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2015 CASIOPA AGM on Managing for Ecological Connectivity – Summary

Event On: April 08, 2015

Registration Deadline: November 01, 2018

The University of Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment Huntsville, ON

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The 2015 CASIOPA Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday April 8 and Thursday April 9 at the University Of Waterloo Summit Centre For The Environment At Huntsville, ON.


Our theme was Managing for Ecological Connectivity (download the final program in pdf: 2015-CASIOPA-AGM-97)

We were pleased to have our special guests leading us on day 1:
Jeff Bowman – OMNRF and Trent UniversityNamrata Shrethsta – Toronto Region Conservation Authority and University Of Toronto


On the Tuesday night, we headed out to Mill on Main; 25 CASIOPA attendees joined us for some pre-conference discussions (yes, at each person’s own expense – your tax dollars don’t pay for our food and drink).


Day 1 was started by some terrific presentations from Jeff and Namrata on how to think about, measure, and plan for ecological connectivity.


After lunch, we all participated in a practical exercise on connectivity run by Jeff and students Chad Cordes, Robbie Marrott, and Melissa Prentice.  They were terrific!  We were asked to work on optimization problems and Jeff and team had us compare results. Your humble CASIOPA chair here optimized the ecology on his run # 1 but spent too much money and OMNRF went broke (well, not really but this was part of the challenge – most bang for the buck). The workshop showed us how to use  “circuitscape” (Http://Www.Circuitscape.Org/) to solve problems in park planning and operations where ecological connectivity is a goal – as it should be since it is key to ecological integrity.


Afterwards, Jeff compared our work. For a group that included both experts and amateurs, we all did rather well – and learned a lot!


Wed evening it was back to the Mill on Main (Moose Delaney’s was packed though I gather someone there goofed – we were turned back when in fact we were the large group they were expecting; darn).  But the Mill is a great place and we paid-as-we-went. We had a great end of day discussion and celebration.


Day 2 saw us reconvene and get treated to an excellent series of shorter discussions from a diversity of people. For most presenters, I have a link to a pdf of their presentation (I still have to ask a few to send me copies; they had used their own computers on site). Our presenters were:

0840-0900 Rutledge, Linda. Trent University. The importance of protected areas for eastern wolf conservation.  Rutledge


0900-0920. Kershaw, Will. OMNRF. The roles of Killarney Provincial Park in serving natural, social, and physical scientific research, policy, and/or practice. Kershaw


0920-1000. Voros, Steve; Strobl, Silvia. OMNRF. Baseline connectivity mapping for the settled landscapes of southern Ontario. Voros


1020-1040 Drescher, Michael; Warriner, Keith; Bogdon, Zach. University of Waterloo (MD, KW, ZB); Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory & Policy Analysis, Indiana University at Bloomington (MD). Conservation Tax Incentive Programs: Enhancing Environmental Stewardship Behavior in the Unprotected Landscape Matrix.


1040-1100. DiLeo, Michelle; Rico, Yessica; Wagner, Helene. University of Toronto (MD + HW); ROM (YR). Ecological network maintains genetic diversity and fitness of a flagship wildflower. DiLeo


1100-1120. Andruszkiewicz, Jody; Murphy, Stephen. University of Waterloo. Gaps in parks planning – early ideas on the search for representativeness. Andruszkiewicz


1120-1200. Morris, Ed. Ontario Parks. Landscape diversity models For Natural Heritage Assessments. Morris


1300-1320. Fedy, Brad. University of Waterloo. Assessing wildlife habitat connectivity and corridor identification across large spatial extents.


1320-1340. Row, Jeff. University of Waterloo. Establishing management units and identifying landscape boundaries: the utility of Bayesian clustering of individual genotypes for applied wildlife research. Row


1340-1400. Roy, Yvette. Credit Valley CA. Valley crossing surveys methodology for connectivity across the Credit River Watershed Natural Heritage System. Roy


1400-1420. Steinberg, Brad. OMNRF. Rules for the road: Normalizing connectivity planning in Ontario Parks. Steinberg


1420-1440. Cray, Heather; McTavish, Michael; Murphy, Stephen. University of Waterloo. Considering Connectivity in Ecological Restoration. Cray & Mctavish


See you at the Healthy Parks, Healthy People meeting in May and at the 2016 AGM!