Baton Rouge, LA, United States
Baton Rouge, LA, United States

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Laborde L.P.,Louisiana State University | Rohwer F.C.,Delta Waterfowl Foundation | Kaller M.D.,Louisiana State University | Reynolds L.A.,000 Quail Drive
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2014

We surveyed random and convenience samples of Louisiana, USA, waterfowl hunters after the 2009-2010 season, and asked identical questions about waterfowl-hunting effort, success, satisfaction, regulatory alternatives, and demographics. We received 727 usable responses to our random mail survey, and 949 usable responses to an on-line web survey that was accessible to the general public. Compared with the random mail survey, respondents to the web survey hunted more frequently, harvested more waterfowl, and placed greater importance on waterfowl hunting. However, we noted similarities in attitudes toward regulatory alternatives across survey methods. Binary logistic regression of 13 variables measuring effort, success, satisfaction, and demographics accurately predicted the survey method of 75.5% of respondents. Similar analysis of 10 variables measuring attitudes toward regulatory alternatives categorized only 63.1% of the respondents into their correct survey mode, and failed to meet conservative standards for predictive accuracy. Polar reclassification of attitudinal responses into bichotomous categories led to identical managerial conclusions, irrespective of survey method. Based on our results, we believe responses from the random mail survey more accurately represent the demographics, effort, and success of Louisiana waterfowl hunters; however, the attitudes of respondents did not differ between random mail and convenience web samples, especially in regard to regulatory alternatives. The ease and low cost of web surveys are important advantages over traditional mail surveys. We suggest survey methodology be carefully linked to survey objectives, and that open web surveys may be used to supplement random surveys in investigations of stakeholder attitudes to inform development of natural resource policy. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.

Reid C.,000 Quail Drive | Lewis M.J.,Louisiana State University in Shreveport
Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas | Year: 2014

A plant collecting excursion by boat on a ca. 50 km stretch of the Red River straddling the Arkansas-Louisiana state line yielded several interesting botanical discoveries. The second record of Loeflingia squarrosa from Arkansas was documented. Collections of Dalea lanata and Heliotropium convolvulaceum were made from both states. These collections extend the ranges of these taxa several hundred river-km downstream on the Red River. Our collections of D. lanata and H. convolvulaceum in Louisiana represent the first records of these species for that state.

Reid C.S.,000 Quail Drive | Reid C.S.,Louisiana State University | Urbatsch L.,000 Quail Drive
Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas | Year: 2012

Thirteen significant vascular plant records are reported herein. Cyperus fuscus, Pantcum bergii, Polygala brevifolia, Rhynchospora inundata, Veronica beccabunga, and Xyris smalliana are confirmed as new state records. Four records are reported of Lipocarpha micrantha, which was previously regarded as historical in Louisiana. The second extant population of the federally-listed Schwalbea americana from Louisiana is documented. Recent specimens of Eleocharis engelmannii, Eragrostis barrelieri, Fimbristybs schoenoides, Panicum halhi var. filipes, and Schoenoplectus etuberculatus are regarded as noteworthy since there are few records of these taxa from Louisiana.

Schwacke L.H.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Smith C.R.,National Marine Mammal Foundation | Townsend F.I.,Bayside Hospital for Animals | Wells R.S.,C o Mote Marine Laboratory | And 14 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2014

The oil spill resulting from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform initiated immediate concern for marine wildlife, including common bottlenose dolphins in sensitive coastal habitats. To evaluate potential sublethal effects on dolphins, health assessments were conducted in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, an area that received heavy and prolonged oiling, and in a reference site, Sarasota Bay, Florida, where oil was not observed. Dolphins were temporarily captured, received a veterinary examination, and were then released. Dolphins sampled in Barataria Bay showed evidence of hypoadrenocorticism, consistent with adrenal toxicity as previously reported for laboratory mammals exposed to oil. Barataria Bay dolphins were 5 times more likely to have moderate-severe lung disease, generally characterized by significant alveolar interstitial syndrome, lung masses, and pulmonary consolidation. Of 29 dolphins evaluated from Barataria Bay, 48% were given a guarded or worse prognosis, and 17% were considered poor or grave, indicating that they were not expected to survive. Disease conditions in Barataria Bay dolphins were significantly greater in prevalence and severity than those in Sarasota Bay dolphins, as well as those previously reported in other wild dolphin populations. Many disease conditions observed in Barataria Bay dolphins are uncommon but consistent with petroleum hydrocarbon exposure and toxicity. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Hoffmayer E.R.,University of Southern Mississippi | Hoffmayer E.R.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Franks J.S.,University of Southern Mississippi | Driggers III W.B.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 3 more authors.
Marine Biology | Year: 2014

The dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) is the largest member of the genus Carcharhinus and inhabits coastal and pelagic ecosystems circumglobally in temperate, subtropical and tropical marine waters. In the western North Atlantic Ocean (WNA), dusky sharks are overfished and considered vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. As a result, retention of dusky sharks in commercial and recreational fisheries off the east coast of the United States (US) and in the northern Gulf of Mexico is prohibited. Despite the concerns regarding the status of dusky sharks in the WNA, little is known about their habitat utilization. During the summers of 2008-2009, pop-up satellite archival tags were attached to ten dusky sharks (one male, nine females) at a location where they have been observed to aggregate in the north central Gulf of Mexico southwest of the Mississippi River Delta to examine their movement patterns and habitat utilization. All tags successfully transmitted data with deployment durations ranging from 6 to 124 days. Tag data revealed shark movements in excess of 200 km from initial tagging locations, with sharks primarily utilizing offshore waters associated with the continental shelf edge from Desoto Canyon to the Texas/Mexican border. While most sharks remained in US waters, one individual moved from the northern Gulf of Mexico into the Bay of Campeche off the coast of Mexico. Sharks spent 87 % of their time between 20 and 125 m and 83 % of their time in waters between 23 and 30 °C. Since dusky sharks are among the most vulnerable shark species to fishing mortality, there is a recovery plan in place for US waters; however, since they have been shown to make long-distance migrations, a multi-national management plan within the WNA may be needed to ensure the successful recovery of this population. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA).

LaDouceur E.E.B.,Tufts University | Ernst J.,000 Quail Drive | Keel M.K.,University of Georgia
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2012

Multiple, nodular, pigmented masses protruding from the cornea and adjacent sclera of the left eye of a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were diagnosed as choristomas (dermoids). Microscopically, the masses contained well-differentiated skin, cartilage, and bone. This appears to be the first report of a corneoscleral choristoma in a cervid. © Wildlife Disease Association 2012.

Rosel P.E.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Wilcox L.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Monteiro C.,415 Darnall Rd | Tumlin M.C.,000 Quail Drive
Marine Biodiversity Records | Year: 2016

Background: The Antarctic minke whale, Balaenoptera bonaerensis, is a Southern Hemisphere species of balaenopterid whale generally found south of 60°S in austral summer. In the Atlantic Ocean, they migrate north during austral winter as far as approximately 7°S. On 05 February, 2013, a 7.7 m baleen whale was observed floating dead off of Iberia Parish, Louisiana, USA in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Results: Genetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences obtained from this animal determined that it was an Antarctic minke whale, Balaenoptera bonaerensis. Conclusion: This is the first record of an Antarctic minke whale in the Gulf of Mexico. © 2016 The Author(s).

Soniat T.M.,University of New Orleans | Cooper N.,University of New Orleans | Powell E.N.,University of Southern Mississippi | Klinck J.M.,Old Dominion University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Shellfish Research | Year: 2014

Sustainability of a fishery is traditionally and typically considered achieved if the exploited population does not decline in numbers or biomass over time as a result of fishing relative to biological reference point goals. Oysters, however, exhibit atypical population dynamics compared with many other commercial species. The population dynamics often display extreme natural interannual variation in numbers and biomass, and oysters create their own habitat-the reef itself. With the worldwide decline of oyster reef habitat and the oyster fisheries dependent thereon, the maintenance of shell has received renewed attention as essential to population sustainability. We apply a shell budget model to estimate the sustainable catch of oysters on public oyster grounds in Louisiana using no net shell loss as a sustainability reference point. Oyster density and size are obtained from an annual stock assessment. The model simulates oyster growth and mortality, and natural shell loss. Shell mass is increased when oysters die in place, and is diminished when oysters are removed by fishing. The shell budget model has practical applications, such as identifying areas for closure, determining total allowable catch, managing shell planting and reef restoration, and achieving product certification for sustainability. The determination of sustainable yield by shell budget modeling should be broadly applicable to the eastern oyster across its entire range.

Walter S.T.,University of Louisiana at Lafayette | Carloss M.R.,000 Quail Drive | Hess T.J.,Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge | Athrey G.,University of Louisiana at Lafayette | And 2 more authors.
Condor | Year: 2013

Interest in monitoring the population viability of the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) has recently risen in the context of the species' 2009 delisting as endangered, rapid degradation of nesting habitat, and recent oil spills. To assess the Brown Pelican's patterns of movement (across natal colony, nonnatal colony, and noncolony islands), age and sex structure, and survival probabilities, we banded 1177 chicks in Louisiana from 2007 to 2009. In band-resighting surveys within the Isles Dernieres archipelago from 2008 to 2010, we detected 92 of our banded birds. Neither age nor sex appeared to influence where we observed pelicans resting on beaches across the islands, and we found the highest proportions of pelicans at their natal island. Yet few observations of banded birds suggest either movement outside our study area or mortality. Conditions at colonies and proximity to other sites of loafing or colonies may in part explain the disparity in proportions of resightings of individuals banded on different islands. Finally, the apparent probability of survival of one-year-old pelicans was lower than that of two- and three-year olds. Insights into these trends in movement and survival of young Brown Pelicans can improve future management of colony sites. © 2013 by The Cooper Ornithological Society.

Walter S.T.,University of Louisiana at Lafayette | Walter S.T.,Tulane University | Carloss M.R.,000 Quail Drive | Hess T.J.,Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge | And 3 more authors.
Waterbirds | Year: 2013

Within the context of a limited number of Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) breeding sites, promoting new colonies can mitigate localized threats to regional populations. To assess the efficacy of short-distance (∼5 km) translocations and use of decoys to establish new colonies, and thereby increase statewide population viability, research was conducted within the Isles Dernieres archipelago, Louisiana. Translocations of 323 Brown Pelican chicks to an un-colonized island were performed from 2007 to 2009, and from 2008 to 2010, 108 Brown Pelican decoys were deployed on a separate island void of nesting. From 2008 to 2010 band re-sighting surveys detected only one transplanted Brown Pelican chick that returned to the release site. Further, < 1 % of translocated individuals were observed throughout the archipelago, compared to 5% and 9% of banded individuals encountered that fledged from nearby islands. Low detection of translocated Brown Pelicans may be due to translocation stress that can result in disorientation and social disorganization, which may promote increased roaming. At sites with decoys, no loafing or nesting Brown Pelicans were observed. Further, behavioral surveys suggest there was no difference in interest of passing Brown Pelicans to decoys compared to paired control survey areas without decoys. Despite past successes of translocations and decoys for establishing new colonies of Brown Pelicans and other waterbird species, Brown Pelican conservation may be best promoted via restoration and protection of current colony sites.

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