Saturday, May 29, 2021

Game Commission PA Wildlife Futures Program Recognized By Fish & Wildlife Agency Association

The Northeast Wildlife Administrators Association of the
Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in April honored the Game Commission for the agency’s forward-thinking in establishing its PA Wildlife Futures Program.

Launched in 2019, the Wildlife Futures Program is a science-based, wildlife health partnership with the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine serving to strengthen the resilience of the Commonwealth's 480 species of wild birds and mammals. 

This public-private partnership will significantly advance wildlife health, disease research and surveillance in the Northeast.

The program has already established a new Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing facility, a ruffed grouse siting tool, threat-assessment documents for SARS-CoV-2 in bats and mink, a risk assessment for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease, and a CWD Data Visualization Tool that also improves wildlife agency transparency.

“It has been great to see what progress the Wildlife Futures Program has made and the support the partnership has provided to Game Commission staff,” Game Commission Wildlife Management Bureau Director Matthew Schnupp said. “This program has allowed our agency to respond proactively to wildlife health issues, rather than reactively like we did in the past.”

The Game Commission has made these research, surveillance and database tools available to other wildlife agencies with a goal of strengthening the regional focus on wildlife disease ecology.

“For this significant contribution, the Northeast Wildlife Administrators Association, on behalf of wildlife conservation professionals, recognizes the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wisdom and achievement in establishing the Wildlife Futures Program, and its current and future contributions to not only Pennsylvania but across the Northeast, and expresses its appreciation and gratitude for making the benefits of this program available to other wildlife agencies,” said Northeast Wildlife Administrators Association Chair Mark Scott.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans accepted the award on behalf of the agency.

“I’m proud of the partnership the Game Commission and the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine have forged with the Wildlife Futures Program,” Burhans said. “With so many diseases threatening wildlife and hunting and trapping traditions, a proactive approach to wildlife health has never been more important, and conservationists across the country who work to meet these same challenges recognize that, too.”

The Northeast Wildlife Administrators Association was established to further the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ purpose of promoting the conservation and management of wildlife resources.

Technical Working Committees of the Association are charged with results-driven and science-based management actions, developing actions, implementing recommendations, and advising the Directors of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies on issues relating to wildlife policy and administration, funding opportunities, and research and management priorities; and providing opportunities for members to collaborate and exchange information on matters relating to wildlife conservation and management within the Northeast Region.

Visit the Game Commission website for more information on game and non-game species and wildlife viewing opportunities in Pennsylvania.

Related Article - Wildlife Futures:

-- Game Commission, Penn School Of Veterinary Medicine Partner In PA Wildlife Futures Program

Related Articles:

-- Game Commission: Warren County Deer Tests Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease

-- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary: Celebrate #BlackBirdersWeek May 30 to June 5 

-- National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Accepting Applications For Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program Grants 

[Posted: May 30, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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