Seasoned speakers for Conservation through Sustainable Use of Wildlife Conference

The Conservation through Sustainable Use of Wildlife Conference is just around the corner with an impressive array of speakers lined up for the event which opens at the end of next month. Staged by The University of Queensland and supported by SSAA National, the showpiece gathering will be held at the Pullman Brisbane St George Square from August 30 to September 1. Fittingly, the dates will mark just over 20 years since the inaugural conference under the same banner which was held in February 1994.

As well as the cast of top-notch speakers, there will be plentiful abstracts submitted from all over the world by committed enthusiasts. The conference has set its sights on outlining the ethical and sustainable use of wildlife as a conservation tool, including the development of alternative strategies and models of conservation and private public conservation efforts. It will also champion wildlife conservation programs that incorporate positive environmental, economic and social platforms.

Among the high-profile speakers will be Professor Anthony Sinclair, from the University of British Colombia; Professor Grahame Webb, managing director of Wildlife Management International; and Teresa Dent, chief executive of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, UK. Taking his seat among the abstract speakers will be SSAA National’s Matthew Godson, Program Leader, Wildlife Programs.

Professor Sinclair is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. He was awarded the Aldo Leopold medal from The Wildlife Society, USA. He has conducted ecological research on the role of biodiversity in the functioning of many ecosystems including Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He has worked with many different types of organisms to put together the food webs and their dynamics that cover several decades, notably 50 years in Serengeti, Tanzania.

Professor Webb started work on crocodiles in the Northern Territory in 1973, with a PhD in Zoology (UNE). The wild populations were seriously depleted and conservation (rebuilding wild populations), and describing basic biology, were the main priority. Professor Webb has worked on crocodiles ever since and was one of the architects of the sustainable use programs for crocodiles implemented in the NT as the populations recovered. He has been involved in the evolution of sustainable use as an accepted mainstream conservation strategy for many species.

Ms Dent took a degree in Agriculture at Reading University, then joined Land and Estate Agents Strutt & Parker as a farming consultant. She was a partner with the firm for 13 years. She linked up with what was then The Game Conservancy, and is now the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), as chief executive at the end of 2001. In this role, she has been able to combine her practical and business experience of farming and land management with the conservation prescriptions and policy produced by GWCT’s scientists. Ms Dent chaired the government-supported Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area and was awarded a CBE for services to wildlife conservation in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Full registration for the conference is $880. Day-only registration costs $300 and full student registration is $300. Social functions will include a welcome reception on Tuesday, August 30 from 5-7pm in the Lincoln and Presidential Foyer in the Pullman Brisbane King George Square. The cost is included in full registrations, with additional tickets at $75 per person. A conference dinner will be held in the Roosevelt and Kennedy Room at the venue from 7-11pm on Wednesday, August 31. The cost is again included in full registrations with additional tickets fixed at $130 per person.

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