Wildlife Diversity Program

Boone, United States

Wildlife Diversity Program

Boone, United States
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Harms T.M.,Iowa State University | Murphy K.T.,Iowa State University | Lyu X.,Iowa State University | Patterson S.S.,Iowa State University | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Predicting species distributions has long been a valuable tool to plan and focus efforts for biodiversity conservation, particularly because such an approach allows researchers and managers to evaluate species distribution changes in response to various threats. Utilizing data from a long-term monitoring program and land cover data sets, we modeled the probability of occupancy and colonization for 38 bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the robust design occupancy modeling framework, and used results from the best models to predict occupancy and colonization on the Iowa landscape. Bird surveys were conducted at292 properties from April to October, 2006-2014. We calculated landscape habitat characteristics at multiple spatial scales surrounding each of our surveyed properties to be used in our models and then used kriging in ArcGIS to create predictive maps of species distributions. We validated models with data from 2013 using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Probability of occupancy ranged from 0.001 (SE < 0.001) to 0.995 (SE = 0.004) for all species and probability of colonization ranged from 0.001 (SE < 0.001) to 0.999 (SE < 0.001) for all species. AUC values for predictive models ranged from 0.525-0.924 for all species, with 17 species having predictive models considered useful (AUC > 0.70). The most important predictor for occupancy of grassland birds was percentage of the landscape in grassland habitat, and the most important predictor for woodland birds was percentage of the landscape in woodland habitat. This emphasizes the need for managers to restore specific habitats on the landscape. In an era during which funding continues to decrease for conservation agencies, our approach aids in determining where to focus limited resources to best conserve bird species of conservation concern. © 2017 Harms et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Meretsky V.J.,Indiana University Bloomington | Brack Jr. V.,Environmental Solutions and Innovations Inc. | Carter T.C.,Ball State University | Currie R.R.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

The size and distribution of measurement errors associated with major techniques for estimating numbers of hibernating bats are unstudied, although this is the principle method of enumerating several endangered bat species. However, decisions concerning the listing status of a species under the Endangered Species Act require consistent and accurate estimation of population size and trends. Recent advances in digital photography have improved the ability to produce a quantitative record of the numbers of bats in hibernacula. We surveyed clusters of Indiana bats in a hibernaculum and compared results from counts of digital photographs of clusters to results from 4 variations of visual estimation. We counted bats in photographs using Geographic Information System digitization over the photograph. Total counts from 2 sets of photographs varied by <1.5%. Nonphotographic estimation techniques varied from 76% to 142% of counts from photographs for clusters for which estimation (rather than counting) was used. Where feasible, photography can improve status and trend information for species of concern, permitting more timely and specific management actions. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.


Vogel J.A.,Iowa State University | Shepherd S.E.,Wildlife Diversity Program | Debinski D.M.,Iowa State University
American Midland Naturalist | Year: 2015

After translocation a female greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) traveled over 3988 km between 5 April 2013 and 20 June 2014. The bird traveled a mean distance of 21.5 km per day during the spring (median distance per day 22.2 km; range 0-115 km per day) moving through portions of four states. Nine other marked birds traveled a mean distance of 336 km and a mean distance per day of 7.5 km during the spring (median distance per day 4.6 km; range 0-92 km per day). This is the first record of movements of this magnitude by a greater prairie-chicken. This report highlights the use of recent advances in satellite/GPS telemetry methods for advancing our knowledge of wildlife movements. © 2015 American Midland Naturalist.


Harms T.M.,Iowa State University | Kinkead K.E.,Wildlife Diversity Program | Dinsmore S.J.,Iowa State University
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2014

Odonates contribute highly to global biodiversity and are considered good indicators of environmental quality, but they are under-studied and quantitative information on their habitat associations is lacking. Our objective was to examine the effects of landscape configuration on site occupancy and movement dynamics of four odonate species in Iowa: Tramea onusta, Epitheca princeps, Pantala flavescens, and Calopteryx maculata. We conducted standardized visual encounter surveys for odonates at 233 public properties in Iowa from 2007 to 2011 and computed landscape variables within a 200, 600 m, and 1 km radius of each surveyed site. Using a robust design occupancy model in Program MARK, we estimated detection probability and site occupancy, site extinction, and site colonization probabilities for each species. We found few significant effects of landscape variables on site occupancy, extinction, or colonization, although landscape variables at 600 m were included in the best model for all species. Detection probability (SE) ranged from 0.30 (0.04) for Pantala flavescens to 0.49 (0.04) for Calopteryx maculata. Our study provides information to aid habitat restoration and management efforts on sites having suitable characteristics in the surrounding landscape and ultimately help conserve odonates. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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