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Wildlife Symposium Attracts People from the World

The Fourth International Wildlife Ranching Symposium & Trade Show was held in Toronto, Ontario, November 8-12. Attendees came from far and wide. Besides the United States and Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Greenland, Finland, China, South African, and Kenya were all represented.

The purpose of the symposium is to provide a place to gather, share and learn for all persons and governments interested in the many different aspects of wildlife ranching. The three previous international events were held in the US (Las Cruzas, NM), Canada (Edmonton, AB), and Praetoria, South Africa.

More than 50 papers were presented by the expert authors during the week. Cervids were the subject of a large number of the presentations, but many other species, from bison to Giant Pandas, were studied and presented as well. Said attendee Dr. Ray Favero, "Most of the research presented could easily be applied to the challenges facing the elk industry. Animal rights, conservartion, and livestock management concerns and principles are pretty universal."

The diversity of the papers can be seen by the following examples:

  • A Paradyn Shift Towards Indigenous Animals - 30 Years Perspective on Ecological Correction - David Hopcraft (Kenya)
  • Quality Assurance: not a "what drug for what bug" program - Robert Wright (Canada)
  • Silage Production and Quality for Cervids - Murray Feist (Canada)
  • Ultrasound Imaging of the Reproductive Tract in Wapiti (Cevus elaphus) - Robert McCorkell and G. Adams (Canada)
  • Aging and Sexing Wild White-tailed Deer Before Harvest - Dean Stewart (USA)
  • Socio-economic Challenges in the Development of Wildlife Ranching - Keith Woodford (Australia)
  • Economic Consequences of the Endangered Species Act: New Mexico, USA. - John M. Fowler & Nick Ashcroft, Jr. (USA)
  • Chemical and Biological Properties of Velvet Antler as Nutraceuticals, Functional and Medical Foods - Hoon H. Sunwoo and Jeong S. Sim (Canada)

While there is no official international association that plans these symposiums, there is a steering committee composed of individuals from several different countries that directs the activities of the group. Dr Lyle Renecker is Chairman and was instrumental in getting the 4th International Symposium organized. "The last symposium was in 1992. We wanted to hold them every other year, but it takes a lot of planning, hard work, and money. China had agreed to host one but had problems getting the financing. Then the Texans were going to do it but that fell through as well. Finally the North American Elk Breeders Association stepped up to the task." Any country or association that is interested in hosting a symposium submits a proposal to the steering committee. The next symposium will be held in 2001 in South Africa.

Attendance at the symposium was somewhat disappointing and was attributed to the lack of time allowed for planning. Said executive assistant, Angie Cox, "Most universities and governments budget their training and travel an entire year in advance. We did not give them enough notice."

Wade Hainstock, of Hainstock & Associates, told us that the trade show was a winner. "Even though there weren't a lot of people there, the ones that came were ready to do business."

The good new is that all of the papers will be bound together and made available for purchase. The price is $85 U.S. You may reserve your copy now by contacting the North American Elk Breeders Association.



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