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Capstone Projects

Management Plan for Giant Panda Bear (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in 3 Chinese Provinces: Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 10:33
Abstract: Found only in China, one of the world’s fastest growing and most populated regions, the giant panda clings to survival. The panda is endangered for same fundamental reason that is nature is imperiled throughout China, and indeed throughout the world: Explosive population and unsustainable use of natural resources are causing habitat for wildlife to vanish. Compounding these unrelenting pressures are a host other impediments to giant panda conservation, such as habitat degeneration and fragmentation due to human activi-ties, poaching, poor local communities who rely on natural resources for their livelihood, and a lack of equipment and facilities for patrolling. The goal of this management plan is to protect the remaining giant panda bear community while allowing China to continue to grow and prosper economically. Specifically, this plan intents to (1) decreasing the num-bers of poaching within the reserves, (2) protecting the reserves by promoting ecotourism, (3) and reaching out to landowners to lease their land to the government to plant bamboo. A course of action is provided for these objectives that include the anticipation to develop volunteer programs to assist in patrolling reserves, create forms of panda viewing within the reserve, and evaluate surveys in order to determine the percentage of people willing to plant bamboo on their land.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
Authors: Joelle Guisti

Monitoring and Managing the Africanized Honey Bee in Colorado

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 11:31
Abstract: When brought to Brazil in 1956 to create a more resilient strain of honey bee, the African honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) started hybridizing with the European honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) creating the Africanized honey bee. Since then, Africanized bees have spread north, entering the United States in 1990. Most of the southern states are now home to African bees. Colorado must do everything it can to prohibit and manage against these bees. This hybrid produces less honey than European bees and is dangerously more aggressive. Causing negative impacts on people, wildlife, tourism, agriculture and the economy, a management plan must be enacted to prohibit and regulate the establishment of permanent populations of the Africanized bee. This management plan proposes a regulatory and quarantine program to slow their entrance into Colorado. If and when they become established, this plan includes developing a research facility as the backbone of the project and creation of laws and regulations with apiaries to keep the European strain alive.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Complete plan.docx
Authors: Anthony Lisella

Endangered Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou): A Management Proposal to Decrease Mortality Rates Caused by Logging and Predation

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 20:22
Abstract: Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are a subspecies of caribou and are considered endangered with fewer than 5,000 individuals remaining. There are several factors that can be attributed to the population decline of the R. tarandus caribou but the two main ones are habitat destruction/ fragmentation and predation. This management plan focuses on reducing the effects of logging through education and fundraisers, predation is reduced through constant population monitoring and harvesting/ removal. The management plan includes a population model that shows the effects of decreasing mortality rates, a vegetation analysis study to see what areas R. tarandus caribou utilize the most and to see what their diet consists of. A survey was also created to gather information on the human knowledge about R. tarandus caribou and if they are willing to help out in their management. A course of action is outlined in detail on how the population should be managed through the reduction of logging and a reduction in predators.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
Authors: Charles Cain III

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