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Cumberland Hill, OH, United States

Ingold D.J.,Muskingum College | Dooley J.L.,Muskingum College | Cavender N.,Wilds
Northeastern Naturalist | Year: 2010

We monitored return rates of 324 color-banded Ammodramus savannarum (Grasshopper Sparrow), 138 Passerculus sandwichensis (Savannah Sparrow), and 49 Dolichonyx oryzivorus (Bobolink) on mowed and unmowed areas on a reclaimed surface mine during seven breeding seasons. We observed 61 returns among Grasshopper Sparrows, 40 returns among Savannah Sparrows, and 11 returns among Bobolinks. Grasshopper Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows returned to mowed and unmowed areas at about equal rates (21 vs. 18% and 26 vs. 31%, respectively), while Bobolinks returned to unmowed areas at a higher rate than mowed areas (28% vs. 17% respectively). When hatching-year birds were excluded, overall return rates increased slightly for Grasshopper Sparrows and Bobolinks (19 to 20% and 22 to 23%, respectively), but more substantially for Savannah Sparrows (from 29 to 36%). Sixteen of 51 returning Grasshopper Sparrows (31%), 12 of 27 Savannah Sparrows (44%), and 2 of 10 Bobolinks (20%) were observed during multiple years. These observations support previous findings that reclaimed surface mines provide suitable nesting habitat for these species. Early-season mowing did not appear to influence the return rates of Grasshopper Sparrows or Savannah Sparrows, although it may have influenced Bobolink returns. Source

Capiro J.M.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Capiro J.M.,George Mason University | Stoops M.A.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Freeman E.W.,George Mason University | And 2 more authors.
Zoo Biology | Year: 2014

The ex situ Indian rhino population experienced a decrease in genetic diversity indicating that the breeding program could possibly benefit from novel reproductive management strategies to ensure population sustainability. We sought to determine how management tools used for reproductive management, specifically translocation and operant conditioning, impact physiological and behavioral measures of welfare in Indian rhinos. First, an adrenocorticotropic hormone challenge performed in an adult male resulted in a 38-fold increase in urinary and a 3.5-fold increase in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM). Mean and peak FGM differed among three females, but all demonstrated elevated (P<0.0001) concentrations for variable durations after translocation that lasted up to 9 weeks. Lastly, behavioral and adrenal responses of two females to operant conditioning to stand during transrectal ultrasound exams were monitored and rhinos differed in their mean and peak FGM concentrations. However, FGM were not different before versus during training or on pasture versus in the barn. One female exhibited more stereotypic behavior during training in the barn than on pasture (P<0.05); although, stereotypies (1.73% of time) were relatively uncommon overall. In summary, individual variation exists in FGM both at baseline levels and in response to a stressor. In addition, while a transient rise in glucocorticoid activity post-translocation indicated that Indian rhinos have a physiological response to changes in their environment, minor alterations in daily routines using operant conditioning only resulted in minimal changes in behaviors and FGM. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc. Source

Vick M.M.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Wildt D.E.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Turner J.B.,Muskingum University | Palme R.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | And 2 more authors.
Stress | Year: 2012

This study investigated glucocorticoid (GC) responses to season and changes in enclosure size and human proximity in the Persian onager (Equus hemionus onager). Enzyme immunoassays were validated to measure GC metabolites in urine and feces (fGCM). Fecal samples were collected from 10 female onagers while in a large pasture, after transport to smaller yards (in greater proximity to people), and 2 months thereafter. Urine samples were collected for 1 year while females were in smaller yards to examine seasonal GC activity. Approximately, 2-fold increases (P < 0.05) were observed in fGCM levels after transport from pasture to yards with increased human exposure, followed by a rapid decline (within ∼17 days) to baseline (pasture) values. However, responses varied among onagers during the 30 days after translocation, with one female failing to acclimate. Mean fGCM concentrations in smaller yards 2 months after transport were comparable to those in pasture. Seasonal GC concentrations were lowest (P < 0.05) during winter, indicating modest seasonal variability. Results demonstrate an acute increase in GC secretion in Persian onagers that moved from large to small enclosures coincident with increased human activities. Most animals acclimated within 3 weeks, suggesting that this rare equid has retained mechanisms to acclimate to marked alterations in an ex situ environment. Source

Santas A.J.,Muskingum University | Persaud T.,Muskingum University | Wolfe B.A.,Wilds | Bauman J.M.,Wilds | Bauman J.M.,Miami University Ohio
International Journal of Zoology | Year: 2013

Traditional survey methods of aquatic organisms may be difficult, lengthy, and destructive to the habitat. Some methods are invasive and can be harmful to the target species. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) has proven to be effective at detecting low population density aquatic macroorganisms. This study refined the technique to support statewide surveys. Hellbender presence was identified by using hellbender specific primers (cytochrome b gene) to detect eDNA in water samples collected at rivers, streams and creeks in Ohio and Kentucky with historical accounts of the imperiled eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus a. alleganiensis). Two sampling protocols are described; both significantly reduced the amount of water required for collection from the previously described 6 L collection. Two-liter samples were adequate to detect hellbender presence in natural waterways where hellbenders have been previously surveyed in both Ohio and Kentucky - 1 L samples were not reliable. DNA extracted from 3 L of water collected onto multiple filters (1 L/filter) could be combined and concentrated through ethanol precipitation, supporting amplification of hellbender DNA and dramatically reducing the filtration time. This method improves the efficiency and welfare implications of sampling methods for reclusive aquatic species of low population density for statewide surveys that involve collecting from multiple watersheds. © 2013 Amy J. Santas et al. Source

Byrd S.M.,Wilds | Cavender N.D.,Science and Conservation | Peugh C.M.,Wilds | Bauman J.M.,Wilds
29th Annual National Conference of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation 2012, ASMR 2012 | Year: 2012

Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) was planted during the reclamation process to reduce erosion and improve nitrogen content of the soil. However, since its establishment, E. umbellata has spread prolifically and control measures are difficult. The primary objective of this case study was to evaluate the effectiveness of various control methods on eradication of E. umbellata in varying degrees of infestation. A two-phase case study was conducted at The Wilds conservation center in Cumberland, OH. Phase 1 began in 2007-2008 to evaluate three treatments in areas with moderate cover (15-30%) of E. umbellata: mechanical removal, foliar herbicide and dormant stem herbicide. Nine 200m 2 study plots were established with three replications of each treatment. Effectiveness of each treatment was evaluated in 2009 through tracking 225 individual shrubs. The foliar herbicide controlled 98% of E. umbellata; dormant stem herbicide achieved 71% and the mechanical treatment controlled only 15%. Statistical comparisons indicated the foliar and dormant stem herbicides were more effective (P = 0.0008) than mechanical removal. This suggests that foliar applications can be a reliable tool for control of E. umbellata in areas with a 15-30% density level. Based on these findings, phase 2 of this study was initiated in 2010 to evaluate removal techniques in dense shrub infestations (95-100%). Treatments included a combination of mechanical clearing then a chemical treatment of stumps to reduce re-sprouts. The fracture treatment was most effective during the second phase (63%) when compared to the cut-stump (46%) mechanical treatment (P = 0.004). Results demonstrate that a combined mechanical-chemical approach is efficient in dense infestations. Mechanical land clearing through fracture and re-sprout treatment appeared to be most effective in E. umbellata control and the most cost effective in dense cover; however replicated studies are needed to provide conclusive information about the fracture re-sprout treatment. Source

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