward with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Wildlife Society (TWS). The MOU outlines mutually agreed upon conditions for CSTWS to use the TWS trademark. In brief, the conditions relate to approved use and display of the trademark for printed and digital materials and merchandise, terms of the TWS Council Canadian Section representative, notification of TWS of CSTWS changes in member dues and transfers of CSTWS dues from TWS, adherence to TWS Code of Ethics, policy positions, official position statements and any other operating policies, maintenance of appropriate liability coverages, and conditions for mutual indemnification. CSTWS is pursuing the finalization and signing of the MOU.
Further, as previously reported, the CSTWS has filed an application for Charitable Status with the Canadian Revenue Agency. We anticipate hearing back on our application by February 2020. We are also currently gathering information about commercial and director’s liability for the CSTWS as well as information regarding group packages that may be extended to Canadian Provincial Chapters and Student Chapters.  
We are currently working on updates and re-design of our website and our logo. We hope to have these initiatives ready for launch early in the New Year.
As many of you are aware, our Membership Survey has been completed. As always, the membership surveys provide us with valuable information to help guide activities moving forward. Please find the summary of the survey within this newsletter. 
Please save the date for our Joint Conference of the CSTWS and the Ontario Chapter to be held in Peterborough Ontario on March 27-29, 2020. Our AGM will also take place at the event. We hope that many of you can attend this conference and the AGM!!
Should any of our members wish to become more involved on one of our standing committees, with our educational webinar series, on the CSTWS Board, or with any of our ongoing initiatives, please reach out!!  We would love to hear from you!  Should you have any questions or comments, please email anytime:
Happy Holidays to all!!
Sent with best wishes,
Erin McCance
Conservation Affairs Committee
Christopher E. Smith
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Chair Conservation Affairs Committee

As a result of the strong interest in our CAC Conservation E-newsletter, we are now sending it out to all CSTWS members as a membership benefit. This weekly newsletter profiles wildlife conservation and associated public policy news from across Canada and beyond.  

We initiated the development of a working group that will be responsible for preparing a discussion paper on Engaging Indigenous People in Wildlife Conservation and Management. The intent of the paper is to provide a solid basis for providing guidance to the CSTWS and membership on this important topic which was identified as top CSTWS CAC priority for 2019/2020. 

Currently in the early stages of developing a comprehensive/current information paper on CWD that includes guidelines/BMPs with outreach and input from Provincial Disease Specialists in Canada. This will provide the basis for how the CSTWS can best contribute to the CWD discussion and management in Canada. 

- Chris Smith, CSTWS CAC Chair 
Certification Committee 
Don Barnes M.Sc., CWB®
Retired Lakehead University Thunder Bay ON
Chair CSTWS Certification Committee 
Member CSTWS Education Committee 
Member TWS Certification Liaison Committee 

New Certification Committee Student Representative
On December 2, 2019 I received word that Jaycee Reimer, our Certification Committee Student Representative, decided to take a break from her university education to become more financially stable. At this time, I would like to thank her for the enthusiastic way she approached her role as student representative. 

I am pleased to announce that Kaitlin Machacek, a Lethbridge College student, has agreed to become the new Certification Committee Student Representative. As Chair, I have always felt that students are the key ingredient in ensuring the success of TWS certification in Canada. After all, without an influx of Associated Wildlife Biologists (AWBs), the program will not grow. Our student representative will be expected to take part in meetings held by Emily Jones (our CSTWS Executive Committee Student Representative) with the Canadian Student Chapter Presidents. This is a new initiative that I have negotiated with Emily and it is already paying dividends. Even after one meeting, our student representative was able to open channels of communication between students and the Certification Committee.

As well, Kaitlin will be responsible for reporting to the Certification Committee at our 3 annual meetings and to provide a student prospectus to our many email discussions about certification-related matters.

Certification Events
The Certification Committee is very appreciative of the efforts put forth by the University of Alberta and the University of Manitoba to promote TWS certification in Canada. During the fall of 2019, the University of Alberta hosted a Wildlife Certification Night. This venue featured Dr. Mark Boyce (CWB® and University of Alberta Professor) who talked about TWS’s certification program. This evening also featured Dave Ealey (P. Biol. and Certification Committee Liaison for the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists—ASPB—) who talked about ASPB’s Professional Biologists certification program.

The University of Manitoba continues to host certification events. In September 2018, the Manitoba Chapter put on a certification workshop which was attended by 50 students from three universities i.e. the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, and Brandon University. I took part in the workshop and so can attest to its success. On January 11, 2020, the Manitoba Chapter is planning yet another certification workshop at the University of Manitoba. 

Update on the ad hoc Curriculum Review Committee (CRC)
This ad hoc committee was created by the Certification Committee in response to a need to structure college and university courses to better prepare students for a career as wildlife biology professionals. The steering committee is made of the following CSTWS members: Dr. Rick Baydack (CWB®, CSTWS Past President), Dr. Erin McCance (P, Biol.®/EP®, CSTWS Executive Co-ordinator and CSTWS Executive Committee Representative on the Certification Committee), Dr. Everett Hanna, (CWB®/RPBio®, Certification Committee Liaison for the British Columbia College of Applied Biologists—BC CAB—), Dr. Lu Carbyn (CWB®, University of Alberta Professor, and former member of Certification Review Board) and myself (CWB® and Chair of Certification Committee). We are currently in the process of generating a list of educators across Canada who would be interested in representing their university or college as part of CRC. If you are a professor or would be like to recommend a professor, send an email to me at ( explaining your rationale.  

Committee of Biological Professionals (CBP)
In the last newsletter, I introduced the concept of the CBP. The impetus for its creation was to provide a stronger voice for fish and wildlife issues at the population, ecosystem and environment levels.    

The Certification Committee has contacted Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada) and they are keen to work with us. 

To establish a better rapport with the BC-CAB, a 3-person Certification Committee subcommittee was formed consisting of Dr. Everett Hanna, Dr. Rod Davis, (Certification Committee BC TWS Chapter Representative), and myself.

Dave Ealey continues to dialogue with ASPB to establish a working arrangement.

I have communicated with the American Fisheries Society (AFS) through Dr. Mark Poesch, Fisheries Professor at the University of Alberta and former AFS president of the Canadian Aquatic Resource Section. He has been working with Dr. Lu Carbyn to educate and inform their students about becoming certified as AFS professional fisheries biologists and TWS CWBs, respectively. Dr. Poesch is very interested in creating closer ties between TWS-AFS with regards to certification. He has demonstrated his commitment by reaching out to the AFS Executive Council for their blessing. At present, we are waiting for their response.

The Ecological Society of America (ESA), also, has a certification program available to Canadian ecologists.  Since they have a Canadian Chapter based out of the University of Calgary and is chaired by faculty member Dr. Karen Yee, I have communicated with her to gauge ESA’s interest. We are waiting for a response. 

Improving the Certification Committee site of the CSTWS Website
The CSTWS is in the process of re-designing their website.  At a recent meeting of the CSTWS Executive Committee, committee chairs were encouraged to submit changes to their present sites. If you have had a chance to peruse the current website, you will find only a few lines devoted to each committee.  As Chair of the Certification Committee, I am very interested in providing a more informed profile of our committee.    

To ensure the Certification Committee site provides a better overview of the committee, its structure, activities and initiatives, I have proposed a model which would include the following:
  • Our Terms of Reference
  • Our membership list showing which members are responsible for various activities; contact information would also be included
  • Our mentorship program
  • Certification Webinar, Workshops and Events
  •  Initiatives
    • Committee of Professional Biologists 
    • Curriculum Review Committee Certification
  • Manuscripts pertaining to Certification 
    • CFN Article (in prep)
    • Wildlife Professional article (in prep) 
I applaud the CSTWS for embarking on such an ambitious undertaking. I firmly believe that an effective and well maintained Certification Committee site is critical if we are capturing the interest of students and wildlife biologists.  

Certification Committee Meetings
In mid-November, the Certification Committee held a teleconferencing meeting.  

Our next meeting will be late February or early March (before AGM). As discussed earlier, the committee will meet 3 times a year, i.e. in fall, winter (before Spring AGM) and spring (after AGM). All agreed a summertime meeting would not work.
Don Barnes, Chair, CSTWS Certification Committee

Awards Committee 
Dr. Joseph Northrup, PhD
CSTWS Awards Committee Chair
Research Scientist, Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

CSTWS Awards Program
 Student Travel Grants
The Canadian Section was able to assist 6 Canadian graduate students with their travel expenses to attend TWS’ 26th Annual Conference held September 29 – October 3 in Reno, Nevada.  All 6 had been accepted to present their research at the conference, in either oral or poster form. The students included: 
  • Sophiane Béland, M.Sc. student Université Laval
  • Jessica Lang, M.Sc. student University of Manitoba
  • Levi Newediuk, Ph.D. student Memorial University 
  • Christina Prokopenko, Ph.D. student Memorial University
  • Helena Rheault, Ph.D. student Trent University
  • Kathryn Yarchuk, B.Env.St student University of Manitoba
We are grateful that these students followed the tradition of assisting with the Canadian Reception. Travel grant recipients are required to share highlights of their attendance at the conference. This newsletter we will share the experiences of Kathryn and Sophiane. 

Kathryn Yarchuk

Kathryn Yarchuk, B.Env.St student, University of Manitoba 

In September of 2019, I was fortunate enough to attend the TWS & AFS Joint Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada. At this conference I served as Volunteer Coordinator and a Chapter Officer, representing the Manitoba Chapter of TWS. Through these positions, I was provided with significant opportunities to engage with professionals and other students from across North America. 

As volunteer coordinator, I gained a new appreciation for the hard work and dedication contributed by TWS officers to ensure the success of this event. This role assisted me in creating personal connections with volunteers and conference coordinators. Thank you to all of our volunteers and the other coordinators for helping operations run smoothly!

Incredible posters and presentations were delivered by attendees throughout the duration of the conference. As this was a joint conference with American Fisheries Society, a wide variety of topics were covered, providing ample learning opportunities in areas outside of our personal expertise. I had an excellent time presenting my poster on the Examination of white-tailed deer feces for the presence of P. tenius to determine the level of existence of brainworm within Riding Mountain National Park on Monday evening. One of my conference highlights is learning about the research conducted by my “poster neighbours” and their various backgrounds. 

I am incredibly thankful to have had such a rewarding experience at the conference. Thank you to the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society, for assisting with travel costs and making this opportunity a reality!

Sophiane Béland

Sophiane Béland, M.Sc. student, Université Laval

I had the chance to participate in what was my first TWS conference and I think the only suitable word to describe my experience is “Astounding”. I was quite fascinated by the number of people, all there, reunited by our will to protect wildlife and fisheries. Having the chance to meet, talk and share knowledge with so many people was just an incredible experience. In addition to that, I made friendships with awesome students that I would never have met if it wasn’t for the conference. I participated in all of the networking events, but I must say my favourite was the poster session. I got to learn about different research subjects from wild turkey movements to white-tailed deer diseases and so much more, by talking with the presenters and it was really enriching. I also had the chance to meet with researchers I have always wanted to meet during the student-professional networking event. I am surely not the only one who finds it interesting to finally be able to put a face on someone and discuss with them about their findings when you have read so much of their papers. I was fortunate enough to give a talk about my research in the “Movement Ecology II” session, it was stressful and exciting at the same time and I am glad I did it. Sharing my research with the other attendees was a big highlight of my experience at the conference and now, the only thing I can think about is: When is the next TWS conference?! 
Call for 2020 Nominations!
Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award
The Canadian Section Awards Committee is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the 2020 Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award. This highest honour from the Canadian Section recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding, conservation, and/or management of wildlife in Canada over the course of their career. The award is named for Dr. Ian McTaggart-Cowan, a founding pioneer of the wildlife profession, an Honorary Life Member and former President of The Wildlife Society (TWS), and recipient of TWS’ highest honour, the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award. This award is open to any wildlife professional, practicing or retired, whether or not they are a member of the CSTWS and/or TWS.

See more details and an application form on the Canadian Section:
This award is given at the Annual General Meeting of the CSTWS, which is scheduled to occur 27–29 March 2020 in Peterborough, ON. The deadline for submitting nominations is 4 January 2020. Nominations should be submitted to Joe Northrup, Chair of the CSTWS Awards Committee,

Early-2020 deadlines for TWS Fellow, Group Achievement, and Wildlife Publication Awards
The Fellows Program of TWS recognizes members who have distinguished themselves through exceptional service to the wildlife profession. TWS Fellows serve as ambassadors of The Wildlife Society and as such are encouraged to engage in outreach and other activities that will benefit and promote TWS and the wildlife profession. TWS Fellows are appointed for life. Nominations for TWS Fellows must be submitted to TWS by 1 February 2020.

The Group Achievement Award of TWS recognizes an organization’s outstanding wildlife achievement that is consistent with and/or assists in advancing the objectives of The Wildlife Society. The organization selected can be private or governmental, and their activities have been primarily regional, national, or international in scope. Accomplishments, while they may be long-term, should include important contributions within the last three years.  Nominations for the Group Achievement Award must be submitted to TWS by 1 February 2020.

The Wildlife Publication Awards program of TWS has broadened considerably in past years, representing the entire scientific literature of wildlife biology and management including technical journal articles, monographs, bulletins, books, and edited works. Diverse subject disciplines are eligible for consideration, although the committee will not consider fishery publications as these are the prerogative of the American Fisheries Society. Nominations for Wildlife Publications Awards must be submitted to TWS by 1 March 2020.  

The deadline for remaining TWS Awards Nominations is 1 May 2020
There are many opportunities to seek recognition for the excellent work and service of our Canadian colleagues. The remaining awards are listed below, and all have a deadline of 1 May.

Education Awards: Conservation Education Award; Donald H. Rusch Memorial Game Bird Research Scholarship; Excellence in Wildlife Education Award. 

Professional Achievement Awards: Aldo Leopold Memorial Award; Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Research; Diversity Award; Jay “N” Darling Award for Wildlife Stewardship through Art; Jim McDonough Award; Special Recognition Service Award.

Service Awards: Chapter of the Year; Distinguished Service Awards; Honorary Membership; Student Chapter Advisor of the Year; Student Chapter of the Year.

Please go to  to find the criteria for these awards and directions for submitting your nominations. Let’s help our colleagues get the recognition they deserve!
Additional Awards 
Graduate Student Award for Moose Research

The Albert W. Franzmann and Distinguished Colleagues Memorial Award is a competitive annual award for graduate students working on the biology and management of moose within their circumpolar distribution or other ungulates or mammalian carnivores overlapping moose range. The deadline is March 15, 2020.

For details see the 
Alces website. Applicants, recipients of this award or not, are encouraged to apply for the Alces “Newcomer’s Travel Award” that will assist their attendance at the Alces annual conference (see “Travel Awards” at the above website). 
Canadian Chapter Updates
British Columbia Chapter
The British Columbia Chapter of The Wildlife Society growing stronger! 

The recently revived British Columbia Chapter continues to engage members and provide the services and opportunities that are building a thriving chapter. Planning is underway for our 2nd annual conference “Our Future Together”, to be held in Prince George 19-21 March 2020. We have an active Conservation Affairs Committee who are preparing a position statement on the use of Glyphosate in BC and have established us as a primary stakeholder at the discussion table for various provincial initiatives. British Columbia students are inspired; self-organizing 2 new University chapters bringing the provincial total to approximately 250 students now participating in student groups. Membership is steadily increasing, reaching a current peak of 87. Our annual executive elections are now complete, and we have a full slate of enthusiastic volunteers looking forward to continuing the good work in 2020.

Alberta Chapter
The Alberta Chapter has been busy. Work is well underway for our 2020 conference, which will be held March 13-15 in Camrose. The conference theme is Species on the Move and registration and abstract submission are now open. Several great workshops and field trips are being planned. The conference also marks our annual election cycle and we are seeking candidates interested in filling several positions including president-elect, director (2), and student director. We encourage anyone that is interested to put their name forward. 

Something new for the ACTWS in the past year was to commission a study on the cumulative effects of forestry on the east slopes of southern Alberta. The draft report was delivered to our executive in October for review. The exec has been busy discussing the next steps and how to best share this information. We will be following up on this report in the new year, and a presentation is planned for the 2020 Conference. 

Our executive director, John Wilmshurst, moved on to new opportunities in November. We are currently in the midst of searching for a new executive director and will hopefully have the position filled early in the new year.

Manitoba Chapter
Season’s greetings from the Manitoba Chapter! The Chapter has been hard at work putting together workshops and events over the past few months. We have held two fall mixers – one mixer in Winnipeg and another in Brandon, both of which were well attended by professionals and students alike. The Chapter has also had the opportunity to engage the membership with a student discussion night centred on predator culling and another “Introduction to R” workshop focusing on creating figures. Above our engagement with the membership, we have also had the opportunity to dispense a student travel award and an early career professional award to two deserving candidates. 

Looking forward to the New Year ahead we are poised to start receiving applications for a number of our awards; keep an eye on our website for all the specifics. Moreover, we are looking forward to our annual events such as the Winter Getaway and our AGM. We also have a little something different this year; we want to build a strong community feeling by getting the membership out for more than workshops and our staple events, we have set up a night at the comedy club on January 15th which is sure to have all in attendance laughing without a doubt. Details for all events and workshops can be found on our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) as well as our website. 

Happy Holidays to all!

Mitch Leclaire
TWS Manitoba Chapter President
Canadian Section News  
Get Involved with the Canadian Section!
Elections Call – Board of Directors
Please throw your name into the hat for these exciting opportunities! As per the ‘new’ Section Bylaws, Directors will be elected for 2-year terms effective March 2020.  Upon election, the Board of Directors will then establish which members of the Board will serve as the Officers of the Section. To put your name on the ballot or for additional information, please contact the Section Executive Coordinator, Erin McCance ( before February 28. Thank you for your support of the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society!
CSTWS Membership Survey – October 2019
Summary of Results

The CSTWS Board of Directors felt it was appropriate timing to conduct a membership survey based on a number of factors such as:
  • The CSTWS is a newly Incorporated Not-for-Profit organization. The Bylaws for the new Incorporated CSTWS were approved on July 11, 2019. The CSTWS Membership Survey provides valuable information for the future growth of the newly Incorporated CSTWS.
  • The CSTWS received a substantial endowment and the CSTWS Board of Directors aims to determine the most fiscally responsible way to save/grow/utilize these funds. 
  • The CSTWS held a Strategic Planning Workshop in March 2018. A ‘living’ 5-year Strategic Plan was derived based on the workshop outcomes. The CSTWS Board of Directors aims to assess the consistency of the CSTWS Strategic Plan with collective membership opinion. The CSTWS Strategic Plan highlights three primary areas of focus under the following headings:
    • Communication (internal and external)
    • Education (training, workshops, collaborative partnerships)
    • Membership (recruitment, retention, value proposition)
  • March 2018 marked the start date of our first paid position in CSTWS history, an Executive Coordinator position, hired to assist with activities aimed at growing the CSTWS. The membership survey offers the CSTWS Board of Directors with an opportunity to consider membership action priorities to allow the Board to strategically allocate task function for the Executive Coordinator
  • The last CSTWS Membership survey was conducted 5 years ago, in 2014. Conducting a CSTWS Membership survey this year offers an opportunity to assess similarities and differences in CSTWS Membership perspectives and interests 5 years after the last survey was conducted.
Survey Approach
The 2019 CSTWS Membership Survey was developed with the assistance of the 2019-2020 Board of Directors with contributions from the Committee Chairs and questions adopted and modified from the 2014 CSTWS Membership Survey.  The survey was distributed via Survey Monkey during October 2019. The survey was distributed to 286 individuals based on the CSTWS active Membership listing for October 1, 2019. Two weeks following the initial distribution, a reminder email with the survey was sent again to all 286 individuals. There was no prize offered to CSTWS members for filling out the survey. The survey consists of 21 questions with the host, Survey Monkey, indicating the average time to complete the survey to be 9 minutes.

Overview of Survey Results
The following bullets offer a high-level overview of the 2019 CSTWS Membership Survey:
  • A total of 286 CSTWS memberships were sent the survey with 99 members responding for a survey response rate of 35%
  • 97% of respondents were members of parent TWS with 100% of respondents current CSTWS members
  • Top three reasons for being CSTWS members were: information exchange, networking, and the link to parent TWS
  • 82% of respondents were also members of a provincial/student chapter, with the highest proportion of participation relative to provincial/student chapter membership size, coming from the BC Chapter
  • 6% of respondents were students
  • The two lowest levels of satisfaction across CSTWS activities were award opportunities (79.8%) and fiscal responsibility (77.78% total satisfaction) – both high levels of satisfaction but the lowest of the listing overall
  • 1-3 emails a month ranked most satisfactory for the level of communication
  • Questions 9 and 10 should have been worded for respondents to list their top 3 or top 5 selections to allow for more effective information to be gathered
  • 60% of respondents worked as a wildlife biologist
  • 88% of respondents had heard of TWS Professional Certifications, although only 32% were TWS Certified (14 CWB, 3 AWB)
  • 75% of respondents have never applied to be TWS Certified, although 67% of respondents felt certification was valuable - of those that did apply, 20% were successful and 8% unsuccessful in their application, with the number one reason for the last of success being the lack of required coursework
  • 38.5% of respondents were supportive of CSTWS dues increase to $25 for professionals and $10 for students
  • Several additional ways were identified as favourable by respondents as a means of increasing income – most favoured approached include: silent auctions/raffles at AGM, professional training workshops, solicit sponsorships, increasing due, and unified dues (one membership across all chapters/student chapters/Section)
Comparisons between 2014 & 2019 Survey Results
The following bullets offer a general comparison of CSTWS membership responses between the 2014 and the 2019 CSTWS Membership Surveys:
  • The 2014 CSTWS Membership Survey had between 26-32% response rate (high/low across questions); the 2019 CSTWS Membership Survey had between 31-35% response rate (high/low across questions)
  • Top three reasons for being CSTWS members in 2019 were: information exchange, networking, and the link to parent TWS in comparison to 2014 which were: information exchange, networking, and advocate for wildlife
  • Respondents in 2019 had participated in a wider variety of CSTWS events/activities and at greater numbers than respondents indicated they had in 2014
  • The two lowest levels of satisfaction across CSTWS activities were award opportunities and fiscal responsibility whereas in 2014, respondents listed the CSTWS Reception at TWS and mentoring students as lowest
  • Consistent between both surveys, respondents indicated 1-3 emails per months as the most acceptable level of email communication
  • 2014 Respondents indicated they would seek certification if their employers were supportive and that CSTWS working with other certification organizations in Canada was a favourable approach
  • In 2014, 53 of the 111 Respondents indicated they would support a large membership dues increase of up to $50/CSTWS membership for professionals and $10 for students in comparison to the 2019 survey where respondents indicated the highest preference for a $25/CSTWS membership increase for professionals and $10 for students
  • In 2014, the most favourable ways to bring in additional revenue were identified as silent auctions/raffles at AGM, solicit sponsorships, and professional training workshops
Prepared by: Erin McCance (Executive Coordinator CSTWS)
Upcoming Webinars

Thursday January 9th, 1pm (ET): Dr. William Halliday
Arctic Acoustic Environments: The impacts of climate change and shipping activity on marine wildlife. 

Monday February 10th, 2pm (ET): Dr. Andrew Derocher
Climate change impacts on polar bears 

Wednesday April 29th, 12pm (ET): Dr. Tal Avgar
R package for animal movement, managing tracking data, and conducting habitat selection analyses 
CSTWS Membership Dues Increase
Based on the results of our Membership Survey showing support for an increase in our CSTWS Membership dues, our membership dues will be increased to $20 for professionals and $10 for students as of January 2021. We have not had an increase in our membership dues since our inception eleven years ago. The increase in CSTWS Membership dues will assist in support for student travel awards, educational and training opportunities, as well as conference events. We will also be working to merge all membership renewals to the calendar year with renewals taking place in January of each year. We appreciate the continued support of our members.  
Paying tribute to Lawrence John Bidlake 

Lawrence John Bidlake (Larry), a TWS member since 1964 passed away on June 28, 2019 at the age of 78. Larry was born in Mayo, Yukon but grew up in Whitehorse, where his father was the head of the Yukon Game Department. Like many local Canadian boys, he loved hockey and hunting the wilds of the Yukon.

Larry attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks (1958 – 1964) graduating with a BSc in Wildlife Management. During summer field employment with the USF&WS in 1963, Larry inventoried waterfowl on the Yukon River Flats in Central Alaska. While on the job, he survived the attack of an aggressive black bear by escaping up a tree, with only a minor injury to his foot.

In June 1965, Larry joined the Manitoba Wildlife Branch, Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife biologist. After a stint in Winnipeg, Larry and his wife Patricia, moved to Brandon, Manitoba in 1971 where he was a Regional Wildlife Manager until his retirement in 2001. Larry trapped and tagged deer in the mid 1970’s. He managed a feeding program when the deer population was in trouble in the 1980’s; He flew surveys for deer, moose, and elk and subsequently recommended hunting seasons for big game, grouse, and waterfowl, throughout his career. He negotiated numerous land purchases for the province to create ‘Wildlife Management Areas’. He would love to travel in SW MB to convince farmers to use wise land practices to benefit wildlife. He negotiated with hunting outfitters and spoke to numerous hunting groups. He was active in starting a chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Brandon. Larry’s passion for fieldwork caused him to pass up opportunities for advancement to senior administrative positions.

Larry was a passionate hunter of birds and big game. He always had his Labrador Retrievers with him in the field. He will be remembered for his love of family, horse riding, field excursions, annual fishing trips, Scotch whiskey and telling stories. An old train caboose near the Turtle Mountains served him and colleague, Herb Goulden as a hunting cabin and quiet family getaways.

Larry Bidlake has been a part of TWS throughout his career. He was a founding member of the Manitoba Chapter and a member of the Central Mountains and Plains Section (CMPS) and the Canadian Section. He was an active participant; often assuming a leadership role in sub-unit activities. He organized the field program for the CMPS August 1992 conference near Riding Mountain National Park. Larry was President of the CMPS section from 1988 to 1990. He was awarded the Manitoba Chapter’s “Conservationist Award” in 1989 for his many contributions to Manitoba wildlife conservation. In 1992, he was awarded the CMPS “Professional Achievement Award” for his steadfast support of the Section. One of his most cherished tributes was the TWS “Distinguished Service Award” presented at the 2013 Annual Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

After retirement, Larry followed his passion for conserving natural areas as a board member of the Brandon Riverbank Committee and the Citizen’s Environmental Advisory Committee for the City of Brandon. He also enjoyed mentoring young hunters through the Delta Waterfowl Mentored Hunt Program.

Larry is survived by his wife Patricia, children Jennifer (Jeff) Schroeder of Calgary AB., and Geoffrey (Sher) Bidlake of Cochrane AB, sister Diane King of Penticton BC and 6 grandchildren.

Manitoba and TWS have lost a passionate advocate for wildlife.

Larry will also be featured in the upcoming "Wildlife Professionals" publication.

Prepared by: TWS members Daniel J Chranowski CWB® and Herbert D Goulden CWB®
(Originally published in The Wildlife Society -  Manitoba Chapter 2019 Fall Newsletter) 

Wildlife Job Board and Opportunities 
USFS Native American Research Assistantship
Research assistantship opportunities, which provide mentorship and training by USFS research and development scientists. 

Potential Research Projects include:
1) Passive acoustic monitoring in the coastal mountains of Oregon
2) Bat surveys and greater sage-grouse vegetation studies in the Buffalo Gap National Grassland of South Dakota

The deadline to apply is January 19th, 2020. Details and application forms can be found here.
Seasonal Waterfowl Technician (Manitoba)
Positions with the Alberta Conservation Association (Alberta)
Editor-in-Chief for The Wildlife Society Bulletin
Application Period: until 3 January 2020
Preferred Start Date: 1 May 2020 

The Wildlife Society (TWS) seeks applicants for the position of Editor-in-Chief for its peer-reviewed publication, Wildlife Society Bulletin. Issues of the Wildlife Society Bulletin are produced quarterly. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for coordinating production with authors, Associate Editors, TWS Council, TWS staff, and TWS’s journal publisher and producing annual reports outlining journal activities. 

TWS seeks a highly qualified and motivated individual who has a proven ability to work and communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to assume Editor-in-Chief duties. Desired qualifications include a Ph.D. in wildlife or related field, experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals, experience as an Associate Editor or Editor-in-Chief of a peer-reviewed journal, knowledge of TWS and TWS journals, and a diversity of experience within the wildlife discipline.  

Interested candidates may contact Mike Conner (, Chair of the TWS Publications Subcommittee, for more information. Nominations of potential candidates by others are encouraged and welcomed. Applications should consist of a curriculum vita, a summary of previous experience as an editor, a statement of editorial philosophy, and an indication of employer support if applicable. Applications will be accepted until 3 January 2020, with the intent to select a new Editor-in-Chief by 16 March 2020. 

Applications are encouraged from all qualified individuals including members of visible minorities, women, people with disabilities, and other individuals who may be underrepresented among Scientific Editors.

Copyright © 2019 Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
CSTWS c/o Rick Baydack
255 Wallace Building, University of Manitoba
Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources 
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada, R3T 2N2
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Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society · 255 Wallace Building, University of Manitoba · Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2 · Canada

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