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, 2022. 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 were in the high 70s.
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), Africa (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 attendance at a wildlife fertility control conference.
Over 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, including:
- Planning a Project on Wildlife Fertility Control: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- Human Dimensions
- 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
Among the conference speakers were representatives from:
- London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
- University of Exeter, UK
- University of Edinburgh, UK
- National Wildlife Management Center, Animal and Plant Health Agency, UK
- University of Sydney, Australia
- Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
- ACME Srl, Italy
- Indian Institute of Science, India
- Humane Society International/Africa
- African Conservation Trust, South Africa
- The US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, USA
- The Humane Society of the United States, USA
- New York City Parks and Recreation, USA
- The National Wildlife Research Center, USA
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.
The conference featured two special guests. The Honorable Jared Polis, Governor of Colorado, spoke about the need for compassionate, humane methods in managing wild horse populations. Best-selling author Mary Roach, who has been called “America’s funniest science writer” by the Washington Post, held an entertaining and engaging Q & A session with the audience about her experiences researching and writing “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.”
Session content was augmented by 12 poster presenters, who hosted daily conversations before dinner.
BIWFC presented its Trailblazer Award to Cheryl Asa, BIWFC Advisory Board and Conference Committee member, for the profound impact that she has had on the field of wildlife fertility control during her career of over 30 years.
The closing session engaged participants in developing a list of priorities and approaches for educating and engaging diverse stakeholders worldwide in the advancement of a scientific field that is both species-specific and dependent upon place-based strategies.
Supporting the conference were the following sponsors and exhibitors, most of whom tabled:
- USDA APHIS Wildlife Services
- Bureau of Land Management
- American Wild Horse Campaign
- Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International
- Animal Welfare Institute
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Berryman Institute, Utah State University
- Science and Conservation Center
- Return to Freedom
- spayvac-for-wildlife, inc.
Break Room Sponsor
- Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Animal Balance
- Animal Care and Equipment Services
- Immunology Foundation
- Wild Animal Initiative
- Yashraj Biotechnology
The 9th International Conference on Wildlife Fertility Control continued a tradition begun in November 1987 in Philadelphia. With the 2021 opening of a BIWFC Europe office, interest is keen for the next conference to be held there. In the meantime, please visit us to learn more and to keep apprised of upcoming webinars.
The Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control was established six years ago as a partnership between the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States. Headquartered in Media PA, with an additional office in the United Kingdom, the BIWFC aims to advance the use of effective, sustainable fertility control methods to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts and promote coexistence worldwide.