Wildlife and Heritage Service

Bryans Road, MD, United States

Wildlife and Heritage Service

Bryans Road, MD, United States
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Wilkins K.A.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Malecki R.A.,Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy | Sullivan P.J.,Cornell University | Fuller J.C.,North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission | And 3 more authors.
Wildfowl | Year: 2010

The Eastern Population (EP) of Tundra Swans Cygnus columbianus columbianus breeds from the Alaskan North Slope to eastern Hudson Bay in Canada and winters in the eastern United States. Breeding and migration habitats have been difficult to identify because of the species' vast and remote breeding range and its long-distance migration. A total of 43 female EP Tundra Swans were caught in Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia and marked with satellite transmitters to follow annual movements, delineate migration routes and determine Bird Conservation Region (BCR) use for EP Tundra Swans from November 2000-March 2002. Marked EP Tundra Swans spent approximately 3.5 months on breeding areas, 3.5 months on wintering areas and 5 months on staging areas, highlighting the importance of migratory habitats to these birds. Marked birds used 15 different ecologically distinct BCRs throughout the year: 10 during the spring, 11 during the autumn, four during the summer and six during the winter. The most important of these were the Prairie Potholes, Boreal Taiga Plains and Prairie Hardwood Transition during both spring and autumn; the Arctic Plains and Mountains during the summer; and the Mid-Atlantic coast during the winter. Fifty-five spring migration routes and 28 autumn routes used by marked birds were mapped. Seven sites were identified as being key migration staging areas that should be enhanced through habitat protection and management planning. © Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

Wilkins K.A.,Cornell University | Wilkins K.A.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Malecki R.A.,Cornell University | Sullivan P.J.,Cornell University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

Our objective was to determine whether there were subpopulations within the eastern population of tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) wintering along the mid-Atlantic coast. Movement rates between regions were substantial enough to result in continual mixing of wintering birds. Thus, we were unable to identify distinct subpopulations based on exclusive use of specific wintering areas. These birds should therefore be monitored, and their harvest managed, as if they were one population. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.

Smith W.B.,Salisbury University | Frye C.T.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Veliz E.,Salisbury University | Hiebler S.,Salisbury University | And 2 more authors.
Northeastern Naturalist | Year: 2015

Riparian landscapes are dynamic systems and exhibit considerable spatio-temporal variation in stream flow and physical composition of stream substrates that provide habitats for many species. We investigated genetic diversity and population genetic structure of Harperella nodosa (Harperalla; Apiaceae), a federally endangered semi-aquatic plant. We employed a unique study design that involved sampling at regional, stream, and fine scales in 3 riverine systems in Maryland and West Virginia. Using intersimple sequence repeats (ISSRs), we found high levels of genetic diversity at all scales and pronounced fine-scale genetic structure. Pairwise correlation between geographic and genetic distance was scale-dependent. This study illustrates that temporal monitoring and multiple-scale plans are essential for conservation management programs for Harperella.

Frye C.T.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Tessel S.M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Castanea | Year: 2012

Harperella (Ptilimnium nodosum) is a federally endangered plant species with a large population along Sideling Hill Creek, Allegany and Washington Counties, Maryland. Monitoring of this species is difficult owing to the unpredictable flood events that change the distribution and composition of stream substrates of its rocky shoal habitat. We characterized substrate types in 80 quadrats using two methods of nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS and MDS). We employed multiple-response permutation procedure (MRPP) to examine differences in substrate composition between habitats occupied (N = 52) and unoccupied (N = 28) by Harperella. The NMS and MDS ordinations show that Harperella cover and amount of fine sediments are positively associated. Harperella occupies specific microhabitat with high cover of fine sediments, often held in crevices of exposed bedrock. The MRPP results demonstrated that substrate composition in occupied versus unoccupied habitats differ significantly. This difference is chiefly attributable to cover of fine sediments in occupied habitats and cobble, gravel, and sand in unoccupied habitats. We conclude that the local distribution and abundance of Harperella patches in Sideling Hill Creek is constrained by the abundance of appropriate substrate microhabitat in any given year and recommend that annual census be modified to focus on large persistent patches. © 2012 Southern Appalachian Botanical Society.

Richards-Dimitrie T.,Towson University | Gresens S.E.,Towson University | Smith S.A.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Seigel R.A.,Towson University
Copeia | Year: 2013

Alterations of flow regimen, pollution, and introductions of exotic species have significantly altered the composition of invertebrates in many river systems throughout the world. How these alterations affect the diet of higher level predators is not well understood. We studied the diet of the Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica) in the dam-regulated Susquehanna River in north-central Maryland. Northern Map Turtles are a relatively large, top-order predator that is legally endangered in the state and is impacted by commercial collecting elsewhere. Gastropods, trichopteran larvae, and invasive Corbicula sp. predominated across diet samples. Marked sexual and size-related differences occurred. Adult male G. geographica fed primarily on a group of small gastropod species (Planorbidae, Hydrobiidae, Physidae), trichopterans, and Corbicula, while adult females fed primarily on pleurocerid snails. There was virtually no overlap in the diets of the two sexes of G. geographica. This is of special conservation concern because two different groups of prey are needed in order to support this population of Northern Map Turtles, and many North American pleurocerid gastropod species are highly endangered and also threatened by hydroelectric activity. Our results are consistent with reports of other Map Turtle populations before the invasion of Zebra Mussels (Dreissena sp.), which often result in a sharp change in diet. Zebra Mussels have already been documented immediately upstream of our study site, so impacts from this invasive species may become apparent in the near future. © 2013 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

Research of the morphologic variation within Juncus (Juncaceae) sect. Ozophyllum has revealed the need for a new combination, Juncus fascinatus. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses show that J. fascinatus is morphologically distinct from J. validus. Juncus fascinatus is described, illustrated, and compared to the superficially similar species J. paludosus, J. polycephalos, and J. validus. Juncus fascinatus is endemic to 25 counties in north-central and southeastern Texas whereas J. validus is more widespread and weedy. Juncus fascinatus is distinguished from J. validus by a united capsule apex at dehiscence, capsule length, inner and outer tepal length, length by which the capsule exceeds the tepals, and inflorescence length and width. Juncus validus is ecologically distinct from J. fascinatus and has shown a rapid range expansion throughout the southeastern United States and into the Mid-atlantic. Juncus validus is most likely non-native west of the Mississippi River. The morphologically similar J. paludosus is reported from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and South Carolina for the first time. Juncus polycephalos is reported from Kansas. © 2014 Magnolia Press.

Hindman L.J.,Wildlife and Heritage Service
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2015

Egg carrying by female ducks has been reported for several species around the world. The first record of a male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) carrying an egg herein is reported. This is only the second documented account of a male of any waterfowl species carrying an egg or eggshell. © 2015 The Wilson Ornithological Society.

Bronson E.,Maryland Zoo in Baltimore | Spiker H.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Driscoll C.P.,Cooperative Oxford Laboratory
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2014

American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA, live in forested areas in close proximity to humans and their domestic pets. From 1999 to 2011, we collected 84 serum samples from 63 black bears (18 males; 45 females) in five Maryland counties and tested them for exposure to infectious, including zoonotic, pathogens. A large portion of the bears had antibody to canine distemper virus and Toxoplasma gondii, many at high titers. Prevalences of antibodies to zoonotic agents such as rabies virus and to infectious agents of carnivores including canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus were lower. Bears also had antibodies to vector-borne pathogens common to bears and humans such as West Nile virus, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Antibodies were detected to Leptospira interrogans serovars Pomona, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, and Bratislava. We did not detect antibodies to Brucella canis or Ehrlichia canis. Although this population of Maryland black bears demonstrated exposure to multiple pathogens of concern for humans and domesticated animals, the low levels of clinical disease in this and other free-ranging black bear populations indicate the black bear is likely a spillover host for the majority of pathogens studied. Nevertheless, bear populations living at the human–domestic-wildlife interface with increasing human and domestic animal exposure should continue to be monitored because this population likely serves as a useful sentinel of ecosystem health. © Wildlife Disease Association 2014.

Knapp W.M.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Wiegand R.,Wildlife and Heritage Service
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2014

A 41-year study (1968-2008) of the orchids of the Catoctin Mountains, Frederick County, Maryland reveals that 19 of 21 species have experienced precipitous declines. Four of these species are currently considered Threatened or Endangered by the State of Maryland and another two are considered Rare. Annual census data at 167 sites from throughout the Catoctin Mountains on protected and unprotected lands (private and public) show a loss of three species from the study area, a decline of >90 % (ranging from 99 to 91 %) in seven species, and a decline of <90 % (ranging from 51 to 87 %) for nine species. Each species was analyzed using Ordinary Least Squares Analysis to show trends and document corresponding R2 and p values. We tested the hypothesis that this decline is due to intensified herbivory by white-tailed deer. The overall orchid census data is significantly inversely-correlated (R = -0.93) to the white-tailed deer harvest data of Frederick County (a surrogate for population size), which includes the entirety of the study area. Platanthera ciliaris showed a huge expansion at a single site explicitly managed for this species otherwise this orchid showed a decline similar to the other species. Proper management is critical for the continuation of the orchid species in this study, be it control of the white-tailed deer herd or combating woody plant succession in the case of P. ciliaris. © 2014 The Author(s).

Naczi R.F.C.,New York Botanical Garden | Knapp W.M.,Wildlife and Heritage Service | Thomas W.W.,New York Botanical Garden
Kew Bulletin | Year: 2012

Summary: The new species, Rhynchospora marliniana Naczi, W. M. Knapp & W. W. Thomas, is described, illustrated, and compared with morphologically similar species. Images are provided of its habitats, which are sunny, wet, and nutrient-poor savannas, pinelands, and streamsides in Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the southeastern USA. It is unique in Rhynchospora sect. Plumosae by having perianth bristles that are plumose only at their bases and have a smooth zone between the plumose and minutely denticulate zones. Additional diagnostic characters are dark brown proximal leaf sheaths and perianth bristles that exceed the tubercle. Rhynchospora marliniana survives burning, and quickly initiates both vegetative and reproductive growth after fire. © 2012 The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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