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Capstone Projects

Plan to Deal With Environmental Toxins in Bald Eagle Populations In New York

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 09:34
Abstract: The purpose of this management plan is to have courses of action in place in case environmental toxins impact Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) populations. H. leucocephalus requires habitat near a fishery that has minimal disturbance. At these sites they build nests and return every breeding season. Clutch sizes range from one to three but usually one chick survives to fledge the nest. The diet of eagles change seasonally from fish in the summer to mammals and waterfowl in the winter. From these food sources eagles obtain environmental toxins in their bodies. These toxins biomagnify and begin to affect the birds and their offspring at certain levels. Eagles get rid of these toxins from their bodies by demethylation and depositing toxins in their eggs. This has negative effects on their offspring because, early life stages of organisms are highly vulnerable to chemicals. This management plan examines the effects of three toxins (mercury, lead and chlorinated hydrocarbons) on a theoretical population of eagles in New York State and how to respond to it. The plan’s goal is to maintain a stable population of eagles in New York that are being affected by environmental toxins. Three objectives will help achieve this plan: monitoring, supportive actions and public education all with courses of action and assessment protocol. The first course of action is to determine the causes of a population decline or abnormal behavior. This action will be successful if only ten percent decline of the population is undetected and if it has been affected by a toxin. If the action is not working the assessment protocol will find new ways to monitor. The second action is to implement techniques that will stabilize a population being impacted by toxins. This will be successful if there is only a ten percent decline in the population due to environmental toxins. The final course of action is to publicly educate citizens around the impacts of toxins on eagle population. This will be successful if there is a significant amount of respondents that answer in favor of conservation and knowledge about environmental toxins. Overall, this management plan is designed to be used once a toxin has impacted a population. The best management dealing with environmental toxins is to prevent them from causing an impact.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Ryan Deibler

Management of the Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis) in the Afroalpine habitat of Ethiopia

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 09:52
Abstract: Ethiopian wolves are an endemic species of the Ethiopian highlands. These wolves are highly specialized for existence in the afroalpine habitat of Ethiopia, a harsh montane ecosystem extending above 3,400m. This endangered species is threatened by habitat destruction, competition for food, and hybridization with and disease transmission from domestic free roaming dogs. Rabies epidemics in the early 1990s and again in 2003 have decimated 75% of the global population, which is now estimated at 500 individuals. Ethiopian wolves are on the IUCN red list, and are officially protected in Ethiopia. This plan aims to outline a suitable course of action that can be taken to maintain a viable population of wolves, and to reduce the habitat loss caused by human and livestock encroachment. Increasing the population size will provide more genetic diversity, as metapopulations grow and disperse. A rabies vaccination program will be implemented as a part of this plan, as rabies is the number one cause of mortality of Ethiopian wolves. The population will continue to be monitored and the plan reassessed as necessary after 10 years.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
Authors: Samantha Lambert

Canvasback (Aythya valisneria) Population Growth through Submersed Aquatic Vegetation Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:14
Abstract: Perhaps no single North American waterfowl species has experienced the drastic population swings and over exploitation to the degree that the canvasback (Aythya valisneria) has. Their abundance and exceptional table fare made canvasbacks the foremost target of market hunters. The Lacey and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts helped to bring the infamous market hunting era to an end, but canvasbacks are still facing significant challenges relative to habitat quality. Canvasback winter survival and wintering population increases as the percentage of submersed aquatic vegetation present in their diet increases. Submerged aquatic vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay has decreased, mainly due to the decreased clarity of the water. This decrease in clarity is attributed to increased suspended sediments, increased nutrient inputs, and a drastic decrease in the amount of oysters (Crassostrea virginica) filtering the bay water. To protect the canvasback species and increase the wintering population of canvasbacks on the Chesapeake Bay, so that it is closer to historic levels, it is imperative that measures are taken to increase submersed aquatic vegetation and overall functionality within the bay. The goal of this management plan is to have one-quarter of the continental population of canvasbacks winter on the Chesapeake Bay (n≈170,000). To achieve this goal, this management plan sets to increase submersed aquatic vegetation, establish a refuge, and decrease harmful human activities
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Canvasback Paper.docx
Authors: Matthew D. Hamer

Bringing the American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) population back in the Northeastern U.S.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:28
Abstract: The population of American Black Ducks (Anas rubripes) in the Atlantic Flyway, which is also the only flyway that they are found in in substantial numbers, began a steady decline during the 1950's, with a stabilization occurring in the mid-1980's. Using known literature based on the subject, a management plan has been drawn up to potentially return the population of American Black Ducks to densities reminiscent to their numbers prior to their 1950's decline. using methods ranging from habitat purchase and restoration, to placing more harvest restrictions on Black Ducks while at the same time allowing for more liberal take of the Mallard (Anas platyrynchos) in the Atlantic Flyway, Black Ducks will have the resources needed to gain a foothold for a steady climb back up in the population so that outdoors people of all kinds can enjoy this duck for generations to come.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Final assignment A.docx
Authors: Jesse Warner

Black Bear (Ursus americanus) Management in the Central - Western Range of New York State

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:41
Abstract: Due to land use changes and the reforestation of former farmland within New York State; black bear (Ursus americanus) habitat is improving, especially in the western and central New York. In New York state three black bear ranges have existed, the northern Adirondack range, and the Allegany and Catskill ranges comprising he larger Southern range. The Allegany and Catskill ranges have merged within the last ten years resulting in the formation of the Western – Central Black Bear range. Expansion into more heavily populated areas has increased nuisance risks to home owners and car-bear collisions along highways and other areas of heavy traffic. There is an increasing need to manage black bear populations in the state and management practices need to take ecological, economic, and socio cultural influences into consideration, that meet human and ecological needs. Future black bear expansion was developed with GIS procedures quantifying the amount of forest cover in current and potential bear ranges in northwest and north central New York. Through public education of black bear nuisance prevention strategies, publically acceptable means of management, increase in hunter harvest, and mandatory harvest reporting with monetary fines, black bear populations can remain stable with minimal human conflict throughout New York State.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
File Attachments: BBManagementPlan.docx
Authors: Joshua M. Matijas

Management Plan for Eastern Coyotes in New York State

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:10
Abstract: While the presence of coyotes is valuable for maintaining healthy ecosystems, their arrival in the northeast has also led to conflicts with the public and various stakeholders. In particular, they have had detrimental effects upon the livestock industry, and there is widespread misunderstanding among the public regarding the behavior and ecology of this predator. We have therefore proposed a management plan for coyotes throughout Upstate New York that will address the conflicts that have arisen due to the increase in coyote populations throughout the region. In addition, this plan calls for an investigation of population dynamics and how they are affected by human control measures such as hunting. We will conduct radio-tracking studies that focus upon breeding pairs and transient animals in areas of heavy and light harvest in order to determine the effects of hunting on local population. In order to mitigate conflicts with livestock, we implement a program that utilizes both lethal and preventative non-lethal control methods. We will also create educational programs in residential areas that experience a high level of coyote related conflicts, so that the public can find ways to effectively prevent problems from occurring. Since coyotes are widespread throughout the state, and may successfully thrive in a wide variety of habitats, it is essential that sound management practices be implemented in order to foster coexistence in an increasingly human-altered landscape.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
Authors: Elizabeth Quandt

Management plan for nuisance urban American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) population control

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:54
Abstract: High population densities can be a problem for both humans and animals. American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) occur in extremely high densities in urban settings across the United States. These populations increase the transmission rate of diseases such as West Nile Virus, damage businesses and structures near roost sites, and cause disturbances in the form of noise. For these reasons decreasing the size of urban roosts benefits both crows and humans. This management plan outlines an approach that can be taken to reduce nuisance American crow populations in urban settings. Using non-lethal methods such as pyrotechnic displays, exploders, handheld lasers, tape-recorded distress calls, and habitat modification this plan provides a course of action to disperse urban crow roosts. Extensive public relations are needed for this type of plan due to the disturbance the methods will cause in urban areas. A course of action is provided to inform the public of our actions and to enlist volunteers to help carry out the methods. For this plan to be considered successful a 75% reduction in urban crow population size must be seen along with consistent total population estimates that do not go above 110% or below 90% of the original population size.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Mgmt Plan 4-11.doc
Authors: Benjamin Eck

Implementation of an Antler Restriction Program for White-tailed deer in New York State’s Wildlife Management Unit 4F

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 16:03
Abstract: White-tailed deer are one of North America’s most popular big game species. Big game hunting provides a great amount of revenue for the state of New York. This reason alone makes its important to keep hunters in New York State satisfied. The problem arises when half of the hunting population wants to implement antler restriction programs and the other half do not. This management plan is designed to keep both types of hunters satisfied. The goal is to implement an antler restriction program in wildlife management unit 4F, which is located in central New York. The antler restriction that would be implemented would be based off of responses to a survey from resident hunters. The three options include an antler restriction that requires there to be three points that measure at least one inch in length on one side, one plan that requires at least two points on one side, or a plan that would take no action at all. The management plan would be implemented the following season and would be monitored for the next 5 years.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
Authors: Joseph Nelson

Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) Current Status and Management Plan for New York State

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 18:31
Abstract: Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) were added as a Federally Endangered Species in 1967 and this listing continues, including in New York State. They are one of the most particular of hibernating bats in terms of their biological needs, making them more vulnerable to population declines. Current threats mainly include human disturbance at winter hibernacula, habitat degradation, and White-nose Syndrome. The overall goal is to establish a sustainable population that results in the removal of the Indiana bat from endangered species status in New York State. Courses of action include educating the public, especially recreational cavers, on bat conservation issues. Also, estimating populations at summer roosts and winter hibernacula and developing ways to protect, manage, and regulate these habitats, and gain a better understanding of the fundamental issues related to White-nose Syndrome. An assessment protocol for each course of action is included. A population model simulates population increase once a percentage of individuals are treated for White-nose Syndrome. The results of this model indicate that 75% effectiveness of this treatment will have the greatest effect on increasing population size of Indiana bats. Implementation of the components of this management plan will lead to an eventual recovery of Indiana bat populations.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
Authors: Heather A. Mason

Managing the Effects of Windmills on Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Populations

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 22:12
Abstract: Windmills are an important alternative to green/renewable energy but at what cost to the birds of the environment? Windmills tend to be in placed in locations that tend to be key flying habitat. This is problematic for golden eagle migration and habitat because they tend to be windy open vast of lands. Unfortunately this is identical to the optimum areas of energy intake. Windmills tend to kill about 1.2 golden eagles per windmill per year alone. The overarching goal of this management plan is to sustain the golden eagle population at carrying capacity. The objectives are to decrease the mortality, increase the birth rate, and continue further research on the golden eagle populations. To enforce the objectives, one must provide actions in which to do so. The actions include maintaining and possible expansion of current regulations, prevent further loss of habitat, regulate the windmills in a multitude of ways, create new habitat, reduce nest disturbance, create suitable nest sites, and ways of continuing the research.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
Authors: Matthew Parker