After logging in with the login link in the top right, click here to upload your Capstone

Capstone Projects

Management of Endemic Hawaiian Honeycreepers (Drepanidinae)

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:37
Abstract: The islands of Hawaii have been heavily impacted by human use through the clearing of lowland forests, the introduction of mammalian predators and nonnative bird species, ungulates, and avian pox and avian malaria, all causing severe declines in avian species. Due to their isolated evolutionary history honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) had never been exposed to these threats. When introductions took place honeycreepers were hit very hard. Currently of the 31 historically known honeycreeper species 12 are presumed extinct, 15 are federally endangered and only 4 are not listed. My goal is to increase populations of honeycreepers and support sustainable populations into the future. I propose protection of current honeycreeper habitat and reforestation efforts where applicable, and a reduction in feral hog, goat, sheep, rat, mongoose and cat populations, and a reduction in mosquito vectors. To accomplish this I propose an integrative approach to mosquito control utilizing point source reduction and the use of biopesticides, the use of rodenticides to control rat and mongoose populations, trapping programs to reduce feral cats, and the culling of feral ungulates. If action is not taken, honeycreeper extinctions will continue to take place, and one of the greatest examples of life’s ability to diversify will be lost.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Final submission.docx
Authors: John Neddermeyer

A Management Plan for the Przewalski’s Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii)

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 12:10
Abstract: The Przewalski’s horse is endemic to the grassland regions of Mongolia. These horses were once extinct in the wild, and have since been brought back to their native lands through extensive reintroduction efforts. However, there are very few individuals in the wild today, and the individuals that do occur have very low genetic diversity. This management plan will be in place to continue these reintroduction efforts and to ensure that the Przewalski’s horse population will become self-sustaining. The goals of this management plan are to increase the overall genetic diversity of the wild Mongolian Przewalski’s horse population and to increase population numbers until it is self-sustaining. These goals will be achieved through captive breeding programs of non-related individuals, and then slowly releasing these new individuals into already established wild populations. The native peoples of Mongolia will be surveyed and informed using pamphlets and verbal communication, of these conservation efforts to avoid and conflict and confrontations. Further education outreach will also take place in zoological societies, to inform the public of this species. This management project will continue until a self-sustaining population is maintained, and until genetic diversity, and levels of non-relatedness between individuals are frequent.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
Authors: Jenna Correia

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) Management Plan for the State of Utah

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 12:10
Abstract: In the state of Utah the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) is listed as a species of special concern. Populations have been declining at a steady rate due to lack of habitat and other influences such as urban development and chemical use. Burrowing owls nest in ground dwelling mammal’s burrows. With mammal populations declining it has shown effects on the burrowing owl populations. The goal of this management plan is to enhance and maintain the burrowing owl population by enhancing breeding habitat where the habitat has been degraded. The use of artificial burrows and preservation of natural burrows will be strategies to increase survivability during breeding seasons. Burrowing owls are used as an indicator species of degrading ecosystems and are of value to farmers as they feed on small rodents and other organisms that are considered pests. Management action should be taken to recover their steadily declining population.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: PlanRoughDraft.docx
Authors: Brandee Keuer

Florida’s Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus) Management Plan

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 15:19
Abstract: A population of Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) has been established within Florida, and is currently thriving unlike the declining populations within its native range. These pythons are a large species of snake (up to 5.5m and greater in length) native to Southeast Asia. Within their current range in Florida, declines of up to 99.3% have been seen in native species, such as raccoons (Procyon lotor), since their introduction. Current action being taken to control these pythons is ineffective, and the population continues to grow and expand. Therefore, action must be taken in order to reduce, and/or contain, the distribution, and/or number of, Burmese pythons in Florida to within the borders of the Everglades National Park (ENP) and Big Cypress Swamp (BCS). In order to accomplish this goal, research to determine effective extermination that causes little or no adverse effects (≤ 5% decrease in population) on native species will be completed. Following the research, the effective strategy(ies) will be implemented along with continued current means of control until such time that the goal is met. Failure to act will result in the continued growth and expansion of Burmese pythons, and lack of recovery for declining native species.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
Authors: Casey Gagne

Management of Eastern Hellbenders in the Allegheny Watershed of New York State

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 17:28
Abstract: The eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) is a large aquatic salamander unique to North America. Research on C. alleganiensis shows a decline in population size throughout much of its range. Hellbender populations in the Allegheny Watershed of New York State have been estimated to include only 400 individuals. The Allegheny River has been altered over the past century by dam construction, stream relocation, and agricultural and urban developments, negatively impacting both the water quality and benthic environment of the watershed. These changes have two major impacts on the species: siltation and pesticide and nutrient runoff, which harm hellbenders directly and reduce cover, food availability, and nest sites. This plan seeks to address these problems through the development of riparian buffer zones. Buffer zones filter nutrients and chemicals from runoff and ground water, and act as a physical barrier against silt. This action is considered the most desirable as it will not only benefit hellbenders, but the ecosystem and community at large by improving water quality, wildlife habitat, and the aesthetic value of the watershed.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Hellbender management plan
Authors: Daniel Alempijevic

Managing Fisher (Martes pennanti) in Region 7 of Central New York: Opening a trapping season

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 20:40
Abstract: In the late 1800’s fisher were very abundant throughout New York State, but they were nearly trapped to extinction by the 1930s. Few populations survived until 1949 when the trapping season was closed. Today fisher can be found throughout approximately 26,000 square miles of forested habitat in the state; many of these areas have established management plans. Region 7 has not established a population estimate of fisher in the past because there have been few sightings until recently. In 2013, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and Cornell documented fishers at 54 of 100 survey locations in Region 7. The goal of this management plan is to maintain a fisher population that is large enough to sustain itself and support annual trapping seasons in Region 7. To support the goal of opening a trapping season, fisher habitat will be improved by limiting fragmentation and increasing connectivity. Fisher harvests will be limited by issuing harvest tags, and monitored by pelt seal records. Opening a trapping season will improve recreational opportunities for trappers, while assisting in maintaining a healthy predator prey ratio.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Carter O'Gorman

Maintaining The Current Population Size Of Pygmy Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) On Isla Escudo de Veraguas, Panama

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 21:13
Abstract: The pygmy three-toed sloth, Bradypus pygmaeus, is only found on Isla Escudo de Veraguas, a small island off the coast of Panama. This species is currently listed as a critically endangered species with a population thought to be less than 100 individuals. If no action is taken this species may eventually become extinct as a result of deforestation and poaching by native peoples. To help conserve the biodiversity of Panama a goal and list of objectives has been formed. The goal of this project is to maintain the current population size of pygmy sloths on Isla Escudo de Veraguas. This goal is hoped to be accomplished through reforestation of red mangrove trees, Rhizophora mangle, and by increasing the enforcement of local laws. Local laws currently prohibit harvesting pygmy sloths and the deforestation of the red mangrove trees but they are rarely enforced. The best way to preserve this species is to try to preserve the species habitat. Since the pygmy sloth eats only red mangrove tree leaves it is necessary to preserve its habitat in order to preserve the species.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
Authors: Vincent Meyer

Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge Feral Cat Management

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 10:33
Abstract: This management plan focuses on the protection of shorebirds, native ground nesting birds, and terrestrial vertebrates through the removal of feral cats from Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge and Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve in Lee County, Florida. Feral cats directly affect many ground nesting and terrestrial vertebrate species through predation, and have caused the decline of many endemic or rare species. Justification for the eradication of feral cats from MPNWR and MPAP comes from several legal sources and scientific literature indicating predation upon native wildlife. The goal of this management plan is to reduce the effect of feral cats on shorebirds and ground nesting birds in Lee County, Florida. Action will be taken by passing new and improved regulations for cat owners, such as mandatory microchipping and cat-proof fencing. The feral cat population will be reduced through direct and indirect means. Some of these measures include live-trapping, introduction of feline distemper, toxic baits, and sharpshooters. The removal of non-native predators for the protection of native wildlife is a practice commonly used throughout the country. It is often necessary to remove invasive species in order to protect native wildlife in a habitat significantly altered by humans.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Management plan_Nicely.pdf
Authors: Alex Nicely

Management Plan for Baikal Seals (Phoca sibirica) in Lake Baikal, Russia

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:41
Abstract: Out of the 30 pinniped species, Baikal seals (Phoca sibirica) are the only exclusively freshwater species; they are endemic to Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia. This lake is the oldest, deepest, and biggest lake in the world. The lake measures nearly 400 miles long and 50 miles wide, with a depth of about one mile, making it difficult for wildlife officers to enforce regulations. This has led to an increase in poaching because locals know that there is little chance of getting caught. The current population is not known; consequently the current hunting quota is not known to be sustainable or not. By-catch from fishing gear and climate change also poses threat to this species. There are five proposed objectives to reach a stable population of Baikal seals. These include: determine a population estimate; create a hunting quota of 5% of the population determined from the population estimate; decrease mortality caused by poaching by 75% in five years; decrease mortality caused by fishing by-catch by 75% in five years; and increase suitable above water habitat by 5% within 5 years. Overall, this management plan is designed to maintain a stable population of Baikal seals.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
Authors: Savannah Waechter

Management Plan to Increase the Eastern wild turkey population along the James River in Eastern, South Dakota.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 14:26
Abstract: It is estimated that each day in the U.S. we lose about 6,000 acres of wild turkey habitat. This along with other factors is the reason that the current wild turkey population has decreases 15 percent from the total U.S. population estimate in 2004. Eastern wild turkeys are a popular game species and have economic benefits. With proper management, the James River watershed could provide thousands of acres of habitat for Eastern wild turkey and other species. The goal of this management plan is to establish, increase, and maintain an Eastern wild turkey population in the James River watershed of South Dakota to maximize hunting and viewing. To achieve this goal the following actions will be taken: 1. Increasing the current percent of woodland land cover by planting shrubs and trees to increase suitable habitat. 2. Using land easements to establish suitable habitat. 3. Jump starting population by implementing trap and transplant program. 4. Conducting outreach and partnering with organizations to gain support, funding, and man power. Increasing the wild turkey population size will positively affect hunter opportunities and satisfaction, economics, and other species that might utilize newly created habitat.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Final Management Plan.docx
Authors: Patrick Wightman