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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Jan. 14, 2008

Houston Zoo to Host 2008 Texas Wildlife Diversity Conference

Carter Smith Opens Three Day Conference

HOUSTON — Are black bears coming back to East Texas? How are exotic invasive species affecting native Texas plants and animals? Are roads and highways having an effect on amphibian and reptile populations? Find out the answers to these questions and be a part of the implementation of the Texas Wildlife Action Plan during the 2008 Texas Wildlife Diversity Conference at the Houston Zoo’s Brown Education Center Jan.17 through Jan. 19, 2008.

Former Nature Conservancy of Texas Director and incoming Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith will open the conference with remarks on partnership building Thurs., Jan. 17 at 1:20 p.m. A highly respected conservationist, Smith understands the conservation challenges for a rapidly growing and changing state. His address will provide a unique perspective to the goals of the Texas Wildlife Action Plan.

The 2008 Texas Wildlife Diversity Conference provides a wonderful learning opportunity for anyone who cares about non-game species in Texas. Sessions will focus on implementation of the Texas Wildlife Action Plan and the status of nongame research. There will also be a unique session on Texas Plant Communities dedicated to developing a process to expand the Texas Native Plant Conservation Plan, which currently exists as only an outline.

"This is the third Wildlife Diversity Conference over the last 18 years. Each meeting has brought together an energized constituency of scientists, land managers, and others simply interested in the biological wealth of this great state," said TPWD Wildlife Division Director Mike Berger, Ph.D. "The Texas Wildlife Action Plan provides a road map for addressing priority species and habitats in need of conservation attention. As we move from planning to implementation, we need stakeholders and others that know how to get things done on the ground to attend and participate in this conference."

Some of the speakers featured at the conference are listed below. For a complete list, see the online conference schedule.

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