8th World Conference on Mountain Ungulates: 2nd announcement

8th World Conference on Mountain Ungulates: towards an integrated approach to species conservation

Second announcement

We are pleased to inform you that the 8th World Conference on Mountain Ungulates will be held on the 27th-30th of September 2022 in Cogne, Aosta Valley (Italy).

Registration and abstract submission will open in November. The deadline for the abstract submission will be the 31st of March 2022. More info on registration and abstract submission will follow soon.

Conference presentation
Scientific research is indispensable for effective management and to foster species and ecosystems conservation. The recent history of some mountain ungulates provides examples on how this can be achieved. In the last decades, however, as research and technology has progressed and knowledge has cumulated, new questions have presented exciting and urgent challenges both for researchers and managers. Answering these questions will require an inclusive approach integrating different perspectives. It is with this aim that we are delighted to invite you to the 8th Conference on Mountain Ungulates (Cogne, Italy, 27-30 Sept. 2022). As in the spirit of past editions, the goal of the conference is to share the most recent and interesting results of research on mountain ungulates, as well as to provide networking opportunities for researchers and wildlife managers. We will cover biology, evolution, ecology and behaviour, genetics, systematics and palaeontology, health and diseases, conservation, and management, with the ambitious aim to facilitate the integration of different research fields and connecting them to management and conservation.

Planned sessions

Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution

The interactions between mountain ungulate species, the environment and other species inhabiting it, including humans and livestock, are particularly relevant both for evolutionary biology and for conservation. Rapid changes currently occurring in the mountain environments around the world offer a unique opportunity to investigate the response of wild species to environmental changes, including the return of large predators to many areas of the world, and to shed light on possible changes in selective pressures. Moreover, despite the ecology of some mountain ungulates is relatively well-known, for many others we still lack basic information essential for their conservation.

This section aims to share new discoveries on the ecology and behaviour of mountain ungulate species and subspecies. For example, we seek presentations focusing on life history, population dynamics, spatial behaviour, diet, physiology, adaptations to changing environment, within- and between-species interactions, predation, competition.

Genetics

The continuous development of molecular techniques gives new insights on wild species evolution and offers powerful tools to inform conservation. The aim of this section is to present new discoveries on genetics of mountain ungulates. We encourage presentations on the following topics: development of new molecular tools, conservation genetics, hybridisation, immunogenetics, genomics.

Systematics and Palaeontology

To support the conservation of endangered mountain ungulates, it is paramount to properly define them and their area of occurrence. Systematics of wild species is constantly revised according to new discoveries on the genetics of mountain ungulates, and we therefore call for talks presenting new knowledge on this subject, obtained through an integration of palaeontological and molecular data. Among others, the intended topics covered by this session are: revised systematics, functional morphology, palaeontological evidence, phylogenetic reconstructions, ancient DNA.

Health and Diseases

Diseases are important drivers of population dynamics and evolution of wild species as they affect the health status of animals and may result in strong selection, drastic reductions of population size, and local extinction. From a conservation perspective, the spread of zoonotic infections may threaten species conservation through indirect effects, such as calls for the extirpation of wild populations to preserve human health or economic activities. This is particularly relevant for mountain ungulates sympatric with livestock and human activities.

The aim of this section is to share knowledge on health and disease of mountain ungulate populations with particular focus on conservation-relevant discoveries. Possible topics are health status of populations, effects of diseases on population dynamics, emergence of new pathogens, immunogenetics, management of zoonotic and major disease outbreaks, macro parasites as markers of climate change.

Conservation and Management

Most mountain ungulate species interact with humans. Those interactions range from simple coexistence to competition for resources (e.g. with livestock), hunting, introduced species and active conservation actions such as translocations or population supplementation. Often, policy makers must make decisions that should be informed by rigorous scientific knowledge. In this section we encourage the presentation of research covering various aspects of mountain ungulate biology and ecology that have potential applications for conservation and management, as well as case studies where management was beneficial or detrimental to populations, as for instance trophy hunting.

Poster Session

A poster session is planned for the communication of research on all the above-mentioned topics, as well as of research of local interest (e.g., population monitoring), work in-progress, methods, new ideas.

Organising institutions

Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy)
Abruzzo Lazio and Molise National Park (Italy)

Under the Endorsement of

Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition
IUCN SSC Caprinae Specialist Group
GSE-AIESG Alpine Ibex European Specialist Group

Scientific committee

Marco Apollonio (Italy)
Yash Veer Bhatnagar (India)
Luca Corlatti (Germany)
Marco Festa-Bianchet (Canada)
Jean-Michel Gaillard (France)
Christine Grossen (Switzerland)
Achaz von Hardenberg (UK)
Juan Herrero (IUCN)
Ali Nawaz (Pakistan)
Luca Rossi (Italy)
Sambandan Sathyakumar (India)
Carole Toïgo (France)
Lingyun Xiao (China)