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Capstone Projects

Increasing the piping plover (Charadrius melodus) population on New Jersey’s Barrier Islands through the quality of preexisting nesting sites

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:28
Abstract: The piping plover (Charadrius melodus) is listed as threatened, by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in 1986. In 1984, the piping plover was listed as an endangered species in New Jersey. As the piping plover population increased on the Atlantic Coast in the 1980’s and 1990’s from 800 pairs to 1750 pairs in 2011, the number of plovers in New Jersey has remained relatively constant at 119 pairs. The threats that plovers face, including human disturbance, predation, and habitat loss continue to impede population growth. Without protection and management, it is unlikely that the piping plover would survive in New Jersey.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Bryan Hankins

Increasing American Marten (Martes americana) Populations in New York State for Increased Fur Harvest Opportunity

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:29
Abstract: American Marten (Martes americana) can be found throughout the Northern portion of North America including Alaska and almost all of Canada (Figure 1) (Buskirk and Ruggerio 1994). They are only found within the Adirondack Mountains in New York with the densest populations being in the High Peaks Wilderness area, Five Ponds Wilderness area, and the Pigeon Lake Wilderness area (NYSDEC 2013). Figure 3 shows the areas where marten can be harvested during the specified trapping season (October 25- Decemeber 10 yearly). Marten are a furbearing species in New York meaning they are eligible for harvest during regulatory trapping seasons mandated by the states department of environmental conservation. Marten are protected by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meaning they are viewed on an international scale to protect them on a federal level and to manage the trade of there valuable pelt/furs. The goal of the marten management plan in New York is to increase population numbers so that eligible trappers may be able to harvest such an elusive species on a more frequent basis, while still limiting the number they are able to harvest yearly to prevent possible extirpation. Increasing marten populations is largely based on enough suitable habitats to sustain viable populations. Actions to achieve the goal are to restore habitats to the needs of martens along with creating corridors to areas with suitable habitats to increase the overall range they are found throughout. Live trapping and relocation may be necessary to create viable populations in areas with existing suitable habitat. These techniques will be used starting in 2013 and continue for 10 years reassess after those ten years more analysis will be done to see if the plan was a success.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Ryan Kelley

Current Status and Management Plan for the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) to Manage White-nose Syndrome in Northeast North America

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:29
Abstract: Bats are an important part of many ecosystems, and provide numerous benefits to humans, including saving the agricultural industry billions of dollars a year. The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) is the most numerous and widespread species of bat in North America, and in northeast North America, their populations have been decimated by a disease known as white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome is caused by a cold loving fungus and causes infected bats to arouse early from hibernation and use up critical fat reserves. The goal of this management plan is to increase and maintain the population of little brown bats to a sustainable level to prevent regional extirpation and range-wide extinction of the species through; increasing protection and regulation, researching white-nose syndrome more, and educating people about bats and white-nose syndrome. If nothing is done, little brown bats face regional extirpation, if not range-wide extinction.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Jeremy Chamberlain

Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii): An Effort to Restore and Protect a Threatened Species

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:30
Abstract: The Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a Threatened species in New York State and is a species of conservation concern. This species is a rapidly decreasing reptile in most of its range. They are long lived species with a late sexual maturity and depend on high levels of adult survivorship to maintain populations. The most distinguishing characteristic of this turtle is their bright yellow chin and throat. .The biggest threats to this species are habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, road mortality, nest predation and collection. The Blanding’s turtle is extremely terrestrial and travels long distances over land to occupy all of its living needs. The Blanding’s turtle requires clean, shallow water with abundant aquatic vegetation, and appear to be sensitive to habitat alteration. Documented Blanding’s turtle populations in New York are limited and highly fragmented. This plan is intended to support an overall increase of the Blanding’s turtle population in New York to prevent this species from going extinct and so it can hold a self- sustaining status in the future. Key components of this plan include decreasing habitat degradation, road mortality, and getting the public more aware and involved. If these are addressed properly, then the Blanding’s turtle population should maintain and ultimately increase.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Alexandra Fodera

Sustaing Fisher Populations Through the Prevention of Unintentional Trapping

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:30
Abstract: Fishers (Martes pennanti) are medium-sized carnivores in the weasel family. They prefer forests with a large amount of canopy and understory cover. Since fishers have delayed implantation they are pregnant basically all year long giving them a low reproductive rate. Fisher populations were decimated in the 1800’s to the early 1900’s through unmanaged trapping and severe habitat modification. Changes in land use patterns and reintroduction efforts in Pennsylvania have allowed the fisher to once again inhabit the state. In order to sustain and further expand the population a management plan is needed; taking into consideration ecological, economic, and socio-cultural influences. The overall goal of this plan is to sustain the current population of fisher through the prevention of unintentional trapping. The objectives of this plan are 1) Monitor fisher demographic characteristics and distribution throughout the state every other year through the course of this plan, 2) Reduce accidental harvest/ death 80% during Pennsylvania trapping seasons within 3 years. Courses of action include the gathering of demographic information through radiotelemetry and multiple forms of habitat sampling. Altering current trapping regulations in areas where there is a high abundance of fisher and further educating trappers on best management trapping practices.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Roland Granata

Providing youth sportsmen and disabled veterans with designated hunting areas through the enactment of the New York State eastern cottontail management plan

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 14:26
Abstract: The eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is considered to be one of the most widely distributed cottontail in North America and one of the most popular game animals within the United States. Millions of hours each year are spent hunting cottontails as a recreational sport. While there are designated hunting areas for youth sportsmen and disabled veterans for other game species of New York State such as the ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), there are no such designated hunting areas designed specifically for eastern cottontails. Through cooperation of stakeholders such as private land owners and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), we aim to establish designated hunting areas specifically for youth sportsmen and disabled veterans to provide them with the opportunity of enjoying recreational hunting and the enjoyment of the great outdoors for present and future generations of New York State.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Cory Douglass

Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) Management Plan for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Maintaining a Sustainable for Future Generations

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 15:57
Abstract: The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is considered by many people to express the health and depth of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Grizzly bears south of Canada were first listed as threatened in 1975 under the Endangered Species Act due to the high mortality rates and an uncertainty about its population status. Current threats to the grizzly bear population include an increase in human- bear conflicts, whitebark pine numbers declining, and increased urbanization and fragmentation on the landscape. Grizzly bear deaths have been increasing due to their increasing range size; as bears are expanding their range into areas with more humans, the potential for conflicts increase. Grizzly bears are slow reproducers which makes them increasingly more vulnerable to population decline. Grizzly bears are thought to only be able to handle less than or equal to 4% of their population being removed a year. The overall goal of this management plan is to maintain a sustainable population of grizzly bears in the GYE. Courses of action include maintain and reserving current grizzly bear habitat, purchasing more habitat to increase landscape connectivity, continued research, and reducing human- bear conflicts.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Lydia Naccarato

Management Plan to Increase and Stabilize the Population of Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginanus) in the State of Illinois

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 22:40
Abstract: Northern Bobwhite habitat has continuously declined because a variety of factors, including growth in agricultural areas, increase in monocultures, expansion of urbanization, and natural succession. Due to these and other factors, the population of Northern Bobwhites across the United States is decreasing, although there are few with increasing populations. Northern Bobwhites have a strong economic benefit, since they are a game species and have been hunted for the past couple centuries. Northern Bobwhites were overexploited, and have not rebounded to its previous status. There have been many management practices and programs within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Agency Program to increase the amount of suitable habitat of Northern Bobwhites. The goal of this management plan is to increase and stabilize the population of Northern Bobwhites in Illinois. To achieve this goal, actions such as closing the natural history knowledge gap of Northern Bobwhites, increasing the habitat through various USDA Farm Agency Programs, and increasing the survival of Northern Bobwhites in different stages are needed.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Management Plan Revise.docx
Authors: Jenna Daub

Managing Raccoon (Procyon lotor) Populations in Urban Environments of New York State

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:29
Abstract: With the human population growing over time, so has the amount of urban and suburban populations. Urban areas have fragmented the landscape that can attract wild populations into the urban areas. One of these species that has been attracted includes the raccoon (Procyon lotor). In urban areas where resources are abundant, raccoon densities can become very high and they can become very destructive to homes. They are destructive to homes because of their generalist foraging habits and creation of den sites in human’s homes. Raccoons can be particularly dangerous in the spread of epizootics such as rabies, canine distemper, and roundworm. With raccoons in high densities the spread of the epizootics becomes very easy between raccoons which can cause a higher transmission rate to domestic animals or humans. Since population reduction methods have proven to be ineffective in reducing raccoon populations, education to the public to reduce the densities of raccoons may be the most effective. Proper management in maintaining public facilities, feeding wild and domestic animals outdoors, along with precautionary measures to take with your home can help in reducing the amount of negative interactions with raccoons. Also using current or past DEC or animal control data can help determine areas of highest negative interactions with the public to prevent future incidences in occurring.
Access: No
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Scott M. Collins

A Management Plan for Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) in the Northern Rocky Mountains

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:30
Abstract: Gray wolves (Canis lupus) in the Northern Rocky Mountains have increased rapidly from 29 individuals in 1995 to over 1600 in 2012. Conflicts between humans and wolves are likely to increase as wolves spread to new areas. The current management of gray wolves by state wildlife agencies is not adequate to reduce human-wolf conflicts. A different approach to wolf management must be taken; this management plan attempts to address several issues regarding gray wolf management. The majority of the public supports wolf conservation, and further actions must be taken to ensure the long term viability of gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. This management plan recommends the increased funding and implementation of non-lethal control methods to reduce depredations, especially the use of guard dogs and fladry. The cost and efficacy of several non-lethal control methods is assessed. This management plan recommends that lethal control of wolves be discontinued as lethal control is expensive, not effective, and controversial. This management plan recommends education to increase the public support of gray wolves through educational programs at schools and distribution of educational brochures. This management plan recommends that gray wolf populations be higher than the minimum required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Genetic variability may decrease rapidly if populations are held at the minimum level, especially if migration between sub-populations is reduced. This management plan recommends that a minimum of 3 genetically-effective migrants occurs per generation between sub-populations to ensure adequate genetic variability. If implemented, the recommendations made in this management plan will be a major step towards ensuring the long-term viability of gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Andrew Martyn Antaya