Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

1) Carnivore conservation

Top predators perform critical roles in the ecosystem they inhabit by providing top-down regulation of the trophic pyramid. We do carnivore research in Romania and in Ohio.

Romania hosts a significant proportion of the European carnivore populations (brown bear, Eurasian lynx, gray wolf), and their conservation status in Romania influences the European-level conservation strategies. For brown bears, hunting represents a major source of contention between the regulatory agencies and ENGOs, stemming from a less-than rigorous approach to estimating abundances (which hunting quotas rely on). We work with Romanian academics, NGOs and EPAs to develop monitoring protocols for large carnivores applicable to Romania’s geographic and economic conditions (http://www.carnivoremari.ro/home.php; http://www.wolflife.eu/; http://connectcarpathians.ro/?lang=en). We are also assessing the sustainability of large carnivore hunting (see our paper in Journal of Applied Ecology), and evaluate brown bear home ranges and habitat selection in Eastern Carpathians.


In Ohio, we work with Ohio Dept of Natural Resources on carnivore ecology and determining patterns of species occurrence in SE Ohio. The focal species are bobcat and grey fox. We implemented a camera trapping in Summer 2016, which forms the basis for a Honors Tutorial College Senior Thesis by Mackenzie Rich.


2) Deer movement and roads

Mitigation of deer-vehicle collisions in the Nelsonville Bypass of US Highway 33; we work with the Ohio Dept of Transportation to monitor deer movements and the efficacy of road mortality mitigation structures using remote cameras and pellet count surveys



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