The symposium covers the following subject areas
In many areas of the historical range of grouse, the populations of these birds have completely disappeared or they are so sparse that their survival depends on supplying with individuals that are translocated or originating from breeding centres. The conference program will cover the most difficult areas in terms of research, and at the same time the most important for the success of activities aimed at restoring or maintaining natural populations:
– The impact of genetic variation on the effectiveness of breeding procedures and the effectiveness of introducing translocated and artificial breeding individuals. Particular emphasis will be placed on the study of the genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and genes determining behavioral individual differentiation (Personality Traits), in particular those related to susceptibility to emotional stress triggered by anthropogenic changes in the environment and contact with humans.
– Development and improvement of breeding process and breeding techniques for wild grouse. We will pay particular attention to the issues related to the methods of assisted reproduction (methods of short- and long-term semen storage, artificial insemination, endocrine disorders of reproduction) and parasitological threats.
The attempts of passive and active protection of grouse to date, in particular European populations of the black grouse and capercaillie, have not brought satisfactory results. The biggest problem is the low survival of birds in the natural environment, including translocated and reared birds. In this area, the conference program will cover the following issues:
– Development and improvement of monitoring methods of grouse, with particular emphasis on the use of telemetry methods and acoustic methods. Application of statistical methods and GIS methods to assess individual survival, habitat preferences, and to assess the impact of anthropogenic changes on the functioning of individuals and populations.
– Survival in natural conditions, to a large extent, depends on the fitness of individuals. The development of methods for its non-invasive, remote evaluation is the subject of intensive research, which we plan to dedicate the second area of the Conference program. Particular emphasis will be put on research with the use of telemetry methods and analyzes of physiological parameters in bird feces and feathers.
The conference will also be attended by practitioners dealing with the improvement of grouse breeding and monitoring methods. This will allow for an effective and direct transfer of scientific knowledge to breeding procedures and natural population management.
The experiences gathered so far in the protection of the grouse populations confirm that its effectiveness largely depends on the participation of local communities in protective activities. Hence, the conference program may include the organization of a workshop session dedicated to media communication and building social acceptance of protective measures.
In accordance with the previous IGS conferences, a competition will be announced for the organization of workshops and research sessions to complete the conference program. The organizers will make a selection of presentations, including their allocation to workshop slots, oral and poster presentations.
The conference program will be in line with the format of previous IGS conferences. Its 5-day program will consist: two parallel workshops (day one), three days filled with scientific sessions (morning and afternoon sessions each day, ending with poster sessions) and an off-site session for the conservation breeding of grouse, i.e. capercaillies and black grouse, breeding centers run by Głęboki Bród Forest District and Spychowo Forest District, including visit to the forest ecosystems in which the capercaillie and black grouse are re-introduced.
We plan 100+ presentations in the Conference program, including 5-6 invited plenary lectures. Each session will consist of four 0.5 hour presentations and 4 messages of 15 min. We are planning a total of 48 session + 5 plenary = 53 oral presentations and 50 poster presentations.