The coyote-human interface – video presentation

Bruce Leopold of Mississippi State University speaks on the increasing conflicts between humans and suburban coyotes in this presentation from the 2014 annual conference of The Wildlife Society in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Conference: TWS 21st Annual Conference
Date: Monday, October 27, 2014 5:00 PM – 5:20 PM
Duration: 20 Minutes
Program Code: 33-09

Bruce D. Leopold

Bruce Leopold
Subject Area:
The coyote (Canis latrans) has become a dominant predatory component of the landscape of the eastern United States. Certainly, similarities exist regarding what western U.S. biologists, citizens and plant-animal communities faced regarding the coyote. However, profound differences in socio-economic factors exist regarding the coyote’s expansion throughout the eastern United States. I therefore review the history, via pertinent literature, of the distributional expansion of the coyote and how socio-economic factors have coincidentally changed as coyote presence and abundance increased. I also review and summarize, based on the history of coyotes in the western United States, the current and future human-wildlife conflict issues regarding coyotes that eastern biologists, citizens and plant-animal communities will face regarding this highly adaptable omnivore. I emphasize that the socio-economic factors of coyote expansion and presence in the eastern United States will necessitate a profoundly challenging management strategy, biologically and most importantly, socially.
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Nest success in Saltmarsh and Seaside sparrows – presentation video

The Wildlife Society has made available videos of presentations from its 2014 conference, and they’re a terrific resource for learning, teaching, and networking.  To get started, check out Rebecca Kern from the University of Delaware presenting a bit of her PhD work on factors affecting nest survivorship in Saltmarsh and Seaside sparrows.

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Access to the video might require membership to The Wildlife Society.  If it doesn’t work for you, here at least is the abstract!

Factors Influencing Nest Predation Vs. Nest Flooding in Saltmarsh and Seaside Sparrows
Conference: TWS 21st Annual Conference
Date: Sunday, October 26, 2014 11:00 AM – 11:20 AM
Duration: 20 Minutes
Program Code: 16-07

Rebecca A. Kern
W. Gregory Shriver

Rebecca Kern
Subject Area:
Effective conservation of endemic tidal marsh birds, species of high conservation concern, requires the identification of factors limiting reproduction and survival. Saltmarsh (Ammodramus caudacutus) and Seaside (A. maritimus) sparrows breed sympatrically in northeastern marshes and must minimize two competing forces – nest flooding and nest predation – to reproduce successfully. We used a Markov Chain framework to simultaneously model nest survival probability and cause-specific (flooded or depredated) failure probabilities for these species in New Jersey. We ranked models using AICc and model weight to compare the importance of nine covariates in determining nest fate for each species. We found that for Seaside Sparrows (n=170 nests), flooding was most-strongly influenced by date and predation was most affected by study site. Seaside Sparrow nest flooding was 12 times more likely in May than in July, and nest predation was greatest within 150 m of forested upland/developed land. For Saltmarsh Sparrows (n=161 nests), days since new moon, high marsh cover, and nest canopy cover were the most important predictors of nest survival. Saltmarsh nests were least likely to flood when initiated soon after a new moon, which brings the highest tides. Nest predation was greater for nests with high marsh cover (Spartina patens and Distichlis spicata) within 1 m2 of the nest, while nests with more canopy cover had lower predation. Over the 25-day nesting period, Saltmarsh Sparrows had lower nest survival than Seaside Sparrows (0.20±0.04 versus 0.27±0.06) because they had greater losses to flooding. Both species experienced similar predation probabilities (0.37±0.05 and 0.38±0.09), but flooding was 3.5 times more likely for Saltmarsh Sparrows (0.21±0.04 versus 0.06±0.03). These observed differences in reproductive success driven by a trade-off between predation and flooding may help to elucidate the evolution of divergent mating system strategies for these two tidal marsh obligate birds.
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Birding Community E-Bulletin – July 2015

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The Birding Community E-bulletin is distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.

This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics:

You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):

In last month’s issue, we mentioned a Tufted Flycatcher in Arizona, a bird first observed on 22 May discovered foraging, calling, and even showing nesting behavior about two miles from the famous Ramsey Canyon Preserve in the southeastern part of the state.

Since then,the flycatcher became a lot more interesting when both a male and female Tufted Flycatcher were seen together and a nest was found.

This is an exceptional discovery since this species, commonly found only in the highlands and foothills of Mexico (from central Senora and south Tamaulipas) to Central America, and has only been seen in the U.S. about a half dozen times previously.

Many birders who were willing to take a fairly rigorous hike of four miles round-trip were rewarded by getting views of the birds. It appeared unlikely, however, that the nest and its eggs were  viable, although one or the other adult bird was observed in the area for much of June.

You can access a short report on this remarkable rarity and many photos (including the nest) here:


The plight of the Tricolored Blackbird, one of California’s most emblematic passerines, was previously covered in the E-bulletin last July :
and again in September:

Tricolored Blackbirds were given emergency protection in December under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), and the species has also been petitioned for Federal ESA listing. It is estimated that Tricolored Blackbirds have declined by more than 90% over the last 80 years, and have specifically exhibited a 63% loss between 2008 and 2014.

The Central Valley Bird Club has recently published a special expanded issue of the Central Valley Bird Club Bulletin on the Tricolored Blackbird. This special issue includes nine articles by active researchers and conservationists.
Continue reading

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HBW Alive! Newsletter for July 2015

Here’s another HBW Alive, from the Handbook of the Birds of the World.  Highlights:

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Check out Alfrons Patandung’s video of Maleo excavating a nest in Indonesia and a beautiful still photo of a Rusty Tinamou carrying a seed in French Guiana (photo by Vincent Rufray).

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Massive Southern Invasions by Northern Birds Linked to Weather Shifts

Massive Southern Invasions by Northern Birds Linked to Weather Shifts.

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Playa Post – Vol. 13, #5

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Check out the latest Playa Post, the newsletter of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture.

Among other cool stories, here’s your chance to engage in some important Citizen Science to benefit the playas.

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