Fisher (Pekania pennanti) occupy northern forests, ranging coast-to-coast across North America. Their populations are rebounding in some areas (e.g, southern portions of their historic range), while others are showing long-term decline. Our team is investigating population vital rates and factors limiting fisher across NY State to inform effective conservation actions.
Collaborators: NY DEC furbearer management team
Graduate student: Stephanie Cunningham
Photo credit: Tim Watson
Ingestion of anticoagulant rodenticides is alarmingly widespread among our forest carnivores. Our team is investigating the degree to which AR toxicity may lead to reductions in productivity, survival, or population growth for a suite of native meso-carnivores across northeastern US forests.
Collaborators: Aaron Facka (PA Game Commission), Scott Smith (NY DEC), Lisa Murphy and Julie Ellis (Penn Vet), Beth Buckles and Krysten Schuler (Cornell Wildlife Health Lab), and David Needle (New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory)
Graduate student: Georgianna Silveira (starting fall 2021)
Photo credit: Tim Pyszczynski (NYS DEC)
Having recolonized the Adirondack Park in recent decades, moose now face a warming climate that threatens their continued persistence along their southern range margin. Our team is assessing the current status of the Adirondack moose population, tracking population trend, and identifying factors limiting population growth.
Collaborators: Krysten Schuler and Angela Fuller (Cornell University), Jeremy Hurst, Jim Stickles, Steve Heerkins, and David Kramer (NYS-DEC), Heidi Kretzer (Wildlife Conservation Society)
Current graduate student: Jen Grauer (Cornell)
Photo credit: Ben Tabor (NYS DEC)
Scaling issues in large cat conservation
Identifying effective solutions for large carnivore conservation and conflict resolution requires better understanding of the drivers of habitat use and resource conflict. Our team is examining how sensitive research insights may be to the spatio-temporal dimensions of our observations.
Collaborators: Lisanne Petracca (U. Washington) and Luke Hunter (WCS)
Graduate student: Sandy Slovikosky
Photo credit: Dina Mathiukina
Forest cat conservation
As forest cover is lost, typically so are large forest-dependent mammals. Loss of top predators can trigger a cascade of changes at lower trophic levels, diminishing the ecological integrity of forest systems. Our team is assessing the degree to which puma and other wild cats use Atlantic forest remnants, so as to better understand trophic dynamics in ever-diminishing tropical forests.
Collaborator: Ronaldo Morato (ICM-Bio, Brazil)
Graduate student: Lilian Bonjorne de Almeida
Photo credit: Allison Devlin
Visit the publications page to see published products from our completed research projects. For work not yet in publication form, graduate theses. progress reports and other relevant links are provided below.
Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation
Despite billions of dollars being invested in the global network of protected areas as a primary vehicle for biodiversity conservation, the value of protected areas in stemming local species losses or facilitating species range shifts over time is little known. Our team investigated the effect of protected areas on local colonization and extinction rates for 97 avian species across 20 years of climate and land use change across New York and Pennsylvania.
Photo credit: Silvia Saldivar Bellassai
Chacoan peccary are endemic to the
Dry Chaco ecoregion, where they are endangered by habitat loss (deforestation) and overharvest. Our team investigated these threats to Chacoan peccary persistence, as well as assessed the status of their populations, in and around the Defensores Del Chaco National Park, Paraguay. See the results of this study in the M.S. thesis below.
Photo credit: Bob Nixon
Amur tiger & leopard
The Amur leopard numbered as few as 40 individuals in the wild in recent history. The work investigated the forces limiting Amur leopard today, from poaching to competition with Amur tiger, in the Land of the Leopard National Park in Primorsky Krai, Russia to help ensure the persistence of this majestic predator.
Photo credit: Scott Smith
Coyotes colonized NY State in the 1920s and today are the largest and most widespread canine predator around, potentially exerting a large influence on competitor and prey populations. Our team has been investigating coyote foraging ecology, in particular coyote predation on deer and dietary overlap with native mesocarnivores.