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More than 1,200 wildlife biologists and researchers from around the world are expected here today for opening sessions of The Wildlife Society's fifth annual conference.

"Nearly every discipline of wildlife research, management and education will be addressed at this year's conference," said program chairman James Applegate of Rutgers University.

Topics to be discussed include programs for managing the abundant deer populations of the eastern United States to rabies and other worldwide public health concerns related to wildlife. The Adirondack Park's long debate over economic development versus wildlife conservation also will be covered.

"We are especially excited about the global perspective of this year's conference," said Wildlife Society president Robert Anthony. "It provides biologists and researchers from the U.S., Canada and other countries the opportunity to share their ideas."

Sessions will be held at the Buffalo Convention Center and the Buffalo Hyatt Regency Hotel, through Saturday.

Key speakers will include John J. Craighead, president and chairman of the Wildlife-Wildlands Institute in Montana, who pioneered the use of telemetry to study free-ranging grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park; Michael E. Soule of the University of California at Santa Cruz, an expert on the patterns and policies of species extinctions; Wolfgang Schroder of the University of Munich, Germany, who will discuss the history and issues of wildlife conservation and management in Europe; and Scott K. Robinson of the Illinois Natural History Survey, an expert on migratory neotropical birds.

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