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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Population Viability And Connectivity Of The Federally Threatened Eastern Indigo Snake In Central Peninsular Florida, Javan Bauder Mar 2019

Population Viability And Connectivity Of The Federally Threatened Eastern Indigo Snake In Central Peninsular Florida, Javan Bauder

Doctoral Dissertations

Understanding the factors influencing the likelihood of persistence of real-world populations requires both an accurate understanding of the traits and behaviors of individuals within those populations (e.g., movement, habitat selection, survival, fecundity, dispersal) but also an understanding of how those traits and behaviors are influenced by landscape features. The federally threatened eastern indigo snake (EIS, Drymarchon couperi) has declined throughout its range primarily due to anthropogenically-induced habitat loss and fragmentation making spatially-explicit assessments of population viability and connectivity essential for understanding its current status and directing future conservation efforts.

The primary goal of my dissertation was to understand how ...


A Mixed-Methods Study On Female Landowner Estate Planning Objectives, Rebekah Zimmerer Jul 2017

A Mixed-Methods Study On Female Landowner Estate Planning Objectives, Rebekah Zimmerer

Masters Theses

The majority of the forested land in New England is owned by private landowners, a large number of whom are at or above retirement age. In the coming decades these landowners are going to be making decisions about what happens to their land once they no longer own it. Female landowners specifically play a critical role in the long-term planning and decision-making process. Women generally have a longer life expectancy than men and assess their level of confidence and financial stability in ways that differ from men. This difference in perception influences the decisions they make about their land. Despite ...


Distribution And Population Dynamics Of Ungulates In The Mongolian Gobi, Buuveibaatar Bayarbaatar Dr Nov 2016

Distribution And Population Dynamics Of Ungulates In The Mongolian Gobi, Buuveibaatar Bayarbaatar Dr

Doctoral Dissertations

The Mongolian Gobi is one of the most spectacular and important regions in Central Asia, comprising the largest area of intact grassland in the world. In recent years, a growing human population, expanding exploitation of natural resources, and the development of infrastructure in the region place increasing pressure on these species and their habitats. This dissertation has focused on three species of ungulates such as Mongolian saiga (Saiga tatarica mongolica) in western Mongolia, and Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus), and goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) in Southern Gobi. The study on endangered saiga antelope in western Mongolia found that the calving ...


Factors Affecting Habitat Quality For Wintering Wood Thrushes In A Coffee Growing Region In Honduras, Brett A. Bailey Nov 2016

Factors Affecting Habitat Quality For Wintering Wood Thrushes In A Coffee Growing Region In Honduras, Brett A. Bailey

Masters Theses

Amongst the diversity of taxa that occur in the Neotropics, 200 migratory bird species that breed in temperate North America can be found. Many of these populations have seen significant declines since the 1960s. The Wood Thrush, Hylocichla mustelina, is one such species. Shade coffee and other agroforestry practices show potential for benefiting migratory species, but the quality of coffee habitat and optimal habitat characteristics for Wood Thrushes remain unknown.

I surveyed a spatially complex, agricultural landscape in Honduras outside the recognized winter range of the Wood Thrush and radio-tagged 46 individuals within rustic coffee farms during the winters of ...


The Ecology And Conservation Of The Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus Holbrookii) In The Province Lands Of Cape Cod National Seashore, U.S.A., Brad Timm May 2013

The Ecology And Conservation Of The Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus Holbrookii) In The Province Lands Of Cape Cod National Seashore, U.S.A., Brad Timm

Open Access Dissertations

The eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii) is an ephemeral wetland breeding amphibian that ranges from southern Florida north and westward to southeastern Missouri and northward along the Atlantic coastal plain to Massachusetts. This species is listed as either "threatened" or "endangered" in the four states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island) in the northeastern United States where it is known to exist. Population declines and extirpations throughout the region over the past century have been documented and are largely believed to be the result of habitat loss and/or alteration.

Very limited empirical results exist on many life history attributes ...


Seasonal Home Range Sizes, Transboundary Movements And Conservation Of Elephants In Northern Tanzania, Alfred P. Kikoti Sep 2009

Seasonal Home Range Sizes, Transboundary Movements And Conservation Of Elephants In Northern Tanzania, Alfred P. Kikoti

Open Access Dissertations

Although the unprotected lands of northern Tanzania support large numbers of elephants, and provide critical linkages for wildlife movements across the region, there is little information on the dispersal patterns of elephants in these unprotected lands. Our home range measures (100% MCP) of 21 elephants with satellite collars in four study regions were highly variable (191 to 3,698 km2). Home range sizes (95% fixed kernel) of bulls were typically larger than those of females, and wet season ranges were typically larger than dry season ranges. There were large differences in average home range sizes reflected varying strategies for obtaining ...


Spatial Ecology, Population Structure, And Conservation Of The Wood Turtle, Glyptemys Insculpta, In Central New England, Michael T. Jones May 2009

Spatial Ecology, Population Structure, And Conservation Of The Wood Turtle, Glyptemys Insculpta, In Central New England, Michael T. Jones

Open Access Dissertations

Abstract (Summary) Wood turtles ( Glyptemys insculpta ) are of conservation interest rangewide. Anecdotal accounts demonstrate that some populations have been decimated since 1850, and recent studies demonstrate that declines are still underway. From 2004-2008 I investigated the ecology of wood turtles in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I obtained between one and five years of annual home range data for 150 turtles, and evaluated population structure at 31 sites in five major watersheds. Seasonal floods displaced 7% of wood turtles annually in one watershed, and accounted for elevated mortality. Twelve wood turtles were displaced < 16.8 km, and two were displaced over a 65-foot dam. Several turtles overwintered at their displacement site and two returned successfully, indicating that floods are a mechanism of population connectivity. Several homing turtles ended up in new areas. Turtles occupied stream segments with gradient < 1%, lower than generally available. Agricultural machinery accounted for most observed mortality, followed by automobiles and mammals. Female turtles exhibit smaller home ranges in agricultural areas. Older turtles move farther from the river than do young turtles, possibly reflecting their familiarity with a former landscape. Population density ranged from 0-40.4 turtles/river-kilometer. The highest densities occur in central New Hampshire and lower densities occur in the Housatonic watershed. Population density is negatively correlated with agriculture at both riparian and watershed scales, and responds unimodally to forest cover. Wood turtle populations in western Massachusetts are declining by 6.6-11.2% annually. I estimated ages of turtles by assessing shell-wear rates from photographs. Wood turtles regularly achieve ages over 80 years, and like related species, do not exhibit clear signs of senescence. Old wood turtles are reproductively dominant, and their survival rates are twice as high as young turtles. Carapace scutes appear to require 80 years to become worn. Population modeling indicates that wood turtle populations are declining in New England due to anthropogenic and natural factors. Conservation efforts must address the effects of agriculture on adult survival. Climate change may negatively affect northeastern wood turtles through increased flooding. Populations in mountainous areas may be likely candidates for conservation because they don't occupy prime agricultural land, but may be more susceptible to floods.