November 3, 2020
Jay Butfiloski, a 21-year veteran with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), has received the Professional Wildlife Management award from the South Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
"Jay is a nationally recognized expert in furbearer management and has made significant contributions to furbearer management across North America," said Billy Dukes, chief of wildlife for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and current president of the South Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society. "He has earned the admiration and respect of his peers and serves as a trusted advisor to the South Carolina Trappers' Association. His selection to this prestigious award is a testament to his professionalism and expertise as a wildlife biologist and his many contributions to the profession."
Butfiloski began his career with SCDNR in 1999 as the assistant Furbearer Program supervisor, and he is now the Furbearer Program/Alligator Program coordinator. He has been the champion of many under-appreciated, yet extremely important, wildlife species in South Carolina throughout his career. Butfiloski has been responsible for research and monitoring activities covering various species from the long-tailed weasel to the American alligator.
During his tenure as a furbearer biologist, Butfiloski has been a part of many significant projects impacting furbearers’ long-term management. Included among these projects are: 1) Restoration of mink to the northern coastal marshes of South Carolina; 2) Development of Best Management Practices for Trapping; 3) Development of landowner guides for control of beavers and coyotes; 4) Expansion of the State Raccoon Hunt concept; 5) Long-term population and harvest monitoring for all species of furbearers; and 6) Assisting with the development of legislation beneficial to furbearer population management, trappers, hunters, and the general public.
Having been initially hired by SCDNR to work in the Furbearer Project, Butfiloski's duties expanded to include monitoring and harvest management of the American alligator during a period of explosive growth in alligator seasons and harvest. Throughout this period, he has been a steady voice of reason and a driving force in establishing an online alligator hunt application process that receives more than 7,000 applications annually.
In addition to Butfiloski's considerable technical expertise in managing wildlife populations, his computer and data management skills are also highly valued. He generously takes time away from his primary tasks to assist in other projects and programs. In the last several years, he has been instrumental in developing the SCDNR Wildlife Section's lottery hunts and permitting program. Under Butfiloski's guidance, significant improvements in the lottery hunt application and selection process have been established, along with the development of a comprehensive computer-based wildlife permitting system.
Butfiloski is a Certified Wildlife Biologist through The Wildlife Society and has been an active member of the state chapter for 20 years. He has served on the executive board and currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer.
Founded in 1937, The Wildlife Society is an international network of nearly 10,000 leaders in wildlife science, management, and conservation dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship. For more information, visit https://wildlife.org.
Public Information Coordinator