Symposium News Updates

The upcoming 41st Annual Meeting and Symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council is a time of celebration, reflection, and review of accomplishments and, of course, ongoing struggles. A high priority will be to address the many challenges ahead with potential solutions. We will be at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas and the dates are February 19-21, 2016, so save these dates to your calendar.

We start promptly at 9:30 AM Friday, February 19, and will have a very full program of presentations from long-term colleagues and friends, as well as many new scientists and managers.

Please contact the Program Chair, Kristin Berry, at regarding abstracts and confirmations.

The Desert Tortoise Council is very pleased and excited about the featured speakers and special sessions for the February 2016 Symposium. One featured speaker is Kim Stringfellow on The Mojave Project. Kim Stringfellow is a full-time resident of Joshua Tree, California, an artist and educator. She is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in Photography, the 2012 recipient of the Theo Westenberger Award for Artistic Excellence, an associate professor in School of Art + Design at San Diego State University, and the author of two books, Greetings from the Salton Sea: Folly and Intervention in the Southern California Landscape, 1905–2005 and Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938–2008, both published by the Center for American Places.

Our special Saturday morning session will be on Desert Bighorn Sheep, chaired and arranged by bighorn luminary, Dr. Vern Bleich (University of Nevada, Reno). Dr. Bleich will introduce the session and discuss parallels between the bighorn sheep and tortoise conservation. Other speakers include Dr. Tom Besser (Washington State University) on respiratory diseases and disease ecology; Dr. James Cain (New Mexico State University) on habitat selection; Dr. Clint Epps (Oregon State University on habitat fragmentation, connectivity, and conservation of metapopulations; Dr. Randy Larsen (Brigham Young University, Utah) on habitat management and enhancement methods (water development, fire), and implications for conservation; Dr. Kathleen Longshore (USGS) on the urban-wildland interface, human impacts and behavioral responses; Dr. Kevin Monteith (University of Wyoming) on causes and consequences of changes in horn size; Dr. Eric Rominger (New Mexico Department of Game and Fish) on impacts of predation impacts, subsidized predators and their management; Dr. Raul Valdez (New Mexico State University) on cross-border conservation issues and conservation of bighorn sheep in Mexico, and Dr. Jericho Whiting (Brigham Young University, Idaho) on translocation strategies and implications of translocation for conservation. As you can see, we have a stellar groups of experts on topics of importance not only to bighorn sheep but to tortoises.

1 October 2015—To members, individuals, and groups planning to attend the 41st Annual Meeting and Symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council:

Please be aware that, due to circumstances beyond their control, the Western Section of The Wildlife Society (TWS) had to change the dates of their Annual Meeting in Pomona from January 25-29 to February 22-26, 2016.  These new meeting dates immediately follow the Desert Tortoise Council’s Annual Meeting and Symposium in Las Vegas.

The Western Section of the TWS recognized that this change would create challenges for anyone desiring to attend both meetings. Thus, TWS has offered to anyone attending the Desert Tortoise Council Symposium a $20 discount on each TWS event for which you register. For example, you may wish to attend two separate TWS Symposia (each requires separate registration from the main meeting). TWS has symposia on the Mohave Ground Squirrel and Amargosa Vole, and on the Federal Endangered Species Act sections 7 and 10. Both symposia will be held on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 22-23, 2016. The TWS is also offering a free one-year TWS-Western Section membership to any Desert Tortoise Council members who attend both meetings.

Finally, TWS apologizes for any inconvenience this change may cause and hopes that you can, with this advance notice, consider attending both meetings. For additional information or to register for TWS West, visit their website at

Last updated: 19 November, 2015

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