The 9th International Conference on Wildlife Fertility Control (ICWFC), hosted by The Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control (BIWFC), drew more than 120 people to the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, CO from May 23 – 25. Upon arrival conference attendees were surprisingly greeted with nearly 12 inches of snow from the remnants of a late winter storm. By the time the conference ended, however, the sky was sunny and temperatures in the high 70’s.
The conference attracted attendees from North America (U.S. – 24 states, Washington, D.C. and the Navajo Nation, Canada, and the Caribbean – St. Kitts), Europe (Belgium, Italy, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), South Africa, Asia (India and Japan) and Australia. They were comprised of wildlife professionals and managers, university faculty and students, tech company founders, research scholars and leaders, biologists, veterinarians, non-profit staff and board members, and government officials. For the majority of attendees, this was their first wildlife fertility control conference.
Nearly 40 speakers discussed the role of fertility control in mitigating human wildlife conflicts as well as the development of wildlife fertility control methods in sessions titled:
- Planning a Project on Wildlife Fertility Control
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- Human Dimension;
- Recent Research in Contraceptive Methods
- Advancement in Practical Application;
- Advancement in Identification and Delivery Methods
- Scenario Deliberations to Engage Stakeholders
- Human-Wildlife Interface: The Indian Scenario
- Modelling, Monitoring, and Data Management
- Welfare Implications of Fertility Control
- Regulatory, Legal and Political Challenges
- Social-Economic Aspects of Fertility Control Methods
- The Future of Fertility Control
The theme of the conference, “Creating Connections,” was intended to lay the foundation for more effective and pervasive collaboration among all wildlife practitioners, including biologists, social scientists, wildlife managers, government agencies, NGOs, policymakers, legislators, and others.