2012 Call for Supplemental Positions
216 Area Wildlife-Human Conflicts Advisor, Northern California
Sierra Foothill Research & Extension Center, Sutter/Yuba UCCE or other (TBD)
Proposed Area of Coverage
Northern California: Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Placer, Napa, Solano, Yolo, San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties
- Lucia Varela - Main Contact
- Nor-Cal Wildlife Advisor (docx), uploaded 05/14/2012 by Lucia Varela
This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.
As President of the Vertebrate Pest Council(VPC), I would like to voice our strong support for this position. The VPC is a non-profit organization that organizes the Vertebrate Pest Conference. This position is vital to provide vertebrate pest management information to , UCCE advisors, public health agencies, agricultural commissioners, pest control associations, wildlife organizations and other county and local government agencies. Vertebrate pest problems are found in all states. This position will be valuable in conducting research with other agencies (eg. National Wildlife Research Center)on area wide problems. In these times of reduced budgets cooperative research is even more critical. The VPC will provide significant initial funding to support this position.
In my former position as Wildlife Enhancement Specialist, I became thoroughly familiar with wildlife/human conflicts. No position in the wildlife discipline is more important in providing research, advice, and programs to alleviate financial loss, human distress and illness, and even human death. I strongly recommend opening this position for hiring.
As a County Agricultural Commissioner, I value the support and service this position provides to our communities and organizations. The individual who occupies this position in my region recently provided an outreach and educational training to local farmers and ranchers related to vertebrate control. The training was comprehensive, pertinent and valuable to those in attendance and answered many questions related to mitigating vertebrate pest issues. I feel that it is important for all regions within California to have an Area Wildlife-Human Conflicts Advisor available to educate the public and provide research efforts to improve methods of vertebrate pest control. I strongly support filling this position.
This position (and #217) will provide critical linkage from the University to our stakeholders. My department (Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology) is in the process of recruiting a new Specialist in Human-wildlife conflict. Complementing this with much-needed advisor positions will facilitate essential communication (e.g., the ANR Continuum) between AES researchers in UC, our soon-to-be-hired Specialist, and county-based stakeholders. This also will facilitate and promote applied research to solve the very real and ongoing dilemmas faced by agricultural producers, natural resource managers, landowners, state (and federal) agencies, etc. (I will post a similar comment for Position 217).
This proposed position, together with a parallel position proposed for So. California (position #217), and with the CE Specialist position in wildlife-human conflict scheduled to be recruited in late 2012 (and housed in Wildlife Fish & Conservation Biology, UCD), is an essential component of UC’s ability to respond to a growing number of conflicts between wildlife and human activities. Together with the IPM Area wildlife damage Advisor based at KARE (Roger Baldwin), and my limited role as CE Specialist, this position will achieve a critical mass of academics within ANR with expertise in various aspects of wildlife damage management. UC is uniquely positioned to fill this need, which is magnified because of California’s diversity of crops and wildlife species: CDFA has suffered budget reductions so drastic that their single staff biologist working in wildlife damage is funded entirely by the rodenticide recharge program; Fish & Game has little or no expertise in this area, and as a regulatory agency has major public relations problems with landowners; the USDA’s Wildlife Services cooperatively-funded program, will continue to struggle with their county-based funding component, while also under increasing attack by animal welfare groups. Applied research that will be conducted by this position can have a major role in maintaining those few tools and technologies (e.g., vertebrate pesticides, traps) that are essential components of an IPM approach to reducing wildlife damage. With increased concern about such issues as anticoagulant rodenticide hazards to predators and scavengers, and food safety issues in leafy green crops, this position can have a major influence on how California and the nation develops improved, more effective strategies to solve conflicts with rodents, birds, and predators.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on my support for the recruitment and filling the position of Area Wildlife-Human Conflicts Advisor. Services provided by this position and the IPM Area Wildlife Damage Advisor are vitally important to the continued protection of our environment, agriculture, instances concerning public health and the wildlife itself. The need for solutions regarding the increase in wildlife damage and conflict has reached a critical threshold in an era of ever shrinking funding. Positions such as this one help to provide more efficient preventive methods and measures acceptable to regulators, agriculturalists, land managers, special interest groups and the public in general.
The Almond Board of California is supportive of this position for two reasons: First, experience in avian biology and management is preferred and is is assumed to be a focus of the position. Currently sufficient expertise in bird management is lacking in California, and almonds can sustain significant bird losses and issues. Second, the position would be well coordinated with others having wild life expertise, including Roger Baldwin (IPM vertebrate pest area advisor at Kearney), who has experience with rodent management in almonds.
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