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Capstone Projects

The Conservation and Management of Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Populations in Northern Idaho to Help Prevent Human Caused Extirpation from the Contiguous United States

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:21
Abstract: Wolverines (Gulo gulo) were once a thriving species in the North Western United States, but large scale trapping and poison programs in the early 1900s lead to the species near extinction. Since then, populations in the United States have been struggling to maintain a strong presence in Idaho. Its current listing as threatened on the Endangered Species Act prohibits hunting and trapping, but more management is needed to sustain populations. Human development and recreation activities have caused wolverines to disperse from its nature range. Using habitat preservation techniques on current and historical wolverine habitat, increase availability and connectivity will improve dispersal. Close relationship with state officials will provide protection regarding land use, recreation, hunting, trapping and harassment. Public education will teach residents ways they can help prevent wolverine populations from further decline. Extensive research and population monitoring are needed due to the currently declining populations and the low fecundity of the species.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Danielle E. Ball

Alternative Management Methods for Acid Deposition in Lakes

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 18:09
Abstract: Acid deposition has been causing the acidification of lakes in the Northeast United States for decades. The result is lake ecosystems with abnormally low pH that stresses the organisms that live there. Management plans in place in the Adirondack Park have been working to remediate acidified lakes for the past few decades. Limestone (CaCO3) has been the generally accepted method for managing these lakes, in an attempt restore the lakes pre-impacted conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of liming in reversing the effects of acidification, and to identify effective alternatives. Five alternatives were tested against limestone: Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), Sodium acetate (CH3COONa), Magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), and Potassium carbonate (K2CO3). Double End-Point Titration tests were performed on all of the compounds, using both distilled water and lake water, to determine the relative alkalinity of each compound. Alkalinity is the measure of the ability of a solution to neutralize acid, also known as its "buffering capacity." Lake water was used in the titration tests in an attempt to mimic in-situ testing. The results of the titrations showed limestone proving to be the most effective in the lake water tests, with Magnesium carbonate and Potassium carbonate ranked closely behind. While limestone has proven to be an effective management method, its reliability is dependent upon the characteristics of the lake catchment, making it important to continue to look for alternative solutions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2013
Authors: Derek Scott

Tasmanian Platypus Management Plan

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 01:12
Abstract: Platypuses are an iconic mammal endemic to Australia (Furlan et al. 2010). They are an integral part of biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems. They are the only living representative of a significant lineage of platypus-like animals with a 60 million year fossil history (Grant and Temple-Smith 2003). Platypuses are regularly seen in Tasmania and promote curiosity and interest. They directly benefit ecotourism. A number of businesses including sanctuaries, wildlife tours, restaurants, cafes, caravan parks and motels benefit from their popularity (Gust and Griffiths 2010). Freshwater resources are essential to sustaining human existence and as a result, anthropogenic activities have severely diminished the quality of freshwater ecosystems worldwide. Physical alteration, habitat loss, water withdrawal, pollution, overexploitation, and the introduction of non-native species all have contributed to the decline in freshwater species (Revenga et al 2005).
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: final_Pritchard.pdf
Authors: Tori Pritchard

Protecting and Monitoring the Population of Florida Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Lee County, Florida

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 10:57
Abstract: The Florida manatee is a subspecies of the species West Indian Manatee. It has been listed as Endangered on the basis of a population that has been in decline since the 1800s in Florida. Although, the exact population of Florida manatees is not currently known, biologists have seen a gradual decrease in contrast to the past. This is due to factors such as: watercraft collisions, cold stress, Red Tide, and other human related mortalities. Manatees are protected by several laws and regulations. These include: the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, and the Endangered Species Act. The goal of this management plan is to increase the Florida manatee population to a stable population and to maintain the population into the future. The objectives are to: investigate the distribution and status of Florida manatees in Lee County by conducting synoptic surveys twice every year; within five years, increase public awareness and education by 25%; within five years, increase the amount of protected and managed manatee habitat by 15%, and within five years, protect and enhance existing populations by identifying and minimizing causes of manatee injury, mortality, and disturbance by decreasing it by 20%.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Jordan Shypinka

Increasing and Protecting the Population of Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) In the State of Maine

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 12:16
Abstract: Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) was listed as a “threatened” species on March 24, 2000 (USFWS 2013). Canada lynx (hereby referred to as lynx) are a species known to trappers for their thick, long pelts. These pelts can be sold in the fur trade for on average about $175. They are highly sought after in areas where trapping is legal, but in Maine it is not legal to trap lynx. This management plan is going to work to achieve an increase in the population size of lynx in the state of Maine and to protect areas in Maine where there are current populations of lynx that are reproducing. The lynx is currently a threatened species, the USFWS on the Endangered Species Act, throughout its range due to it being a widely roaming organism. It is listed as a species of least concern according to the IUCN Red List. The goal of this plan is to achieve and maintain a sustainable population of Canada lynx in the state of Maine. The goal is going to be accomplished by three objectives. The first objective is to protect all areas of habitat in western and northeastern Maine with current reproducing populations of lynx for the next 10 years. The second objective is to manage areas of timber to establish more suitable habitat in northern Maine for the next 10 years. The third objective is to reduce the amount of incidentally harvested lynx in western and northeastern Maine by 25% each year for four years.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Brown - Submission2.docx
Authors: Heath A. Brown

Management of Feral Swine (Sus scrofa) in New York: Eradication and Damage Elimination of an Invasive Species

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:55
Abstract: Abstract: Feral swine (Sus scrofa) populations have spread across much the United States with invasive-like qualities. Feral swine are prolific breeders and are opportunistic omnivores. These invasive species modify the terrestrial habitats they invade. Feral swine have drastic impacts on the economy and ecology of the areas they inhabit. Populations are now present in New York and without proper management drastic negative effects to the ecosystems and regional economies will occur. This document outlines management objectives and actions to curb the damage of feral swine. Current population levels are currently low enough to for complete eradication, the only way to eliminate devastating damage from feral swine.
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: Josh Pierce

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

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

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

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