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Capstone Projects

A Global Management Plan for the Bristle-thighed Curlew (Numenius tahitiensis)

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 15:44
Abstract: In the past three centuries, shorebird populations have declined ubiquitously across the North American landscape as over harvesting and habitat conversion became common practice. The bristle-thighed curlew (Numenius tahitiensis) is a large bodied shorebird whose global population is threatened with future declines. The small breeding population of approximately 3,500 pairs is faced with unnatural mortality from introduced predators, human development, climate change induced habitat alteration, and over harvesting. Compounding these problems is a general lack of information regarding key biological characteristics of the specie’s life history, including population densities on wintering islands, key migration routes, existence of stopover sites, and survivorship of certain life stages. The primary focus of current day management of the bristle-thighed curlew is to promote the survivorship of adults and increase suitable habitats for curlews on their wintering grounds. This management plan aims to gain an understanding of the the biology of bristle-thighed curlew and propose methods to stabilize their global population. The success of the species depends heavily international cooperation, intensive research, and the conservation and management of key habitats.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final Managment Plan.docx
Authors: Lewis M. Lolya

Management Plan for Giant Anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) in Emas National Park

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 14:09
Abstract: Throughout their range, giant anteaters are an unmanaged species and population estimates are broad, if available. This plan suggests using prescribed burns to control the spread of invasive grasses, reducing the buildup of wildfire fuel and restoring more favorable habitat. Also the construction of underpasses at large highways, will reduce the amount of road collisions and increase gene flow through dispersal. Giant anteaters are extremely vulnerable to population declines because it takes so long for them to reach sexual maturity and they only produce one offspring each year.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final Management Plan.docx
Authors: Alex Roberts

Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Recovery Plan of Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) in Eastern Australia Mainland

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:29
Abstract: In Eastern Australia, spotted-tailed quoll have been an important marsupial for tourist attractions and ecological control over small invasive species. This species’ population has been slowly declining due to anthropogenic threats to their habitat (Figure 1). Spotted-tailed quoll prefer moist forests such as rain forests or eucalyptus forests that provide abundant amount of food resources and available shelter opportunities. The goals of this management plan are to increase spotted-tailed quoll populations through decreasing anthropogenic threats such as housing construction, agricultural land uses, carrion removal, and road networks. The goals will be achieved by reducing quoll mortality by roadways, illegal killing, and translocation of the species to suitable habitat elsewhere in Australia. Decreasing human-quoll conflicts on roadways, farmlands and in construction areas will improve the chance of quoll population increase. The management sites will be monitored to oversee effects of the management strategies and allow managers to develop a better plan or further extend the following plan to be successful. In addition, the public and private landowners will be vital to increasing the quoll populations through participation of protecting the quolls from further decline through proper carrion removal from roadways and farmlands, conservation of suitable habitat, and awareness of the native species. To ensure future spotted-tailed quoll populations persist, actions need to be done now or the continuation of habitat degradation and human-quoll conflicts will increase.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
Authors: Bridget Parks

Managing and Conserving the Grey-Headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:25
Abstract: The grey-headed flying fox is one of the largest bats in the world and currently the largest bat in Australia. This species is nomadic and distributed along the forested areas of the south-eastern coast of Australia Queensland to Victoria respectively. Grey-headed flying foxes are an endemic specialist that are of key importance in Australia’s declining coastal forest ecosystems. A recent increase in population decline of at least 30% over the last 3 generations can be attributed to mass die offs from extreme heat events and multiple anthropogenic sources including habitat loss from increased urbanization (Department of the Environment 2016). In order to see a healthy population in the future both human and species dimensions need to be addressed through scientific help and political means. I propose a rigorous course of action requiring public, government and scientific help by increasing adult survivorship, increasing native trees, and creation of a positive association between bats, humans and their ecosystem.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final Managment Plan.docx
Authors: Zoe Stewart

Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Management Plan in Southern Florida

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:24
Abstract: Florida scrub-jays are large songbirds endemic to Florida. They are extremely habitat-specific, sedentary, and territorial. Florida scrub-jays were listed as a threatened species in 1987. Since then their populations have declined by approximately 50% due to fragmentation and degradation of xeric oak-scrub habitat throughout Florida. Majority of this destruction is because of residential housing, commercial development, and fire suppression. Conservation of remaining habitat and long term management of the land with prescribed burns is vital for increasing Florida scrub-jay populations.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final Management Plan.docx
Authors: Ashley Gocha

Management of the Invasive American Mink (Neovison vison) Populations in the Southern Region of South America (Cape Horn Biosphere)

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:24
Abstract: American mink (Neovison vison) are an invasive species in South America, Europe and a few other countries. An invasive predator like the American mink can have negative effects on ecosystem function. In the Cape Horn biosphere, mink have no natural predators and have established themselves as top predator in that ecosystem (Crego 2015). Their populations have steadily increased in the Cape Horn Biosphere Region since their release from mink farms in 1930 (Ibarra et al. 2009). The Cape Horn biosphere is affected by the loss of native fauna such as Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus), Olive Grass Mouse (Abrothrix olivaceus), and different types of ducks (Anseriforms) due to American mink predation. The Cape Horn Biosphere is a research, education, and conservation land that is used by institutes and universities (Ibarra et al. 2009). There are four objectives to help prevent the further spread of the invasive American mink that include: Educating the general public in the Cape Horn Biosphere region on the negative implications of invasive species, increasing the number of minks trapped by 15% in 1 year, setting environmental laws against the release of mink from fur farms within 5 years, creating a tactile agency to enforce those laws within 5 years. When all objectives are complete there will be a decreasing trend in American mink populations in Southern South America.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Eleanor Congden

Recovery and Management Plan for the Houston Toad (Bufo houstonensis) in Bastrop County, Texas

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:24
Abstract: The Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis) was the first amphibian listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973 and has been extirpated from 3 of 12 counties of its historical range throughout Texas. The driving factor of Houston toad declines is habitat loss, primarily via fragmentation and destruction from expansion of cities. The Lost Pine Ecoregion in Bastrop County, Texas holds the largest remaining populations in the Bastrop County State Park and the Griffith League Ranch. The proposed recovery plan is designed to accurately assess the current population sizes within the Griffith League Ranch and Bastrop State Park and increase the survivorship of adults and juveniles within the populations. Issues involving invasive species, predation, cattle grazing, and public awareness of Houston toads and actions to resolve the issues are addressed throughout the management plan. The success of this management plan is critical to increase Houston toad populations within its native range and decrease potential of extinction.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: KFitchette_Final.docx
Authors: Kayla Fitchette

Growth of Black Spruce and Tamarack in Response to Abiotic Variables

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 12:46
Abstract: The growth of black spruce (Picea mariana) and tamarack (Larix laricina) was examined in relation to the potential influences of pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, water temperature, proportion of canopy closure and depth to ground water in a northern Adirondack peatland ecosystem. 42 plots were constructed in a sphagnum dominated wetland and sampled for the above abiotic variables throughout the summer and fall of 2015. Heights, ages and periodic annual increment of 26 tamarack and 23 black spruce samples were determined in February and March of 2016. An age to height ratio and periodic annual increment for each species was then regressed against the above abiotic variable data in order to determine any influence of these data on growth rates of the conspecifics. Results show that depth to water table and increased exposure to light had a significantly positive relationship with the age to height ratio of tamarack. Periodic annual increment of tamarack had a significant positive relationship with decreasing light exposure. Black spruce’s age to height ratio had a significant positive relationship with dissolved oxygen (mg/L).
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2016
Authors: Robert DeSotle

A Comparison Study of Adirondack Region Clearcutting Implementation to that of Paul Smith’s College VIC FERDA Plots

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 10:44
Abstract: The students of Paul Smith’s College have a unique opportunity to explore the parameters of silviculture and forestry practices. Gaining the base knowledge of silvicultural systems while also, properly implementing timber harvesting methods in order to achieve the specific goals and objectives of these systems is tremendously useful for implementation in future years. This study investigated the silvicultural prescriptions of the Forest Ecosystem Research and Demonstration Area (FERDA) plots on Paul Smith’s College lands, in Paul Smiths, New York. Comparing the inventory of the two clearcut sites upon these lands to that of other harvests within the Adirondack Park can supply further knowledge on what can be expected after a specific silvicultural system. Clearcutting has the greatest effect on forest succession by removing the forest cover and allowing light to reach what was once a shaded forest floor. Comparing experimental five acre clearcuts to that of larger commercial clearcuts in the same region can further our understanding of regeneration composition after such timber harvesting operations occur. The variance between the age of the FERDA plot harvests and the age of the harvests completed on Landvest timberlands resulted in varying data. However, if four to eight more years was given for pseudo FERDA plots to mature, it is believed that these harvests would be similar in composition and structure.
Access: No
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2016
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Ryan Krzys, Louis Ferrone III

Mycoremediation Potential of Pleurotus ostreatus in Logging Operations

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 10:43
Abstract: The unintentional spillage of diesel and hydraulic fluid is an unfortunate part of forestry operations and the traditional cleanup methods can be costly. Many studies have shown that white rot fungi (WRF) are capable of breaking down a wide variety of environmental pollutants, including diesel fuel. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the ability of a WRF, Pluerotus ostreatus, to breakdown hydraulic fluid. Soil and sawdust were mixed at a 1:1 ratio and jars had, 0%, 3%, 5% and 10% of their volume added in hydraulic fluid. All jars were fully colonized within two weeks and after 30 days the concentration of residual hydrocarbon was analyzed with an extraction. The results showed that the maximum degradation of hydraulic fluid occurred at 5%. In addition sawdust spawn was dehydrated at different temperatures, in order to assess possible field application. The only dehydration test that grew was the air dried sample.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2016
Authors: Peter Murphy, Kirklyn Denis