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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Documenting Marine Mammal Behavior And Evaluating The Benefits And Consequences Of Viewing Marine Mammals In Southcentral Alaska, Lauren E. Mccaslin Jul 2019

Documenting Marine Mammal Behavior And Evaluating The Benefits And Consequences Of Viewing Marine Mammals In Southcentral Alaska, Lauren E. Mccaslin

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Marine mammals are in a precarious conservation position because of anthropogenic impacts and historic perceptions that they are a consumable commodity. In light of changing abiotic conditions, further evaluation is needed on the habitat use, behavior, and interactions among marine mammals. Conservation legislation has helped protect species, but the greatest ground swelling may be the advent of the commercial whale watching industry. The feeding grounds in Alaskan waters have made this area a prime tourism location, and these nutrient-rich waters have resulted in a confluence of marine mammal species, including the appealing and abundant humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) that may ...


Tourism And African Elephant (Loxodonta Africana) Behavior In Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe, Brigit Rooney Jul 2019

Tourism And African Elephant (Loxodonta Africana) Behavior In Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe, Brigit Rooney

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

As charismatic megafauna and a flagship species, African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are vital to the African tourist economy. Conversely, high levels of wildlife tourism can induce behavioral shifts that push desired animals into less frequented areas and disrupt natural behaviors. In order to examine this trade-off, tourism levels and African elephant behaviors were studied in Zambezi National Park (ZNP) near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Over the course of 14 weeks, in-person observations and camera traps in ZNP were used to collect geographic, demographic, and behavioral data from elephant sightings. As a proxy for human presence, geo-locational data were collected for each ...


Investigations Of Biotremors In The Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo Calyptratus), Kathryn C. Laslie Jul 2018

Investigations Of Biotremors In The Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo Calyptratus), Kathryn C. Laslie

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

While substrate-borne vibrations are utilized by different reptile species, true conspecific communication via biotremors has not yet been demonstrated in reptiles. This study follows a preliminary report that the veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) could produce biotremors in communicative contexts. I tested chameleon behavioral sensitivity to vibrations by placing them on a dowel attached to a shaker emitting vibrations of 25, 50, 150, 300, and 600 Hz and then measured their changes in velocity before and after the stimulus. I then paired chameleons in various social contexts [anthropogenic disturbance (human disruption of animal); dominance (malemale; female-female C. calyptratus); courtship (male-female C ...


An Evaluation Of Deterrent Methods Utilized To Prevent Crop Raiding By African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) In The Kasigau Wildlife Corridor, Kenya, Rebecca Lynn Von Hagen Jul 2018

An Evaluation Of Deterrent Methods Utilized To Prevent Crop Raiding By African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) In The Kasigau Wildlife Corridor, Kenya, Rebecca Lynn Von Hagen

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Escalating human elephant conflict (HEC) continues to be a contributing factor

towards elephant decline, and crop raiding is the most common form of negative

human-elephant interactions. For communities that cannot reverse or prevent crop

raiding, it is necessary to contain HEC events through deterrent measures. Few

deterrent measures exist that combine practicality and affordability while also

preventing habituation by elephants. This project focused on comparing the efficacy of

deterrent methods to assess which was the most successful at preventing elephants

from entering crops in the farming community of Sasenyi, Kenya. In this paired-control

study, four deterrent methods were evaluated: acacia ...


The Effects Of Sulfuric Acid Deposition On The Growth And Development Of Pond Breeding Salamanders In The Genus Ambystoma, Kenneth J. Anderson Oct 2016

The Effects Of Sulfuric Acid Deposition On The Growth And Development Of Pond Breeding Salamanders In The Genus Ambystoma, Kenneth J. Anderson

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

In terrestrial habitats with a history of mining activity and previous or ongoing reclamation efforts, understanding the effects of acidification on the ecology of amphibians is an important part of the restoration process and the conservation of local amphibian populations. Pond-breeding amphibians spend much of their post metamorphic life history in direct contact with the soil in upland habitat adjacent to aquatic breeding sites. I reared recently metamorphosed marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum) to evaluate the role of soil acidity on determinants of fitness such as growth and survival. My results indicate that a substrate of pH 4 was lethal to ...


Global Phylogeny Of The Water Penny Beetles Using Both Molecular And Morphological Evidence (Co, Mathew Vincent Wood Apr 2016

Global Phylogeny Of The Water Penny Beetles Using Both Molecular And Morphological Evidence (Co, Mathew Vincent Wood

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The Psephenidae is a family of freshwater beetles usually found in swift streams worldwide. Their unique disc shaped and flattened larvae have made this a group of interest for scientists for centuries. Morphologically, this family has been relatively well researched, and systematically the family is fairly well known and supported as monophyletic. One issue with Psephenidae, and with many other insect groups, is the lack of the molecular phylogenetic analyses to test morphology hypothesizes.

After successfully sequencing these two genes from species representing nearly all of the known genera, the data were analyzed using both Bayesian and parsimony methods. Analyses ...


The Examination Of Enrichment Using Space And Food For African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) At The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Charlotte Hacker Oct 2015

The Examination Of Enrichment Using Space And Food For African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) At The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Charlotte Hacker

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Concern for elephant welfare in zoological facilities has prompted a number of exhibit and management modifications, including those involving enrichment. Knowledge of how these changes impact measures of health and wellbeing, such as elephant movement and behavior, is crucial as the effects of multiple enrichment types and their interactions are largely understudied. The present study used observations and GPS unit collected data to determine the effects of space and food on the walking distance and behavior of thirteen African elephants, whose dominance structure was ascertained by the handlers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (SDZSP). This facility has two ...


Habituation To Auditory Stimuli By Captive African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana), Sarah Elizabeth Goodyear May 2015

Habituation To Auditory Stimuli By Captive African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana), Sarah Elizabeth Goodyear

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Elephants are cognitive species that exhibit many types of learning. Associative, social, and insight learning have been investigated with elephants, but one of the simplest forms, habituation, has not. As an individual learns that a stimulus is neither harmful nor beneficial, it will decrease its response to the stimulus through the process of habituation. Elephants possess a well-developed sensory system and may habituate to stimuli that could be used for enrichment and/or management. The aim of this study was to examine the habituation process of elephants in response to repeated presentations of two auditory stimuli –buzzing by a disturbed ...


Level Of Uv-B Radiation Influences The Effects Of Glyphosate-Based Herbicide On Fitness Of The Spotted Salamander, Nicholas A. Levis May 2014

Level Of Uv-B Radiation Influences The Effects Of Glyphosate-Based Herbicide On Fitness Of The Spotted Salamander, Nicholas A. Levis

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Numerous causes have been implicated in contributing to amphibian population declines since the 1980's, with habitat modification, ultraviolet radiation (UV-B) and environmental contaminants (such as glyphosate-based herbicide) being among the most common. This study identifies the effects of a generic glyphosate-based herbicide (GLY- 4 Plus) on mortality, immune function, body condition, and morphological plasticity of larvae of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) under conditions that reflect open and closed canopy light regimes. Larval salamander responses to glyphosate-based herbicide varied depending on UV-B conditions. In general, it appears that an open canopy (i.e. greater UV-B exposure) may confer fitness ...


Landscape Genetics Of The Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma Opacum) At Mammoth Cave National Park, James Kyle Martin Dec 2013

Landscape Genetics Of The Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma Opacum) At Mammoth Cave National Park, James Kyle Martin

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Habitat connectivity is important to maintain in order to prevent loss of genetic diversity, reduce inbreeding depression, and decrease extinction risk in threatened or endangered species. Here I present a landscape genetics study on marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum) in highly connected forested habitat at Mammoth Cave National Park. This investigation of gene flow among ponds within a mostly continuous landscape provides data that can be compared with patterns observed in more fragmented landscapes. These comparisons can provide a means of investigating the separate effects of structural and functional habitat connectivity on amphibian genetic population structure. Structural connectivity refers to the ...


Novel Applications Of Multivariate Methods For Exploring Personality In African Elephants, Shilo Kimberly Felton Dec 2013

Novel Applications Of Multivariate Methods For Exploring Personality In African Elephants, Shilo Kimberly Felton

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Investigators have shown that elephants exhibit consistent individual differences in behavior by rating elephants using personality adjectives. These adjectives, however, are not based on pre-defined measurements of the behaviors performed. Instead, they are based on the observers’ interpretations of an animal’s behavioral patterns, therefore making them subject to observer bias. Furthermore, elephants have a capacity for learning; thus, they may alter their behavioral patterns over time. This behavioral plasticity in itself might be a way of measuring consistent behavioral differences among individuals. With this in mind, I approached elephant personality as a multivariate problem. I used behavioral observations collected ...