The 70th Annual Meeting of The Western Section of The Wildlife Society (TWS-WS) took place in Riverside, California from February 7 through 10, 2023. Similar to previous years, the event was a hybrid meeting with either in-person or virtual (WhovaR) meeting attendance available. The meeting theme was “Challenge Accepted! Confront Obstacles, Create Opportunities”. Those that attended in person were treated to three days of symposia, concurrent scientific article presentations, a poster session, numerous mixers, a career fair, chapter and working group meetings, the first ever Western Section cornhole tournament, and any number of other informal opportunities to mingle. The event held at the Riverside Convention Center had the largest in-person meeting attendance since pre-COVID times.
ECORP Biologists Don Mitchell, Caroline Garcia, Gabrielle Attisani, Corrina Tapia, and Kirsten Zornado attended in person. ECORP was a proud Bighorn Gold Sponsor, and the ECORP team took turns operating the in-person and virtual Company booths.
TWS-WS also hosted a pre-conference Burrowing Owl Symposium from February 6 through 7. Biologists Alexandra Dorough, Corrina Tapia, Gabrielle Attisani, Joshua Harris, Kirsten Zornado, Sam Harrison, and Richard Cravey attended the symposium over the two days. The symposium covered various topics including the current conservation status of western burrowing owls in California and Nevada, ongoing studies for migration patterns and genetic analysis, burrowing owl mortality with regard to renewable energy sources, burrowing owl behavior in urban settings, identification of burrowing owls, and the importance of California ground squirrels and their “bioengineering” role in burrowing owl conservation.
Gabrielle Attisani is a member of the Sacramento-Shasta Chapter and attended the Chapter members meeting. Caroline Garcia, Corrina Tapia, Kirsten Zornado, and Don Mitchell are members of the Southern California Chapter and attended the Chapter members meeting. Additionally, Caroline Garcia is a Board member for the Southern California Chapter, holding the position of President-Elect. The Southern California Chapter was awarded Chapter of the Year for the third year in a row, although this year the SoCal Chapter tied with the Sac-Shasta Chapter. Both Chapters will share the coveted jackalope trophy for the year!