‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ is the 2012 Ohio Wildlife Conference Theme


Overlooked wildlife will be the focus of the 2012 Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, at theAladdinShrineCenterinColumbus. The conference, titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife and is open to the public.

“We hope many people are able to attend this conference to learn more about the interesting wildlife we have inOhio,” said Director Jim Zehringer, director of ODNR.

The Wildlife Diversity Conference has steadily grown in popularity. The first conference, held in 1985, drew 40 people. Last year, 975 people attended the day-long gathering.

The keynote speaker this year, Cindy Hale of theUniversityofMinnesota, will discuss earthworms and their impact to the environment in her presentation, “Dances withWorms: The Great Lakes Worm Watch.”

Other conference topics include discussions of freshwater mussel restoration, aquatic invasive species, a Lake Erie pelagic bird survey, terrestrial crayfish, wildlife orphans, wetland restoration, as well as beavers, porcupines and fishers in Ohio.

The third Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, which features the spotted salamander, will be available to conference attendees. Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will be used to support: endangered and threatened native species; habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements; and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts.

Anyone who pre-registers online for the conference may purchase this collectable stamp at a discounted price of $12, which is a 20 percent savings. Details about the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp are available at wildohiostamp.com.

Representatives from a range of conservation and natural resource organizations, such as the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Columbus Audubon and Ohio Biological Survey, will present displays and be available to answer questions. Doors open at 8 a.m. for registration on March 7. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 3:30 p.m.

For more information or to register for the conference online, go to http://bit.ly/WildlifeDiversityConference or call 800-WILDLIFE. The registration cost prior to Feb. 26 is $25. After that date, the admission cost is $35.

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