FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 28, 2001
Susan Silander, a 14-year veteran of the Fish and Wildlife Service, has been selected to head the Caribbean National Wildlife Refuge Complex that encompasses nine refuges in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Complex headquarters are in Boqueron.
“Susan has worked in Puerto Rico since 1978, and she has a wealth of experience with Caribbean plants and habitats, as well as threatened and endangered species,” said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director. “Her knowledge and expertise are invaluable to us.”
Silander has worked in the Ecological Services Field Office in Boqueron since 1987, beginning as a botanist. Since 1992, she has supervised the Office’s listing and recovery efforts for threatened and endangered species. In that position, she provided protection for a large number or rare plants and coordinated with other federal agencies and private developers to protect habitat for other listed species such as the Puerto Rican boa.
“I am excited about the challenge involved in restoring the subtropical dry forest, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the tropics and subtropics,” said Silander. “Habitat restoration is a high priority and we will be working in partnership with Commonwealth, Territorial, and federal resource agencies that are dealing with similar issues on the lands they manage. I hope to continue and strengthen these partnerships and to promote the involvement of communities adjacent to our refuges.”
Prior to joining the Service, Silander worked for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources where she led recovery efforts for the endangered yellow-shouldered blackbird. She also gathered information on the history of Puerto Rican forests. Silander also worked in the Caribbean National forest for the University of Puerto Rico. There, she focused on forest recovery after disturbances.
Silander, who has worked in Puerto Rico since 1978, received a bachelor of science degree in botany from Miami University in Ohio and a masters of science in ecology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her husband, Miguel Canals, is a biologist for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. He is in charge of the Guanica Commonwealth Forest. They have three children - - Miguel, Gabriel, and Cristina, and their hobbies are traveling, camping, and snorkeling.
The Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes nine refuges:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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