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2016 Poster Abstracts
The following poster abstracts are from the 2016 conference.
Posters are organized by topic, in 4 categories: Please note: poster abstracts are subject to change (as of January 21, 2016); please check back for updates.
Human Dimensions, Outreach, Public Engagement
Climate Change Implications On Rural Land Management and The Associated Vegetation and Bird Communities
Topic: General - Human Dimensions, Outreach, Public Engagement
Authors: Wesley Buchheit*, Charles Nilon, Robert Pierce – University of Missouri-Columbia
Student or Professional: Student
Abstract: Changes in climate are likely to result in changes in land management and have the potential to affect bird populations. As part of the Missouri EPSCoR project we are studying the relationship between birds and bird habitats and landowner attitudes towards changing land management practices as a result of climate change. Our study is in Scott County, MO, an agriculturally dominated landscape interspersed with small communities. In this poster we present the result of the first year of our study. We conducted bird counts and vegetation / habitat surveys at 46 points in Scott County and sent a mail survey to landowners to determine their views on their current land management practices. The results will illustrate how land management decisions are made and how land-use affects the biotic community in these locations.
Tags: Avian, Climate, Habitat, Human Dimensions, Management
Michigan Hunter Education Instructors’ Attitudes, Beliefs, and Knowledge Toward Environmental and Ecological Systems
Topic: General - Human Dimensions, Outreach, Public Engagement
Authors: Michael W. Everett*, Michigan State University; Matt R. Raven, Michigan State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Societal and management pressures of the 21st century are pressing natural resource departments to adapt to ensure the long-term viability of wildlife and wildlife management for future populations. Michigan’s abundant natural resource base positions wildlife management to be a major contributor to the economic revival of the state and remains a critical part of the states economy, tourism industry, and culture. Michigan has gained an elite reputation as a national leader for abundant hunting opportunities. While the necessary skill-sets and knowledge are changing for new hunters, little research exists on Michigan Hunter Education Instructors and their beliefs and knowledge about the environment and ecosystems as it relates to educating future hunters. The purpose of this study was to establish baseline attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge of environmental and ecological paradigms among a subset of Michigan Hunter Education (MHE) instructors. A census of 2015 Michigan Hunter Education Instructor Academy attendees was conducted. The average age of the respondents (N = 51) for this study was 51.8 (SD – 15.3). The average age of males in this study was 53.4 (SD – 15.1), whereas the average age of female respondents was 42.0 (SD – 13.8). Of the 51 respondents, 13.7% of the population was female. The survey measured demographics and MHE instructor ecological paradigm as defined by the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) at the 2015 Michigan Hunter Education Academy. Overall, MHE instructors held an anthropocentric worldview with a mean NEP score of 49.1 (SD – 15.3) with females having a slightly higher NEP score (M = 50.6, SD – 15.9) than their male counterparts (M = 48.9, SD = 10.2). Strong correlations existed between MHE instructor NEP scores and Scale Items including: 1) Reality of limits to growth (r = .726); 2) Possibility of eco-crisis (r = .737); and 3) Fragility of nature’s balance (r = .725).
Tags: Human Dimensions, Hunting, Management
The Use of Propidium Monoazide and Qpcr To Differentiate Live and Dead E. Coli Cells On Beaches
Topic: General - Human Dimensions, Outreach, Public Engagement
Authors: Benjamin Giffin, GVSU; Charlyn Partridge, GVSU
Student or Professional: Student
Abstract: To prevent illness, public health departments regularly test public beaches for high levels of E. coli and other bacteria. Current testing methods utilize culturing techniques, where bacteria are grown in a lab, which takes at least 24 hours. However, this means that detection of high bacterial levels will have occurred after individuals have been exposed and, thus, a more rapid test is desirable. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) offers a rapid method for quantifying the amount of Eschericha coli DNA on beaches. However, what q-PCR offers in rapidity, it lacks in accuracy. This is due to the fact that q-PCR will detect and quantify the DNA, even after E. coli cells are no longer viable. Thus a new method must be developed to differentiate viable and non-viable cells during qPCR analysis. One method that has been used to examine viable verses non-viable E. coli cells is the addition of propidium monoazide (PMA) prior to qPCR analysis. PMA can enter dead cells through damaged membranes, but not live cells, and bind to the DNA preventing amplification during qPCR analysis. In this study we will examine the efficacy of PMA treatment for cells that have been killed with (1) UV light, (2) heating, and (3) chlorine. This is the first step to evaluate whether this method can be utilized to quantify the presence of live bacteria of environmental samples from various beaches and pools in the Muskegon county region. Keeping our beaches safe for recreational purposes is of great importance. Utilizing rapid tests for E. coli ensures that beach warnings can be put in place within a reasonable time frame to significantly lower public exposure and the likelihood of illness.
Tags: Human Dimensions, Genetics, Diseases/Parasites
(CANCELLED) Citizen Science and Swift Foxes: Engaging Students and Landowners in Rare Species Conservation
Topic: General - Human Dimensions, Outreach, Public Engagement
Authors: Michelle L. Lute*, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unityl; Lucia Corral, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jenny M. Dauer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Joseph J. Fontaine, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Citizen Reporting of Wildlife Disease Outbreaks
Topic: General - Human Dimensions, Outreach, Public Engagement
Authors: Caitlin N. Ott-Conn*, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Tyler R. Petroelje, Mississippi State University; Thomas M. Cooley, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Julie R. Melotti, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: We analyzed the Michigan Department of Natural Resource (DNR) Online Diseased Wildlife Reporting database of sick or dead wildlife observations submitted by the public to estimate disease rates found in publicly submitted cases. Public submissions between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2015 totaled 3,867. We linked 15 carcasses, submitted for examination between August 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015, to an online public submission. During this same study period, the DNR wildlife division published 537 press releases, of which 10 described wildlife diseases. We found a strong negative correlation between days since press release and number of online submissions (P< 0.01) and confirmed 27% of the publicly submitted carcasses to have one of the diseases mentioned in the press releases indicating that press releases increase public awareness of wildlife disease issues. Continued work with citizen reporting may help to identify wildlife disease outbreaks earlier. Public education of wildlife diseases can increase public submissions of diseased wildlife, as seen with increases in reporting following a division press release on disease. Using public submissions and public education about wildlife disease, state agencies can conduct a broader and more intensive survey than is manageable by employees alone.
Tags: Diseases/Parasites, Human Dimensions, Outreach/Communication
An Information Exchange For Wildlife in Fire-Dependent Ecosystems of The Northern Lake States
Topic: General - Human Dimensions, Outreach, Public Engagement
Authors: Shelby A. Weiss*, The Ohio State University; R. Gregory Corace, III, Seney National Wildlife Refuge; Lindsey M. Shartell, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Dawn S. Marsh, Seney National Wildlife Refuge; Eric L. Toman, The Ohio State University
Student or Professional: Student
Abstract: In the northern Lake States, a recent gap analysis of peer-reviewed literature has shown that our knowledge of the interactions among disturbances, vegetation, and wildlife in fire-dependent ecosystems is generally lacking. Some wildlife species may themselves be considered fire-dependent if their regional distribution and abundances were historically (or are currently) linked with fire-dependent ecosystems. Starting in 2013, the Lake States Fire Science Consortium (LSFSC) began an effort to identify what wildlife species should be considered fire-dependent. Our working list of 70 species includes 40 bird, 15 mammal, and 15 reptile species associated with 20 fire-dependent ecosystem types in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. To investigate how these species are prioritized for management in the region, their conservation status, game status, and other designations were noted. Additionally, how they and their habitats were addressed in state wildlife action plans was evaluated. We present some of these results and maps showing diversity across space and ownership types for the different taxa. Despite their reliance on fire-dependent ecosystems, our findings suggest that few wildlife species or their primary associated ecosystem types are thought of by wildlife professionals as being fire-dependent, presenting a challenge for future management. Our ongoing efforts will continue to integrate awareness, comprehension, and commitment as it pertains to our fire-dependent wildlife communities in the northern Lake States.
Tags: Forest, Human Dimensions, Landscape Ecology, Outreach/Communication, Threatened and Endangered Species
Wildlife Conservation Strategies in Aser Region Southwestern Saudi Arabia
Topic: General - Wildlife
Authors: Dr. Abdulaziz R Al-Qahtani, University of Bisha (UOB)
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: In 1978, Saudi Arabia had begun setting aside land for protection of natural habitats, flora, and /or fauna. Currently, the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD) manages more than 15 protected areas, that encompass more than 90,000 square kilometers. In the southwestern part of the Kingdome, highlands reach about 3,000 m and include parts of the Asir Mountains which tilts from west to east. In west, a steep escarpment drops to the Tehama plain on the Red Sea Coast together with a less slope towards the internal plains of east and north of Aser region. The southwestern ecoregion supports a huge number of species. It was described by many researchers as a noteworthy for their floristic richness and diversity. This ecoregion, together with Tehama plains, is home to the majority of southwest Arabian endemic species. This presentation spots the light on the most comprehensive plans applied in Asir region, southwestern of Saudi Arabia to protect the wildlife, maintain the protected areas, and guarantee the suitable use of the existing resources.
Tags: Amphibian/Reptile, Habitat, Ecology, Wildlife Techniques, Threatened and Endangered Species
Updating The National Wetland Inventory For Minnesota
Topic: General - Wildlife
Authors: Kristin Bahleda*, Robb Macleod – Ducks Unlimited
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) is a fish and wildlife program started in the 1970s to inventory and map all wetlands, primarily for scientific purposes. Ducks Unlimited has been working on the inventory since 2005 in the Great Lakes Region. They have worked on NWI data for the states of MI., IN., OH., and IL. Ducks Unlimited is currently working on data for the state of MN. Updating the data allows for the tracking of converted and active wetlands and will continue to be helpful for the future in determining an accurate representation of wetland location and conservation planning.
Tags: Wetland, Habitat, Landscape Ecology, Ecology
Restoring The Calumet Region's Wetlands For Marsh Birds
Topic: General - Wildlife
Authors: Nathaniel Miller, Caleb Putnam, Thomas Barnes – Audubon Chicago Region; Gary Sullivan, The Wetlands Initiative; Byron Tsang, Chicago Park District
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Calumet Region, which is the historic watershed of the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers in Northwest Indiana and Northeast Illinois, has seen heavy anthropogenic disturbance through industrialization, sand mining, agriculture, and hydrologic engineering. The fragmented, highly degraded patches left behind are a stark contrast to the once rich wetland complex that as recently as 20 years ago supported hundreds of pairs of nesting marsh birds. This poster will display how and why Audubon Chicago Region (ACR) have organized a project working group consisting of The Field Museum, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and The Wetlands Initiative in order to improve habitat for viable populations of threatened breeding birds and the overall quality of the Calumet wetland system. Despite the challenges the Calumet region has faced, its remnant preserves contain the original ridge and swale topography, and smaller constructed lakes and remnants of the two larger lakes still harbor some of the most unique plant and animal communities in northeastern Illinois. Over the last 10 years however, changes to the hydrology and habitat condition have led to a decline in suitable habitat for marsh dependent bird species. Through a comprehensive assessment of the spatial distribution and size of habitat remnants, and by determining the suitability and sustainability of wetland habitat across the region, ACR is creating a practical decision tool that will assist landowners in focusing resources and attention to these critically imperiled habitats, particularly with the goal of informing restoration of hemi-marsh habitat for species of concern, and answering key management questions for these birds that can sustain their populations into the future.
Tags: Avian, Exotic/Invasive Species, Great Lakes, Wetland, Restoration/Enhancement
Work Smarter, Not Harder: Comparison of Visual and Supplemental Survey Methods for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
Topic: General - Wildlife
Authors: Jeffrey F. Bartman*, Nathan Kudla, Danielle Bradke, Jennifer A. Moore – Grand Valley State University
Student or Professional: Student
Abstract: Monitoring programs of rare and endangered species are of greatest conservation need. Herpetofuana are a taxa characterized by low detection rates and require the best survey methods for effective monitoring. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake is declining in every state or province that it is found and would benefit from better survey techniques. In the past, studies concerned with population demography have relied on intensive visual mark-recapture survey methods. Other common snake capture techniques have seen little use in eastern massasauga rattlesnake population studies. We explored the effectiveness of using artificial cover objects and funnel traps in supplementing visual survey methods. Funnel traps were about 3 times as efficient as visual surveys (p = 0.0009), and when capturing only males were about 4 times as efficient (p = 0.0036). Wooden coverboards were about twice as efficient as visual surveys when capturing females (p = 0.0286). In addition to massasauga surveys: carpets, coverboards, and funnel traps were more efficient at assessing the diversity of a site (p = 0.0019, 0.0011, 0.0002 respectively). We suggest the use of these supplemental tec