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Mon, 04/11/2016 - 15:19
Abstract: THIS IS MY CAPSTONE! PLEASE PRESERVE IT FOR POSTERITY.
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Major: Communication
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Press Capstone 2016.docx
Authors: Meggan Press

An Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Adirondack Waterfowl

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 22:53
Abstract: We analyzed heavy metal concentrations in waterfowl liver and breast tissue from ducks harvested within the Adirondack Park from October 3 to November 13, 2015. Interspecific, intersex, and feeding behavior variation in heavy metal concentrations were assessed. Waterfowl from two feeding behavior groups (diving and dabbling) were harvested from the watershed within a 50 mile radius of Paul Smith’s, New York. Harvested waterfowl species included mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), American black duck (Anas rubripes), common merganser (Mergus merganser), ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris), bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), and hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus). Legal harvest of these species during regulated New York State duck hunting season allows for permissible use of internal organs for heavy metal determination. Dry weight (mg/kg) of digested liver and breast tissue samples were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Due to unknown laboratory error, absolute concentration values were inaccurate, thus, rendering accurate analyses unfeasible. However, relative observable trends were able to be assessed given our data’s high precision. Analyte concentrations were significantly greater in liver tissues and there were significant differences between species. Variation in mercury, lead, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, and zinc concentrations in waterfowl serve as an indicator of the presence, cycling, bioaccumulation, and temporal trends of these metals in northeastern aquatic habitats.
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Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final2.docx
Authors: Brandon Snavely, Lewis Lolya

Management Plan of the Ring-Tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve in Madagascar

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:29
Abstract: The need to protect Ring-tailed lemurs is evident. Lemurs are the most threatened group of vertebrates in the world with the IUCN listing 94% of lemur species as threated. This high percentage is in part due to the fact that lemurs only occur naturally in Madagascar so changes to the island effects the whole infraorder (Lemuriformes). Helping to curb illegal activities will protect not just the habitat for Ring-Tailed lemurs but will help the entirety of Madagascar’s Wildlife that has evolved on an island that used to be covered by up to 90% forest. These illegal practices are often protected by armed guards which may require assistance from the Madagascar government for adequate protection of the islands forests
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Elias Carter

Management of an Alaskan Breeding subspecies of Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri)

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 13:48
Abstract: Avian species with extremely long distance seasonal migration routes presents interesting challenges when developing a management plan. The migration bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri) takes it to New Zealand and Australia as the wintering grounds, spring migration staging grounds in the coastal regions of the Yellow Sea, and the northern and western shores of Alaska for breeding. Godwits, as with other large shorebirds that breed in arctic and subarctic uplands, have high annual adult survival and low reproductive success. This makes the adult life stage the most important in terms of management strategies. Adult survival faces many threats, but most of all the increased harvest rates, rapid decrease in habitat within the staging grounds and threats from the onset of climate change. Governments must enforce existing legislation to prevent the harvest of godwits in their staging grounds and protect adults traveling to the breeding grounds in Alaska.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
Authors: Joseph Faryniarz

Species Recovery Plan for the Fiji Banded Iguana (Brachylophus bulabula)

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 23:15
Abstract: Fiji banded iguanas (Brachylophus bulabula) are one of three species of small, herbivorous arboreal iguanids endemic to the central islands of Fiji (IUCN 2012). Diurnally they occupy the mesic forest canopy, making them difficult to observe. Little is known about their population status on most of the central islands, with exception of Makogai and Makodroga, where approximately 6000 individuals exist (IUCN 2012). Fiji banded iguanas have experienced a population decline of over 50% in the past four decades due to a combination of factors. Approximately 40% of Fiji’s native forests have been converted to agriculture and hardwood plantations, significantly decreasing mesic forest habitat that Fiji banded iguanas occupy (IUCN 2012). Predation from invasive mammals such has feral cats (Felis catus) has contributed to the Fiji banded iguana’s decline. Feral goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) outcompete them for their native food resources and prevent forest regeneration. If no action is taken, iguana populations are projected to decline by at least 30% in the next four decades (IUCN 2012). This recovery plan proposes five management objectives which are designed to increase our knowledge about life history and population status, provide legislative protection with the designation of a national park, eradicate invasive mammals to decrease predation and competition, and increase forest regeneration. If these objectives are achieved, I predict that the population will have at minimum stabilized, and at best increased among the central islands of Fiji.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
Authors: Brittany Peck

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final Management Plan.docx
Authors: Ashley Gocha