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Do Elephants Eat More Trees When Less Grass Is Available? A Field Study In Kruger National Park, South Africa., Emily Goldberg 2017 Yale

Do Elephants Eat More Trees When Less Grass Is Available? A Field Study In Kruger National Park, South Africa., Emily Goldberg

Yale Day of Data

Although African bush elephants are often responsible for the majority of herbivore-driven savanna tree mortality, confusion remains regarding the factors that influence their diet. Some elephants either browse or graze almost exclusively, while others balance the two, and the determinants of this variation remain poorly understood. I seek to determine whether grass availability controls the proportion of woody plants in elephant diet and, therefore, the amount of damage elephants do to trees while foraging. Preliminary analysis using already-available data on grass biomass, elephant density, and elephant damage to trees suggest that tree damage is in fact negatively correlated with grass ...


Sandhill And Whooping Cranes, Jeb Barzen, Ken Ballinger 2017 Private Lands Conservation, LLC

Sandhill And Whooping Cranes, Jeb Barzen, Ken Ballinger

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

As sandhill crane populations continue to grow in the United States, so too does crop damage, property damage to homeowners, and the risk of crane collisions with aircraft. Whooping crane populations also continue to grow, but with a global population of about 500 individuals (as of 2017), damage is rare and problems often require different solutions due to the species’ endangered status. The behavioral characteristics and habitat needs of sandhill and whooping cranes set the stage for conflict between these birds and people. Recognizing behavioral differences between territorial and non-territorial cranes greatly improves the effectiveness of any management effort.

Human-Wildlife ...


Integrating Habitat Suitability Modeling And Radio Telemetry To Describe Habitat Use Of The Western Massasaugas, Sistrurus T. Tergeminus, In Texas, Mitchell R. Barazowski 2016 University of Texas at Tyler

Integrating Habitat Suitability Modeling And Radio Telemetry To Describe Habitat Use Of The Western Massasaugas, Sistrurus T. Tergeminus, In Texas, Mitchell R. Barazowski

Biology Theses

Habitat suitability modeling using the software package MaxEnt (Phillips, Anderson, & Schapire, 2006) is a popular method for describing the habitat of rare species. MaxEnt uses “presence only” data to develop models; however presence data are highly skewed towards areas of high detection probability and these areas may not represent the full range of habitat use. Thusly, predictions from models developed using only data from areas with high detection probability may not represent all suitable habitat. This study tested the ability of MaxEnt models developed using three different data sets to accurately describe Western Massasauga (Sistrurus t. tergeminus) habitat at a local scale. Models were evaluated by their ability to predict high suitability values at locations of known snake occurrence. The first ...


Zooarchaeology Of The Native American Sturgeon Fishery In Coastal Oregon, 350 Bc To Ad 1150, Elizabeth Dalyn Grindle 2016 University of Wyoming

Zooarchaeology Of The Native American Sturgeon Fishery In Coastal Oregon, 350 Bc To Ad 1150, Elizabeth Dalyn Grindle

Honors Theses AY 16/17

Sturgeons are not found often in the archaeological record due to their largely cartilaginous skeleton. What remains are the scutes, bony scale-like plates found on the outside of the body, and some diagnostic cranial features. Perhaps due to this, little is known about sturgeon or their anthropological uses in the past. Due to the size of a site excavated on the Oregon Coast, the collection contains an uncommon amount of archaeological sturgeon bones. The two sturgeon species on the Northwest coast, the green and white, have historically been heavily fished; resulting in a conservation concern for the fishery. As species ...


An Analysis Of Morphometric Differentiation In Lake And River Populations Of The Emerald Shiner, Notropis Atherinoides, John J.V. Lang 2016 Buffalo State College

An Analysis Of Morphometric Differentiation In Lake And River Populations Of The Emerald Shiner, Notropis Atherinoides, John J.V. Lang

Biology Theses

Understanding mechanisms that account for phenotypic variation has been of interest to biologists since the advent of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. It is now understood that adaptive divergence is a key driving force of intraspecific differentiation. Further, differences in habitat (e.g., flow regime, prey regime) have been shown to drive adaptive divergence in fish. For instance, fish inhabiting faster flowing water generally exhibit more fusiform bodies than their lake counterparts. Similarly, the partitioning of benthic and pelagic morphs generally results in smaller heads with the latter. This study used geometric shape analysis to assess morphological ...


Monk Parakeets, Michael L. Avery, James R. Lindsay 2016 National Wildlife Research Center

Monk Parakeets, Michael L. Avery, James R. Lindsay

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

Since their introduction to the United States in the 1960s, monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) have thrived (Figure 1). Until recently, annual Christmas Bird Count data have shown the population to be increasing exponentially. In the U.S., monk parakeets are an urban and suburban species with few natural predators, diseases or other factors limiting their population growth. They exploit backyard bird feeders and non-native ornamental plants for food. Monk parakeets often construct nests on man-made structures, such as electric utility facilities and cell phone towers. Because the birds build and maintain nests throughout the year, management of parakeet populations has ...


Using Cellular Automata To Model The Gun Violence Epidemic In Chicago, Il, Shelby Scott 2016 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Using Cellular Automata To Model The Gun Violence Epidemic In Chicago, Il, Shelby Scott

Annual Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research

No abstract provided.


Cedar Waxwings, Michael L. Avery, Anthony G. Duffiney 2016 USDA National Wildlife Research Center

Cedar Waxwings, Michael L. Avery, Anthony G. Duffiney

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

Prevention and control of cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) damage to small fruits such as blueberry, cherry, and strawberry is vexing to growers in many parts of the United States. Cedar waxwings (Figure 1) travel in flocks and descend in large numbers on berry crops, especially during winter and migration. In short feeding bouts, waxwings eat, peck, or knock substantial amounts of fruit from the plants. These frugivores are difficult to discourage once they become established at a given location. Harassment early and often using pyrotechnics or other sudden noisemakers can help prevent flocks from being established. The most effective preventative ...


Vultures, Michael L. Avery, Martin S. Lowney 2016 USDA APHIS National Wildlife Research Center, Gainesville, FL

Vultures, Michael L. Avery, Martin S. Lowney

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

Black and turkey vultures cause problems in several ways. The most common problems associated with vultures are structural damage, loss of aesthetic value and property use related to offensive odors and appearance, depredation to livestock and pets, and air traffic safety. Management of these diverse problems often can be addressed by targeting the source of the birds causing the problem, namely the roost where the birds spend the night. Often the roost itself is the problem, such as when birds roost on a communication tower and foul the equipment with their feces or when they roost in a residential area ...


A Test Of The Effects Of Androgens On Immunity: No Relationship Between 11-Keto Testosterone And Immune Performance In Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis Macrochirus), John W. Loggie 2016 The University of Western Ontario

A Test Of The Effects Of Androgens On Immunity: No Relationship Between 11-Keto Testosterone And Immune Performance In Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis Macrochirus), John W. Loggie

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The posited immunosuppressive effects of androgens are a key component of the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis (ICHH). My thesis uses bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) to test two predictions arising from this hypothesis: (1) natural concentrations of the androgen 11-keto testosterone (11-KT) will be negatively related with immunity, and (2) an immunochallenge will lower 11-KT concentration. I found no evidence for a relationship between natural 11-KT concentration and measures of immunity (leukocyte counts, respiratory burst, cytokine gene expression), and an immunochallenge with Vibrio vaccine did not affect 11-KT concentration. I performed a meta-analysis of immunochallenge studies to help interpret my results, and ...


Impacts Of Fog Drip On Survivorship And Growth Of Native Herb And Shrub Seedlings On Santa Rosa Island, Julianne Bradbury, Ken Niessen, Kathryn McEachern 2016 CSU Channel Islands

Impacts Of Fog Drip On Survivorship And Growth Of Native Herb And Shrub Seedlings On Santa Rosa Island, Julianne Bradbury, Ken Niessen, Kathryn Mceachern

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Overgrazing on Santa Rosa Island led to loss of topsoil in ridgeline groves of endemic island oaks (Quercus tomentella). Restoration specialists attempting to mitigate the impacts of wind and water erosion must determine efficient methods of reestablishing native vegetation. Planting pillows, burlap sacks filled with planting mix and attached to the bedrock substrate, may nurture seedlings long enough for their roots to penetrate the underlying sandstone. Since the island’s ridgeline habitat is often inaccessible during the rainy season, restoration efforts are largely confined to the dry summer months, during which condensed fog is an important source of moisture for ...


First Major Appearance Of Brachiopod-Dominated Benthic Shelly Communities In The Reef Ecosystem During The Early Silurian, Cale A.C. Gushulak 2016 The University of Western Ontario

First Major Appearance Of Brachiopod-Dominated Benthic Shelly Communities In The Reef Ecosystem During The Early Silurian, Cale A.C. Gushulak

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The early Silurian reefs of the Attawapiskat Formation in the Hudson Bay Basin preserved the oldest record of major invasion of the coral-stromatoporoid skeletal reefs by brachiopods and other marine shelly benthos, providing an excellent opportunity for studying the early evolution, functional morphology, and community organization of the rich and diverse reef-dwelling brachiopods. Biometric and multivariate analysis demonstrate that the reef-dwelling Pentameroides septentrionalis evolved from the level-bottom-dwelling Pentameroides subrectus to develop a larger and more globular shell. The reef-dwelling brachiopods in the paleoequatorial Hudson Bay Basin were more diverse than contemporaneous higher latitude reef-dwelling brachiopod faunas, with ten distinct community ...


The Effect Of Prescribed Fires On Vernal Herbs, Janis Lemaster 2016 Western Kentucky University

The Effect Of Prescribed Fires On Vernal Herbs, Janis Lemaster

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

The effects of fire on vernal herbs are little known. David Kem attempted to assess the influences of spring and winter prescribed fires on vernal herbs by collecting abundance data on three sets of research plots located at the WKU Green River Preserve in Hart County, KY, on April 9-10, 2010. On April 10 he conducted spring burns, and on February 22, 2011, he conducted winter burns. He then collected post-fire data on the abundance of the herbs on the 12-19 of March, 2011. He found little influence of fire on overall species richness and the density of common species ...


The Role Of Habitat Shaping Motion Detection In Two Songbirds, Elena A. Ritschard, Luke P. Tyrrell, Esteban Fernández-Juricic 2016 Universidad de Los Andes - Colombia

The Role Of Habitat Shaping Motion Detection In Two Songbirds, Elena A. Ritschard, Luke P. Tyrrell, Esteban Fernández-Juricic

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Double cones of birds are photoreceptors associated with motion perception, and perceiving motion is highly important to detect predators. Predation risks varies between habitats and may impose selective pressures that could affect organisms’ traits. There is evidence that birds show interspecific variations in visual system properties, such as the photoreceptor densities (single and double cones) and distribution across the retina. However, little is known about the relationship between the distribution of double cones and predator scanning strategies in birds living in different habitats. The goal of this study was to compare double cones distributions of birds that live in open ...


Gyrfalcon Diet During The Brood Rearing Period On The Seward Peninsula, Alaska, In The Context Of A Changing World, Bryce W. Robinson 2016 Boise State University

Gyrfalcon Diet During The Brood Rearing Period On The Seward Peninsula, Alaska, In The Context Of A Changing World, Bryce W. Robinson

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

As climate change impacts increase so does our need to understand their effects on ecosystem dynamics. I studied Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) diet during the brood rearing period to improve our knowledge on dietary habits during nesting, and provide necessary information for understanding climate change impacts to Arctic ecosystems. I studied diet over two breeding seasons on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, using two methods: motion-activated cameras and the collection of prey remains. I observed three important dietary shifts: the proportion of ptarmigan in the diet declined significantly throughout the season, the proportion of large prey items declined significantly throughout the season ...


Effects Of Soil Erosion Barriers On Percent Cover And Sediment Size, Michael Perez 2016 University of California, Santa Barbara

Effects Of Soil Erosion Barriers On Percent Cover And Sediment Size, Michael Perez

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Ranching began on Santa Rosa Island in the 1840’s, introducing nonnative megafauna that put selective grazing pressures on endemic species. Dense groves of island oak (Q. tomentella) are aid in sediment deposition and retention. A current restoration effort, involved installing soil erosion barriers, known as wattles, to prevent sediment from being lost upslope and recruit plant growth whose root systems could further stabilize the slope. This experiment was designed to compare percent cover of vegetation growth in areas with and without soil erosion barriers. This was done using the line intercept method (n=42) on three meter transects, measuring ...


Decolonizing The Ya North: Environmental Injustice In Sherri L. Smith’S Orleans, Micah-Jade M. Coleman 2016 The University of Southern Mississippi

Decolonizing The Ya North: Environmental Injustice In Sherri L. Smith’S Orleans, Micah-Jade M. Coleman

Master's Theses

Young Adult (YA) dystopias, in recent years, have imagined a future world fueled by the overuse and misuse of technology, the advancement of science for human gain, as well as societies ruled by governments that govern based on their own self-interests and economic gain. Such novels have opened the door for discussion about how the present-day actions of societies can impact the future of the environment; yet many only focus their attention on societies in the North— regions considered “developed” by the western world. In her YA novel, Orleans (2014), Sherri L. Smith focuses attention on the aftermath of Hurricane ...


Forest Islands In A Sea Of Urban Habitat, Michael J. Olejniczak 2016 State University of New York College at Buffalo - Buffalo State College

Forest Islands In A Sea Of Urban Habitat, Michael J. Olejniczak

Biology Theses

Urban forests are poorly defined as ecological communities. Substantive links between anthropogenic landscape features and forest ecology are lacking. ‘Urbaness’ is commonly defined by human population density or land use classifications, but their use is inconsistent throughout the literature, and rarely is linked with ecological processes. Furthermore, it is unknown whether urban forests are functioning parts of a patchy urban woodland system or isolated islands amidst an ocean of unsuitable habitat. I first used digital satellite imagery and publicly available U.S. National Park data to link urban land use with forest processes. I then linked those land use classifications ...


Effect Of Dung Beetles On Dung Decomposition And Nuntrient Cycling In A Nebraska Rangeland, Kenneth Shay Evans 2016 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Effect Of Dung Beetles On Dung Decomposition And Nuntrient Cycling In A Nebraska Rangeland, Kenneth Shay Evans

Theses, Dissertations, and Student Research in Agronomy and Horticulture

Management practice can have impacts on the abundance and frequency of dung beetle populations and nutrient cycling in grazing systems. Also, agriculture and livestock production land use is a considerable source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are known to be one of the causes of global climate change. In this study, we evaluated the effect of dung beetle presence on the fluxes of greenhouse gasses (GHG’s) from dung pats in the semi-arid Sandhills region of Nebraska, by using closed chambers to measure the fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2 ...


Bird Dispersal Techniques, Thomas W. Seamans, Allen L. Gosser 2016 USDA/APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center

Bird Dispersal Techniques, Thomas W. Seamans, Allen L. Gosser

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

Conflicts between humans and birds likely have existed since agricultural practices began. Paintings from ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Roman civilizations depict birds attacking crops. In Great Britain, recording of efforts at reducing bird damage began in the 1400s, with books on bird control written in the 1600s. Even so, the problem persists. Avian damage to crops remains an issue today, but we also are concerned with damage to homes, businesses, and aircraft, and the possibility of disease transmission from birds to humans or livestock. Successful dispersal techniques should capitalize on bird sensory capabilities. If birds cannot perceive the dispersal technique ...


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