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Capstone Projects

Eastern Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopava silvestris): Sustaining a viable population throughout New York State, while focusing on the Adirondack Park region of New York State

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:25
Abstract: Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopava silvestris) are separated into four different sub categories, Eastern turkey, the Merriam turkey, Osceola turkey and the Rio Grande turkey. The focus is on the eastern turkey throughout New York State focusing on populations within the Adirondack Park. New York State currently has a stable turkey population of 250,000 individuals throughout the state. The Adirondack Park is of main concern due to the more mountainous and various habitats which differ than the southern tier of New York. This focus is on sustainable populations throughout the Adirondack Park, while determining prime predators of the wild turkey by using techniques in identifying predators that most affect the turkey. The main objective is to sustain wild turkey populations throughout the state, while focusing on the Adirondack Park.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Stephen West

The western dispersion of Mountain lions from their current South Dakota habitat

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:27
Abstract: The travel vectors of dispersing cougars shall be determined from a base point of the Black Hills in South Dakota. With this information the most likely travel paths will be plotted and the states that may be crossed through and the final endpoint destinations will be determined. Once these are known these states will be informed and polled on their willingness to accept a cougar population. If the population is in favor of a viable cougar population they will be helped to develop a management plan based on an overall plan for all states that are in the travel path of dispersing cougars. If the states populace proves resistant to cohabitation with cougars a different plan will be enacted that help cougar’s find another place of residence to avoid conflict with the populace. A handout will be dispersed throughout every potential cougar vector state which will list and describe a number of body language behaviors exhibited by cougars and an appropriate reaction to take. This should help lessen any violent interactions between cougars and humans. Local wildlife officials and agencies will be brought in to help customize the overall plan for the specific state that they are in this will include adapting it to fit different laws, terrain, climate, etc. Once this plan is in place it will be up to the state agencies to enact it.
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: Nicholas Weaver

Sustaining and monitoring moose (Alces alces) populations in fourteen counties in New York State

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:28
Abstract: Moose (Alces alces) have been present in New York State since the 1980s. They had been absent since the late 1800s, and began steadily reentering the state around 30 years ago. The goal of this management plan is to create a sustainable population of moose in 14 counties, but perhaps more importantly to efficiently and accurately monitor such a population. To do this, there is a crucial need to be able to estimate the amount of moose living in the state. However, an official procedure for doing so has not yet been established. This plan proposes the implementation of annual aerial surveys using stratified random sampling techniques. This plan also calls for the use of radio collars on moose to better monitor individuals, as well as gaining knowledge on habitat preferences of moose. As the population grows there is also an increased risk of vehicle collisions. This plan calls for techniques such as fencing along roads as well as increased moose crossing signs in an effort to reduce vehicle collisions with moose.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Moose management Plan.docx
Authors: Eric Telfer

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