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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Monday, November 2 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Conservation of Whooping Cranes in North Alabama

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Sarah Lessard, Wayde Morse, Chris Lepczyk –Auburn University

The Whooping Crane (Grus Americana) is a federally endangered bird that was nearly extirpated in the first half of the 20th century due to unregulated hunting and loss of habitat. Once numbering several thousand individuals the crane was reduced to approximately 21 individuals by the early 1940s. During the past 75 years the species has rebounded to approximately 600 individuals. Although the crane population has grown markedly, it still remains a rare species that faces a number of threats to its continued survival, including loss of wetland habitat, predation, expansion of wind energy facilities, and illegal human take. As part of the species recovery there have been several attempts to re-establish new populations in several locations across the US. Thirty-four of the 95 Whooping Cranes in the eastern migratory population spent part of the winter of 2014-15 in northern AL at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. There have been several poaching incidents documented in north Alabama. A survey using the Dillman (2009) approach was developed to understand wildlife value orientations, and general and specific norms, beliefs, attitudes, and emotional disposition regarding conservation and poaching of Whooping Cranes. Behavioral intentions regarding conservation actions and reporting of poaching are also asked. The survey will be administered to a sample of 1,000 individuals during August of 2015 within a 3 county region where the Wildlife Refuge is located. Analysis of the factors that influence conservation and poaching behavioral intent will be presented.

Monday November 2, 2015 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
Ballroom Salon B

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