Unlike their western counterparts, newly arrived coyote populations in the northeastern United States are having a hard time surviving, despite an apparently abundant and healthy diet of rabbits, deer, and plants. Daniel Bogan (New York State Museum) and colleagues found that some 80 percent of these large predators are killed each year, mostly by people in the area. Out of twenty-one coyotes radio-tracked by the researchers, seven were killed by cars, six were shot and one was poisoned. The researchers suggest that because the coyotes are still learning how to adjust to roads and other hazards, their populations are failing to thrive in habitat that otherwise serves their needs quite nicely. Another possibility, say the scientists, is the genetic make-up of these coyotes, which consists partly of wolf. Bogan will present these findings and their implications during Contributed Oral Session 90: Urban Ecology: Management.
Wednesday, August 10, 8 - 11:30 AM, Meeting Room 524 C, Level 5, Palais des congrès de Montréal.
Disturbance from Military Training Exercises supports Endangered Species
Scientists have long appreciated the diversity of plants and animals living on military lands. In the United States, three to nine times as many threatened and endangered species are found on military lands versus other publicly-owned areas, including National Forests and National Parks. In Germany, the picture appears similar: Steven Warren (Colorado State University) and Reiner Buettner (Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, Hemhofen, Germany) found two to three times more threatened and endangered species on the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training areas than in national parks in the region. Warren, Buettner and colleagues believe that military exercises replace, in part, natural disturbances that land managers have reduced or eliminated in other areas. In addition, they say, training exercises usually are non-uniform in time, space, as well as intensity, compared with more uniform human-induced disturbances that occur in other places. The researchers postulate that the resulting multi-faceted habitat supports a wider range of species, many of which may depend upon disturbance. Warren will present this research as part of Contributed Oral Session 105: Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species: Fauna; Management.
Wednesday, August 10, 1:30 - 5:00 PM, Meeting Room 522 A, Level 5, Palais des congrès de Montréal.
Montreal Salamanders losing Genetic Diversity
Since 1700, roads, cemeteries, water tanks, and buildings have drastically fragmented Mont-Royal, home to four populations of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Stranded on this green oasis, these salamander populations have likely suffered from inbreeding and a dearth of gene diversity. Sarah Noël, François-Joseph Lapointe, Martin Ouellet, and Patrick Galois (Université de Montreal, Canada) compared the genetic structure of the Mont-Royal salamanders to that of red-backed salamanders living in Mont-Mégantic, a relatively undisturbed mountain about 200 kilometers east of Montréal. The researchers found higher genetic diversity in the unfragmented habitat of Mont-Mégantic, suggesting that urbanization has indeed taken a toll on the genetic structure of the red-backed salamander. Noël will discuss their findings at Poster Session 36: Genetics/Population Ecology. The poster is entitled "Graveyards and Herps: Urbanization and the Survival of the Montréal Salamanders."
Thursday, August 11, 5 - 6:30 PM, Exhibit Hall 220 A-E, Level 2, Palais des congrès de Montréal.
Bears in the Backyard
Human-bear conflicts are on the rise in New Jersey, the most densely peopled state of the United States. In 2003, some 3,000 reported incidences occurred between people and the black bear (Ursus americanus), up from only 285 reported cases in 1995. Not only have black bear numbers been increasing since 1970, the bears are frequenting suburban areas, increasing their likelihood of coming into contact with people. Joseph Paulin, David Drake, David Ehrenfeld (Rutgers University), and Patrick Carr and Kelcey Burguess (New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife), conducted a survey of 3,000 single-family residences to gauge how personal experiences with bears affects people's attitudes toward their presence and management. Their findings will supply public input and identify educational needs for the state's wildlife managers and policy makers. It will also be of interest to many other regions in North America that are also struggling to deal with rapidly expanding human and wildlife populations. Paulin will present the group's preliminary findings during Contributed Oral Session 169: Late Breaking and Newsworthy Research: Sustainable Development.
Friday, August 12, 8 - 11:30 AM, Meeting Room 524 C, Level 5, Palais des congrès de Montréal.
For more information about this session and other ESA-INTECOL Meeting activities, visit: www.esa.org/montreal. The theme of the meeting is "Ecology at multiple scales," and some 4,000 scientists are expected to attend.
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a scientific, non-profit, 9000-member organization founded in 1915. Through ESA reports, journals, membership research, and expert testimony to Congress, ESA seeks to promote the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. ESA publishes four scientific, peer-reviewed journals: Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. For more information about the Society visit www.esa.org