Science and Conservation Center – PZP Conference

BIWFC’s grant program supports projects that advance wildlife fertility control science, policy and its applications.  The Science and Conservation Center (SCC) in Billings, Montana hosted the “PZP Immunocontraception Conference,”  in August 2019. This conference was supported by a BIWFC grant in 2019.  Kim Frank, SCC Director, gives an overview of the conference.

The Science and Conservation Center held the first PZP Immunocontraception Conference from August 7-9, 2019 in Billings Montana. The goal of the conference was to allow Non-Governmental (NGO) and government agency partners to speak together about their struggles and successes with complex multi-agency immunocontraception programs. The conference provided an opportunity for PZP users to meet, network, and learn from each other by sharing their project experiences. It was also an excellent opportunity to update non-profits, field office managers and specialists, and mid-level agency managers or program leads on the latest immunocontraceptive research.

We invited speakers from the various NGOs, BLM, USFS, researchers from several universities, and veterinarians, as well as representatives from international immunocontraceptive projects (Canada, Africa, and Romania). Speaker presentations included work with wild horses, urban deer, burros, bison and elephants. The conference began with the history of PZP, when Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick and Dr. John Turner started their work in Immunocontraception. This led into perspectives on wild horses as native or non-native, which we felt would be thought-provoking, especially alongside presentations about the genetics of wild horses. Other presentation subjects included peacebuilding and transforming social conflict in wildlife and conservation issues, government-supported fertility control research, analysis of aerial surveys, policy and population modeling, rangeland ecology, the role of sanctuaries, tribal management challenges, standardizing documentation, the EPA’s role, and new research.

We had 101 attendees who were able to network, share their ideas and stories and learn more about other projects going on both here and internationally, which made this a huge success and accomplishment. Many attendees’ feedback described how grateful they were to be brought together with a diverse group of people from all over the world, sharing their struggles and successes. They commented on how this conference provided them with future resources and support. So many attendees loved the conference and asked to have another next year! This conference could not have happened without the generous support of the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control. Click Here to view the conference presentations. _________________________________— Kim Frank