WorldWideScience

Sample records for nesting prairie falcons

  1. Food habits of nesting prairie falcons in Campbell County

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Squires; Stanley H. Anderson; Robert Oakleaf

    1989-01-01

    Fifteen species of prey were utilized by nesting Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) as determined through pellet analysis. Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), the most common prey, were present in 91% of the pellets, followed by Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) which were present in 56% of pellets. Horned Larks (Eremophila...

  2. Size dimorphism, molt status, and body mass variation of Prairie Falcons nesting in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

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    Steenhof, Karen; McKinley, James O.

    2006-01-01

    Birds face challenges in how they allocate energy during the reproductive season. Most temperate zone species do not breed and molt at the same time, presumably because of the high energy demands of these two activities (Espie et al. 1996 and citations therein). However, representatives of at least four raptor genera are known to molt during the nesting season (Schmutz and Schmutz 1975, Newton and Marquiss 1982, Schmutz 1992, Espie et al. 1996). Molt strategies vary among raptor species depending on prey abundance, migration strategies, and the relative costs of reproduction. Sexually-dimorphic raptors typically have different roles in parenting, which result in different strategies for energy allocation. Male and female Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), for example, exhibit different molt patterns and mass changes during the breeding season (Village 1990). Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) are similar to Eurasian Kestrels in that males provide most of the prey to females and young during the first part of the nesting season (Holthuijzen 1990), but no published data exist on molt patterns or mass changes in Prairie Falcons. Reliable information about raptor molt and morphometrics has important implications for modeling energetics and for understanding the role of sexes in raising young. Such knowledge also has practical application for distinguishing sexes of raptors and for determining appropriate size limits of transmitters used for telemetry studies. In this paper, we report on morphometric characteristics useful in distinguishing sexes of Prairie Falcons captured during several breeding seasons in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), and we assess changes in mass and molt status through the nesting season.

  3. Long-term prairie falcon population changes in relation to prey abundance, weather, land uses, and habitat conditions

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    Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Lehman, Robert N.

    1999-01-01

    We studied a nesting population of Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1974-1997 to identify factors that influence abundance and reproduction. Our sampling period included two major droughts and associated crashes in Townsend's ground squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii) populations. The number of Prairie Falcon pairs found on long-term survey segments declined significantly from 1976-1997. Early declines were most severe at the eastern end of the NCA, where fires and agriculture have changed native shrubsteppe habitat. More recent declines occurred in the portion of canyon near the Orchard Training Area (OTA), where the Idaho Army National Guard conducts artillery firing and tank maneuvers. Overall Prairie Falcon reproductive rates were tied closely to annual indexes of ground squirrel abundance, but precipitation before and during the breeding season was related inversely to some measures of reproduction. Most reproductive parameters showed no significant trends over time, but during the 1990s, nesting success and productivity were lower in the stretch of canyon near the OTA than in adjacent areas. Extensive shrub loss, by itself, did not explain the pattern of declines in abundance and reproduction that we observed. Recent military training activities likely have interacted with fire and livestock grazing to create less than favorable foraging opportunities for Prairie Falcons in a large part of the NCA. To maintain Prairie Falcon populations in the NCA, managers should suppress wildfires, restore native plant communities, and regulate potentially incompatible land uses.

  4. Nesting biology and food habits of the Peregrine Falcon Falco ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We studied nesting biology, behaviour, and diet of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus radama in Madagascar during two breeding seasons at Tsimanampetsotsa Natural Reserve in the south-west (n = 2 nests) and at Tritriva Lake (n = 1 nest) on the central plateau from July to November 1999 and June to October 2000, ...

  5. New insights into the phylogenetics and population structure of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus)

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    Doyle, Jacqueline M.; Bell, Douglas A.; Bloom, Peter H.; Emmons, Gavin; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd; LePre, Larry; Leonard, Kolbe; SanMiguel, Phillip; Westerman, Rick; DeWoody, J. Andrew

    2018-01-01

    BackgroundManagement requires a robust understanding of between- and within-species genetic variability, however such data are still lacking in many species. For example, although multiple population genetics studies of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been conducted, no similar studies have been done of the closely-related prairie falcon (F. mexicanus) and it is unclear how much genetic variation and population structure exists across the species’ range. Furthermore, the phylogenetic relationship of F. mexicanus relative to other falcon species is contested. We utilized a genomics approach (i.e., genome sequencing and assembly followed by single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping) to rapidly address these gaps in knowledge.ResultsWe sequenced the genome of a single female prairie falcon and generated a 1.17 Gb (gigabases) draft genome assembly. We generated maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees using complete mitochondrial genomes as well as nuclear protein-coding genes. This process provided evidence that F. mexicanus is an outgroup to the clade that includes the peregrine falcon and members of the subgenus Hierofalco. We annotated > 16,000 genes and almost 600,000 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the nuclear genome, providing the raw material for a SNP assay design featuring > 140 gene-associated markers and a molecular-sexing marker. We subsequently genotyped ~ 100 individuals from California (including the San Francisco East Bay Area, Pinnacles National Park and the Mojave Desert) and Idaho (Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area). We tested for population structure and found evidence that individuals sampled in California and Idaho represent a single panmictic population.ConclusionsOur study illustrates how genomic resources can rapidly shed light on genetic variability in understudied species and resolve phylogenetic relationships. Furthermore, we found evidence of a single, randomly mating

  6. Translocation of threatened New Zealand falcons to vineyards increases nest attendance, brooding and feeding rates.

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    Sara M Kross

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic landscapes can be rich in resources, and may in some cases provide potential habitat for species whose natural habitat has declined. We used remote videography to assess whether reintroducing individuals of the threatened New Zealand falcon Falco novaeseelandiae into a highly modified agricultural habitat affected the feeding rates of breeding falcons or related breeding behavior such as nest attendance and brooding rates. Over 2,800 recording hours of footage were used to compare the behavior of falcons living in six natural nests (in unmanaged, hilly terrain between 4 km and 20 km from the nearest vineyard, with that of four breeding falcon pairs that had been transported into vineyards and nested within 500 m of the nearest vineyard. Falcons in vineyard nests had higher feeding rates, higher nest attendance, and higher brooding rates. As chick age increased, parents in vineyard nests fed chicks a greater amount of total prey and larger prey items on average than did parents in hill nests. Parents with larger broods brought in larger prey items and a greater total sum of prey biomass. Nevertheless, chicks in nests containing siblings received less daily biomass per individual than single chicks. Some of these results can be attributed to the supplementary feeding of falcons in vineyards. However, even after removing supplementary food from our analysis, falcons in vineyards still fed larger prey items to chicks than did parents in hill nests, suggesting that the anthropogenic habitat may be a viable source of quality food. Although agricultural regions globally are rarely associated with raptor conservation, these results suggest that translocating New Zealand falcons into vineyards has potential for the conservation of this species.

  7. The First Record of the Peregrine Falcon Nesting on a Tree, Russia

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    Oleg V. Andreenkov

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available On April 29, 2017, in the east of the Novosibirsk region, a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus nest was found on a birch in the old nest of a Black Kite (Milvus migrans. The nesting tree is located under a steep offshore slope on the right bank of the river Inya, so that the nest is well within view from the shore. There were 5 eggs in the clutch.

  8. Interactive effects between nest microclimate and nest vegetation structure confirm microclimate thresholds for Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival

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    Grisham, Blake A.; Godar, Alixandra J.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) spans 4 unique ecoregions along 2 distinct environmental gradients. The Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion of the Southern High Plains of New Mexico and Texas is environmentally isolated, warmer, and more arid than the Short-Grass, Sand Sagebrush, and Mixed-Grass Prairie ecoregions in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the northeast panhandle of Texas. Weather is known to influence Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion; regional variation may also influence nest microclimate and, ultimately, survival during incubation. To address this question, we placed data loggers adjacent to nests during incubation to quantify temperature and humidity distribution functions in 3 ecoregions. We developed a suite of a priori nest survival models that incorporated derived microclimate parameters and visual obstruction as covariates in Program MARK. We monitored 49 nests in Mixed-Grass, 22 nests in Sand Shinnery Oak, and 30 nests in Short-Grass ecoregions from 2010 to 2014. Our findings indicated that (1) the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion was hotter and drier during incubation than the Mixed- and Short-Grass ecoregions; (2) nest microclimate varied among years within ecoregions; (3) visual obstruction was positively associated with nest survival; but (4) daily nest survival probability decreased by 10% every half-hour when temperature was greater than 34°C and vapor pressure deficit was less than −23 mmHg during the day (about 0600–2100 hours). Our major finding confirmed microclimate thresholds for nest survival under natural conditions across the species' distribution, although Lesser Prairie-Chickens are more likely to experience microclimate conditions that result in nest failures in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion. The species would benefit from identification of thermal landscapes and management actions that promote cooler, more humid nest microclimates.

  9. About Nesting of the Peregrine Falcon on the Water Tower in the Altai Kray, Russia

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    Sergey V. Vazhov

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available On 19th of June, 2016 a Peregrine Falcon nestling was found among dwelling houses in Biysk’s neighborhood, reported to us by a local resident E. Shitikova. According to her, the nestling jumped out of the nest on water tower because workers disturbed him. We could examine the tower to find the nest on the 6th of July. The falcons’ nest was found on a partially covered by grass concrete platform on the top of the tower.

  10. Demographic consequences of nest box use for Red-footed Falcons Falco vespertinus in Central Asia

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    Bragin, Evgeny A.; Bragin, Alexander E.; Katzner, Todd

    2017-01-01

    Nest box programs are frequently implemented for the conservation of cavity-nesting birds, but their effectiveness is rarely evaluated in comparison to birds not using nest boxes. In the European Palearctic, Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus populations are both of high conservation concern and are strongly associated with nest box programs in heavily managed landscapes. We used a 21-year monitoring dataset collected on 753 nesting attempts by Red-footed Falcons in unmanaged natural or semi-natural habitats to provide basic information on this poorly known species; to evaluate long-term demographic trends; and to evaluate response of demographic parameters of Red-footed Falcons to environmental factors including use of nest boxes. We observed significant differences among years in laying date, offspring loss, and numbers of fledglings produced, but not in egg production. Of these four parameters, offspring loss and, to a lesser extent, number of fledglings exhibited directional trends over time. Variation in laying date and in numbers of eggs were not well explained by any one model, but instead by combinations of models, each with informative terms for nest type. Nevertheless, laying in nest boxes occurred 2.10 ± 0.70 days earlier than in natural nests. In contrast, variation in both offspring loss and numbers of fledglings produced were fairly well explained by a single model including terms for nest type, nest location, and an interaction between the two parameters (65% and 81% model weights respectively), with highest offspring loss in nest boxes on forest edges. Because, for other species, earlier laying dates are associated with more fit individuals, this interaction highlighted a possible ecological trap, whereby birds using nest boxes on forest edges lay eggs earlier but suffer greater offspring loss and produce lower numbers of fledglings than do those in other nesting settings. If nest boxes increase offspring loss for Red-footed Falcons in heavily

  11. Falcon Nest Occupancy and Hatch Success Near Two Diamond Mines in the Southern Arctic, Northwest Territories

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    Daniel W. Coulton

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance in conjunction with slow population recovery has raised conservation concerns over impacts to raptor species from industrial development in pristine areas of their North American breeding range. We evaluated whether the presence of two diamond mines resulted in negative effects to nest use and hatch success of breeding falcons in the southern Arctic barren-grounds of the Northwest Territories. A total of 20 nest sites of Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus and Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus breeding within 26 km of the Diavik and Ekati diamond mines were monitored annually during 1998 to 2010. The objective of the study was to test the effects of distance from mines, relative nest age, rainfall, small mammal abundance, and mine activity levels on nest occupancy and hatch rates. Model selection results indicated that nests that were older were more likely and consistently used than nests that were established more recently. A decrease in nest use associated with the mines was not detected. Hatch success was best explained by a positive association with distance from development and a negative trend over the study period, however, these effects were weak. Hatch success of nests within and beyond an estimated 5.9 km distance threshold was similar, and for nest sites within this distance was unrelated to annual changes in accumulated mine footprint area through time. Hatch success for nest sites near Diavik was unrelated to changes in this mine's activity through time. Although natural and anthropogenic effects were generally weak, the lines of evidence suggested that the observed patterns were more likely the result of natural factors operating at a regional scale than more localized effects from the activity of two diamond mines.

  12. Nesting ecology and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens on the Southern High Plains of Texas

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    Grisham, Blake A.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Boal, Clint W.; Boydston, Kathy K.

    2014-01-01

    The decline in population and range of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) throughout the central and southern Great Plains has raised concerns considering their candidate status under the United States Endangered Species Act. Baseline ecological data for lesser prairie-chickens are limited, especially for the shinnery oak-grassland communities of Texas. This information is imperative because lesser prairie-chickens in shinnery oak grasslands occur at the extreme southwestern edge of their distribution. This geographic region is characterized by hot, arid climates, less fragmentation, and less anthropogenic development than within the remaining core distribution of the species. Thus, large expanses of open rangeland with less anthropogenic development and a climate that is classified as extreme for ground nesting birds may subsequently influence nest ecology, nest survival, and nest site selection differently compared to the rest of the distribution of the species. We investigated the nesting ecology of 50 radio-tagged lesser prairie-chicken hens from 2008 to 2011 in the shinnery oak-grassland communities in west Texas and found a substantial amount of inter-annual variation in incubation start date and percent of females incubating nests. Prairie-chickens were less likely to nest near unimproved roads and utility poles and in areas with more bare ground and litter. In contrast, hens selected areas dominated by grasses and shrubs and close to stock tanks to nest. Candidate models including visual obstruction best explained daily nest survival; a 5% increase in visual obstruction improved nest survival probability by 10%. The model-averaged probability of a nest surviving the incubation period was 0.43 (SE = 0.006; 95% CI: 0.23, 0.56). Our findings indicate that lesser prairie-chicken reproduction during our study period was dynamic and was correlated with seasonal weather patterns that ultimately promoted greater grass growth earlier in the

  13. Nest Success and Cause-Specific Nest Failure of Grassland Passerines Breeding in Prairie Grazed by Livestock

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    This manuscript describes two years of field research on ground-nesting songbird species at Zumwalt Prairie Reserve, northeastern Oregon, USA. Cattle-grazing has long been suspected in declines of ground-nesting songbirds in grazed grassland, primarily due to increased trampling...

  14. Predation of artificial ground nests on white-tailed prairie dog colonies

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    Baker, B.W.; Stanley, T.R.; Sedgwick, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are unique to prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. However, widespread eradication, habitat loss, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) have reduced their numbers by 98% since historical times. Birds associated with prairie dogs also are declining. Potential nest predators, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), swift foxes (Vulpes velox), and badgers (Taxidea taxus), may be attracted to colonies where a high concentration of prairie dogs serve as available prey. Increased abundance of small mammals, including prairie dogs, also may increase the risk of predation for birds nesting on colonies. Finally, because grazing by prairie dogs may decrease vegetation height and canopy cover, bird nests may be easier for predators to locate. In this study, we placed 1,444 artificial ground nests on and off 74 white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) colonies to test the hypothesis that nest predation rates are higher on colonies than at nearby off sites (i.e., uncolonized habitat). We sampled colonies from 27 May to 16 July 1997 at the following 3 complexes: Coyote Basin, Utah and Colorado; Moxa Arch, Wyoming; and Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Differences in daily predation rates between colonies and paired off sites averaged 1.0% (P = 0.060). When converted to a typical 14-day incubation period, predation rates averaged 14% higher on colonies (57.7 ?? 2.7%; ?? ?? SE) than at off sites (50.4 ?? 3.1%). Comparisons of habitat variables on colonies to off sites showed percent canopy cover of vegetation was similar (P = 0.114), percent bare ground was higher on colonies (P 0.288). Although we found the risk of nest predation was higher on white-tailed prairie dog colonies than at off sites, fitness of birds nesting on colonies might depend on other factors that influence foraging success, reproductive success, or nestling survival.

  15. Demography, breeding success and effects of nest type in artificial colonies of Red-footed Falcons and allies

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    Kotymán László

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Shortage of breeding sites is an important limiting factor of bird populations. Artificial breeding platforms, nest-boxes or man-made twig nests often present solutions with remarkable results, however long-term sustainability of these populations remains to be resolved. Furthermore, the question whether the inference of results of studies conducted on birds breeding in artificial breeding sites can be generalized to other populations, still remains open. Here we present the history, and the results of a 20 year old (1995-2015 nest-box programme initiated to increase potential breeding possibilities of Red-footed Falcons in an area, where nest-site shortage was a severe limiting factor. We show how various other species (Jackdaws, Kestrels and Long-eared Owls have utilized these resources, and present descriptive statistics on their reproductive performance. Analysing the data of a total of 1432 breeding attempts, we show that Red-footed Falcons have similar clutch sizes, and nesting success (i.e. ratio of nests with at least on fledgling, however fledging success (ratio of the number of eggs/fledged nestlings was different in artificial nest-boxes. When we excluded closed box types from artificial nests, this difference was not apparent. In case of Kestrels (n=1626 breeding attempts clutch size was significantly higher in artificial nests, while we found no difference in fledging or nesting success. When only comparing open boxes to natural nests, the difference in clutch size was no longer significant. We also analysed the effect of nest box design on reproductive parameters of the two species using regression trees. Inter annual effects were the most important in shaping clutch size and fledging rate of both falcon species, however we also found nest-box design effects, but only in Red-footed Falcons. In years when mean clutch size was high, these birds had lower clutch size in an older, darker nest-box type compared to an alternative design

  16. Nest occupation and prey grabbing by saker falcon (Falco cherrug on power lines in the province of Vojvodina (Serbia

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    Puzović S.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Research on nest occupation and prey grabbing by saker falcon (Falco cherrug on power lines in Vojvodina (Serbia was done in the period from 1986 to 2004. During three specially analyzed periods, saker falcon took the nests of raven (Corvus corax in 91% of a total of 22 cases of nest occupation, and those of hooded crow (Corvus corone cornix in only 9%. Saker falcon regularly grabs prey from different birds that occasionally or constantly spend time around power lines [Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus, hobby (Falco subbuteo, hooded crow (Corvus corone cornix, jack-daw (Corvus monedula, marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus, hen harrier (Circus cyaneus, buzzard (Buteo buteo, and raven (Corvus corax]. One year a studied pair of saker falcons on a power line in Donji Srem, Serbia grabbed prey from five different species of birds. Out of a total of 40 cases of prey grabbing in the period from January to December, as much 70% of the grabbed prey was taken from kestrel (Falco tinnunculus. During the winter and early spring, prey was grabbed predominantly by males; after May, prey was sometimes grabbed by females as well. Most of the grabbed prey was common vole (Microtus arvalis.

  17. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

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    Augustine, David J.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of recently declining mountain plover populations, but these management approaches can be controversial. We estimated habitat-specific mountain plover densities and nest survival rates on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and burns in the shortgrass steppe of northeastern Colorado. Mountain plover densities were similar on prairie dog colonies (5.9 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.7–7.4) and sites burned during the preceding dormant season (6.7 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.6–9.6), whereas the 29-day nest survival rate was greater on prairie dog colonies (0.81 in 2011 and 0.39 in 2012) compared to the burned sites (0.64 in 2011 and 0.17 in 2012). Reduced nest survival in 2012 compared to 2011 was associated with higher maximum daily temperatures in 2012, consistent with a previous weather-based model of mountain plover nest survival in the southern Great Plains. Measurements of mountain plover density relative to time since disturbance showed that removal of prairie dog disturbance by sylvatic plague reduced mountain plover density by 70% relative to active prairie dog colonies after 1 year. Plover densities declined at a similar rate (by 78%) at burned sites between the first and second post-burn growing season. Results indicate that black-tailed prairie dog colonies are a particularly important nesting habitat for mountain plovers in the southern Great Plains. In addition, findings suggest that prescribed burning can be a valuable means to create nesting habitat in landscapes where other types of disturbances (such as prairie dog colonies) are limited in distribution and size. 

  18. Long-term lesser prairie-chicken nest ecology in response to grassland management

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    Fritts, Sarah R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Boal, Clint W.; Patten, Michael; Wolfe, Don H.; Dixon, Charles; Cox, Robert D.; Heck, Willard R.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term population and range declines from habitat loss and fragmentation caused the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to be a species of concern throughout its range. Current lesser prairie-chicken range in New Mexico and Texas is partially restricted to sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii; hereafter shinnery oak) prairies, on which cattle grazing is the main socioeconomic driver for private landowners. Cattle producers within shinnery oak prairies often focus land management on shrub eradication using the herbicide tebuthiuron to promote grass production for forage; however, herbicide application alone, and in combination with grazing, may affect nest site selection and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens through the reduction of shinnery oak and native grasses. We used a controlled, paired, completely randomized design study to assess the influence of grazing and tebuthiuron application and their combined use on nest site selection and nest survival from 2001 to 2010 in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA at 2 spatial scales (i.e., treatment and microhabitat) in 4 treatments: tebuthiuron with grazing, tebuthiuron without grazing, no tebuthiuron with grazing, and a control of no tebuthiuron and no grazing. Grazing treatment was a short-duration system in which plots were grazed once during the dormant season and once during the growing season. Stocking rate was calculated each season based on measured forage production and applied to remove ≤25% of available herbaceous material per season. At the treatment scale, we compared nest site selection among treatments using 1-way χ2 tests and nest survival among treatments using a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK. At the microhabitat scale, we identified important habitat predictors of nest site selection and nest survival using logistic regression and a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK, respectively. Females typically used treatments as expected and

  19. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

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    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Ducks and passerines nesting in northern mixed-grass prairie treated with fire

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    Grant, Todd A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Berkey, Gordon B.

    2011-01-01

    Prescribed fire is an important, ecology-driven tool for restoration of grassland systems. However, prescribed fire remains controversial for some grassland managers because of reported reductions in bird use of recently burned grasslands. Few studies have evaluated effects of fire on grassland bird populations in the northern mixed-grass prairie region. Fewer studies yet have examined the influence of fire on nest density or survival. In our review, we found no studies that simultaneously examined effects of fire on duck and passerine nesting. During 1998—2003, we examined effects of prescribed fire on the density of upland-nesting ducks and passerines nesting in north-central North Dakota, USA. Apparent nest densities of gadwall (Anas strepera), mallard (A. platyrhynchos), and all duck species combined, were influenced by fire history of study units, although the degree of influence was not compelling. Fire history was not related to nest densities of blue-winged teal (A. discors), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), or northern pintail (A. acuta); however, apparent nest densities in relation to the number of postfire growing seasons exhibited a strikingly similar pattern among all duck species. When compared to ducks, fire history strongly influenced apparent nest densities of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). For most species examined, apparent nest densities were lowest in recently burned units, increased during the second postfire growing season, and stabilized or, in some cases, decreased thereafter. Prescribed fire is critical for restoring the ecology of northern mixed-grass prairies and our findings indicate that reductions in nest densities are limited mostly to the first growing season after fire. Our results support the premise that upland-nesting ducks and several grassland passerine species are adapted to periodic fires occurring at a frequency similar to that

  1. Predator selection of prairie landscape features and its relation to duck nest success

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    Phillips, M.L.; Clark, W.R.; Sovada, M.A.; Horn, D.J.; Koford, Rolf R.; Greenwood, R.J.

    2003-01-01

    Mammalian predation is a major cause of mortality for breeding waterfowl in the U.S. Northern Great Plains, and yet we know little about the selection of prairie habitats by predators or how this influences nest success in grassland nesting cover. We selected 2 41.4-km2 study areas in both 1996 and 1997 in North Dakota, USA, with contrasting compositions of perennial grassland. A study area contained either 15-20% perennial grassland (Low Grassland Composition [LGC]) or 45-55% perennial grassland (High Grassland Composition [HGC]). We used radiotelemetry to investigate the selection of 9 landscape cover types by red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), while simultaneously recording duck nest success within planted cover. The cover types included the edge and core areas of planted cover, wetland edges within planted cover or surrounded by cropland, pastureland, hayland, cropland, roads, and miscellaneous cover types. Striped skunks selected wetland edges surrounded by agriculture over all other cover types in LGC landscapes (P-values for all pairwise comparisons were foraging efficiency in the interior areas of planted cover and contributed to higher nest success in HGC landscapes. Our observations of predator cover-type selection not only support the restoration and management of large blocks of grassland but also indicate the influence of alternative cover types for mitigating nest predation in the Prairie Pothole Region.

  2. Lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection, microclimate, and nest survival in association with vegetation response to a grassland restoration program

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    Boal, Clint W.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Dixon, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Climate models predict that the region of the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) will experience increased maximum and minimum temperatures, reduced frequency but greater intensity of precipitation events, and earlier springs. These climate changes along with different landscape management techniques may influence the persistence of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act and a priority species under the GPLCC, in positive or negative ways. The objectives of this study were to conduct (1) a literature review of lesser prairie-chicken nesting phenology and ecology, (2) an analysis of thermal aspects of lesser prairie-chicken nest microclimate data, and (3) an analysis of nest site selection, nest survival, and vegetation response to 10 years of tebuthiuron and/or grazing treatments. We found few reports in the literature containing useful data on the nesting phenology of lesser prairie-chickens; therefore, managers must rely on short-term observations and measurements of parameters that provide some predictive insight into climate impacts on nesting ecology. Our field studies showed that prairie-chickens on nests were able to maintain relatively consistent average nest temperature of 31 °C and nest humidities of 56.8 percent whereas average external temperatures (20.3–35.0 °C) and humidities (35.2–74.9 percent) varied widely throughout the 24 hour (hr) cycle. Grazing and herbicide treatments within our experimental areas were designed to be less intensive than in common practice. We determined nest locations by radio-tagging hen lesser prairie-chickens captured at leks, which are display grounds at which male lesser prairie-chickens aggregate and attempt to attract a female for mating. Because nest locations selected by hen lesser prairie-chicken are strongly associated with the lek at which they were captured, we assessed nesting habitat use on the basis of hens

  3. Prey species as possible sources of PBDE exposures for peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) nesting in major California cities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, June-Soo; Fong, Alison; Chu, Vivian; Holden, Arthur; Linthicum, Janet; Hooper, Kim

    2011-04-01

    Our earlier findings indicate that (1) peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum Bonaparte) nesting in major California cities have among the highest polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) levels in the world (max ∑PBDEs=100 ppm), and (2) Big City peregrines have higher levels and proportions of the higher-brominated congeners (hepta- to deca-BDEs) than do their Coastal counterparts. In this study we classified the prey species (n =185) from the remains of prey (feathers) at 38 peregrine nest sites over 25 years (1974-1998). We grouped the prey species into 15 categories based on diet and found distinctly different prey patterns for Big City vs. Coastal peregrines. Big City peregrines had a higher (almost three times) weight percentage intake of food waste-eating birds (e.g., rock pigeons, Columba livia) than Coastal peregrines. These differing prey patterns suggest diet as a potential source of the unusually high levels and proportions of higher-brominated PBDEs in Big City peregrines. The relative contributions of diet and dust (e.g., preening) exposure to PBDE patterns in Big City peregrines will be explored in future investigations. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

  4. Sparrow nest survival in relation to prescribed fire and woody plant invasion in a northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Robert K.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Grant, Todd A.; Derrig, James L.; Rubin, Cory S.; Kerns, Courtney K.

    2017-01-01

    Prescribed fire is used to reverse invasion by woody vegetation on grasslands, but managers often are uncertain whether influences of shrub and tree reduction outweigh potential effects of fire on nest survival of grassland birds. During the 2001–2003 breeding seasons, we examined relationships of prescribed fire and woody vegetation to nest survival of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) and Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) in mixed-grass prairie at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern North Dakota, USA. We assessed relationships of nest survival to 1) recent fire history, in terms of number of breeding seasons (2, 3, or 4–5) since the last prescribed fire, and 2) prevalence of trees and tall (>1.5 m) shrubs in the landscape and of low (≤1.5 m) shrubs within 5 m of nests. Nest survival of both species exhibited distinct patterns related to age of the nest and day of year, but bore no relationship to fire history. Survival of clay-colored sparrow nests declined as the amount of trees and tall shrubs within 100 m increased, but we found no relationship to suggest nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) as an underlying mechanism. We found little evidence linking nest survival of Savannah sparrow to woody vegetation. Our results suggest that fire can be used to restore northern mixed-grass prairies without adversely affecting nest survival of ≥2 widespread passerine species. Survival of nests of clay-colored sparrow may increase when tall woody cover is reduced by fire. Our data lend support to the use of fire for reducing scattered patches of tall woody cover to enhance survival of nests of ≥1 grassland bird species in northern mixed-grass prairies, but further study is needed that incorporates experimental approaches and assessments of shorter term effects of fire on survival of nests of grassland passerines.

  5. Effects of Wind Energy Development on Nesting Ecology of Greater Prairie-Chickens in Fragmented Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-01-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before–after control–impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = −1.2–1.3) or nest survival (β = −0.3, 95% CI = −0.6–0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. Efectos del Desarrollo de la Energía Eólica sobre la Ecología de Anidación de Gallinas de la Gran Pradera en Pastizales Fragmentados Resumen Se calcula que la energía eólica aportará el 20% de las necesidades energéticas de los Estados Unidos para el 2030, pero nuevos sitios para el desarrollo de energía renovable pueden traslaparse con hábitats importantes de poblaciones declinantes de aves de pastizal. La gallina de la Gran Pradera (Tympanuchus cupido) es una especie de ave obligada de pastizal que se pronostica responderá negativamente al desarrollo energético. Usamos un diseño ADCI modificado para probar los impactos del desarrollo de la energía e

  6. A meta-analysis of lesser prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing habitats: implications for habitat management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Christian A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The distribution and range of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been reduced by >90% since European settlement of the Great Plains of North America. Currently, lesser prairie-chickens occupy 3 general vegetation communities: sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and mixed-grass prairies juxtaposed with Conservation Reserve Program grasslands. As a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, there is a need for a synthesis that characterizes habitat structure rangewide. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of vegetation characteristics at nest sites and brood habitats to determine whether there was an overall effect (Hedges' d) of habitat selection and to estimate average (95% CI) habitat characteristics at use sites. We estimated effect sizes (di) from the difference between use (nests and brood sites) and random sampling sites for each study (n = 14), and derived an overall effect size (d++). There was a general effect for habitat selection as evidenced by low levels of variation in effect sizes across studies and regions. There was a small to medium effect (d++) = 0.20-0.82) of selection for greater vertical structure (visual obstruction) by nesting females in both vegetation communities, and selection against bare ground (d++ = 0.20-0.58). Females with broods exhibited less selectivity for habitat components except for vertical structure. The variation of d++ was greater during nesting than brooding periods, signifying a seasonal shift in habitat use, and perhaps a greater range of tolerance for brood-rearing habitat. The overall estimates of vegetation cover were consistent with those provided in management guidelines for the species.

  7. Observations of Red-headed Falcon Falco chicquera (Aves: Falconiformes: Falconidae nest at Keraniganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a focus on post-fledging behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammod Foysal

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A nest of Red-headed Falcon Falco chicquera was observed in 2009, beginning with the onset of breeding and continuing on to the next breeding of the pair.  The nest was found on 02 March 2009 in an electricity pylon in a sub-urban area at Keraniganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh.  The incubation period was estimated at a minimum of four weeks and the nestling period was 37 days.  Fledglings remained in the nesting area up to four months after fledging.  The female almost exclusively fed the nestlings and fledglings.  The diet of adults, nestlings and fledglings consisted of 72% small birds (sparrow sized and 28% Pipistrellus bats (n = 112.  The diet of fledglings consisted of 61% birds and 39% bats (n= 72; before independence mainly birds and after independence mainly bats.  Parents delivered prey to fledglings up to 39 days after fledging (i.e., post-fledging dependence period was 39 days.  The fledgling’s flight pattern was distinguishable from the adults nearly two months after fledging.  The fledgling’s call reminiscent of a begging call was recorded up to 75 days after fledging. Food competition was observed among the fledglings; when one of the fledglings snatched prey from a parent, the other siblings tried to pilfer it.  The parents had resumed breeding eight months after the fledging stage of their offspring. 

  8. Contrasting nest survival patterns for ducks and songbirds in northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Todd; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.

    2017-01-01

    Management actions intended to protect or improve habitat for ducks may benefit grassland-nesting passerines, but scant information is available to explore this assumption. During 1998–2003, we examined nest survival of ducks and songbirds to determine whether effects of prescribed fire and other habitat features (e.g., shrub cover and distance to habitat edges) were similar for ducks and passerines breeding in North Dakota. We used the logistic-exposure method to estimate survival of duck and songbird nests (n = 3,171). We used an information-theoretic approach to identify factors that most influenced nest survival. Patterns of nest survival were markedly different between taxonomic groups. For ducks, nest survival was greater during the first postfire nesting season (daily survival rate [DSR] = 0.957, 85% CI = 0.951–0.963), relative to later postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.946, 85% CI = 0.942–0.950). Furthermore duck nest survival and nest densities were inversely related. Duck nest survival also was greater as shrub cover decreased and as distance from cropland and wetland edges increased. Passerines had lower nest survival during the first postfire nesting season (DSR = 0.934, 85% CI = 0.924–0.944), when densities also were low compared to subsequent postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.947, 85% CI = 0.944–0.950). Parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) reduced passerine nest survival and this effect was more pronounced during the first postfire nesting season compared to subsequent nesting seasons. Passerine nest survival was greater as shrub cover decreased and perhaps for more concealed nests. Duck and songbird nest survival rates were not correlated during this study and for associated studies that examined additional variables using the same dataset, suggesting that different mechanisms influenced their survival. Based on our results, ducks should not be considered direct surrogates for passerines

  9. Feeding ecology of arctic-nesting sandpipers during spring migration through the prairie pothole region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, J.L.; Krapu, G.L.; Johnson, D.H.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated food habits of 4 species of spring-migrant calidrid sandpipers in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North Dakota. Sandpipers foraged in several wetland classes and fed primarily on aquatic dipterans, mostly larvae, and the midge family Chironomidae was the primary food eaten. Larger sandpiper species foraged in deeper water and took larger larvae than did smaller sandpipers. The diverse wetland habitats that migrant shorebirds use in the PPR suggest a landscape-level approach be applied to wetland conservation efforts. We recommend that managers use livestock grazing and other tools, where applicable, to keep shallow, freshwater wetlands from becoming choked with emergent vegetation limiting chironomid production and preventing shorebird use.

  10. Upland Nesting Prairie Shorebirds: Use of Managed Wetland Basins and Accuracy of Breeding Surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheri L. Gratto-Trevor

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Wetlands in southern Alberta are often managed to benefit waterfowl and cattle production. Effects on other species usually are not examined. I determined the effect of managed wetlands on upland-nesting shorebirds in southern Alberta by comparing numbers of breeding willets (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, marbled godwits (Limosa fedoa, and long-billed curlews (Numenius americanus among areas of managed wetlands, natural wetland basins, and no wetland basins from 1995 to 2000. Surveys were carried out at 21 sites three times each year. Nine to ten of these areas (each 2 km2 were searched for nests annually from 1998-2000. Numbers of willets and marbled godwits and their nests were always highest in areas with managed wetlands, probably because almost all natural wetland basins were dry in this region in most years. Densities of willets seen during pre-incubation surveys averaged 2.3 birds/km2 in areas of managed wetlands, 0.4 in areas of natural wetland basins, and 0.1 in areas with no wetland basins. Nest densities of willets (one search each season averaged 1.5, 0.9, and 0.3 nests/km2 in areas of managed, natural, and no wetland basins, respectively. Similarly, pre-incubation surveys averaged 1.6, 0.6, and 0.2 godwits/km2 in areas of managed, natural, and no wetland basins, and 1.2, 0.3, and 0.1 godwit nests/km2. For long-billed curlews, pre-incubation surveys averaged 0.1, 0.2, and 0.1 birds/km2, and 0, 0.2, and 0 nests/km2. Nest success was similar in areas with and without managed wetlands. Shallow managed wetlands in this region appear beneficial to willets and marbled godwits, but not necessarily to long-billed curlews. Only 8% of marked willets and godwits with nests in the area were seen or heard during surveys, compared with 29% of pre-laying individuals and 42% of birds with broods. This suggests that a low and variable percentage of these birds is counted during breeding bird surveys, likely limiting their ability to adequately monitor

  11. Estimating raptor nesting success: old and new approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jessi L.; Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Bond, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Studies of nesting success can be valuable in assessing the status of raptor populations, but differing monitoring protocols can present unique challenges when comparing populations of different species across time or geographic areas. We used large datasets from long-term studies of 3 raptor species to compare estimates of apparent nest success (ANS, the ratio of successful to total number of nesting attempts), Mayfield nesting success, and the logistic-exposure model of nest survival. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus), and American kestrels (F. sparverius) differ in their breeding biology and the methods often used to monitor their reproduction. Mayfield and logistic-exposure models generated similar estimates of nesting success with similar levels of precision. Apparent nest success overestimated nesting success and was particularly sensitive to inclusion of nesting attempts discovered late in the nesting season. Thus, the ANS estimator is inappropriate when exact point estimates are required, especially when most raptor pairs cannot be located before or soon after laying eggs. However, ANS may be sufficient to assess long-term trends of species in which nesting attempts are highly detectable.

  12. Sex differences, effects of male presence and coordination of nest visits in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) during the immediate postnatal period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcguire, B.; Parker, E.; Bemis, W.E.

    2007-01-01

    Little is known about sex differences in parental behavior of biparental mammals and if mates in such species coordinate care of young. We studied parental care displayed by prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) under seminatural laboratory conditions during the first 3 d of life of their offspring. Through direct observations and videotaping, we monitored members of male-female pairs to determine if sex differences in early parental behavior exist and if mothers and fathers coordinate visits to the nest. To assess the impact of fathers on survival of pups and behavior of mothers, we also examined parental care displayed by single females toward their young. Male and female members of breeding pairs differed dramatically in degree of parental care. Females spent more time in the nest with young and licked them more frequently than did males. Additionally, females maintained the nest more frequently than did males, whereas they maintained runways less frequently. Although coordination of visits to the nest was not perfect between members of pairs, pups of pairs were left alone for less time than were pups of single females. Parental behavior displayed by paired and single females did not differ, nor did survival of their young to day 3 or 15. We suggest that provision of ample space and cover to vole parents rearing young in captivity promotes expression of sex differences in parental behavior, but that even seminatural conditions are not sufficient to yield benefits of father presence to survival of young. Under more challenging conditions, such as cold temperatures or presence of predators, benefits of father presence might emerge.

  13. Cavity Nesting Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgil E. Scott; Keith E. Evans; David R. Patton; Charles P. Stone

    1977-01-01

    Many species of cavity-nesting birds have declined because of habitat reduction. In the eastern United States, where primeval forests are gone, purple martins depend almost entirely on man-made nesting structures (Allen and Nice 1952). The hole-nesting population of peregrine falcons disappeared with the felling of the giant trees upon which they depended (Hickey and...

  14. Contraband of Falcons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvira G. Nikolenko

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available According to the criminal proceeding in smuggling of falcons, former employees of the Line Internal Affairs Department in MIA transport, working in Domodedovo airport, were sentenced to large fines  - A. Kurokhtin, D. Gorodenko and A. Kustov, as was reported in Rossiyskaya Gazeta on 19.06.2013. Inspectors of the State Committee for the wild life protection together with employees of the MIA of Khakassia on 15.09.2013 detained two individuals engaged in illegal catching of falcons. On 04.11.2013 in Buryatia perpetrator, which transported 16 falcons, was arrested. On the road Khabarovsk-Chita in the vicinity of the village Nikolayevka in Jewish Autonomous Region (Russia police seized 21 Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus, which on 26.11.2013 was reported in STRBC “Dalnevostochnaya”. In the village Lesnoi of Yelizovo district in the Kamchatka Region on 29.11.2013, police arrested two men and seized eight Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus. One Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug seized on 12.12.2013 in the village Staroaleyskoe of Tretyakovo district of the Altai Kray (Russia. On 24.12.2013 in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Russia the police, together with colleagues from the regional FSSD seized 13 Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus from two residents of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. On 15.01.2014 in Kamchatka, the 51-year-old resident of the village of Nagorny in Yelizovski District, which kept 8 Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus in the garage at his house land plot, was arrested. Prosecution office of Tarbagatay district of East Kazakhstan region (Kazakhstan together with the police and the authorities for the wild life protection found 7 Saker Falcons (Falco cherrug on 06.08.2014. At security control point “Ak-tilek - roadway" (Kazakhstan on 29.08.2014 border guards together with employees of the State Customs Service apprehended a citizen of Kazakhstan, who tried to take from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan 3 young Saker Falcons (Falco cherrug. Supervisors of safety department in

  15. 75 FR 43878 - Airworthiness Directives; DASSAULT AVIATION Model Falcon 10 Airplanes; Model FAN JET FALCON, FAN...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-27

    ... Model Falcon 10 Airplanes; Model FAN JET FALCON, FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G Airplanes.... Since that NPRM was issued, we have determined that Model FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G..., Model FAN JET FALCON, FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G airplanes, and Model MYSTERE-FALCON 20-C5...

  16. 75 FR 79952 - Airworthiness Directives; DASSAULT AVIATION Model Falcon 10 Airplanes; Model FAN JET FALCON, FAN...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-21

    ... Airworthiness Directives; DASSAULT AVIATION Model Falcon 10 Airplanes; Model FAN JET FALCON, FAN JET FALCON.... (1) DASSAULT AVIATION Model Falcon 10 airplanes, Model FAN JET FALCON, FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E... airplanes Inspection threshold (whichever occurs later) Inspection interval Model FAN JET FALCON, FAN JET...

  17. Recent history of Saker Falcon studies in Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    This report clarifies recent studies on the saker falcon in Mongolia. In the last five years, three museum studies appeared on the Altay falcon (is it a gyrfalcon, saker or separate species). These showed that all of the most distinct Central Asian summer specimens were from only two mountain ranges. However, there is a continuum between sakers and Altay falcons and the two should be considered synonymous. Of field studies focused on the saker in Mongolia, the first was conducted by Baumgart in the 1970s. The next (my own) began in 1994 with a Mongolia-wide study of the nesting ecology of the species. From that study, we now have over 150 breeding territories with over 200 eyries described. Resulting publications dealt with reproductive performance of the falcons and unusual breeding situations. Not only were many nests in odd situations, many were also composed mainly of manmade materials. We found that birds sometimes became entangled in twine and cloth in such nests and either died or would have died without our intervention. Our work also led to observations of novel social behavior including the first documentation of siblicide for any falcon and the description of a new falcon display, splayed-toes-flight. Aware that saker populations in Kazakhstan and elsewhere were plummeting due to over harvest for falconry and seeing a growing harvest in Mongolia, in 1997, we began efforts to build artificial eyries for the falcons. To date, over 150 artificial eyries have been created. In 1998, there was a great expansion of saker field work after the National Avian Research Center (NARC) of the United Arab Emirates became directly involved in hiring Mongol students and scientists. Those efforts resulted in an immediate estimate of the breeding population. Continuing work promises to provide good information on home range, food habits, productivity and other topics.

  18. The Falcon Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, F.; Tippets, R.; Dearborn, M.; Gresham, K.; Freckleton, R.; Douglas, M.

    2014-09-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is a global network of small aperture telescopes developed by the Center for Space Situational Awareness Research in the Department of Physics at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Consisting of commercially available equipment, the FTN is a collaborative effort between USAFA and other educational institutions ranging from two- and four-year colleges to major research universities. USAFA provides the equipment (e.g. telescope, mount, camera, filter wheel, dome, weather station, computers and storage devices) while the educational partners provide the building and infrastructure to support an observatory. The user base includes USAFA along with K-12 and higher education faculty and students. Since the FTN has a general use purpose, objects of interest include satellites, astronomical research, and STEM support images. The raw imagery, all in the public domain, will be accessible to FTN partners and will be archived at USAFA in the Cadet Space Operations Center. FTN users will be able to submit observational requests via a web interface. The requests will then be prioritized based on the type of user, the object of interest, and a user-defined priority. A network wide schedule will be developed every 24 hours and each FTN site will autonomously execute its portion of the schedule. After an observational request is completed, the FTN user will receive notification of collection and a link to the data. The Falcon Telescope Network is an ambitious endeavor, but demonstrates the cooperation that can be achieved by multiple educational institutions.

  19. Prairie Chicken

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — An outline of the general range occupied by greayter and lesser prairie chickens. The range was delineated by expert opinion, then varified by local wildlife...

  20. The prairie dog as a keystone species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotliar, Natasha B.; Miller, Brian J.; Reading, Richard P.; Clark, Timothy W.; Hoogland, John L.

    2006-01-01

    The prairie dog has a pronounced impact on its grassland ecosystem (King 1955; Uresk and Bjugstad 1983; Miller et al. 1994; Society for Conservation Biology 1994; Wuerthner 1997; Johnsgard 2005). They maintain short vegetation by their grazing and by selective removal of tall plants and shrubs; provide shelter, foraging grounds, and nesting habitat for a diverse array of animals; serve as prey for many predators; and alter soil chemistry.Do these impacts mean that the prairie dog is a keystone species? To investigate, we first scrutinize the definition for a keystone species. We then document both vertebrates and invertebrates that associate with prairie dogs and their colony-sites. We examine ecosystem processes at colony-sites, and then assess whether the prairie dog is a legitimate keystone species. Finally, we explore the implications of keystone status for the conservation of prairie dogs.

  1. The Danish Peregrine Falcon population is increasing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Niels Peter; Falk, Knud; Møller, Søren

    peregrine population has gradually increased – most rapidly since 2012 – to 19 known territorial pairs in 2016; some of them breeding on man-made structures (nest boxes at bridges and power plants). In this poster, we present detailed information on the reestablishment of the peregrine falcon in Denmark...... observed breeding in Demark: 3 from Sweden, 4 from Germany and 1 from Poland. Similarly, peregrines banded in Danish eyries have been observed as territorial or breeding in Sweden (2 cases) or at other locations in Denmark (5 cases). The reproduction measured as number of ‘young per successful pair......’ (reaching ringing age) and ‘young per occupied territory’ (“productivity”) is on average 2.2 and 1.3, respectively, for the entire period 2001-2016. The productivity of Danish peregrines is thus well above the critical limit (1.0 according to USFWS), where concerns may be raised. Not much is known about...

  2. The Sustainable Trapping of Falcons – is It Possible in Russia and Other CIS Countries?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvira G. Nikolenko

    2016-02-01

    Syria. The export of falcons from Russia goes through the international airports of the European part of Russia and through Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Barbarous looting pillage of resources of large falcons in CIS countries, first of all, Gyrfalcon and Saker Falcon, ordered and paid by Arabian falconers. Today the existing need in falcons is ten times higher than the potential of nesting populations.

  3. Falcons' patriotism: 'One state, one nation, falconry'

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vukašinović Vladan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This work shows the results of the research which goal was to find, systemize and critically overview the information on a patriotic role of the falcon's organization and its members, having in mind reflex of all social-historical events in the period from the birth of falcons till the end of the Second World War. Social, economic, cultural, and in the first place political situations significantly influenced the character of falcons' organizational influence. In the stormy past falcon shared destiny if its state and nation and therefore this body-exercising organization grew in time into falcons' organization. Falcon's goal besides body exercising was aiming higher goals: moral and cultural revival, national freedom, nation's unity. With enlightening of falcon membership a strong and versatile person with the sense for national affiliation, freedom and social equality was developed. Falcons' democracy, patriotism, philanthropy, belief in ideals, contributed to falcons' reputation in population, which significantly influenced accomplishment of one of the main goals of the falcon movement - forming of the united country and accomplishment of higher range in military, economical, social and cultural plan. Research results point out that during the First World War a falcon was a supporting unity of nations into one state. Therefore falcons were convicted to prison, persecution and internment, execution and hanging at 'high treason' court processes. Patriotic spirit and strong national as well as Yugoslav sense followed falcons later on in an uncompromising battle with separatist and pro - fascist power during more frequent strokes on state's integrity. In the first days of occupation, falconry represented a cohesion and mobilization factor in people. At the beginning of the 1940 falconry counted 350.000 members, which was considered 'the second echelon' of defense of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

  4. Home Range and Habitat Use of the New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae within a Plantation Forest: A Satellite Tracking Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bindi Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We tracked two adult and three juvenile New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae in Kaingaroa Forest pine plantation from 2002 to 2008 using Argos satellite technology. The home ranges for both adults and juveniles varied, ranging between 44 and 587 km2. The falcons occasionally utilised areas outside the forest and used stands of all ages within the forest, generally in proportion to their availability. For the most part, the juveniles remained within ca. 8 km of their nests and dispersed at 58, 69, and 68 days after fledging. Falcon movement information was obtained from an average of four location points per tracking day per falcon at a putative accuracy of 350 m. The transmitters, including their solar charge capability, performed well in the forest environment. The use of all stand ages highlights the importance of forestry practises that maintain a mosaic of different aged pine stands.

  5. Persistent environmental pollutants in eggs of aplomado falcons from Northern Chihuahua, Mexico, and South Texas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, M.A.; Montoya, A.B.; Lee, M.C.; Macias-Duarte, Alberto; Rodriguez-Salazar, R.; Juergens, P.W.; Lafon-Terrazas, A.

    2008-01-01

    The northern aplomado falcon (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) disappeared from south Texas in the 1940s. Due to great success in the release of captive-reared aplomado falcons in south Texas, there are currently more than 40 established nesting pairs in the region. Addled eggs from aplomado falcons nesting in northern Chihuahua and south Texas were analyzed to determine organochlorine (OC) and inorganic element contaminant burdens and their potential association with egg failures and effects on reproduction. Among the OCs, DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene] was present at the highest concentrations (range 262-21487??ng/g wet weight) followed by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, range 88-3274??ng/g ww). DDE was greater (P = 0.03) in eggs from El Sueco (Chihuahua, Mexico) than in those from Matagorda Island (Texas, USA). DDE concentrations in eggs of aplomado falcons from El Sueco were elevated; however, reproductive success in the two Chihuahuan populations did not seem to be affected by DDE. DDE and metals in potential avian prey of the aplomado falcon from Matagorda Island were very low and below levels in the diet at which some negative effects might be expected. Except for mercury (Hg), metal concentrations in eggs were fairly low and were not different among locations in Chihuahua and south Texas. Hg was somewhat elevated and was greater (P Chihuahua locations. Periodic monitoring of Hg concentrations in addled eggs of aplomado falcons in south Texas is recommended to continue evaluating potential negative effects on their recovery. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Alexander Falconer Sr Seamen's missionary in New Zealand, son Alexander Falconer medical superintendent for mentally ill, grandson Murray Falconer neurosurgeon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawgood, Barbara J

    2016-08-01

    Alexander Falconer Sr (1843-1915) came from Scotland to New Zealand. A practical Christian, he set up places of relaxation for miners, sailors and soldiers; he became the Seamen's Missionary. Son, Dr Alexander Falconer (1874-1955) trained at Otago University Medical School. As medical superintendent for the mentally ill, he urged the early introduction of psychotherapy. His son, Murray Falconer (1910-1977) was the first Nuffield Dominions Clinical Fellow, training in neurosurgery in Oxford. He was the first director of the Guy's-Maudsley Neurosurgical Unit in London and was internationally known for the surgical management of temporal lobe epilepsy in adults and children. © The Author(s) 2016.

  7. Unusual raptor nests around the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.; Craig, T.; Craig, E.; Postupalsky, S.; LaRue, C.T.; Nelson, R.W.; Anderson, D.W.; Henny, C.J.; Watson, J.; Millsap, B.A.; Dawson, J.W.; Cole, K.L.; Martin, E.M.; Margalida, A.; Kung, P.

    2009-01-01

    From surveys in many countries, we report raptors using unusual nesting materials (e.g., paper money, rags, metal, antlers, and large bones) and unusual nesting situations. For example, we documented nests of Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis and Upland Buzzards Buteo hemilasius on the ground beside well-traveled roads, Saker Falcon Falco cherrug eyries in attics and a cistern, and Osprey Pandion haliaetus nests on the masts of boats and on a suspended automobile. Other records include a Golden Eagle A. chrysaetos nest 7.0 m in height, believed to be the tallest nest ever described, and, for the same species, we report nesting in rudimentary nests. Some nest sites are within a few meters of known predators or competitors. These unusual observations may be important in revealing the plasticity of a species' behavioral repertoire. ?? 2009 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  8. Environmental contaminants in prey and tissues of the peregrine falcon in the Big Bend Region, Texas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, M.; Skiles, R.; McKinney, B.; Paredes, M.; Buckler, D.; Papoulias, D.; Klein, D.

    2002-01-01

    Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) have been recorded nesting in Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA and other areas of the Chihuahuan Desert since the early 1900s. From 1993 to 1996, peregrine falcon productivity rates were very low and coincided with periods of low rainfall. However, low productivity also was suspected to be caused by environmental contaminants. To evaluate potential impacts of contaminants on peregrine falcon populations, likely avian and bat prey species were collected during 1994 and 1997 breeding seasons in selected regions of western Texas, primarily in Big Bend National Park. Tissues of three peregrine falcons found injured or dead and feathers of one live fledgling also were analyzed. Overall, mean concentrations of DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene], a metabolite of DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane], were low in all prey species except for northern rough-winged swallows (Stelgidopteryx serripennis, mean = 5.1 microg/g ww). Concentrations of mercury and selenium were elevated in some species, up to 2.5 microg/g dw, and 15 microg/g dw, respectively, which upon consumption could seriously affect reproduction of top predators. DDE levels near 5 microg/g ww were detected in carcass of one peregrine falcon found dead but the cause of death was unknown. Mercury, selenium, and DDE to some extent, may be contributing to low reproductive rates of peregrine falcons in the Big Bend region.

  9. Food supply (Orthoptera, Mantodea, Rodentia and Eulipotyphla and food preferences of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus in Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krištín Anton

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Food supply in the nesting territories of species has a key role to the species diet composition and their breeding success. Red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus preys predominantly on larger insect species with a supplementary portion of smaller vertebrates. In the breeding periods 2014 and 2016 their food supply, focusing on Orthoptera, Mantodea, Rodentia and Eulipotyphla, was analysed at five historical nesting sites of the species in Slovakia. Preference for these prey groups in the diet was also studied at the last active nesting site in this country. Overall we recorded 45 Orthoptera species (of which 23 species are known as the food of the red-footed falcon, one species of Mantodea, 10 species of Rodentia (of which 2 species are known as the food of the red-footed falcon and 5 species of the Eulipotyphla order in the food supply. With regard to the availability of the falcons' preferred food, in both years the most suitable was the Tvrdošovce site, which continuously showed the greatest range and abundance of particular species. In the interannual comparison the insects showed lower variability in abundance than the small mammals. In 2014 the growth of the common vole (Microtus arvalis population culminated and with the exception of a single site (Bodza a slump in abundance was recorded in 2016. In comparing the diet composition with the food supply at the last Slovak breeding site Rusovce (Special Protection Area Sysľovské polia, we recorded significant preference for grasshopper Caliptamus italicus (in 2014, common vole (in 2016 and cricket Tettigonia viridissima (in both years in the falcons' diet. They did not prey on the Apodemus sylvaticus species belonging among the abundant small mammal species in that locality. Conservation measures in the agricultural landscape are discussed in relation to homogeneous red-footed falcon breeding territories.

  10. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  11. Supplementary Feeding, Plumage Documentation and Early Season Prey of Peregrine Falcons at the New Mexico Alpha Eyrie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ponton, David A. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-03-20

    A review of what is known about avian physiology and the biological effects of DDE suggests that some benefit to peregrine falcon egg condition could be attained by artificially feeding DDE free prey to the female from the time of her arrival on the nesting grounds until completion of egg laying; the magnitude of potential benefit is unknown. Sporadic efforts in the past demonstrated the need for precision methods of prey delivery. Two methods were developed and tried; providing dead prey items by dropping them in a day perch, and delivery of live prey by remotely controlled release from compartments positioned at the top of the cliff occupied by the falcons. Maintaining quail in the day perch for 21 days resulted in at least one and probably two meals for the female peregrine. Of 16 live birds released (mostly pigeons) 13 were pursued and three caught. Blinding the pigeons with tape proved to be necessary to enable capture. Also, some reluctance of the male peregrine to attack pigeons was observed, and problems with equipment, visibility, and the proximity of the falcons to the release box were encountered. Manpower was the most significant resource requirement. Baiting of great-horned owls, possibly leading to owl attack on the falcons, is judged to be the largest detrimental effect of supplemental feeding. It is recommended that supplemental feeding be reserved for falcons or eyries where complete reproductive failure is expected. Plumage documentation photography was successfully conducted by a remotely controlled camera as an aid to identification of individual falcons. American robin, red-winged blackbird, starling, white-throated swift, bluebird, and mourning dove were among natural prey consumed by the peregrines before completion of egg laying. All activities in close proximity to the cliff were conducted at night to preclude direct disturbance of the falcons.

  12. Louse (Insecta: Phthiraptera infestations of the Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis and the Red-footed Falcon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piross Imre Sándor

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the louse species harboured by Red-footed and Amur Falcons despite the fact that various life-history traits of these hosts make them good model species to study host-parasite interactions. We collected lice samples from fully grown Amur (n=20 and Red-footed Falcons (n=59, and from nestlings of Red-footed Falcons (n=179 in four countries: Hungary, India, Italy and South Africa. We identified 3 louse species on both host species, namely Degeeriella rufa, Colpocephalum subzerafae and Laembothrion tinnunculi. The latter species has never been found on these hosts. Comparing population parameters of lice between hosts we found significantly higher prevalence levels of D. rufa and C. subzerafae on Amur Falcons. Adult Red-footed Falcons had higher D. rufa prevalence compared to C. subzerafae. For the first time we also show inter-annual shift in prevalence and intensity levels of these species on Red-footed Falcons; in 2012 on adult hosts C. subzerafae had higher intensity levels than D. rufa, however in 2014 D. rufa had significantly higher intensity compared to C. subzerafae. In case of nestlings both louse species had significantly higher preva lence levels than in 2014. The exact causes of such inter-annual shifts are yet to be understood.

  13. Prairie Conservation in Canada: The Prairie Conservation Action Plan Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Nernberg; David Ingstrup

    2005-01-01

    In Canada, grassland conservation has been mobilized and directed through the development of Prairie Conservation Action Plans and Action Plan Committees in the three prairie provinces of Alberta (45 partner agencies and organizations), Saskatchewan (26 partners), and Manitoba (26 partners). In Alberta, 43 percent of the native prairie remains; in Saskatchewan and...

  14. Do staging semipalmated sandpipers spend the high-tide period in flight over the Ocean to Avoid Falcon Attacks along Shore?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekker, D.; Dekker, I.; Christie, D.; Ydenberg, R.C.

    2011-01-01

    The interaction of aerial predators and migrant Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) was studied at Mary's Point in the upper Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada, during August of 2009 and 2010. Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) were locally reintroduced and increased from one active nest

  15. Where have all the falcons gone? Saker falcon (falco cherrug exports in a global economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul B. Stretesky

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Within conservation biology growing evidence of the decline of the Saker falcon (falco cherrug population has directed attention to the role of the global falcon trade. Here, we examine factors that may explain the global Saker trade using ecological modernization, treadmill of production and unequal ecological exchange as theoretical frameworks. We estimate trends in Saker exports using the most comprehensive measure available – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Trade Database. Our analysis employs fixed effects regression techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity between nations to isolate the most important drivers of Saker exports. We find that the rise in Saker exports are partly correlated with a nation's increasing income and growing dependence on trade. Such a situation infers that the global Saker falcon population will continue to diminish if conservation policy does not change and current economic conditions continue. Keywords: Avian conservation, Conservation governance, Wildlife trade, Biodiversity, Raptor decline

  16. A spatially-dynamic preliminary risk assessment of the American peregrine falcon at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (version 1)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallegos, A.F.; Gonzales, G.J.; Bennett, K.D.

    1997-06-01

    The Endangered Species Act and the Record of Decision on the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory require protection of the American peregrine falcon. A preliminary risk assessment of the peregrine was performed using a custom FORTRAN model and a geographical information system. Estimated doses to the falcon were compared against toxicity reference values to generate hazard indices. Hazard index results indicated no unacceptable risk to the falcon from the soil ingestion pathway, including a measure of cumulative effects from multiple contaminants that assumes a linear additive toxicity type. Scaling home ranges on the basis of maximizing falcon height for viewing prey decreased estimated risk by 69% in a canyons-based home range and increased estimated risk by 40% in a river-based home range. Improving model realism by weighting simulated falcon foraging based on distance from potential nest sites decreased risk by 93% in one exposure unit and by 82% in a second exposure unit. It was demonstrated that choice of toxicity reference values can have a substantial impact on risk estimates. Adding bioaccumulation factors for several organics increased partial hazard quotients by a factor of 110, but increased the mean hazard index by only 0.02 units. Adding a food consumption exposure pathway in the form of biomagnification factors for 15 contaminants of potential ecological concern increased the mean hazard index to 1.16 (± 1.0), which is above the level of acceptability (1.0). Aroclor-1254, dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane (DDT) and dichlorodiphenylethelyne (DDE) accounted for 81% of the estimated risk that includes soil ingestion and food consumption Contaminant pathways and a biomagnification component. Information on risk by specific geographical location was generated, which can be used to manage contaminated areas, falcon habitat, facility siting, and/or facility operations. 123 refs., 10 figs., 2 tabs

  17. A spatially-dynamic preliminary risk assessment of the American peregrine falcon at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (version 1)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallegos, A.F.; Gonzales, G.J.; Bennett, K.D. [and others

    1997-06-01

    The Endangered Species Act and the Record of Decision on the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory require protection of the American peregrine falcon. A preliminary risk assessment of the peregrine was performed using a custom FORTRAN model and a geographical information system. Estimated doses to the falcon were compared against toxicity reference values to generate hazard indices. Hazard index results indicated no unacceptable risk to the falcon from the soil ingestion pathway, including a measure of cumulative effects from multiple contaminants that assumes a linear additive toxicity type. Scaling home ranges on the basis of maximizing falcon height for viewing prey decreased estimated risk by 69% in a canyons-based home range and increased estimated risk by 40% in a river-based home range. Improving model realism by weighting simulated falcon foraging based on distance from potential nest sites decreased risk by 93% in one exposure unit and by 82% in a second exposure unit. It was demonstrated that choice of toxicity reference values can have a substantial impact on risk estimates. Adding bioaccumulation factors for several organics increased partial hazard quotients by a factor of 110, but increased the mean hazard index by only 0.02 units. Adding a food consumption exposure pathway in the form of biomagnification factors for 15 contaminants of potential ecological concern increased the mean hazard index to 1.16 ({+-} 1.0), which is above the level of acceptability (1.0). Aroclor-1254, dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane (DDT) and dichlorodiphenylethelyne (DDE) accounted for 81% of the estimated risk that includes soil ingestion and food consumption Contaminant pathways and a biomagnification component. Information on risk by specific geographical location was generated, which can be used to manage contaminated areas, falcon habitat, facility siting, and/or facility operations. 123 refs., 10 figs., 2 tabs.

  18. Short-term effects of the prestige oil spill on the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuberogoitia, I.; Iraeta, A.; Azkona, A. [Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi, Donostia-San (Spain); Estudios Medioambientales Icarus, Bizkaia (Spain); Sociedad para el Estudio de las Aves Rapaces (SEAR), (Spain); Martinez, J.A. [C/Juan de la Cierva, Alicante (Spain); Zabala, J. [Sociedad para el Estudio de las Aves Rapaces (SEAR), (Spain); Jimenez, B.; Merino, R.; Gomez, G. [Institute of Organic Chemistry, CSIC, Madrid (Spain). Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry

    2006-10-15

    We have monitored the distribution, population status, breeding success, turnover rate and diet of a Peregrine Falcon population in Bizkaia (North of Spain) since 1997. On the 13th November 2002, the tanker Prestige sunk off La Coruna (NW Spain) causing an oil spill that affected the whole of the Cantabrian Coast and the Southwest of France. The total number of birds affected by the Prestige oil spill was expected to be between 115,000 and 230,000, some of them raptors. The loss of clutches during the incubation period increased significantly and was correlated with the loss of females. Moreover, the turnover rate of the population increased from 21% to 30%. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations in the eggs, collected from five nests after they were deserted, ranged from 21.20 ng/g to 461.08 ng/g, values which are high enough to cause the death of the embryos and poisoning of adult birds. The effects of pollution reached inland since some inland-breeding falcons prey on shorebirds that use rivers during their migratory flights. As the Prestige oil spill has clearly resulted in increased rates of adult mortality and reduced fertility, we suggest that the environmental authorities urgently undertake measures aimed at protecting the Peregrine Falcon in Bizkaia. (author)

  19. Intraspecific evolutionary relationships among peregrine falcons in western North American high latitudes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra L Talbot

    Full Text Available Subspecies relationships within the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus have been long debated because of the polytypic nature of melanin-based plumage characteristics used in subspecies designations and potential differentiation of local subpopulations due to philopatry. In North America, understanding the evolutionary relationships among subspecies may have been further complicated by the introduction of captive bred peregrines originating from non-native stock, as part of recovery efforts associated with mid 20th century population declines resulting from organochloride pollution. Alaska hosts all three nominal subspecies of North American peregrine falcons-F. p. tundrius, anatum, and pealei-for which distributions in Alaska are broadly associated with nesting locales within Arctic, boreal, and south coastal maritime habitats, respectively. Unlike elsewhere, populations of peregrine falcon in Alaska were not augmented by captive-bred birds during the late 20th century recovery efforts. Population genetic differentiation analyses of peregrine populations in Alaska, based on sequence data from the mitochondrial DNA control region and fragment data from microsatellite loci, failed to uncover genetic distinction between populations of peregrines occupying Arctic and boreal Alaskan locales. However, the maritime subspecies, pealei, was genetically differentiated from Arctic and boreal populations, and substructured into eastern and western populations. Levels of interpopulational gene flow between anatum and tundrius were generally higher than between pealei and either anatum or tundrius. Estimates based on both marker types revealed gene flow between augmented Canadian populations and unaugmented Alaskan populations. While we make no attempt at formal taxonomic revision, our data suggest that peregrine falcons occupying habitats in Alaska and the North Pacific coast of North America belong to two distinct regional groupings-a coastal grouping

  20. Baby falcon rescued on CERN site

    CERN Multimedia

    Harriet Jarlett

    2016-01-01

    This baby falcon was found on Tuesday, 7 June near a car parked in the Building 40 carpark.   Connie Potter, who first saw the bird, contacted CRR (Centre de Réadaptation des Rapaces) at Bardonnex. Following their advice Connie and Chris Thomas managed to pick it up and get it into a box, and waited with the bird at the main gate for the CRR to collect it. The chick will be fed and trained to fly at the Centre in a tunnel, and ultimately released into the wild, probably near CERN. The bird, who has been tagged with ID number 2054, weighed 119 grams.

  1. Night sky a falcon field guide

    CERN Document Server

    Nigro, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Night Sky: A Falcon Field Guide covers both summer and winter constellations, planets, and stars found in the northern hemisphere. Conveniently sized to fit in a pocket and featuring detailed photographs, this informative guide makes it easy to identify objects in the night sky even from one's own backyard. From information on optimal weather conditions, preferred viewing locations, and how to use key tools of the trade, this handbook will help you adeptly navigate to and fro the vast and dynamic nighttime skies, and you'll fast recognize that the night sky's the limit.

  2. Chemistry aspects of the Falcon programme

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beard, A.M.; Bennett, P.J.; Benson, C.G.; Sabathier, F.

    1990-12-01

    Experiments have been conducted in the Falcon facility to study the interaction of fission product vapours released from simulant and trace-irradiated fuel samples with bulk-materials aerosol such as control rod alloy and boric acid. These experiments were designed in collaboration with computer code specialists to represent, as closely as possible, the conditions pertaining within a severe reactor accident. Small segments of fuel were heated to ∼2000 K and the resulting vapour-aerosol release was studied along a pathway simulating the upper plenum, hot-leg structures and containment. (author)

  3. Serratospiculosis in Captive Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veiga, Inês B; Schediwy, Marion; Hentrich, Brigitte; Frey, Caroline F; Marreros, Nelson; Stokar-Regenscheit, Nadine

    2017-09-01

    Infection with Serratospiculum species was identified in a captive peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in Switzerland. Pathologic and parasitologic examination results revealed generalized severe granulomatous airsacculitis, with intralesional adults, larvae, and eggs of Serratospiculum species. Subsequently, an individual coprological analysis of the remaining 15 falcons (peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons [Falco rusticolus]) from the same owner was performed. Eggs of Serratospiculum species (4 birds) and Capillaria species (11 birds), and oocysts of Caryospora species (1 bird) were detected. Treatment with ivermection (2 mg/kg SC) was effective, as none of the falcons excreted Serratospiculum species eggs 10 days after one dose. To our knowledge, this is the first report of infection with Serratospiculum species in captive falcons in Europe.

  4. Establishment of prairies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lotero Cadavid, J.

    2001-01-01

    Are analyzed the establishment of prairies, such as the selection of the species, the factors of the environment, the impact in the establishment and forage production and its relation to the soil, the precipitation, the temperature, the light and the biotic factors. It is indicated that the selection of the species to settle down, is directly related with the climate and the soil and they group to be tolerant to drought, tolerant to flood soils, tolerant to humid soils, tolerant to soils very acids, moderately acids and saline. It is noticed that a bad establishment of the grasses can be due to the bad quality of the seed, a temperature and unfavorable humidity can cause low germination; equally seeds planted very deeply in heavy soils with excess of humidity. Considerations are made about the establishment and growth of the prairies in connection with the germination, cultures, sowing density and sowing on time, as well as for the soil preparation, the sowing in terrestrial mechanic and non mechanic and the use of cultivations forms of low cost and fertilization systems; equally the establishment of leguminous in mixture with gramineous, the renovation of prairies and the establishment of pastures

  5. Sex in the City: Breeding Behavior of Urban Peregrine Falcons in the Midwestern US.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel C Caballero

    Full Text Available Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus were extirpated from most of the continental United States by widespread use of the pesticide DDT in the 1960s. Populations have rebounded with banning of the pesticide and successful implementation of captive breeding and hacking programs. An essentially new population of Midwestern peregrines now exists that is comprised almost entirely of urban-nesting birds. The new population is considered to be of mixed ancestry, occurs at relatively high densities, and has nest sites in close proximity, factors that could influence breeding behaviors including mate fidelity, nest-site fidelity, extra-pair paternity, and natal dispersal. We investigated these behaviors using a combination of field observations and DNA microsatellite genotyping. Data for eleven microsatellite DNA markers, including eight newly developed for the species, were analyzed from a total of 350 birds from nine Midwestern cities, representing 149 broods collected at 20 nest sites. To document breeding behavior, parentage was inferred by likelihood techniques when both parents were sampled and by parental genotype reconstruction when only one parent was sampled. In cases where neither parent was sampled, a sibship reconstruction approach was used. We found high mate fidelity and nest-site fidelity in urban peregrines; in 122 nesting attempts made by long-term breeders, only 12 (9.8% mate changes and six (4.9% nest-site changes occurred. Only one brood (of 35 tested revealed extra-pair paternity and involved a male tending two offspring of a recently acquired mate. Natal dispersal patterns indicated that female peregrines dispersed on average 226 km, almost twice the distance of males (average 124 km. Despite the novel environment of cities, our results suggest that monogamous breeding, nest fidelity, and female natal dispersal are high in urban peregrines, not unlike other raptors living in non-urban habitats.

  6. The First Results of the Project on Restoration of Genetic Diversity of the Saker Falcon Populations in the Altai-Sayan Region, Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V. Karyakin

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available On summer 2017 a pilot project on population recovery of Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug was conducted in Altai-Sayan region of Russia. Ten 20-days old falcons of “Altaic” morph from a breeding center were placed in nests of wild falcons of other color morphs. Sequence of control region (D-loop of mitochondrial genome from 414 to 1417 bp (1004 bp proofed that in particular cases haplotypes of non-native nestlings from the breeding center were similar to those of native falcons that acted as adoptive parents. Analysis also revealed that haplotypes of nestlings matched the previously determined western and eastern haplogroups. Ten nestlings from a breeding center were placed in 6 nests of wild Sakers with 24 native nestlings. Video-recording revealed no aggression between native and no-native nestlings, as well as no aggression from adult birds towards non-native nestlings. The losses before fledging amounted to 4 nestlings. One native and one non-native nestlings were killed on a nest by an Eagle Owl in Altai Republic, and 2 native nestlings died for an unknown cause in Tuva Republic. In total, 9 non-native nestlings and 21 native nestlings successfully fledged and left the nests. The known losses after fledging amounted to 2 young birds – one native and one non-native, both were killed by bigger raptors. The youngest female from the nest in Altai Republic tagged with GPS-GSM tracker successfully migrates and winters now in Mongolia.

  7. Spatial variation in keystone effects: Small mammal diversity associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Van Nimwegen, R. E.; Ray, C.; Johnson, W.C.; Thiagarajan, Bala; Conlin, D.B.; Holmes, B.E.

    2010-01-01

    Species with extensive geographic ranges may interact with different species assemblages at distant locations, with the result that the nature of the interactions may vary spatially. Black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus occur from Canada to Mexico in grasslands of the western Great Plains of North America. Black-tailed prairie dogs alter vegetation and dig extensive burrow systems that alter grassland habitats for plants and other animal species. These alterations of habitat justify the descriptor " ecological engineer," and the resulting changes in species composition have earned them status as a keystone species. We examined the impact of black-tailed prairie dogs on small mammal assemblages by trapping at on- and off-colony locations at eight study areas across the species' geographic range. We posed 2 nested hypotheses: 1) prairie dogs function as a keystone species for other rodent species; and 2) the keystone role varies spatially. Assuming that it does, we asked what are the sources of the variation? Black-tailed prairie dogs consistently functioned as a keystone species in that there were strong statistically significant differences in community composition on versus off prairie dog colonies across the species range in prairie grassland. Small mammal species composition varied along both latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, and species richness varied from 4 to 11. Assemblages closer together were more similar; such correlations approximately doubled when including only on- or off-colony grids. Black-tailed prairie dogs had a significant effect on associated rodent assemblages that varied regionally, dependent upon the composition of the local rodent species pool. Over the range of the black-tailed prairie dog, on-colony rodent richness and evenness were less variable, and species composition was more consistent than off-colony assemblages. ?? 2010 The Authors.

  8. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  9. Intraspecific evolutionary relationships among peregrine falcons in western North American high latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, Kevin; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Gravley, Meg C.; Swem, Ted; Williams, Jeffrey C.; Longmire, Jonathan L.; Ambrose, Skip; Flamme, Melanie J; Lewis, Stephen B.; Phillips, Laura M.; Anderson, Clifford; White, Clayton M

    2017-01-01

    Subspecies relationships within the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been long debated because of the polytypic nature of melanin-based plumage characteristics used in subspecies designations and potential differentiation of local subpopulations due to philopatry. In North America, understanding the evolutionary relationships among subspecies may have been further complicated by the introduction of captive bred peregrines originating from non-native stock, as part of recovery efforts associated with mid 20th century population declines resulting from organochloride pollution. Alaska hosts all three nominal subspecies of North American peregrine falcons–F. p. tundrius, anatum, and pealei–for which distributions in Alaska are broadly associated with nesting locales within Arctic, boreal, and south coastal maritime habitats, respectively. Unlike elsewhere, populations of peregrine falcon in Alaska were not augmented by captive-bred birds during the late 20th century recovery efforts. Population genetic differentiation analyses of peregrine populations in Alaska, based on sequence data from the mitochondrial DNA control region and fragment data from microsatellite loci, failed to uncover genetic distinction between populations of peregrines occupying Arctic and boreal Alaskan locales. However, the maritime subspecies, pealei, was genetically differentiated from Arctic and boreal populations, and substructured into eastern and western populations. Levels of interpopulational gene flow between anatum and tundrius were generally higher than between pealei and either anatum or tundrius. Estimates based on both marker types revealed gene flow between augmented Canadian populations and unaugmented Alaskan populations. While we make no attempt at formal taxonomic revision, our data suggest that peregrine falcons occupying habitats in Alaska and the North Pacific coast of North America belong to two distinct regional groupings–a coastal grouping

  10. Acinetobacter baumannii in Localised Cutaneous Mycobacteriosis in Falcons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margit Gabriele Muller

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Between May 2007 and April 2009, 29 falcons with identically localized, yellowish discolored cutaneous lesions in the thigh and lateral body wall region were presented at Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. Out of 18 falcons integrated in this study, 16 tested positive to Mycobacterium. avium complex. The 2 negative falcons tested positive in the Mycobacterium genus PCR. Moreover, 1 falcon tested positive to M. avium. paratuberculosis in tissue samples by PCR. In all cases, blood and fecal samples tested negative. In the acid-fast stain, all samples showed the for mycobacteriosis typical rods. Moreover, in 13 samples Acinetobacter baumannii was detected by PCR and proven by DNA sequencing. Clinical features included highly elevated WBCs, heterophilia, lymphocytopenia, monocytosis, severe anemia and weight loss. A. baumannii, a gram-negative bacillus with the ability to integrate foreign DNA, has emerged as one of the major multidrug resistant bacteria. In veterinary medicine, it has so far been detected in dogs, cats, horses and wild birds. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of an A. baumannii infection in falcons and of a veterinary Mycobacterium-Acinetobacter coinfection.

  11. Triangular Nests!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, R. I.

    2002-01-01

    Shows how integer-sided triangles can be nested, each nest having a single enclosing isosceles triangle. Brings to light what can be seen as a relatively simple generalization of Pythagoras' theorem, a result that should be readily accessible to many secondary school pupils. (Author/KHR)

  12. Orthopteran insects as potential and preferred preys of the Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus in Hungary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szövényi Gergely

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Orthopterans play an important role in Red-footed Falcon diet, however, most studies focus only on its qualitative food composition, and less on quantitative composition and preferences of the taxa identified as prey. During the present research, an extensive orthopterological investigation was carried out in the Red-footed Falcon study area, Vásárhelyi Plain (SE-Hungary between 2006 and 2008. Grasshoppers were sampled in their main habitats by sweep netting and pitfall trapping, and orthopterans were identified in the food remnants collected from the nests, both artificial and natural ones. 26 species were detected during the field works, 18 species from the food remnants. Altogether 32 species were identified. Prey preference values for all species for each year were calculated. More than two thirds of the identified preys were Decticus verrucivorus, and nearly 20% were Tettigonia viridissima. Other common prey species were Melanogryllus desertus, Platycleis affinis, Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa, Calliptamus italicus and Gryllus campestris. Based on the prey preference analysis, the most preferred species was Decticus verrucivorus with extreme high values, and the other preferred ones, overlapping with the previous list, were Platycleis affinis, Bicolorana bicolor, Tettigonia viridissima, Calliptamus italicus and Roeseliana roeselii. These results may help in the development of Red-footed Falcon-friendly habitats through the application of habitat management favourable for the preferred prey species.

  13. Morphology of primary feathers in two falcon species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honisch, B.; Bleckmann, H.; Schmitz, H.; Schmitz, A.

    2012-04-01

    Primary feathers allow birds to fly; however, morphology and material properties of theses feathers vary in different bird species. We therefore analysed both morphology and material properties of primary feathers in two raptor species, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) which is the fastest vertical flyer known, and the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nanoindentation. The program AutoCAD was used for the computation of the moments of inertia. The reduced E-modulus of the cortex of the rachis of the first, fifth, and tenth primary were measured at proximal (10% of total rachis length), central (50%) and distal (75%) cross-sections. In all cross sections the kestrel showed higher E-moduli than the peregrine falcon (values varied between 6.7 and 9.1 GPa). In the primaries, values increased from proximal to central but decreased distally. Looking at the hardness, the kestrel had higher values than the peregrine falcon yet again. The main differences occurred in the first primary. Values ranged between 0.17 and 0.4 GPa. SEM studies revealed that the tenth primary was more stable in the peregrine falcon, featuring more hamuli than the kestrel at all analysed positions and longer hamuli at the distal positions. The higher moments of inertia found in the peregrine falcon caused a much higher bending stiffness in this species. Values were 4.4 to 9.1 times larger in the peregrine falcon than in the kestrel. Because the given structures are responsible for the stability of the feather face it seems that the feathers of F. peregrinus are more robust than those of F. tinnunculus. Even when considering the higher body mass of the peregrine falcon compared to the kestrel (3.4 times), the determined stability of the feather compensates for this problem.

  14. Saker Falcon on the Crimean Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V. Karyakin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this article we made a revaluation of a number of the Saker (Falco cherrug on the Crimean Peninsula based on data obtained in an expedition conducted in May 9–26 of 2015. During this expedition Sakers were observed on 58 sites (31 times they were seen on pylons of power lines, 14 – on cliffs in the foothills of Crimean Mountains, 8 – on the coastal cliffs and 4 on the coastal precipices, and one adult male was seen in the forest shelter belt near Syvash lagoon. We revealed 49 breeding territories of Saker including 42 occupied nests with successful breeding. The estimation of the total number of breeding population on peninsula is 145–184 (mean 165 breeding pairs, including 125–159 (mean 142 pairs which breeding attempts were successful in 2015. The distance between the neighboring pairs is 1.95–15.21 km (mean 6.56±3.37 km, n=43. Pylons of power lines were used by 30 breeding pairs (61.22% out of 49, and 29 successful nests (69.05% out of 42 were built on pylons. Supposedly, 63.83% of all breeding pairs in Crimea are bred on pylons, and the percentage of successful nests out of the total number of nests in population is 71.89%. From the 34 nests that were built on pylons, 24 (70.59% were located on the concrete pylons and 10 (29.41% on the metal ones. On cliffs and precipices we found 24 nests in total. Eighteen (75% of them were built on a bare ground, while the others were found in the nests built by other bird species (most of them were made in the former nests of the Raven (Corvus corax, and one pair occupies a nest of the Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus located on cliff. The percentage of successful nests out of occupied ones was 85.71%. We found broods of 1–4 nestlings, which in average (n=23 makes 2.83±0.78 nestling per successful nest. The majority of broods (65.22% consisted of 3 nestlings. On 20 breeding territories (90.91% male birds were older then 2 years old, and two breeding territories (9.09% were occupied

  15. Weather variability affects the Peregrine Falcon (F. p. tundrius) breeding success in South Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carlzon, Linnéa; Karlsson, Amanda; Falk, Knud

    Global warming is affecting the Arctic at a much higher rate than the rest of the globe, causing a rapidly changing environment for Arctic biota. Climate change is already causing increased variability and extremes in precipitation. Although the peregrine falcon is a well-studied top predator...... in the Arctic only a few studies have identified how the changing weather patterns affect the breeding populations. Therefore, in order to understand the effects of climate change on the peregrine’s future prospects, we investigated the relationship between weather variability (“extreme weather”) and breeding......’ and total days with ‘extreme weather’ during the pre-laying and incubation period also had significant negative correlation with breeding success. Contrary to expectations (and other studies), we found no significant effect of precipitation during the nesting period. Results also indicate that other factors...

  16. Provisioning nest material for Rooks; a potential tool for conservation management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horváth Éva

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Active conservation measures often entail supplementing scarce resources, such as food or nesting site to high conservation value species. We hypothesized that adequate nest material in reasonable distance is a scarce resource for Rooks breeding in open grassland habitats of Hungary. Here we show that Rooks willingly utilize large quantities of provided excess nesting material, and that this procedure may alter nest composition, and increase the number of successful pairs. Our results show that while nest height remains constant, twig diameter is significantly larger, the number of twigs used per nest is presumably smaller, and that the ratio of nests with fledglings is higher in a rookery where supplementary twigs were present. Providing twigs and branches in the vicinity of rookeries may serve as an active conservation measure to increase the number of nests in a rookery, and thus the potential number of nesting possibilities for Red-footed Falcons.

  17. PBDEs, PCBs, and DDE in eggs and their impacts on aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis) from Chihuahua and Veracruz, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mora, M.A.; Baxter, C.; Sericano, J.L.; Montoya, A.B.; Gallardo, J.C.; Rodriguez-Salazar, J.R.

    2011-01-01

    Eggs from aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) nesting in Chihuahua and Veracruz, Mexico, were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and PBDEs. p,p'-DDE was the only organochlorine found in all eggs at concentrations ranging from 0.13 to 7.85 μg/g wet weight. PCBs ranged from 0.04 to 2.80 μg/g wet weight and PBDEs from 62 to 798 ng/g lipid weight. DDE concentrations in eggs were not significantly different among regions; however, PCBs were significantly greater (P = 0.015) in Tinaja Verde, Chihuahua than in the other three regions. Also, PBDEs were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in eggs from Veracruz than in those from Chihuahua. DDE concentrations in eggs were much lower than those associated with eggshell thinning. PBDEs and PCBs were lower than those reported in raptors from industrialized countries. Overall, contaminant concentrations observed suggest no likely impact on hatching success. The PBDE concentrations are among the first to be reported in raptor species in Mexico. - Highlights: → We analyzed environmental contaminants in eggs of aplomado falcons from Mexico. → Of all the organochlorine pesticides, only p,p'-DDE was detected in all the eggs. → Eggshell thickness was 20% thicker than the reported in eggshells from the 1970s. → Total PCBs and PBDEs were lower than those reported in industrialized countries. → Aplomado falcons in Mexico are currently not affected by DDE, PCBs, or PBDEs. - PBDEs, PCBs, and p,p'-DDE were not elevated in eggs and not likely to impact aplomado falcons in eastern and northern Mexico.

  18. PBDEs, PCBs, and DDE in eggs and their impacts on aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis) from Chihuahua and Veracruz, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mora, M.A., E-mail: mmora@tamu.edu [Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843-2258 (United States); Baxter, C. [Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843-2258 (United States); Sericano, J.L. [Geochemical and Environmental Research Group, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77845 (United States); Montoya, A.B. [The Peregrine Fund, Inc, Boise, ID 83709 (United States); Gallardo, J.C. [Instituto de Neuroetologia, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz 91190 (Mexico); Rodriguez-Salazar, J.R. [The Peregrine Fund, Inc, Boise, ID 83709 (United States)

    2011-12-15

    Eggs from aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) nesting in Chihuahua and Veracruz, Mexico, were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and PBDEs. p,p'-DDE was the only organochlorine found in all eggs at concentrations ranging from 0.13 to 7.85 {mu}g/g wet weight. PCBs ranged from 0.04 to 2.80 {mu}g/g wet weight and PBDEs from 62 to 798 ng/g lipid weight. DDE concentrations in eggs were not significantly different among regions; however, PCBs were significantly greater (P = 0.015) in Tinaja Verde, Chihuahua than in the other three regions. Also, PBDEs were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in eggs from Veracruz than in those from Chihuahua. DDE concentrations in eggs were much lower than those associated with eggshell thinning. PBDEs and PCBs were lower than those reported in raptors from industrialized countries. Overall, contaminant concentrations observed suggest no likely impact on hatching success. The PBDE concentrations are among the first to be reported in raptor species in Mexico. - Highlights: > We analyzed environmental contaminants in eggs of aplomado falcons from Mexico. > Of all the organochlorine pesticides, only p,p'-DDE was detected in all the eggs. > Eggshell thickness was 20% thicker than the reported in eggshells from the 1970s. > Total PCBs and PBDEs were lower than those reported in industrialized countries. > Aplomado falcons in Mexico are currently not affected by DDE, PCBs, or PBDEs. - PBDEs, PCBs, and p,p'-DDE were not elevated in eggs and not likely to impact aplomado falcons in eastern and northern Mexico.

  19. Habitat and nesting biology of Mountain Plovers in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumb, R.E.; Anderson, S.H.; Knopf, F.L.

    2005-01-01

    Although previous research has considered habitat associations and breeding biology of Mountain Plovers in Wyoming at discrete sites, no study has considered these attributes at a statewide scale. We located 55 Mountain Plover nests in 6 counties across Wyoming during 2002 and 2003. Nests occurred in 2 general habitat types: grassland and desert-shrub. Mean estimated hatch date was 26 June (n = 31) in 2002 and 21 June (n = 24) in 2003. Mean hatch date was not related to latitude or elevation. Hatch success of nests was inferred in 2003 by the presence of eggshell fragments in the nest scrape. Eggs in 14 of 22 (64%) known-fate nests hatched. All grassland sites and 90% of desert sites were host to ungulate grazers, although prairie dogs were absent at 64% of nest sites. Nest plots had less grass coverage and reduced grass height compared with random plots. More than 50% of nests occurred on elevated plateaus. The Mountain Plover's tendency to nest on arid, elevated plateaus further substantiates claims that the bird is also a disturbed-prairie species.

  20. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  1. Falcon seminar, Winfrith Technology Centre, 27 - 28 June 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benson, C.G.; Bowsher, B.R.; Newland, M.S.

    1990-12-01

    The objectives of the meeting were to review the Falcon work and to explore collaborative links with the Phebus-FP programme. Falcon has been designed to study the transport of fission products under conditions representative of severe reactor accidents. Analysis of the experiments is undertaken in conjunction with computer code specialists. Thus, the relevant mechanistic models can be tested and developed so that they may be applied with confidence to the predictions of the consequences of severe accidents in commercial plant. The Falcon tests were also seen as providing important separate-effects data that would aid in the interpretation of the integral data generated during the Phebus-FP project and in testing specific instruments and analytical methods; principles for further collaboration were agreed. (author)

  2. Diving-flight aerodynamics of a peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Ponitz

    Full Text Available This study investigates the aerodynamics of the falcon Falco peregrinus while diving. During a dive peregrines can reach velocities of more than 320 km h⁻¹. Unfortunately, in freely roaming falcons, these high velocities prohibit a precise determination of flight parameters such as velocity and acceleration as well as body shape and wing contour. Therefore, individual F. peregrinus were trained to dive in front of a vertical dam with a height of 60 m. The presence of a well-defined background allowed us to reconstruct the flight path and the body shape of the falcon during certain flight phases. Flight trajectories were obtained with a stereo high-speed camera system. In addition, body images of the falcon were taken from two perspectives with a high-resolution digital camera. The dam allowed us to match the high-resolution images obtained from the digital camera with the corresponding images taken with the high-speed cameras. Using these data we built a life-size model of F. peregrinus and used it to measure the drag and lift forces in a wind-tunnel. We compared these forces acting on the model with the data obtained from the 3-D flight path trajectory of the diving F. peregrinus. Visualizations of the flow in the wind-tunnel uncovered details of the flow structure around the falcon's body, which suggests local regions with separation of flow. High-resolution pictures of the diving peregrine indicate that feathers pop-up in the equivalent regions, where flow separation in the model falcon occurred.

  3. Hawaii ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for seabird nesting colonies in coastal Hawaii. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  4. Maryland ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for raptors in Maryland. Vector points in this data set represent bird nesting sites. Species-specific...

  5. Louisiana ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for seabird and wading bird nesting colonies in coastal Louisiana. Vector points in this data set represent...

  6. Instrument development in support of Falcon and Phebus-FP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowsher, B.R.; Brunning, J.

    1992-12-01

    This review has been undertaken to identify various on-line instruments and post-test analytical techniques that may improve the quality of data from both the Falcon Integral Test Programme and Phebus-FP. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of in-situ techniques to provide mass-based data on the aerodynamic properties of the aerosol and fission product-surface interactions. The principles of the following techniques are reviewed: cascade impactors, tapered element oscillating microbalance, condensation nucleus counter, Knudsen cell mass spectrometry, diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectrometry and secondary-ion mass spectrometry. These methods are currently being used in the Falcon experimental programme. (author)

  7. Migration of a Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus calidus from Saudi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In boreal autumn 1995, we tracked a migrating adult Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus calidus from the border of Saudi Arabia and Yemen to near Cape Town, South Africa, a distance of 6 346 km. While on migration it covered 288 km d−1, on average. During its migration in Africa it migrated faster than any other ...

  8. Differential mortality of wintering shorebirds on the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, due to predation by large falcons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Den Hout, Piet J.; Spaans, Bernard; Piersma, Theunis

    Predators may influence many aspects of the daily life and seasonal movements of their prey. Here we quantify direct, and evaluate indirect effects of predation by three falcon species (Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus, Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides and Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus) on

  9. OECD International Standard Problem number 34. Falcon code comparison report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, D.A.

    1994-12-01

    ISP-34 is the first ISP to address fission product transport issues and has been strongly supported by a large number of different countries and organisations. The ISP is based on two experiments, FAL-ISP-1 and FAL-ISP-2, which were conducted in AEA's Falcon facility. Specific features of the experiments include quantification of chemical effects and aerosol behaviour. In particular, multi-component aerosol effects and vapour-aerosol interactions can all be investigated in the Falcon facility. Important parameters for participants to predict were the deposition profiles and composition, key chemical species and reactions, evolution of suspended material concentrations, and the effects of steam condensation onto aerosols and particle hygroscopicity. The results of the Falcon ISP support the belief that aerosol physics is generally well modelled in primary circuit codes, but the chemistry models in many of the codes need to be improved, since chemical speciation is one of the main factors which controls transport and deposition behaviour. The importance of chemical speciation, aerosol nucleation, and the role of multi-component aerosols in determining transport and deposition behaviour are evident. The role of re-vaporization in these Falcon experiments is not clear; it is not possible to compare those codes which predicted re-vaporization with quantitative data. The evidence from this ISP exercise indicates that the containment codes can predict thermal-hydraulics conditions satisfactorily. However, the differences in the predicted aerosol locations in the Falcon tests had shown that aerosol behaviour was very susceptible to parameters such as particle size distribution

  10. Prescribed fire: A proposed management tool to facilitate black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felicia D. Archuleta; Paulette L. Ford

    2013-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are considered a keystone species in grassland ecosystems. Through their burrowing activities, they conspicuously alter grassland landscapes and provide foraging, shelter and nesting habitat for a diverse array of grassland species, in addition to serving as prey for the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes...

  11. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Davis, D.; Boydston, Kathy K.; Dixon, Charles; Heck, Willard R.

    2013-01-01

    The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001-2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s) with the most model support and then obtained future predicted values from climatewizard.org. We conducted 1,000 simulations using each reproductive parameter's linear equation obtained from regression calculations, and the future predicted value for each weather variable to predict future reproductive parameter values for lesser prairie-chickens. There was a high degree of model uncertainty for each reproductive value. Winter temperature had the greatest effect size for all three parameters, suggesting a negative relationship between above-average winter temperature and reproductive output. The above-average winter temperatures are correlated to La Nina events, which negatively affect lesser prairie-chickens through resulting drought conditions. By 2050 and 2080, nest survival was predicted to be below levels considered viable for population persistence; however, our assessment did not consider annual survival of adults, chick survival, or the positive benefit of habitat management and conservation, which may ultimately offset the potentially negative effect of drought on nest survival.

  12. Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken use of wildlife water guzzlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boal, Clint W.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Gicklhorn, Trevor S.

    2014-01-01

    Man-made water sources have been used as a management tool for wildlife, especially in arid regions, but the value of these water sources for wildlife populations is not well understood. In particular, the value of water as a conservation tool for Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is unknown. However, this is a relevant issue due to a heightened conservation concern for the species and its occupancy of an arid landscape anticipated to experience warmer, drier springs and winters. We assessed if Lesser Prairie-Chickens would use commercially available wildlife water guzzlers and if there was any apparent selection between two design types. We confirmed that Lesser Prairie-Chickens would use bird friendly designed wildlife water guzzlers. Use was primarily during the lekking-nesting period (March–May) and the brood rearing period (June–July) and primarily by males. Although both designs were used, we found significantly greater use of a design that had a wider water trough and ramp built into the tank cover compared to a design that had a longer, narrower trough extending from the tank.Although we were unable to assess the physiological need of surface water by Lesser Prairie-Chickens, we were able to verify that they will use wildlife water guzzlers to access surface water. If it is found surface water is beneficial for Lesser Prairie-Chickens, game bird friendly designed guzzlers may be a useful conservation tool for the species.

  13. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandercock, Brett K. [Kansas State University

    2013-05-22

    Executive Summary 1. We investigated the impacts of wind power development on the demography, movements, and population genetics of Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) at three sites in northcentral and eastern Kansas for a 7-year period. Only 1 of 3 sites was developed for wind power, the 201MW Meridan Way Wind Power Facility at the Smoky Hills site in northcentral Kansas. Our project report is based on population data for prairie chickens collected during a 2-year preconstruction period (2007-2008), a 3-year postconstruction period (2009-2011) and one final year of lek surveys (2012). Where relevant, we present preconstruction data from our field studies at reference sites in the northern Flint Hills (2007-2009) and southern Flint Hills (2006-2008). 2. We addressed seven potential impacts of wind power development on prairie chickens: lek attendance, mating behavior, use of breeding habitat, fecundity rates, natal dispersal, survival rates, and population numbers. Our analyses of pre- and postconstruction impacts are based on an analysis of covariance design where we modeled population performance as a function of treatment period, distance to eventual or actual site of the nearest wind turbine, and the interaction of these factors. Our demographic and movement data from the 6-year study period at the Smoky Hills site included 23 lek sites, 251 radio-marked females monitored for 287 bird-years, and 264 nesting attempts. Our genetic data were based on genotypes of 1,760 females, males and chicks that were screened with a set of 27 microsatellite markers that were optimized in the lab. 3. In our analyses of lek attendance, the annual probability of lek persistence during the preconstruction period was ~0.9. During the postconstruction period, distance to nearest turbine did not have a significant effect on the probability of lek persistence. However, the probability of lek persistence increased from 0.69 at 0 m to 0.89 at 30 km from turbines, and most

  14. Root causes of the decreasing in numbers of the Saker Falcon and ways of its decision within the Saker Falcon Global Action Plan in Russia and Kazakhstan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvira G. Nikolenko

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This report summarizes information on factors impacting on the decrease in numbers of the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug in Russia and Kazakhstan and analyses conditions в of the Global Action Plan that are aimed at neutralization of these factors to increase in numbers and sustainable management of the Saker Falcon in the wild.

  15. Design Considerations: Falcon M Dwarf Habitable Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polsgrove, Daniel; Novotny, Steven; Della-Rose, Devin J.; Chun, Francis; Tippets, Roger; O'Shea, Patrick; Miller, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is an assemblage of twelve automated 20-inch telescopes positioned around the globe, controlled from the Cadet Space Operations Center (CSOC) at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Five of the 12 sites are currently installed, with full operational capability expected by the end of 2016. Though optimized for studying near-earth objects to accomplish its primary mission of Space Situational Awareness (SSA), the Falcon telescopes are in many ways similar to those used by ongoing and planned exoplanet transit surveys targeting individual M dwarf stars (e.g., MEarth, APACHE, SPECULOOS). The network's worldwide geographic distribution provides additional potential advantages. We have performed analytical and empirical studies exploring the viability of employing the FTN for a future survey of nearby late-type M dwarfs tailored to detect transits of 1-2REarth exoplanets in habitable-zone orbits . We present empirical results on photometric precision derived from data collected with multiple Falcon telescopes on a set of nearby (survey design parameters is also described, including an analysis of site-specific weather data, anticipated telescope time allocation and the percentage of nearby M dwarfs with sufficient check stars within the Falcons' 11' x 11' field-of-view required to perform effective differential photometry. The results of this ongoing effort will inform the likelihood of discovering one (or more) habitable-zone exoplanets given current occurrence rate estimates over a nominal five-year campaign, and will dictate specific survey design features in preparation for initiating project execution when the FTN begins full-scale automated operations.

  16. Foraging opportunism and feeding frequency in the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus in Slovakia: case study from 2017

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chavko Jozef

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Foraging opportunism and feeding frequency are less studied parameters of behaviour in insectivorous falcons, many of which are endangered bird species. In this short study, prey composition and feeding frequency of red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus nestlings were studied using the method of camera recordings during seven days in July 2017 in southwestern Slovakia. Camera recording analyses of 2–3 chicks (14–26 days old in three nests revealed a significant preference for insects (97%, n = 305 prey items, of which the Italian locust (Calliptamus italicus was highly predominant (54%. We also found very high average chick feeding frequency (9.9 feedings per hour, n = 29 hours 22 min of regular observations, whereby the females fed their young ones more frequently (64.9%, n = 305 feedings than the males (35.1%. Analyses of food composition in adverse weather conditions showed that unfavourable weather had a negative effect on chick feeding frequency, and in rainy weather the males fed significantly less than the females.

  17. Song and Male Quality in Prairie Warblers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce E. Byers; Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; W. Koenig

    2016-01-01

    To determine if the songs of male prairie warblers could potentially reveal to female listeners information about the quality of singers, we compared various aspects of prairie warbler song structure and performance to attributes that might reflect a male singer's potential to enhance the fitness of his mate. We found that all the tested male attributes—arrival...

  18. Black-tailed prairie dog status and future conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Mulhern; Craig J. Knowles

    1997-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog is one of five prairie dog species estimated to have once occupied up to 100 million ha or more in North America. The area occupied by black-tailed prairie dogs has declined to approximately 2% of its former range. Conversion of habitat to other land uses and widespread prairie dog eradication efforts combined with sylvatic plague,

  19. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  20. Use of no-till winter wheat by nesting ducks in North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duebbert, H.F.; Kantrud, H.A.

    1987-01-01

    Nesting of dabbling ducks (Anatinae) was studied in fields of no-till winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota during 1984 and 1985. Total area of 59 fields searched in 1984 was 1,135 ha and total area of 70 fields searched in 1985 was 1,175 ha. Field sizes ranged from 3 ha to 110 ha. Nests of five duck species were found: blue-winged teal (Anas discors), 55 nests; northern pintail (A. acuta), 44; mallard (A. platyrhynchos), 29; gadwall (A. strepera), 15; and northern shoveler (A. clypeata), 8. The average number of nests found was 8/100 ha in 1984 and 6/100 ha in 1985. Nest success for all species averaged 26% in 1984 and 29% in 1985. Predation by mammals was the principal cause of nest destruction. No egg or hen mortality could be attributed to pesticide use. Only 6 of 151 nests (4%) were abandoned during the two years. We also found 29 nests of seven other ground-nesting bird species. The trend toward increased planting of no-till winter wheat in the prairie pothole region should benefit production of ducks and other ground-nesting birds.

  1. PBDEs, PCBs, and DDE in eggs and their impacts on aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis) from Chihuahua and Veracruz, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, M A; Baxter, C; Sericano, J L; Montoya, A B; Gallardo, J C; Rodríguez-Salazar, J R

    2011-12-01

    Eggs from aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) nesting in Chihuahua and Veracruz, Mexico, were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and PBDEs. p,p'-DDE was the only organochlorine found in all eggs at concentrations ranging from 0.13 to 7.85 μg/g wet weight. PCBs ranged from 0.04 to 2.80 μg/g wet weight and PBDEs from 62 to 798 ng/g lipid weight. DDE concentrations in eggs were not significantly different among regions; however, PCBs were significantly greater (P = 0.015) in Tinaja Verde, Chihuahua than in the other three regions. Also, PBDEs were significantly higher (P Mexico. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Monitoring of colonies and provisioning of rooks with nest material as a potential tool for stabilizing colonies and increasing nesting opportunities in the countryside. Project report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slobodník Roman

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The rook is a species inhabiting open agricultural landscape whose non-active nests are also used by other bird species for nesting. It is the decline in rook colonies that has been posited as one of the reasons for decrease in the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus population in Slovakia since the 1970s. During the period from 2012 till 2016, four monitorings of rook colonies were carried out in south-western Slovakia (Diakovce, Nitrianska Osada, Sokolce and Tvrdošovce. In the colony at Tvrdošovce, supporting activity involving provisioning of rooks with nest material was under way from 2014 until 2016. While the colonies at Diakovce and Nitrianska Osada have been showing a slight decrease in the number of nesting rooks, despite larger interannual differences the colony at Sokolce has been showing an upward trend. The size of the colony at Tvrdošovce has been stable since the beginning of the supporting activity. This activity had a statistically significant positive effect on the width of rook nests. In 74 cases in the studied rook colonies we have recorded nesting by three other bird species – Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus 43.8%, western jackdaw (Corvus monedula 39.7% and long-eared owl (Asio otus 16.4%. In 2015 two female redfooted falcons were observed in the colony at Tvrdošovce.

  3. Raptor community composition in the Texas Southern High Plains lesser prairie-chicken range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behney, A.C.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.; Lucia, D.R.

    2012-01-01

    Predation can be a factor in preventing prey population growth and sustainability when prey populations are small and fragmented, and when predator density is unrelated to the density of the single prey species. We conducted monthly raptor surveys from February 2007 to May 2009 in adjacent areas of the Texas Southern High Plains (USA) that do and do not support lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. During the summer period corresponding to prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing, Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most abundant raptor. During the lekking and overwintering period, the raptor community was diverse, with northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) being the most abundant species. Raptor abundance peaked during the early autumn and was lowest during the spring. Utility poles were a significant predictor of raptor density at survey points and Swainson's hawks and all raptors, pooled, were found in greater densities in non-prairie-chicken habitat dominated by mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Avian predation risk on prairie-chickens, based on presence and abundance of raptors, appears to be greatest during winter when there is a more abundant and diverse raptor community, and in areas with utility poles.

  4. Habitat edge, land management, and rates of brood parasitism in tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Michael A; Shochat, Eyal; Reinking, Dan L; Wolfe, Donald H; Sherrod, Steve K

    2006-04-01

    Bird populations in North America's grasslands have declined sharply in recent decades. These declines are traceable, in large part, to habitat loss, but management of tallgrass prairie also has an impact. An indirect source of decline potentially associated with management is brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which has had substantial negative impacts on many passerine hosts. Using a novel application of regression trees, we analyzed an extensive five-year set of nest data to test how management of tallgrass prairie affected rates of brood parasitism. We examined seven landscape features that may have been associated with parasitism: presence of edge, burning, or grazing, and distance of the nest from woody vegetation, water, roads, or fences. All five grassland passerines that we included in the analyses exhibited evidence of an edge effect: the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). The edge was represented by narrow strips of woody vegetation occurring along roadsides cut through tallgrass prairie. The sparrows avoided nesting along these woody edges, whereas the other three species experienced significantly higher (1.9-5.3x) rates of parasitism along edges than in prairie. The edge effect could be related directly to increase in parasitism rate with decreased distance from woody vegetation. After accounting for edge effect in these three species, we found evidence for significantly higher (2.5-10.5x) rates of parasitism in grazed plots, particularly those burned in spring to increase forage, than in undisturbed prairie. Regression tree analysis proved to be an important tool for hierarchically parsing various landscape features that affect parasitism rates. We conclude that, on the Great Plains, rates of brood parasitism are strongly associated with relatively recent road cuts

  5. 76 FR 13667 - Commercial Furniture Group, Inc., Formerly Known as Falcon Products, Inc., Shelby Williams, Howe...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-14

    ... Furniture Group, Inc., Formerly Known as Falcon Products, Inc., Shelby Williams, Howe and Thonet, Including...., Formerly Known as Falcon Products, Inc., Shelby Williams, Howe and Thonet, Chicago, IL; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance In accordance with Section 223 of...

  6. Model estimation of land-use effects on water levels of northern Prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voldseth, R.A.; Johnson, W.C.; Gilmanov, T.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Millett, B.V.

    2007-01-01

    Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region exist in a matrix of grassland dominated by intensive pastoral and cultivation agriculture. Recent conservation management has emphasized the conversion of cultivated farmland and degraded pastures to intact grassland to improve upland nesting habitat. The consequences of changes in land-use cover that alter watershed processes have not been evaluated relative to their effect on the water budgets and vegetation dynamics of associated wetlands. We simulated the effect of upland agricultural practices on the water budget and vegetation of a semipermanent prairie wetland by modifying a previously published mathematical model (WETSIM). Watershed cover/land-use practices were categorized as unmanaged grassland (native grass, smooth brome), managed grassland (moderately heavily grazed, prescribed burned), cultivated crops (row crop, small grain), and alfalfa hayland. Model simulations showed that differing rates of evapotranspiration and runoff associated with different upland plant-cover categories in the surrounding catchment produced differences in wetland water budgets and linked ecological dynamics. Wetland water levels were highest and vegetation the most dynamic under the managed-grassland simulations, while water levels were the lowest and vegetation the least dynamic under the unmanaged-grassland simulations. The modeling results suggest that unmanaged grassland, often planted for waterfowl nesting, may produce the least favorable wetland conditions for birds, especially in drier regions of the Prairie Pothole Region. These results stand as hypotheses that urgently need to be verified with empirical data.

  7. Prairie Change Analysis 1991-2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This dataset displays the results of a prairie/savanna change analysis study completed in May 2010. The area reviewed consists of 1,521 sites identified by Minnesota...

  8. Drought and Cooler Temperatures Are Associated with Higher Nest Survival in Mountain Plovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria J. Dreitz

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Native grasslands have been altered to a greater extent than any other biome in North America. The habitats and resources needed to support breeding performance of grassland birds endemic to prairie ecosystems are currently threatened by land management practices and impending climate change. Climate models for the Great Plains prairie region predict a future of hotter and drier summers with strong multiyear droughts and more frequent and severe precipitation events. We examined how fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado influenced nest survival of an avian species that has experienced recent population declines, the Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus. Nest survival averaged 27.2% over a 7-yr period (n = 936 nests and declined as the breeding season progressed. Nest survival was favored by dry conditions and cooler temperatures. Projected changes in regional precipitation patterns will likely influence nest survival, with positive influences of predicted declines in summer rainfall yet negative effects of more intense rain events. The interplay of climate change and land use practices within prairie ecosystems may result in Mountain Plovers shifting their distribution, changing local abundance, and adjusting fecundity to adapt to their changing environment.

  9. Stable occupancy by breeding hawks (Buteo spp.) over 25 years on a privately managed bunchgrass prairie in northeastern Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Patricia L.; Bartuszevige, Anne M.; Houle, Marcy; Humphrey, Ann B.; Dugger, Katie M.; Williams, John

    2014-01-01

    Potential for large prairie remnants to provide habitat for grassland-obligate wildlife may be compromised by nonsustainable range-management practices. In 1979–1980, high nesting densities of 3 species of hawks in the genus Buteo—Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Red-tailed Hawk (B. jamaicensis), and Swainson's Hawk (B. swainsoni)—were documented on the Zumwalt Prairie and surrounding agricultural areas (34,361 ha) in northeastern Oregon, USA. This area has been managed primarily as livestock summer range since it was homesteaded. Unlike in other prairie remnants, land management on the Zumwalt Prairie was consistent over the past several decades; thus, we predicted that territory occupancy of these 3 species would be stable. We also predicted that territory occupancy would be positively related to local availability of nesting structures within territories. We evaluated these hypotheses using a historical dataset, current survey and habitat data, and occupancy models. In support of our predictions, territory occupancy of all 3 species has not changed over the study period of ∼25 yr, which suggests that local range-management practices are not negatively affecting these taxa. Probability of Ferruginous Hawk occupancy increased with increasing area of aspen, an important nest structure for this species in grasslands. Probability of Swainson's Hawk occupancy increased with increasing area of large shrubs, and probability of Red-tailed Hawk occupancy was weakly associated with area of conifers. In the study area, large shrubs and conifers are commonly used as nesting structures by Swainson's Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks, respectively. Availability of these woody species is changing (increases in conifers and large shrubs, and decline in aspen) throughout the west, and these changes may result in declines in Ferruginous Hawk occupancy and increases in Swainson's Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk occupancy in the future.

  10. M Dwarf Exoplanet Survey by the Falcon Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Randall E.

    2016-10-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) consists of twelve automated 20-inch telescopes located around the globe. We control it at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado from the Cadet Space Operations Center. We have installed 10 of the 12 sites and anticipate full operational capability by the beginning of 2017. The network's worldwide geographic distribution provides advantages. The primary mission of the FTN is Space Situational Awareness and studying Near Earth Objects. However, we are employing the FTN with its 11' x 11' field-of-view for a five-year, M dwarf exoplanet survey. Specifically, we are searching for Earth-radius exoplanets. We describe the FTN, design considerations going into the FTN's M dwarf exoplanet survey including automated operations, and initial results of the survey.

  11. Education and outreach using the falcon telescope network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gresham, Kimberlee C.; Palma, Christopher; Polsgrove, Daniel E.; Chun, Francis K.; Della-Rose, Devin J.; Tippets, Roger D.

    2016-12-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is a global network of small aperture telescopes developed by the Center for Space Situational Awareness Research in the Department of Physics at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Consisting of commercially available equipment, the FTN is a collaborative effort between USAFA and other educational institutions ranging from two- and four-year colleges to major research universities. USAFA provides the equipment (e.g. telescope, mount, camera, filter wheel, dome, weather station, computers and storage devices) while the educational partners provide the building and infrastructure to support an observatory. The user base includes USAFA along with K-12 and higher education faculty and students. The diversity of the users implies a wide variety of observing interests, and thus the FTN collects images on diverse objects, including satellites, galactic and extragalactic objects, and objects popular for education and public outreach. The raw imagery, all in the public domain, will be accessible to FTN partners and will be archived at USAFA. Currently, there are five Falcon telescopes installed, two in Colorado and one each in Pennsylvania, Chile, and Australia. These five telescopes are in various stages of operational capability but all are remotely operable via a remote desktop application. The FTN team has conducted STEM First Light Projects for three of the U.S. observatories, soliciting proposals from middle and high school students and teachers that suggest and then become what is observed as official STEM first-light objects. Students and teachers learn how to write and submit a proposal as well as how telescopes operate and take data, while university-level students at the U.S. Air Force Academy and The Pennsylvania State University learn how to evaluate proposals and provide feedback to the middle and high school students and teachers. In this paper, we present the current status of the FTN, details of and lessons

  12. Analysis of selected Halden overpressure tests using the FALCON code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khvostov, G., E-mail: grigori.khvostov@psi.ch [Paul Scherrer Institut, CH 5232 Villigen PSI (Switzerland); Wiesenack, W. [Institute for Energy Technology – OECD Halden Reactor Project, P.O. Box 173, N-1751 Halden (Norway)

    2016-12-15

    Highlights: • We analyse four Halden overpressure tests. • We determine a critical overpressure value for lift-off in a BWR fuel sample. • We show the role of bonding in over-pressurized rod behaviour. • We analytically quantify the degree of bonding via its impact on cladding elongation. • We hypothesize on an effect of circumferential cracks on thermal fuel response to overpressure. • We estimate a thermal effect of circumferential cracks based on interpretation of the data. - Abstract: Four Halden overpressure (lift-off) tests using samples with uranium dioxide fuel pre-irradiated in power reactors to a burnup of 60 MWd/kgU are analyzed. The FALCON code coupled to a mechanistic model, GRSW-A for fission gas release and gaseous-bubble swelling is used for the calculation. The advanced version of the FALCON code is shown to be applicable to best-estimate predictive analysis of overpressure tests using rods without, or weak pellet-cladding bonding, as well as scoping analysis of tests with fuels where stronger pellet-cladding bonding occurs. Significant effects of bonding and fuel cracking/relocation on the thermal and mechanical behaviour of highly over-pressurized rods are shown. The effect of bonding is particularly pronounced in the tests with the PWR samples. The present findings are basically consistent with an earlier analysis based on a direct interpretation of the experimental data. Additionally, in this paper, the specific effects are quantified based on the comparison of the data with the results of calculation. It is concluded that the identified effects are largely beyond the current traditional fuel-rod licensing analysis methods.

  13. New Opportunitie s for Small Satellite Programs Provided by the Falcon Family of Launch Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinardi, A.; Bjelde, B.; Insprucker, J.

    2008-08-01

    The Falcon family of launch vehicles, developed by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), are designed to provide the world's lowest cost access to orbit. Highly reliable, low cost launch services offer considerable opportunities for risk reduction throughout the life cycle of satellite programs. The significantly lower costs of Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 as compared with other similar-class launch vehicles results in a number of new business case opportunities; which in turn presents the possibility for a paradigm shift in how the satellite industry thinks about launch services.

  14. Dynamics of habitat selection in birds: adaptive response to nest predation depends on multiple factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devries, J H; Clark, R G; Armstrong, L M

    2018-05-01

    According to theory, habitat selection by organisms should reflect underlying habitat-specific fitness consequences and, in birds, reproductive success has a strong impact on population growth in many species. Understanding processes affecting habitat selection also is critically important for guiding conservation initiatives. Northern pintails (Anas acuta) are migratory, temperate-nesting birds that breed in greatest concentrations in the prairies of North America and their population remains below conservation goals. Habitat loss and changing land use practices may have decoupled formerly reliable fitness cues with respect to nest habitat choices. We used data from 62 waterfowl nesting study sites across prairie Canada (1997-2009) to examine nest survival, a primary fitness metric, at multiple scales, in combination with estimates of habitat selection (i.e., nests versus random points), to test for evidence of adaptive habitat choices. We used the same habitat covariates in both analyses. Pintail nest survival varied with nest initiation date, nest habitat, pintail breeding pair density, landscape composition and annual moisture. Selection of nesting habitat reflected patterns in nest survival in some cases, indicating adaptive selection, but strength of habitat selection varied seasonally and depended on population density and landscape composition. Adaptive selection was most evident late in the breeding season, at low breeding densities and in cropland-dominated landscapes. Strikingly, at high breeding density, habitat choice appears to become maladaptive relative to nest predation. At larger spatial scales, the relative availability of habitats with low versus high nest survival, and changing land use practices, may limit the reproductive potential of pintails.

  15. Differential effects of coyotes and red foxes on duck nest success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sovada, Marsha A.; Sargeant, A.; Grier, J.W.

    1995-01-01

    Low recruitment rates prevail among ducks in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, primarily because of high nest depredation rates. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a major predator of duck eggs, but fox abundance is depressed by coyotes (Canis latrans). We tested the hypothesis that nest success of upland-nesting ducks is higher in areas with coyotes than in areas with red foxes. We conducted the study during 1990-92 in uplands of 36 areas managed for nesting ducks in North Dakota and South Dakota. Overall nest success averaged 32% (95% CI = 25-40) on 17 study areas where coyotes were the principal canid and 17% (CI = 11-25) on 13 study areas where red foxes were the principal canid (P = 0.01). Both canids were common on 6 other areas, where nest success averaged 25% (CI = 13-47). Habitat composition, predator communities with the exception of canids, and species composition of duck nests in coyote and red fox areas were similar overall. Upon examining only nests with greater than or equal to 6 eggs on the last visit prior to hatch or depredation, we determined nests with evidence characteristic of fox predation accounted for 4% of depredated nests in coyote areas and 27% in fox areas (P = 0.001). An expanding coyote population is contributing to higher overall nest success. Management of coyotes may be an effective method for increasing duck nest success.

  16. Soil change induced by prairie dogs across three ecological sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) can influence vegetation dynamics and landscape hydrology by altering soil properties, yet few studies have evaluated soil responses to prairie dog activities across a range of soil types. This study was conducted to quantify prairie dog effects on soil properties within...

  17. Flora and fauna associated with prairie dog colonies and adjacent ungrazed mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    William Agnew; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen

    1986-01-01

    Vegetation, small rodents, and birds were sampled during the growing seasons of 2 years on prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and adjacent mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota. Prairie dog grazing decreased mulch cover, maximum height of vegetation, plant species richness, and tended to decrease live plant canopy cover compared to...

  18. Arthropod consumption by small mammals on prairie dog colonies and adjacent ungrazed mixed grass prairie in western South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Agnew; Daniel W. Uresk; R. M. Hansen

    1988-01-01

    The percentage of arthropods and plants in the diets of seven small rodents captured on prairie dog colonies and adjacent mixed grasslands were estimated by microhistological techniques. Arthropod composition over the two year study averaged 51% and 37% on prairie dog colonies and mixed grasslands, respectively. Composition of arthropods on prairie dog colonies was...

  19. Four years with FALCON – An ESTRO educational project: Achievements and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksen, Jesper Grau; Salembier, Carl; Rivera, Sofia; De Bari, Berardino; Berger, Daniel; Mantello, Giovanna; Müller, Arndt-Christian; Martin, Arturo Navarro; Pasini, Danilo; Tanderup, Kari; Palmu, Miika; Verfaillie, Christine; Pötter, Richard; Valentini, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Variability in anatomical contouring is one of the important uncertainties in radiotherapy. FALCON (Fellowship in Anatomic deLineation and CONtouring) is an educational ESTRO (European SocieTy for Radiation and Oncology) project devoted to improve interactive teaching, the homogeneity in contouring and to compare individual contours with endorsed guidelines or expert opinions. This report summarizes the experience from the first 4 years using FALCON for educational activities within ESTRO School and presents the perspectives for the future

  20. Time-trends and congener profiles of PBDEs and PCBs in California peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, June-Soo; Holden, Arthur; Chu, Vivian; Kim, Michele; Rhee, Alexandra; Patel, Puja; Shi, Yating; Linthicum, Janet; Walton, Brian J; McKeown, Karen; Jewell, Nicholas P; Hooper, Kim

    2009-12-01

    High levels (microg/g lw) of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in peregrine falcon eggs from California (n = 90 eggs from 52 birds, 38 nest sites, collected 1986-2007, SigmaPBDEs median = 4.53, range = 0.08-53.1). Over the past 22 years, PBDE levels more than tripled each decade in the eggs, whereas PCB levels had no significant changes. PBDE levels were highest in eggs from major California cities ("Big Cities"), whereas PCBs showed no difference across the regions. For PBDEs, Big City eggs had markedly different patterns from Coastal eggs: BDE-209 and the higher brominated PBDEs (hexa-nona) were dominant congeners in Big City eggs, while BDE-47 and -99 were dominant in Coastal eggs. In many of the birds that gave multiple eggs over time ("time series"), PBDE patterns changed over time: the high proportions of BDE-209 and higher brominated PBDEs (short half-lives) in young birds contrasted with increasingly higher proportions of BDE-153 (long half-life) and other lower brominated PBDEs as the birds aged. These data are consistent with metabolic debromination of BDE-209 (t(1/2) = 1-2 weeks) to the lower brominated PBDEs, with accumulation over time of BDE-153 (t(1/2) = 3-4 years). In contrast, PCB patterns showed no differences by locations, and did not change over time. Diet (prey birds) may explain the urban PBDE pattern, as the patterns in urban pigeons and peregrines were similar, with high proportions of BDE-209 and the higher-brominated PBDEs. Also, our prey data (feathers from peregrine nests) showed urban peregrines having a higher proportion (>2 fold) of granivorous/opportunistic birds (e.g., "introduced feral" pigeons, mourning doves, starlings) in their diet than coastal peregrines. In summary, these data indicate that BDE-209 exits consumer products as an environmental contaminant to be taken up by wildlife (particularly in urban locations), and undergoes metabolic debromination to the banned lower

  1. State of the prairies of marine grasses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrios, Lina M; Gomez, Diana I

    2002-01-01

    At the end of the year 2000, INVEMAR gave beginning to the project Distribution, it structures and classification of the prairies of marine flowering in the Colombian Caribbean, guided to characterize ecological and environmentally the ecosystems in this Colombian sector, particularly as for its distribution, extension, structures, associate biota and intervention degree. The above-mentioned like answer to the lack of information that was presented to the date in almost all the levels (line bases and ecology) for this ecosystem, required to implement monitoring programs and to adopt conservation strategies for the same one. The information that is presented is based primarily on the results obtained during the execution of the project in mention. An diagnostic is done, a characterization of the prairies, epiphytes covering, associate fauna and it structures of the prairies

  2. Falcons pursue prey using visual motion cues: new perspectives from animal-borne cameras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Suzanne Amador; Zamani, Marjon

    2014-01-15

    This study reports on experiments on falcons wearing miniature videocameras mounted on their backs or heads while pursuing flying prey. Videos of hunts by a gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), gyrfalcon (F. rusticolus)/Saker falcon (F. cherrug) hybrids and peregrine falcons (F. peregrinus) were analyzed to determine apparent prey positions on their visual fields during pursuits. These video data were then interpreted using computer simulations of pursuit steering laws observed in insects and mammals. A comparison of the empirical and modeling data indicates that falcons use cues due to the apparent motion of prey on the falcon's visual field to track and capture flying prey via a form of motion camouflage. The falcons also were found to maintain their prey's image at visual angles consistent with using their shallow fovea. These results should prove relevant for understanding the co-evolution of pursuit and evasion, as well as the development of computer models of predation and the integration of sensory and locomotion systems in biomimetic robots.

  3. Evidence of Territoriality and Species Interactions from Spatial Point-Pattern Analyses of Subarctic-Nesting Geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, Matthew E.; Andersen, David E.

    2013-01-01

    Quantifying spatial patterns of bird nests and nest fate provides insights into processes influencing a species’ distribution. At Cape Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, recent declines in breeding Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese (Branta canadensis interior) has coincided with increasing populations of nesting lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) and Ross’s geese (Chen rossii). We conducted a spatial analysis of point patterns using Canada goose nest locations and nest fate, and lesser snow goose nest locations at two study areas in northern Manitoba with different densities and temporal durations of sympatric nesting Canada and lesser snow geese. Specifically, we assessed (1) whether Canada geese exhibited territoriality and at what scale and nest density; and (2) whether spatial patterns of Canada goose nest fate were associated with the density of nesting lesser snow geese as predicted by the protective-association hypothesis. Between 2001 and 2007, our data suggest that Canada geese were territorial at the scale of nearest neighbors, but were aggregated when considering overall density of conspecifics at slightly broader spatial scales. The spatial distribution of nest fates indicated that lesser snow goose nest proximity and density likely influence Canada goose nest fate. Our analyses of spatial point patterns suggested that continued changes in the distribution and abundance of breeding lesser snow geese on the Hudson Bay Lowlands may have impacts on the reproductive performance of Canada geese, and subsequently the spatial distribution of Canada goose nests. PMID:24312520

  4. Columbia River ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for bird nesting sites in the Columbia River area. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  5. FALCON Code Simulation for Verification of Fuel Preconditioning Guideline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Hee-Hun; Kwon, Oh-Hyun; Kim, Hong-Jin; Kim, Yong-Hwan [KEPCO Nuclear Fuel Co. Ltd., Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-10-15

    The magnitude and rate of power increases are key factors in the PCI failure process. KEPCO NF (KNF) provides operational restrictions called fuel preconditioning guideline (FPG) to mitigate PCI failures. The FPG contains recommended power maneuvering restrictions that should be followed when the KNF supplied fuel is being operated in-reactor. This guideline typically includes controlled power ramp rates, threshold power levels to initiate controlled ramp rates, and restrictions on the operating conditions that impact the potential for PCI failure. The purpose of the FPG is to allow time for stress relaxation to reduce cladding stress buildup during power maneuvers. Two general approaches have been adopted in the development of FPG to mitigate PCI failure in operating commercial reactors. The first approach relies primarily on past operational experience and power ramp test. The second one uses an analytical methodology where a figure-of-merit representative of PCI vulnerability, generally cladding hoop stress, is calculated using a fuel performance code. FALCON simulation can be the identification of a PCI limit parameter, typically cladding hoop stress, which can be used to evaluate a power maneuvering restriction on FPG. The PCI analysis is to assess the cladding hoop stress under various power ramp conditions. Startup ramp rate doesn't affect PCI failure until 50% of rated thermal power.

  6. Invasive plants affect prairie soil biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Non-native or exotic plants often cause ecological and environmental damage in ecosystems where they invade and become established. These invasive plants may be the most serious threat to plant diversity in prairies, especially those in scattered remnants, which may be particularly vulnerable to rap...

  7. Timber resource of Minnesota's Prairie unit, 1977.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerold T. Hahn; W. Brad Smith

    1980-01-01

    The fourth inventory of Minnesota's Prairie Unit shows that although commercial forest area decreased 31.7% between 1962 and 1977, growing-stock volume increased 22%. This report gives statistical highlights and contains detailed tables of forest area as well as timber volume, growth, mortality, ownership, and use.

  8. Timber resource of Missouri's Prairie, 1972.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerold T. Hahn; Alexander Vasilevsky

    1975-01-01

    The third timber inventory of Missouri's Prairie Forest Survey Unit shows substantial declines in both growing-stock and sawtimber volumes between 1959 and 1972. Commercial forest area declined by one-fifth. Presents highlights and statistics on forest area and timber volume, growth, mortality, ownership, and use in 1972.

  9. Dramatic declines of DDE and other organochlorines in spring migrant Peregrine Falcons from Padre Island, Texas, 1978-2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henny, C.J.; Yates, M.A.; Seegar, W.S.

    2009-01-01

    Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) captured in the spring at Padre Island, Texas, nest across the arctic and subarctic from Alaska to Greenland and winter throughout Latin America. Padre Island, located immediately north of the Mexican border, is the peregrines' first landfall in the U.S.A. after spending about 6 mo in Latin America. Blood plasma was collected from spring migrants at Padre Island between 1978 and 2004 to monitor trends in organochlorine (OC) pesticides and their metabolites. Geometric mean concentrations of p,p'-DDE (??g/g, ww) decreased throughout the study: 1978-1979 (0.879), 1980 (0.617), 1984 (0.551), 1994 (0.406) and 2004 (0.013). Most other OC pesticides, with detection limits used during the earlier portion of this study, were no longer detected during the last two sampling periods. The reduced concentrations of OC pesticides suggest that other pesticides (including carbamates, organophosphates and pyrethroids) are likely being used as replacements. These replacement compounds are not as persistent and cannot be readily evaluated at migration sites like Padre Island. However, concentrations of flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers; PBDEs) have recently increased in bird eggs in many regions and have been reported in blood plasma. Concentrations of PBDEs in peregrine plasma could be evaluated at Padre Island for assessment of trends in the Americas. ?? 2009 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  10. A Prairie Dog Abatement Program in San Juan County, Utah

    OpenAIRE

    Messmer, Terry A.; Keyes, Jim; McDonald, Roy

    1993-01-01

    Four species of prairie dogs are native to the plains and plateaus of the western United States. The most abundant and widely distributed of these is the blacktailed prairie dog, (Cynomys ludovicianus). This species has been a frequent topic of discussion at previous Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control workshops. Black-tailed prairie dog ecology and management was the topic of a panel discussion held at the Fifth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop, in Lincoln, Nebraska (Timm and J...

  11. Etiologic Agents and Diseases Found Associated with Clinical Aspergillosis in Falcons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Tarello

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to describe parasitological, microbiological, and pathological findings associated with the isolation of Aspergillus species in 94 clinically diseased captive falcons from Dubai. Concomitant agents and/or diseases were identified in 64 cases, causing either single (=36 or multiple coinfections (=28. Diagnoses found more often in association with aspergillosis were chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS (=29, Caryospora sp. (=16, Serratospiculum seurati infestation (=14, cestodiasis (=6, bumblefoot (=5, trematodosis due to Strigea falconispalumbi (=5, trichomoniasis (=4, Babesia shortti (=4, Mannheimia (Pastorella haemolytica (=4, interstitial hepatitis (=4, Escherichia coli (=3, and Clostridium perfringens enterotoxemia (=2. Compared with a control group of 2000 diseased falcons without evidence of aspergillosis, the prevalence of Babesia shortti, CFIDS, Mannheimia (Pastorella haemolytica, Escherichia coli, and falcon herpes virus infection was conspicuously higher in association with aspergillosis. These entities may be considered suitable candidates as predisposing factors for the mycosis.

  12. Nested Potential Games

    OpenAIRE

    Hiroshi Uno

    2007-01-01

    This paper proposes a new class of potential games, the nested potential games, which generalize the potential games defined in Monderer and Shapley (1996), as well as the pseudo-potential games defined in Dubey et al. (2006). We show that each maximizer of a nested potential is a Nash equilibrium.

  13. Falcon: a highly flexible open-source software for closed-loop neuroscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciliberti, Davide; Kloosterman, Fabian

    2017-08-01

    Objective. Closed-loop experiments provide unique insights into brain dynamics and function. To facilitate a wide range of closed-loop experiments, we created an open-source software platform that enables high-performance real-time processing of streaming experimental data. Approach. We wrote Falcon, a C++ multi-threaded software in which the user can load and execute an arbitrary processing graph. Each node of a Falcon graph is mapped to a single thread and nodes communicate with each other through thread-safe buffers. The framework allows for easy implementation of new processing nodes and data types. Falcon was tested both on a 32-core and a 4-core workstation. Streaming data was read from either a commercial acquisition system (Neuralynx) or the open-source Open Ephys hardware, while closed-loop TTL pulses were generated with a USB module for digital output. We characterized the round-trip latency of our Falcon-based closed-loop system, as well as the specific latency contribution of the software architecture, by testing processing graphs with up to 32 parallel pipelines and eight serial stages. We finally deployed Falcon in a task of real-time detection of population bursts recorded live from the hippocampus of a freely moving rat. Main results. On Neuralynx hardware, round-trip latency was well below 1 ms and stable for at least 1 h, while on Open Ephys hardware latencies were below 15 ms. The latency contribution of the software was below 0.5 ms. Round-trip and software latencies were similar on both 32- and 4-core workstations. Falcon was used successfully to detect population bursts online with ~40 ms average latency. Significance. Falcon is a novel open-source software for closed-loop neuroscience. It has sub-millisecond intrinsic latency and gives the experimenter direct control of CPU resources. We envisage Falcon to be a useful tool to the neuroscientific community for implementing a wide variety of closed-loop experiments, including those

  14. Falcon: a highly flexible open-source software for closed-loop neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciliberti, Davide; Kloosterman, Fabian

    2017-08-01

    Closed-loop experiments provide unique insights into brain dynamics and function. To facilitate a wide range of closed-loop experiments, we created an open-source software platform that enables high-performance real-time processing of streaming experimental data. We wrote Falcon, a C++ multi-threaded software in which the user can load and execute an arbitrary processing graph. Each node of a Falcon graph is mapped to a single thread and nodes communicate with each other through thread-safe buffers. The framework allows for easy implementation of new processing nodes and data types. Falcon was tested both on a 32-core and a 4-core workstation. Streaming data was read from either a commercial acquisition system (Neuralynx) or the open-source Open Ephys hardware, while closed-loop TTL pulses were generated with a USB module for digital output. We characterized the round-trip latency of our Falcon-based closed-loop system, as well as the specific latency contribution of the software architecture, by testing processing graphs with up to 32 parallel pipelines and eight serial stages. We finally deployed Falcon in a task of real-time detection of population bursts recorded live from the hippocampus of a freely moving rat. On Neuralynx hardware, round-trip latency was well below 1 ms and stable for at least 1 h, while on Open Ephys hardware latencies were below 15 ms. The latency contribution of the software was below 0.5 ms. Round-trip and software latencies were similar on both 32- and 4-core workstations. Falcon was used successfully to detect population bursts online with ~40 ms average latency. Falcon is a novel open-source software for closed-loop neuroscience. It has sub-millisecond intrinsic latency and gives the experimenter direct control of CPU resources. We envisage Falcon to be a useful tool to the neuroscientific community for implementing a wide variety of closed-loop experiments, including those requiring use of complex data structures and real

  15. Efficacy of ivermectin (Ivomec® against intestinal capillariosis in falcons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarello W.

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available 52 captive falcons out of 3,988 (1.3% raptors microscopically examined for intestinal parasites in the Middle East proved infested with hairworms (capillariid parasites. 26 of these (50% showed concurrent parasitoses. In the group of 26 falcons diagnosed with capillariosis as sole infestation (50% compatible clinical signs such as anorexia, weight loss, weakness, dyspnoea, regurgitation of food and blood, diarrhoea and dark tarry faeces, were recorded. These birds were treated intramuscularly with ivermectin at doses of 2 mg/kg. In fecal samples examined 10- 15 days later, the eggs of capillariid parasites had disappeared, in association with complete clinical recovery.

  16. Prairies Water Management on Corps Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

    infiltration, autogenic mechanisms can lead to the recovery of essential soil processes. The Role of Organic Matter in Soil Formation. In a prairie...management in EP-1130-2-540 (USACE 2005), and does not have a fire management training program in place (USACE 2008). Some Corps resource managers...are trained and partner with other entities to conduct prescribed burns on Corps grasslands. However, prescribed burning as a management strategy is

  17. Salmonellosis in relation to chlamydiosis and pox and Salmonella infections in captive falcons in the United Arab Emirates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernery, U; Wernery, R; Zachariah, R; Kinne, J

    1998-12-01

    During the spring of 1995, 1996 and 1997 following tests on six peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and two gyr falcons (Falco rusticolus), Salmonella typhimurium was isolated from liver, spleen and small intestines. Four of the falcons (two peregrines and two gyrs) had also contracted Chlamydia infection, three peregrines a pox infection and one peregrine a Herpesvirus infection. It is believed that this dual infection was fatal for these birds. The disease was marked by anorexia, dehydration and green-coloured droppings. Necropsy of all falcons revealed discolouration of the liver and enlargement of liver and spleen. Miliary necrosis was detected in all livers. A total of 12 salmonella serovars, including S. typhimurium, were cultured from faeces of 48 falcons which showed no clinical signs.

  18. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  19. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  20. Extremes of heat, drought and precipitation depress reproductive performance in shortgrass prairie passerines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrey, Reesa Y.; Skagen, Susan K.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change elevates conservation concerns worldwide because it is likely to exacerbate many identified threats to animal populations. In recent decades, grassland birds have declined faster than other North American bird species, a loss thought to be due to habitat loss and fragmentation and changing agricultural practices. Climate change poses additional threats of unknown magnitude to these already declining populations. We examined how seasonal and daily weather conditions over 10 years influenced nest survival of five species of insectivorous passerines native to the shortgrass prairie and evaluate our findings relative to future climate predictions for this region. Daily nest survival (n = 870) was best predicted by a combination of daily and seasonal weather variables, age of nest, time in season and bird habitat guild. Within a season, survival rates were lower on very hot days (temperatures ≥ 35 °C), on dry days (with a lag of 1 day) and on stormy days (especially for those species nesting in shorter vegetation). Across years, survival rates were also lower during warmer and drier breeding seasons. Clutch sizes were larger when early spring temperatures were cool and the week prior to egg-laying was wetter and warming. Climate change is likely to exacerbate grassland bird population declines because projected climate conditions include rising temperatures, more prolonged drought and more intense storms as the hydrological cycle is altered. Under varying realistic scenarios, nest success estimates were halved compared to their current average value when models both increased the temperature (3 °C) and decreased precipitation (two additional dry days during a nesting period), thus underscoring a sense of urgency in identifying and addressing the current causes of range-wide declines.

  1. Chicago's Columbus Park: The Prairie Idealized. Teaching with Historic Places.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachrach, Julia Sniderman; Nathan, Jo Ann

    Twenty-four year old Jens Jensen came to the United States, settled in Chicago (Illinois), and promptly fell in love with the Midwest's prairie landscape. Although some thought that prairie was boring, monotonous, and ordinary, Jensen saw great beauty in the tree-filled groves, long winding rivers, natural rock formations and waterfalls, and the…

  2. Radiographic reference limits for cardiac width in peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lumeij, J.T.; Shaik, S.; Ali, M.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association June 1, 2011, Vol. 238, No. 11, Pages 1459-1463 doi: 10.2460/javma.238.11.1459 Radiographic reference limits for cardiac width in peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) Johannes T. Lumeij, DVM, PhD; Muneer A. S. Shaik, BVSc, AH; Mohammed

  3. Cross-continental patterns in the timing of southward Peregrine Falcon migration in North America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Worcester, R.; Ydenberg, R.C.

    2008-01-01

    We analyzed the timing of southward migration of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) across North America, based on passage data compiled by the Hawk Migration Association of North America, supplemented with two other similar datasets collected by individual observers at sites in western Canada.

  4. A long-term increase in eggshell thickness of Greenlandic Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus tundrius

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falk, Knud; Møller, Søren; Matox, William G.

    2006-01-01

    Thickness of eggshell fragments and whole eggs from the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus collected in South and West Greenland between 1972 and 2003 was measured and compared to shell thickness of pre-DDT eggs, also collected in Greenland. Linear regression yields a significant increase...

  5. Regulated and Unregulated Halogenated Flame Retardants in Peregrine Falcon Eggs from Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vorkamp, Katrin; Falk, Knud; Møller, Søren

    2018-01-01

    Median levels of regulated flame retardants, i.e. polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), brominated biphenyl (BB) 153 and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in 33-48 eggs of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from Greenland were 1900, 359 and 5.98 ng/g lipid weight (lw) and generally intermediate...

  6. The Falcon and Female Cat in Egyptian Magic and The Petese Stories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryholt, Kim

    2016-01-01

    A recently published spell concerning the prevention of miscarriages, where a falcon and a female cat are invoked against Seth/Apophis, provides a clue to the understanding of an episode in The Petese Stories, where the same two animals are summoned through magic and directed against an enemy who...

  7. Long-term monitoring of an insular population of Barbary Falcon ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Territory spacing and breeding rates of an insular population (north-western Tenerife, Canary Islands) of Barbary Falcon Falco peregrinus pelegrinoides was studied from 1993 to 2008. The population increased constantly since the outset, from two pairs in 1993 to 12 in 2008. Mean density was 5.48 pairs per 100 km2 and ...

  8. 75 FR 27926 - Special Conditions: Dassault Aviation Falcon Model 2000EX; Autobraking System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-19

    ... Certificate (TC) No. A50NM to install an automatic braking system on the Falcon Model 2000EX airplane. This is... potentially higher structural loads that could result from this type of automatic braking system. Title 14... from maximum braking, taking into account the effects of the automatic braking system. Type...

  9. A second Uganda record of Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2014-10-05

    Oct 5, 2014 ... cloud cover, I drove north from Fort Portal with my wife Jean to Lake Saka and we walked on from ... morning progressed, more birds began to arrive, with “kettles” of Steppe Buzzards and Lesser Spotted ... male Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, a bird I am familiar with from Europe and from spring ...

  10. Flown The Nest

    OpenAIRE

    Sebbane, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Lorsque le quotidien régional, The Champion, commence à publier Flown The Nest en 1972 sous forme d’épisodes, Bird’s Nest Soup est déjà en vente, et la troisième partie de l’autobiographie d’Hanna, Housekeeper At Large, est sous presse. L’édition de 2009 contient Flown The Nest et Housekeeper at Large. Dans Bird’s Nest Soup, Hanna Greally racontait les dix-huit années de sa vie passées au sein d’un hôpital psychiatrique. Les raisons pour lesquelles elle y avait été enfermée, à la demande de s...

  11. Use of ecological sites in managing wildlife and livestock: An example with prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prairie dogs are a native rodent found in the mixed grass prairie of the northern Great Plains. Prairie dogs can have an adverse impact on the amount of forages available for grazing livestock. In the Native American community, prairie dogs are often valued as a cultural resource and as an importan...

  12. 78 FR 17224 - Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-20

    ... sizable portion of South Puget Sound Prairie habitat is located in the urban-rural interface and in the...-FF01E00000] Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan... permit application would be associated the South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan (Prairie...

  13. Restoration and winter avian use of isolated prairies in eastern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; Dave E. Plair; Dan Jones; J. Howard Williamson; Clifford E. Shackelford; Richard R. Schaefer; Joshua B. Pierce

    2014-01-01

    Numerous isolated prairies exist, or existed, on the West Gulf Coastal Plain east of the main distribution of the prairie ecosystem. Changing land-use patterns and suppression of wildfire have destroyed almost all of these small prairie occurrences. Intensified restoration and management of degraded prairie habitat on the Sam Houston National Forest in southeastern...

  14. Genetic relationships among some subspecies of the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus L.), inferred from mitochondrial DNA control-region sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Clayton M.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Sage, George K.; Anderson, Clifford; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to successfully colonize and persist in diverse environments likely requires broad morphological and behavioral plasticity and adaptability, and this may partly explain why the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) exhibits a large range of morphological characteristics across their global distribution. Regional and local differences within Peregrine Falcons were sufficiently variable that ∼75 subspecies have been described; many were subsumed, and currently 19 are generally recognized. We used sequence information from the control region of the mitochondrial genome to test for concordance between genetic structure and representatives of 12 current subspecies and from two areas where subspecies distributions overlap. Haplotypes were broadly shared among subspecies, and all geographic locales shared a widely distributed common haplotype (FalconCR2). Haplotypes were distributed in a star-like phylogeny, consistent with rapid expansion of a recently derived species, with observed genetic patterns congruent with incomplete lineage sorting and/or differential rates of evolution on morphology and neutral genetic characters. Hierarchical analyses of molecular variance did not uncover genetic partitioning at the continental level, despite strong population-level structure (FST = 0.228). Similar analyses found weak partitioning, albeit significant, among subspecies (FCT = 0.138). All reconstructions placed the hierofalcons' (Gyrfalcon [F. rusticolus] and Saker Falcon [F. cherrug]) haplotypes in a well-supported clade either basal or unresolved with respect to the Peregrine Falcon. In addition, haplotypes representing Taita Falcon (F. fasciinucha) were placed within the Peregrine Falcon clade.

  15. Prairie Monitoring Protocol Development: North Coast and Cascades Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Allen; Dalby, Craig

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the project was to conduct research that will guide development of a standard approach to monitoring several components of prairies within the North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) parks. Prairies are an important element of the natural environment at many parks, including San Juan Island National Historical Park (NHP) and Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve (NHR). Forests have been encroaching on these prairies for many years, and so monitoring of the prairies is an important resource issue. This project specifically focused on San Juan Island NHP. Prairies at Ebey's Landing NHR will be monitored in the future, but that park was not mapped as part of this prototype project. In the interest of efficiency, the Network decided to investigate two main issues before launching a full protocol development effort: (1) the imagery requirements for monitoring prairie components, and (2) the effectiveness of software to assist in extracting features from the imagery. Several components of prairie monitoring were initially identified as being easily tracked using aerial imagery. These components included prairie/forest edge, broad prairie composition (for example, shrubs, scattered trees), and internal exclusions (for example, shrubs, bare ground). In addition, we believed that it might be possible to distinguish different grasses in the prairies if the imagery were of high enough resolution. Although the areas in question at San Juan Island NHP are small enough that mapping on the ground with GPS (Global Positioning System) would be feasible, other applications could benefit from aerial image acquisition on a regular, recurring basis and thereby make the investment in aerial imagery worthwhile. The additional expense of orthorectifying the imagery also was determined to be cost-effective.

  16. Nest Site Characteristics of Cavity Nesting Birds in Central Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery D. Brawn; Bernice Tannenbaum; Keith E. Evans

    1984-01-01

    Two study sites in central Missouri oak-hickory forests were searched for nest sites of cavity nesting birds. Researchers located and measured 133 nests of 11 species. Cavity nesting bird habitat selection is affected by both snag characteristics and vegetation structure.

  17. Oxytocin reduces alcohol consumption in prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, J R; Wenner, S M; Freestone, D M; Romaine, C C; Parian, M C; Christian, S M; Bohidar, A E; Ndem, J R; Vogel, I R; O'Kane, C M

    2017-10-01

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) negatively affects millions of people every year in the United States, and effective treatments for AUD are still needed. The neuropeptide oxytocin has shown promise for reducing alcohol drinking in mice and rats. Because oxytocin also plays a key role in complex prosocial behaviors like bonding and attachment, we tested the effect of oxytocin on alcohol drinking in prairie voles, a species that both consumes high amounts of alcohol and forms oxytocin dependent social bonds in a manner similar to humans. Oxytocin treatment (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) reduced alcohol consumption in male and female prairie voles in animals that had access to 15% ethanol vs water every other day for 12 alcohol drinking sessions. In animals with continuous access to 15% alcohol and water, oxytocin (3.0mg/kg) reduced alcohol consumption only in the first hour of access after treatment, with no significant effects on consumption over the 24-hr period. In an open field locomotor test, oxytocin (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) did not affect overall locomotor activity; however, ethanol (2g/kg, i.p.) increased locomotor activity in males and females, and produced anxiolytic effects (increased time in the center of an open field) in females only. Because prairie voles have been shown to match the alcohol consumption of their cage mate, we evaluated the relationship between cage mates' alcohol drinking. There was an overall pattern of social facilitation (consumption by one cage mate predicted consumption by the other cage mate); however, we found significant individual differences across cages in which many cages did not show significant matching, and, in some cases one cage mate's consumption negatively predicted the other cage mate's consumption. Overall, our data provide support for the potential of oxytocin as a treatment to reduce alcohol consumption. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Mercury and other element exposure to tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting on Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Custer, Thomas W.; Custer, Christine M.; Johnson, Kevin M.; Hoffman, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Elevated mercury concentrations in water were reported in the prairie wetlands at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, ND. In order to determine whether wildlife associated with these wetlands was exposed to and then accumulated higher mercury concentrations than wildlife living near more permanent wetlands (e.g. lakes), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs and nestlings were collected from nests near seasonal wetlands, semi-permanent wetlands, and lakes. Mercury concentrations in eggs collected near seasonal wetlands were higher than those collected near semi-permanent wetlands or lakes. In contrast, mercury concentrations in nestling livers did not differ among wetland types. Mercury and other element concentrations in tree swallow eggs and nestlings collected from all wetlands were low. As suspected from these low concentrations, mercury concentrations in sample eggs were not a significant factor explaining the hatching success of the remaining eggs in each clutch. - Mercury concentrations in tree swallows nesting in the prairie wetlands at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge were not elevated

  19. Nested and Hierarchical Archimax copulas

    KAUST Repository

    Hofert, Marius; Huser, Raphaë l; Prasad, Avinash

    2017-01-01

    The class of Archimax copulas is generalized to nested and hierarchical Archimax copulas in several ways. First, nested extreme-value copulas or nested stable tail dependence functions are introduced to construct nested Archimax copulas based on a single frailty variable. Second, a hierarchical construction of d-norm generators is presented to construct hierarchical stable tail dependence functions and thus hierarchical extreme-value copulas. Moreover, one can, by itself or additionally, introduce nested frailties to extend Archimax copulas to nested Archimax copulas in a similar way as nested Archimedean copulas extend Archimedean copulas. Further results include a general formula for the density of Archimax copulas.

  20. Nested and Hierarchical Archimax copulas

    KAUST Repository

    Hofert, Marius

    2017-07-03

    The class of Archimax copulas is generalized to nested and hierarchical Archimax copulas in several ways. First, nested extreme-value copulas or nested stable tail dependence functions are introduced to construct nested Archimax copulas based on a single frailty variable. Second, a hierarchical construction of d-norm generators is presented to construct hierarchical stable tail dependence functions and thus hierarchical extreme-value copulas. Moreover, one can, by itself or additionally, introduce nested frailties to extend Archimax copulas to nested Archimax copulas in a similar way as nested Archimedean copulas extend Archimedean copulas. Further results include a general formula for the density of Archimax copulas.

  1. Superposition Enhanced Nested Sampling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Martiniani

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The theoretical analysis of many problems in physics, astronomy, and applied mathematics requires an efficient numerical exploration of multimodal parameter spaces that exhibit broken ergodicity. Monte Carlo methods are widely used to deal with these classes of problems, but such simulations suffer from a ubiquitous sampling problem: The probability of sampling a particular state is proportional to its entropic weight. Devising an algorithm capable of sampling efficiently the full phase space is a long-standing problem. Here, we report a new hybrid method for the exploration of multimodal parameter spaces exhibiting broken ergodicity. Superposition enhanced nested sampling combines the strengths of global optimization with the unbiased or athermal sampling of nested sampling, greatly enhancing its efficiency with no additional parameters. We report extensive tests of this new approach for atomic clusters that are known to have energy landscapes for which conventional sampling schemes suffer from broken ergodicity. We also introduce a novel parallelization algorithm for nested sampling.

  2. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butler, T.; Curtis, O.; Kim, E.; Roberts, S.; Stephenson, R.

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America Savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  3. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butler, T. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Curtis, O. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Kim, E. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Roberts, S. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Stephenson, R. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States)

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage-style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  4. Drought, Climate Change and the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, R. E.

    2010-03-01

    The occurrence of drought is a ubiquitous feature of the global water cycle. Such an extreme does not necessarily lead to an overall change in the magnitude of the global water cycle but it of course affects the regional cycling of water. Droughts are recurring aspects of weather and climate extremes as are floods and tornadoes, but they differ substantially since they have long durations and lack easily identified onsets and terminations. Drought is a relatively common feature of the North American and Canadian climate system and all regions of the continent are affected from time-to-time. However, it tends to be most common and severe over the central regions of the continent. The Canadian Prairies are therefore prone to drought. Droughts in the Canadian Prairies are distinctive in North America. The large scale atmospheric circulations are influenced by blocking from intense orography to the west and long distances from all warm ocean-derived atmospheric water sources; growing season precipitation is generated by a highly complex combination of frontal and convective systems; seasonality is severe and characterized by a relatively long snow-covered and short growing seasons; local surface runoff is primarily produced by snowmelt water; there is substantial water storage potential in the poorly drained, post-glacial topography; and aquifers are overlain by impermeable glacial till, but there are also important permeable aquifers. One example of Prairie drought is the recent one that began in 1999 with cessation of its atmospheric component in 2004/2005 and many of its hydrological components in 2005. This event produced the worst drought for at least a hundred years in parts of the Canadian Prairies. Even in the dust bowl of the 1930s, no single year over the central Prairies were drier than in 2001. The drought affected agriculture, recreation, tourism, health, hydro-electricity, and forestry in the Prairies. Gross Domestic Product fell some 5.8 billion and

  5. Enclosed nests may provide greater thermal than nest predation benefits compared with open nests across latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Boyce, Andy J.; Fierro-Calderon, Karolina; Mitchell, Adam E.; Armstad, Connor E.; Mouton, James C.; Bin Soudi, Evertius E.

    2017-01-01

    Nest structure is thought to provide benefits that have fitness consequences for several taxa. Traditionally, reduced nest predation has been considered the primary benefit underlying evolution of nest structure, whereas thermal benefits have been considered a secondary or even non-existent factor. Yet, the relative roles of these factors on nest structures remain largely unexplored.Enclosed nests have a constructed or natural roof connected to sides that allow a restricted opening or tube entrance that provides cover in all directions except the entrance, whereas open nests are cups or platforms that are open above. We show that construction of enclosed nests is more common among songbirds (Passeriformes) in tropical and southern hemisphere regions than in north temperate regions. This geographic pattern may reflect selection from predation risk, under long-standing assumptions that nest predation rates are higher in southern regions and that enclosed nests reduce predation risk compared with open cup nests. We therefore compared nest predation rates between enclosed vs. open nests in 114 songbird species that do not nest in tree holes among five communities of coexisting birds, and for 205 non-hole-nesting species from the literature, across northern temperate, tropical, and southern hemisphere regions.Among coexisting species, enclosed nests had lower nest predation rates than open nests in two south temperate sites, but not in either of two tropical sites or a north temperate site. Nest predation did not differ between nest types at any latitude based on literature data. Among 319 species from both our field studies and the literature, enclosed nests did not show consistent benefits of reduced predation and, in fact, predation was not consistently higher in the tropics, contrary to long-standing perspectives.Thermal benefits of enclosed nests were indicated based on three indirect results. First, species that built enclosed nests were smaller than species using

  6. Sylvatic plague vaccine and management of prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin (UW), have developed a sylvatic plague vaccine that shows great promise in protecting prairie dogs against plague (Mencher and others, 2004; Rocke and others, 2010). Four species of prairie dogs reside in the United States and Canada, and all are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Along with habitat loss and poisoning, plague has contributed to a significant historical decline in prairie dog populations. By some estimates, prairie dogs now occupy only 1 to 2 percent of their former range (Proctor and others, 2006), with prairie dog colonies being now much smaller and fragmented than they were historically, making individual colonies more vulnerable to elimination by plague (Antolin and others, 2002). At least one species, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as "threatened." Controlling plague is a vital concern for ongoing management and conservation efforts for prairie dogs. Current efforts to halt the spread of plague in prairie dog colonies typically rely on dusting individual prairie dog burrows with pesticides to kill plague-infected fleas. Although flea-control insecticides, such as deltamethrin, are useful in stopping plague outbreaks in these prairie dog colonies, dusting of burrows is labor intensive and time consuming and may affect other insects and arthropods. As an alternative approach, NWHC and UW scientists developed a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) for prairie dogs that can be delivered via oral bait. Laboratory studies have shown that consumption of this vaccine-laden bait by different prairie dog species results in significant protection against plague infection that can last for at least 9 months (Rocke and others, 2010; Rocke, unpublished). Work has now shifted to optimizing baits and distribution methods for

  7. Raptors of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Craig, T.H.

    1979-04-01

    From 1974 through 1976 base line data were gathered on the raptors which occur on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) Site. Thirteen species were observed on the INEL Site during the non-breeding seasons. American Rough-legged Hawks, American Kestrels, Golden Eagles, and Prairie Falcons were the most numerous. Marsh Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, Redtailed Hawks, Swainson's Hawks, Great Horned Owls, Short-eared Owls, Merlins, Cooper's Hawks, the endangered Bald Eagle, and the endangered Peregrine Falcon were all observed on the INEL Site during the nonbreeding seasons although less frequently. American Rough-legged Hawks and American Kestrels were commonly observed in agricultural lands while Prairie Falcons and Golden Eagles were usually seen in areas of native vegetation. Nesting species of raptors on the INEL Site include American Kestrels, and Long-eared Owls. Ferruginous Hawks, Merlins, Prairie Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks, Swainson's Hawks, Golden Eagles, Great Horned Owls, and Burrowing Owls also nest on or near the INEL Site. The nesting ecology of American Kestrels, Long-eared Owls, Prairie Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks, Swainson's Hawks, Golden Eagles, and Great Horned Owls on the INEL Site are summarized in this report. The decline of nesting Ferruginous Hawks, Golden Eagles, and Red-tailed Hawks on and near the INEL Site is discussed

  8. A novel Salmonella serovar isolated from Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus nestlings in Sweden: Salmonella enterica enterica serovar Pajala (Salmonella Pajala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Hernández

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available A novel Salmonella serovar was isolated from Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus nestlings in northern Sweden in 2006. Three isolates of the same clone was retrieved from three falcon siblings and characterized as Salmonella enterica sub-species enterica: O-phase 13, 23:-: e, n, z 15 and the H-phase was not present. We propose the geographical name Salmonella enterica, sub-species enterica serovar Pajala to this novel Salmonella.

  9. Fission product release and transport: assessment of sampling and analysis techniques for Falcon and Phebus-FP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armitage, B.H.; Beard, A.M.; Bowsher, B.R.

    1991-01-01

    Specific analytical techniques have been used during the Falcon experimental programme at Winfrith to provide both in-situ and post-test data on the thermal-hydraulic conditions and the physical and chemical forms of the resulting vapours and aerosols released from degrading UO 2 fuel. Some of the methods exhibited considerable promise in Falcon, and should be seriously considered for application in the forthcoming Phebus-FP tests. (author)

  10. The importance of illumination in nest site choice and nest characteristics of cavity nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podkowa, Paweł; Surmacki, Adrian

    2017-05-02

    Light has a significant impact on many aspects of avian biology, physiology and behaviour. An increasing number of studies show that illumination may positively influences birds' offspring fitness by e.g. acceleration of embryo development, stimulation of skeleton growth or regulation of circadian rhythm. Because nest cavities have especially low illumination, suitable light levels may be especially important for species which nest there. We may therefore expect that birds breeding in relatively dim conditions should prefer brighter nest sites and/or evolve behavioral mechanisms to secure sufficient light levels in the nest. Using nest boxes with modified internal illumination, we experimentally tested whether light regime is a cue for nest site selection of secondary cavity-nesting species. Additionally, we investigated whether nest building strategies are tuned to internal illumination. Our results demonstrate that, nest boxes with elevated illumination were chosen twice as often as dark nest boxes. Moreover, birds built higher nests in dark nest boxes than birds in boxes with elevated illumination, which suggests a mechanism of compensating for low light conditions. Our results provide the first experimental support for the idea that nest site choice and nest building behaviour in cavity-nesting birds are influenced by ambient illumination.

  11. Variability in nest survival rates and implications to nesting studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klett, A.T.; Johnson, D.H.

    1982-01-01

    We used four reasonably large samples (83-213) of Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Blue-winged Teal (A. discors) nests on an interstate highway right-of-way in southcentral North Dakota to evaluate potential biases in hatch-rate estimates. Twelve consecutive, weekly searches for nests were conducted with a cable-chain drag in 1976 and 1977. Nests were revisited at weekly intervals. Four methods were used to estimate hatch rates for the four data sets: the Traditional Method, the Mayfield Method, and two modifications of the Mayfield Method that are sometimes appropriate when daily mortality rates of nests are not constant. Hatch rates and the average age of nests at discovery declined as the interval between searches decreased, suggesting that mortality rates were not constant in our samples. An analysis of variance indicated that daily mortality rates varied with the age of nests in all four samples. Mortality was generally highest during the early laying period, moderately high during the late laying period, and lowest during incubation. We speculate that this relationship of mortality to nest age might be due to the presence of hens at nests or to differences in the vulnerability of nest sites to predation. A modification of the Mayfield Method that accounts for age-related variation in nest mortality was most appropriate for our samples. We suggest methods for conducting nesting studies and estimating nest success for species possessing similar nesting habits.

  12. The cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus prefers larger nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrus, S

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm 3 , respectively) were located on each square meter of the experimental plot. One year later, shortly before the emergence of new sexuals, the nests were collected. In July 2012, colonies inhabited more frequently bigger nests. Among queenright colonies, the ones which inhabited bigger nests had more workers. However, there was no relationship between volume of nest and number of workers for queenless colonies. Queenright colonies from bigger nests produced more sexual individuals, but there was no correlation between number of workers and sex allocation ratio, or between volume of nest and sex allocation ratio. In a laboratory experiment where ant colonies were kept in 470 and 860 mm 3 nests, larger colonies allocated more energy to produce sexual individuals. The results of this study show the selectivity of T. crassispinus ants regarding the size of nest cavity, and that the nest volume has an impact on life history parameters.

  13. First description of autumn migration of Sooty Falcon Falco concolor from the United Arab Emirates to Madagascar using satellite telemetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javed, Sàlim; Douglas, David C.; Khan, Shahid Noor; Nazeer Shah, Junid; Ali Al Hammadi, Abdullah

    2012-01-01

    The movement and migration pattern of the 'Near Threatened' Sooty Falcon Falco concolor is poorly known. Sooty Falcons breed on the islands of the Arabian Gulf after arriving from their non-breeding areas that are mainly in Madagascar. In the first satellite tracking of the species we fitted a 9.5 g Argos solar powered transmitter on an adult breeding Sooty Falcon off the western coast of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The bird successfully undertook autumn migration to Madagascar, a known wintering area for the species. We document the Sooty Falcon's autumn migration route and stop-over sites. The adult Sooty Falcon initiated its migration at night and with tailwinds, and travelled mainly during daytime hours for 13 days over an inland route of more than 5,656 km. The three stop-over sites in East Africa were characterised by moderate to sparse shrub cover associated with potential sources of water. We discuss the migration pattern of the tracked bird in relation to importance of non-breeding areas for Sooty Falcons and recent declines in numbers in their breeding range.

  14. Parametric study of fuel rod behaviour during the RIA using the modified FALCON code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khvostov, G.; Zimmermann, M.A.; Ledergerber, G.

    2010-01-01

    Presented in the paper are the results of a parametric study with the use of optimised modules of the FALCON code (FALCON-PSI) that addresses the effects of the selected characteristics of fast thermal transients (e.g., impulse width), fuel rod design (e.g., active fuel attack length) and boundary conditions (e.g., the coolant conditions) on fuel behaviour during a RIA. Specifically, the analysis of the governing processes for the fuel rod behaviour during the RIA events simulated in the experimental facility of the Nuclear Safety Research Reactor (NSRR, Japan) are in the focus of the present study. The results obtained can be useful for a better transfer of the NSRR test results in relation to the corresponding behaviour in LWRs and furthermore might also support the planning of future additional experiments. (authors)

  15. Peregrine falcon predation of endangered Laysan teal and Laysan Finches on remote Hawaiian atolls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Courtot, Karen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first records of Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) predation on endangered Laysan teal (or duck; Anas laysanensis) and predation on endangered Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans). At Midway Atoll, vagrant Peregrine falcons killed ≥4% of a newly translocated Laysan teal population in 2006 and ≥2% in 2008. On Laysan Island during 2008–2009, remains of >76 Laysan finches (<1% of the population) were found at peregrine perches. On Midway Atoll, all depredated Laysan teal and other seabirds were recovered at kill sites on tarmac (runways). If the frequency or duration of vagrant raptors visitation increases at small atolls, this could pose a mortality risk to consider, especially during proposed translocations of endangered species. Vegetation restoration of abandoned runways near wetlands at Midway Atoll would provide cover and may help reduce mortality of endangered species due to vagrant raptors.

  16. Feathering Your Nest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabors, Martha L.; Edwards, Linda Carol; Decker, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    The first-grade classroom was like a natural history museum. Bird nests of every shape and size lay on top of bookshelves that lined two walls. Methods students, who were visiting the classroom in preparation for the science lessons they would teach there, were immediately inspired by the collection. They used the collection as a springboard for…

  17. Modelling Reactivity-Initiated-Accident Experiments With Falcon And SCANAIR: A Comparison Exercise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Romano, A.; Wallin, H.; Zimmermann, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    A critical assessment is made of the state-of-the-art fuel performance code FALCON in the context of selected Reactivity Initiated Accident (RIA) experiments from the CABRI REP Na series, and contrasts its predictions against those of the extensively benchmarked SCANAIR (Version 3.2) code. The thermal fields in the fuel and cladding, the clad mechanical deformation, and the Fission Gas Release (FGR) are adopted as 'Figures of Merit' by which to judge code performance. Particular attention is paid to the importance of fission-gas-induced clad deformation (which is modelled in SCANAIR, but not in FALCON), relative to that driven by the fuel thermal expansion (which is modelled by both codes). The thermal fields calculated by the codes are in good agreement with each other, especially during the initial stages of the transients --- the adiabatic phase. Larger discrepancies are observed at later times, and are due to the different models applied to calculate the gap conductance. FALCON predicts clad permanent deformations at the end of the transients with a maximum deviation from the experimental measurements of about 20%. Generally, the code always tends to underpredict the measurements. SCANAIR performs similarly, but grossly overpredicts the permanent clad strain for the case involving a very energetic pulse. The fission-gas-driven clad deformation is only relevant for very fast pulse energy injection cases, which are not prototypical of the RIA transients expected in PWRs. The FGR models in FALCON do not capture the mechanism of 'burst-release' in the RIA transients, having been developed for steady-state irradiation conditions. This also explains why they performed poorly when applied to the fast-transient cases analyzed here. In contrast, the FGR results from SCANAIR are in satisfactory agreement with the experimental results. (author)

  18. Fiber Tracking Cylinder Nesting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stredde, H.

    1999-01-01

    The fiber tracker consists of 8 concentric carbon fiber cylinders of varying diameters, from 399mm to 1032.2mm and two different lengths. 1.66 and 2.52 meters. Each completed cylinder is covered over the entire o.d. with scintillating fiber ribbons with a connector on each ribbon. These ribbons are axial (parallel to the beam line) at one end and stereo (at 3 deg. to the beam line) at the other. The ribbon connectors have dowel pins which are used to match with the connectors on the wave guide ribbons. These dowel pins are also used during the nesting operation, locating and positioning measurements. The nesting operation is the insertion of one cylinder into another, aligning them with one another and fastening them together into a homogeneous assembly. For ease of assembly. the nesting operation is accomplished working from largest diameter to smallest. Although the completed assembly of all 8 cylinders glued and bolted together is very stiff. individual cylinders are relatively flexible. Therefore. during this operation, No.8 must be supported in a manner which maintains its integrity and yet allows the insertion of No.7. This is accomplished by essentially building a set of dummy end plates which replicate a No.9 cylinder. These end plates are mounted on a wheeled cart that becomes the nesting cart. Provisions for a protective cover fastened to these rings has been made and will be incorporated in finished product. These covers can be easily removed for access to No.8 and/or the connection of No.8 to No.9. Another wheeled cart, transfer cart, is used to push a completed cylinder into the cylinder(s) already mounted in the nesting cart.

  19. Carcass Search & Recovery Guidelines for Black Tailed Prairie Dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    The availability of dead or intoxicated prairie dogs above ground will be monitored, recorded and these carcasses will be properly disposed of, in accordance with the procedures described on this page.

  20. NPP Grassland: Konza Prairie, USA, 1984-1990, R1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains three ASCII files (.txt format). Two files contain above-ground biomass and productivity data for a humid temperate tall-grass prairie...

  1. Two decades of prairie restoration at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Betz, R.F. [Northeastern Illinois Univ., Chicago, IL (United States); Lootens, R.J.; Becker, M.K. [Fermi National Accelerator Lab., Batavia, IL (United States)

    1996-12-31

    Successional Restoration is the method being used to restore the prairie at Fermilab on the former agricultural fields. This involves an initial planting, using aggressive species that have wide ecological tolerances which will grow well on abandoned agricultural fields. Collectively, these species are designated as the prairie matrix. The species used for this prairie matrix compete with and eventually eliminate most weedy species. They also provide an adequate fuel load capable of sustaining a fire within a few years after a site has been initially planted. Associated changes in the biological and physical structure of the soil help prepare the way for the successful introduction of plants of the later successional species. Only after the species of the prairie matrix are well established, is the species diversity increased by introducing species with narrower ecological tolerances. These species are thus characteristic of the later successional stages.

  2. Public knowledge and perceptions of black-tailed prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, B.L.; Cline, K.

    2003-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) historically occupied an 11-state region of the United States. We surveyed 1,900 residents (response rate 56%) of this region to understand citizen knowledge and perceptions about prairie dogs and their management. Those who have direct experience - e.g., those who live very close to prairie dog colonies or know the location of the nearest colony - have higher levels of knowledge. A significantly higher level of knowledge was documented among those who were politically active when compared with the general public. Those who found environmental issues difficult to understand were associated with lower knowledge. People with direct experience were likely to hold negative views, whereas those holding environmentalist values were likely to express positive attitudes toward the species. Although those with higher education reported more knowledge, there was no link between a person's level of knowledge and perceptions of prairie dog management.

  3. Brant Prairie : Union Gas customer service centre, Brantford, Ontario

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hensel, M.J.; Thompson, J. [The Walter Fedy Partnership, Kitchener, ON (Canada)

    1998-12-31

    The four-acre ecological restoration of tall grass prairie, wetland and Savannah ecosystems within the Union Gas Customer Service Centre in Brantford, Ontario is discussed. The restoration of the Brant Prairie site was instigated three years ago through Union Gas` land stewardship and environmental action initiative which tried to encourage the diversity and dynamics of each ecosystem, while creating a community resource for visitors to learn about natural heritage. The Brantford initiative includes: (1) protecting the sedge wetland which contained regionally rare species, (2) maintaining the dynamic water budget while protecting the sedge wetland from roadway contaminants, (3) creating a tall grass prairie similar in diversity and aesthetics to Brantford`s surviving prairie remnants, (4) creating a wildlife habitat for butterflies, birds and aquatic species, and (5) rediscovering partridge pea by uncovering a historic seed bank.

  4. Proceedings of the third prairie conservation and endangered species workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holroyd, G.L.; Diskson, H.L.; Regnier, M.; Smith, H.C. (eds.)

    1993-01-01

    The Canadian prairies support a major agricultural economy and a declining abundance of wildlife. Soil erosion and water quality threaten the long-term viability of agriculture; half of Canada's endangered and threatened birds and mammals share the prairies. Wise policies of resource management are needed to solve these problems. A workshop was held to address the issue of how to manage the prairies to promote sustained agriculture and to conserve the wildlife that are in jeopardy. Papers were presented on the relationships between agriculture and wildlife, land restoration, climate change, pesticides, the Prairie Conservation Action Plan, plant conservation, amphibians, reptiles, migratory birds and other wildfowl, and mammals. Separate abstracts have been prepared for two papers from this workshop.

  5. Serratospiculosis in falcons from Kuwait: incidence, pathogenicity and treatment with melarsomine and ivermectin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarello W.

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to determine the incidence of the filarial avian nematode Serratospiculum seurati in falcons from Kuwait, report clinical signs and find an effective therapy. Naturally occurring S. seurati infestation was diagnosed in 149 (8.7 % out of 1,706 captive falcons examined between May 2003 and April 2005, and 140 of these were treated with melarsomine at dosage of 0.25 mg/kg injected intramuscularly for two days, and ivermectin, injected once at the dose of 1 mg/kg, 10 days later. Infestation was reportedly symptomatic in 107 (71.8 % and non-symptomatic in 42 (28.2 % falcons. Signs reported more often were dyspnoea (58.8 %, reduced speed and strength in flight (56 %, weight loss (38.3 %, anorexia/poor appetite (22.4 % and lethargy (16.8 %. After administration of melarsomine, signs disappeared within 1-10 days in symptomatic birds and improvement of flight performances was noted in non-symptomatic birds. Dead adult parasites were ejected in 22 cases. Embryonated eggs were not detected in coproscopic checks made 10 and 40 days after the end of therapy, in association with lasting clinical remission. The main conclusion is that Serratospiculum seurati is overall pathogenic for birds of prey in the Middle East and that melarsomine + ivermectin can be an effective protocol of therapy eliminating both clinical signs and parasites.

  6. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, Jack F.; Johnson, T.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  7. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, J.F.; Williams, E.S.

    2001-01-01

    Of the 3 major factors (habitat loss, poisoning, and disease) that limit abundance of prairie dogs today, sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis is the 1 factor that is beyond human control. Plague epizootics frequently kill >99% of prairie dogs in infected colonies. Although epizootics of sylvatic plague occur throughout most of the range of prairie dogs in the United States and are well described, long-term maintenance of plague in enzootic rodent species is not well documented or understood. We review dynamics of plague in white-tailed (Cynomys leucurus), Gunnison's (C. gunnisoni), and black-tailed (C. ludovicianus) prairie dogs, and their rodent and flea associates. We use epidemiologic concepts to support an enzootic hypothesis in which the disease is maintained in a dynamic state, which requires transmission of Y. pestis to be slower than recruitment of new susceptible mammal hosts. Major effects of plague are to reduce colony size of black-tailed prairie dogs and increase intercolony distances within colony complexes. In the presence of plague, black-tailed prairie dogs will probably survive in complexes of small colonies that are usually >3 km from their nearest neighbor colonies.

  8. Volcanic Ash Cloud Observations with the DLR-Falcon over Europe during Airspace Closure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumann, Ulrich; Weinzierl, Bernadett; Reitebuch, Oliver; Minikin, Andreas; Schlager, Hans; Rahm, Stephan; Scheibe, Monika; Lichtenstern, Michael; Forster, Caroline

    2010-05-01

    At the time of the EGU conference, the volcano ash plume originating from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in Iceland was probed during 9 flights with the DLR Falcon research aircraft in the region between Germany and Iceland at 1-11 km altitudes between April 19 and May 3, 2010. The Falcon was instrumented with a downward looking, scanning 2-µm-Wind-Lidar (aerosol backscattering and horizontal wind, 100 m vertical resolution), and several in-situ instruments. The particle instrumentation, including wing station probes (PCASP, FSSP-300) cover particle number and size from 5 nm to some tens of µm. Further in-situ instruments measured O3, CO, SO2, H2O, and standard meteorological parameters. Flight planning was based on numerical weather forecasts, trajectory-based particle-dispersion models, satellite observations and ground based Lidar observations, from many sources. During the flight on April 19, 2010, layers of volcanic ash were detected first by Lidar and then probed in-situ. The horizontal and vertical distribution of the volcanic ash layers over Eastern Germany was highly variable at that time. Calculations with the particle dispersion model FLEXPART indicate that the volcanic ash plumes measured by the Falcon had an age of 4-5 days. The concentrations of large particles measured in the volcanic aerosol layers are comparable to concentrations measured typically in fresh (age 3000 kg/s, strong chemistry - Lidar signal and FSSP-300 signal strongly dependent on refractive index, ash density, particle size spectrum 1- 50 µm - Mid-European airspace closure was justified until Sat. April 17; thereafter ageing ash clouds dominated. - Keflavik/Iceland was found to be free of ash as predicted on April 29 - May 2 - The Quality of forecasts was found to be quite reliable for aviation planning - For the future we recommend combinations of models + lidar + satellite + in-situ - We suggest an improved linking between operations and academia - The DLR Falcon will

  9. Nested cellular automata

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quasthoff, U.

    1985-07-01

    Cellular automata by definition consist of a finite or infinite number of cells, say of unit length, with each cell having the same transition function. These cells are usually considered as the smallest elements and so the space filled with these cells becomes discrete. Nevertheless, large pictures created by such cellular automata look very fractal. So we try to replace each cell by a couple of smaller cells, which have the same transition functions as the large ones. There are automata where this replacement does not destroy the macroscopic structure. In these cases this nesting process can be iterated. The paper contains large classes of automata with the above properties. In the case of one dimensional automata with two states and next neighbour interaction and a nesting function of the same type a complete classification is given. (author)

  10. Why wasp foundresses change nests: relatedness, dominance, and nest quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perttu Seppä

    Full Text Available The costs and benefits of different social options are best understood when individuals can be followed as they make different choices, something that can be difficult in social insects. In this detailed study, we follow overwintered females of the social wasp Polistes carolina through different nesting strategies in a stratified habitat where nest site quality varies with proximity to a foraging area, and genetic relatedness among females is known. Females may initiate nests, join nests temporarily or permanently, or abandon nests. Females can become helpers or egglayers, effectively workers or queens. What they actually do can be predicted by a combination of ecological and relatedness factors. Advantages through increased lifetime success of individuals and nests drives foundresses of the social wasp Polistes from solitary to social nest founding. We studied reproductive options of spring foundresses of P. carolina by monitoring individually-marked wasps and assessing reproductive success of each foundress by using DNA microsatellites. We examined what behavioral decisions foundresses make after relaxing a strong ecological constraint, shortage of nesting sites. We also look at the reproductive consequences of different behaviors. As in other Polistes, the most successful strategy for a foundress was to initiate a nest as early as possible and then accept others as subordinates. A common feature for many P. carolina foundresses was, however, that they reassessed their reproductive options by actively monitoring other nests at the field site and sometimes moving permanently to new nests should that offer better (inclusive fitness prospects compared to their original nests. A clear motivation for moving to new nests was high genetic relatedness; by the end of the foundress period all females were on nests with full sisters.

  11. Why Wasp Foundresses Change Nests: Relatedness, Dominance, and Nest Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seppä, Perttu; Queller, David C.; Strassmann, Joan E.

    2012-01-01

    The costs and benefits of different social options are best understood when individuals can be followed as they make different choices, something that can be difficult in social insects. In this detailed study, we follow overwintered females of the social wasp Polistes carolina through different nesting strategies in a stratified habitat where nest site quality varies with proximity to a foraging area, and genetic relatedness among females is known. Females may initiate nests, join nests temporarily or permanently, or abandon nests. Females can become helpers or egglayers, effectively workers or queens. What they actually do can be predicted by a combination of ecological and relatedness factors. Advantages through increased lifetime success of individuals and nests drives foundresses of the social wasp Polistes from solitary to social nest founding. We studied reproductive options of spring foundresses of P. carolina by monitoring individually-marked wasps and assessing reproductive success of each foundress by using DNA microsatellites. We examined what behavioral decisions foundresses make after relaxing a strong ecological constraint, shortage of nesting sites. We also look at the reproductive consequences of different behaviors. As in other Polistes, the most successful strategy for a foundress was to initiate a nest as early as possible and then accept others as subordinates. A common feature for many P. carolina foundresses was, however, that they reassessed their reproductive options by actively monitoring other nests at the field site and sometimes moving permanently to new nests should that offer better (inclusive) fitness prospects compared to their original nests. A clear motivation for moving to new nests was high genetic relatedness; by the end of the foundress period all females were on nests with full sisters. PMID:23049791

  12. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

    Full Text Available Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp. have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands.

  13. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    KAUST Repository

    Gedye, Kristene; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Jose; Ban, Yuguang; Ge, Xijin; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Sun, Fengjie; Wright, Chris; Ali, Shahjahan; Boe, Arvid; Owens, Vance

    2010-01-01

    in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes

  14. Prairie revegetation of a strip mine in Illinois: fifteen years after establishment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corbett, E.A.; Anderson, R.C.; Rodgers, C.S. [Illinois State University, Normal, IL (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    1996-12-01

    The long-term success of prairie planting on a former strip mine in northeastern Illinois was investigated. The site was reclaimed and planted with prairie species in the 1970s. Total biomass increased over time, largely as a result of an increase in biomass of non-prairie species. Biomass of prairie species remained unchanged because of an increase in Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) offsetting decreases in Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass).

  15. Small mammals in successional prairie woodlands of the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; John E. Gobeille

    2001-01-01

    Prairie woodlands comprise about 1 percent of the landscape in the northern Great Plains. However, prairie woodlands provide habitat for far more than 1 percent of the wildlife species that occur in the prairie region. With increasing pressures on natural resources, managers need methods for managing wildlife habitat and biodiversity that are based on ecological...

  16. 76 FR 77245 - Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-12

    ...-FF02R06000] Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX... (EA) for Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge, NWR), located approximately 60... Prairie Chicken NWR draft CCP and EA'' in the subject line of the message. Fax: Attn: Monica Kimbrough...

  17. 75 FR 21649 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-26

    ...] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri... availability of the Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) Recovery Plan, Second Revision. A recovery plan was originally completed for the Attwater's prairie-chicken in 1983 and revised in 1993...

  18. Aircraft measurements within a warm conveyor belt during the T-NAWDEX-FALCON campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfler, Andreas; Boettcher, Maxi; Borrmann, Stephan; Busen, Reinhold; Dörnbrack, Andreas; Grams, Christian; Kaufmann, Stefan; Klingebiel, Marcus; Lammen, Yannick; Reutter, Philipp; Rautenhaus, Marc; Schlager, Hans; Sodemann, Harald; Voigt, Christiane; Wernli, Heini

    2013-04-01

    Warm Conveyor Belts (WCBs) are air streams that are highly relevant for the dynamics in the mid-latitudes as they strongly influence the evolution and intensity of northern hemispheric mid-latitude weather systems. For the predictability of cyclones the representation of diabatic processes associated with latent heat release due to phase transitions of water, surface fluxes, or radiative effects are believed to be a limiting factor. Diabatic processes in cyclones strongly depend on the transport of water vapor and are mainly organized and controlled by the coherently ascending WCB air masses. In October 2012 the T-NAWDEX-Falcon (THORPEX-North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment) campaign was organized by DLR Oberpfaffenhofen and ETH Zurich. During 9 research flights over Europe in-cloud measurements in WCBs were obtained with the DLR aircraft Falcon. Lagrangian flights were conducted with the aim to measure in the same air mass during different stages of the WCB to quantify the transport of moisture and the net latent heating along WCBs and their importance for forecast errors associated with mid-latitude weather systems. Besides in-situ observations of wind, temperature and humidity to characterize the thermodynamic structure of the WCBs, a set of dropsondes was deployed to gain a complete view on the complex structure of the cyclone. This presentation gives an overview of the three successful IOPs performed during the T-NAWDEX-Falcon campaign. To address forecast uncertainty and to enable flight planning up to four days in advance of the flights novel diagnostics based on deterministic and ensemble prediction NWP data were employed during the campaign. Furthermore a number of different trajectory models were applied for this field experiment. Based on selected flights from one intensive observation period the challenging planning process of Lagrangian matches of flight paths is described and first results are presented.

  19. Prairie dogs increase fitness by killing interspecific competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogland, John L; Brown, Charles R

    2016-03-30

    Interspecific competition commonly selects for divergence in ecology, morphology or physiology, but direct observation of interspecific competition under natural conditions is difficult. Herbivorous white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) employ an unusual strategy to reduce interspecific competition: they kill, but do not consume, herbivorous Wyoming ground squirrels (Urocitellus elegans) encountered in the prairie dog territories. Results from a 6-year study in Colorado, USA, revealed that interspecific killing of ground squirrels by prairie dogs was common, involving 47 different killers; 19 prairie dogs were serial killers in the same or consecutive years, and 30% of female prairie dogs killed at least one ground squirrel over their lifetimes. Females that killed ground squirrels had significantly higher annual and lifetime fitness than non-killers, probably because of decreased interspecific competition for vegetation. Our results document the first case of interspecific killing of competing individuals unrelated to predation (IK) among herbivorous mammals in the wild, and show that IK enhances fitness for animals living under natural conditions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  20. Intelligent nesting system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đuričić Zoran

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The economy of the process for the manufacture of parts from sheet metal plates depends on successful solution of the process of cutting various parts from sheet metal plates. Essentially, the problem is to arrange contours within a defined space so that they take up minimal surface. When taken in this way, the considered problem assumes a more general nature; it refers to the utilization of a flat surface, and it can represent a general principle of arranging 2D contours on a certain surface. The paper presents a conceptual solution and a prototypal intelligent nesting system for optimal cutting. The problem of nesting can generally be divided into two intellectual phases: recognition and classification of shapes, and arrangement of recognized shapes on a given surface. In solving these problems, methods of artificial intelligence are applied. In the paper, trained neural network is used for recognition of shapes; on the basis of raster record of a part's drawing, it recognizes the part's shape and which class it belongs to. By means of the expert system, based on rules defined on the basis of acquisition of knowledge from manufacturing sections, as well as on the basis of certain mathematical algorithms, parts are arranged on the arrangement surface. Both systems can also work independently, having been built on the modular principle. The system uses various product models as elements of integration for the entire system. .

  1. Neste plans three projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    Neste Chemicals (Helsinki) is discussing three joint ventures with local authorities in China, says Mikko Haapavaara, v.p./Asia. The projects should help the Finnish producer to increase sales in Asia by a considerable amount by 2000, he says. The plan involves production of polyethylene (PE), unsaturated polyester resins and PE compounding-all core operations. Sites have not been selected, but Shanghai is the favored location for the PE operations. The company is also looking at a site in the south, near Hong Kong, and at locations near Beijing. The PE plant would need to be near an ethylene unit, says Haapavaara. The PE resin plant would be designed to produce about 150,000 m.t./year and would cost about No. 150 million. A part of the output would need to be exported to take care of the financing, the company says. A feasibility study now under way with the potential Chinese partners should be completed by the end of March. The plant would use Neste's linear low-density PE process, proved in a world-scale plant at Beringen, Belgium. The compounding units would produce specialty PE material for the wire and cable and pipe industry. The company is a joint venture partner in a propane dehydrogenation/polypropylene (PP) plant and a minority partner in a Qualipoly, the 20,000 m.t./year unsaturated polyester resin producer

  2. PyNEST: a convenient interface to the NEST simulator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen M Eppler

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The neural simulation tool NEST (http://www.nest-initiative.org is a simulator for heterogeneous networks of point neurons or neurons with a small number of compartments. It aims at simulations of large neural systems with more than 10^4 neurons and 10^7 to 10^9 synapses. NEST is implemented in C++ and can be used on a large range of architectures from single-core laptops over multi-core desktop computers to super-computers with thousands of processor cores. Python (http://www.python.org is a modern programming language that has recently received considerable attention in Computational Neuroscience. Python is easy to learn and has many extension modules for scientific computing (e.g. http://www.scipy.org. In this contribution we describe PyNEST, the new user interface to NEST. PyNEST combines NEST’s efficient simulation kernel with the simplicity and flexibility of Python. Compared to NEST’s native simulation language SLI, PyNEST makes it easier to set up simulations, generate stimuli, and analyze simulation results. We describe how PyNEST connects NEST and Python and how it is implemented. With a number of examples, we illustrate how it is used.

  3. New and updated time trends of persistent organic pollutants and their effects on eggs of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from South Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vorkamp, Katrin; Falk, Knud; Møller, Søren

    Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) accumulate persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to high concentrations. DDT and its metabolites caused severe effects on reproduction and population survival in the past. In this study, we addressed the following organic pollutants in eggs of peregrine falcons...

  4. Biotic components

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uresk, D.W.; Fitzner, R.E.; Rogers, L.E.; Rickard, W.H.

    1977-01-01

    Representative plant communities are described. The major community is dominated by sagebrush/cheatgrass-sandberg blue grass. Mammal, bird and insect species inhabiting the 200 Area plateau are representative of surrounding regions. Prairie falcons are the only species present possibly threatened with extinction. They do not nest on the plateau but probably forage over the area

  5. Spent fuel storage at Prairie Island: January 1995 status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Closs, J.; Kress, L.

    1995-01-01

    The disposal of spent nuclear fuel has been an issue for the US since the inception of the commercial nuclear power industry. In the past decade, it has become a critical factor in the continued operation of some nuclear power plants, including the two units at Prairie Island. As the struggles and litigation over storage alternatives wage on, spent fuel pools continue to fill and plants edge closer to premature shutdown. Due to the delays in the construction of a federal repository, many nuclear power plants have had to seek interim storage alternatives. In the case of Prairie Island, the safest and most feasible option is dry cask storage. This paper discusses the current status of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Project at Prairie Island. It provides a historical background to the project, discusses the notable developments over the past year, and presents the projected plans of the Northern States Power Company (NSP) in regards to spent fuel storage

  6. Elevated temperatures are associated with stress in rooftop-nesting Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) chicks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newberry, Gretchen N; Swanson, David L

    2018-01-01

    Grasslands and riparian forests in southeastern South Dakota have been greatly reduced since historical times, primarily due to conversion to row-crop agriculture. Common Nighthawk ( Chordeiles minor ) nesting habitat includes grasslands, open woodlands and urban rooftops, but nesting sites in southeastern South Dakota are confined to rooftops, as natural nesting habitat is limited. Nighthawks nesting on exposed rooftop habitats may encounter thermal conditions that increase operative temperatures relative to vegetated land cover types. Mean humidity has increased and mean wind speed and cloud cover have decreased during the nighthawk breeding season from 1948 to 2016 in southeastern South Dakota. These changes might contribute to increasing operative temperatures at exposed rooftop nest sites and this could influence chick condition. We studied nest micro-climate and the plasma stress response for 24 rooftop-nesting nighthawk chicks from 17 nests during 2015 and 2016. High humidity prior to blood collection reduced both baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone (CORT). In contrast, high maximum temperatures during the day before sampling increased stress-induced CORT. The magnitude of the chick stress response was significantly negatively related to maximum wind speed for the week prior to CORT measurement. Other weather and micro-climate variables were not significant effectors of CORT metrics. Most chicks had low baseline CORT and were able to mount a stress response, but a subset of chicks ( n = 4) showed elevated baseline CORT and a negative association between the magnitude of stress response and ambient temperature. For this subset, mean ambient temperature for the day before sampling was significantly higher (2.3°C) than for chicks with typical baseline CORT levels. These data suggest that regional climate change trends could affect the ability of nighthawk chicks to mount a stress response, which, in turn, might influence the susceptibility of

  7. CFD Analysis of Experimental Wing and Winglet for FalconLAUNCH 8 and the ExFIT Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    the interaction of the winglet shock wave with the main wing. It is important to note here that the main wing has both aerodynamic and geometric twist...CFD Analysis of Experimental Wing and Winglet for FalconLAUNCH 8 and the ExFIT Program THESIS Benjamin P. Switzer, Second Lieutenant, USAF AFIT/GAE...to copyright protection in the United States. AFIT/GAE/ENY/10-M25 CFD Analysis of Experimental Wing and Winglet for FalconLAUNCH 8 and the ExFIT

  8. The influence of nest-site characteristics on the nesting success of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Choice of nest site has important consequences for nest survival. We examined nest-site characteristics relative to nest success in Karoo Prinias breeding in coastal dwarf shrubland, where high nest predation is the main cause of nest failure. Initially, we compared nests that failed during the building, laying, incubation and ...

  9. Paltry past-precipitation: Predisposing prairie dogs to plague?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David; Biggins, Dean E.

    2017-01-01

    The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis was introduced to California in 1900 and spread rapidly as a sylvatic disease of mammalian hosts and flea vectors, invading the Great Plains in the United States by the 1930s to 1940s. In grassland ecosystems, plague causes periodic, devastating epizootics in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), sciurid rodents that create and maintain subterranean burrows. In doing so, plague inhibits prairie dogs from functioning as keystone species of grassland communities. The rate at which fleas transmit Y. pestis is thought to increase when fleas are abundant. Flea densities can increase during droughts when vegetative production is reduced and herbivorous prairie dogs are malnourished and have weakened defenses against fleas. Epizootics of plague have erupted frequently in prairie dogs during years in which precipitation was plentiful, and the accompanying cool temperatures might have facilitated the rate at which fleas transmitted Y. pestis. Together these observations evoke the hypothesis that transitions from dry-to-wet years provide conditions for plague epizootics in prairie dogs. Using generalized linear models, we analyzed a 24-year dataset on the occurrence of plague epizootics in 42 colonies of prairie dogs from Colorado, USA, 1982–2005. Of the 33 epizootics observed, 52% erupted during years with increased precipitation in summer. For the years with increased summer precipitation, if precipitation in the prior growing season declined from the maximum of 502 mm to the minimum of 200 mm, the prevalence of plague epizootics was predicted to increase 3-fold. Thus, reduced precipitation may have predisposed prairie dogs to plague epizootics when moisture returned. Biologists sometimes assume dry conditions are detrimental for plague. However, 48% of epizootics occurred during years in which precipitation was scarce in summer. In some cases, an increased abundance of fleas during dry years might

  10. Rapid diversification of falcons (Aves: Falconidae) due to expansion of open habitats in the Late Miocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Jérôme; Johnson, Jeff A; Mindell, David P

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how and why lineages diversify is central to understanding the origins of biological diversity. The avian family Falconidae (caracaras, forest-falcons, falcons) has an uneven distribution of species among multiple well-supported clades, and provides a useful system for testing hypotheses about diversification rate and correlation with environmental changes. We analyzed eight independent loci for 1-7 individuals from each of the 64 currently recognized Falconidae species, together with two fossil falconid temporal calibrations, to assess phylogeny, absolute divergence times and potential shifts in diversification rate. Our analyses supported similar diversification ages in the Early to Middle Miocene for the three traditional subfamilies, Herpetotherinae, Polyborinae and Falconinae. We estimated that divergences within the subfamily Falconinae began about 16mya and divergences within the most species-rich genus, Falco, including about 60% of all Falconidae species, began about 7.5mya. We found evidence for a significant increase in diversification rate at the basal phylogenetic node for the genus Falco, and the timing for this rate shift correlates generally with expansion of C4 grasslands beginning around the Miocene/Pliocene transition. Concomitantly, Falco lineages that are distributed primarily in grassland or savannah habitats, as opposed to woodlands, and exhibit migratory, as opposed to sedentary, behavior experienced a higher diversification rate. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Conceptual design of a fast-ignition laser fusion reactor FALCON-D

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goto, T.; Ogawa, Y.; Okano, K.; Hiwatari, R.; Asaoka, Y.; Someya, Y.; Sunahara, A.; Johzaki, T.

    2008-10-01

    A new conceptual design of the laser fusion power plant FALCON-D (Fast ignition Advanced Laser fusion reactor CONcept with a Dry wall chamber) has been proposed. The fast ignition method can achieve the sufficient fusion gain for a commercial operation (∼100) with about 10 times smaller fusion yield than the conventional central ignition method. FALCON-D makes full use of this property and aims at designing with a compact dry wall chamber (5 - 6 m radius). 1-D/2-D hydrodynamic simulations showed the possibility of the sufficient gain achievement with a 40 MJ target yield. The design feasibility of the compact dry wall chamber and solid breeder blanket system was shown through the thermomechanical analysis of the dry wall and neutronics analysis of the blanket system. A moderate electric output (∼400 MWe) can be achieved with a high repetition (30 Hz) laser. This dry wall concept not only reduces some difficulties accompanied with a liquid wall but also enables a simple cask maintenance method for the replacement of the blanket system, which can shorten the maintenance time. The basic idea of the maintenance method for the final optics system has also been proposed. Some critical R and D issues required for this design are also discussed. (author)

  12. Lack of genetic polymorphism among peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus of Fiji

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, Sandra; Palmer, Angela G.; Sage, George K.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Swem, Ted; Brimm, Daniel J.; White, Clayton M

    2014-01-01

    We compared levels of genetic diversity and isolation among peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus from two South Pacific island complexes (Fiji and Vanuatu: F. p. nesiotes), relative to other island and mainland populations. Fragment data from 12 microsatellite loci and sequence information from the control region of the mitochondrial DNA indicated levels of genetic variation in the South Pacific populations were lower than other island and mainland populations. Indeed, diversity varied from extremely low (Vanuatu) to completely absent (Fiji). We find little support for a hypothesis that populations on Fiji or Vanuatu were colonized via Australia. The complete lack of polymorphism in peregrine falcons of Fiji is remarkable, and to our knowledge has not been observed in a natural avian population. This lack of polymorphism, and the inability to test for decrease in polymorphism using museum samples, precludes testing whether the lack of genetic diversity in the population on Fiji is due to a recent bottleneck, or sustained isolation over evolutionary time. Increased fertility in eggs of Fiji peregrines upon outbreeding with males from other areas is consistent with inbreeding depression within a population typified by heterozygote deficiency.

  13. Analysis of Arterial and Venous Blood Gases in Healthy Gyr Falcons ( Falco rusticolus ) Under Anesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghav, Raj; Middleton, Rachael; BSc, Rinshiya Ahamed; Arjunan, Raji; Caliendo, Valentina

    2015-12-01

    Arterial and venous blood gas analysis is useful in the assessment of tissue oxygenation and ventilation and in diagnosis of metabolic and respiratory derangements. It can be performed with a relatively small volume of blood in avian patients under emergency situations. Arterial and venous blood gas analysis was performed in 30 healthy gyr falcons ( Falco rusticolus ) under anaesthesia to establish temperature-corrected reference intervals for arterial blood gas values and to compare them to temperature-corrected venous blood gas values with a portable point-of-care blood gas analyzer (i-STAT 1, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA). Statistically significant differences were observed between the temperature-corrected values of pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (Pco2), and partial pressure of oxygen (Po2) and the corresponding nontemperature-corrected values of these parameters in both arterial and venous blood. Values of temperature-corrected pH, temperature-corrected Pco2, bicarbonate concentrations, and base excess of extra cellular fluid did not differ significantly between arterial and venous blood, suggesting that, in anesthetized gyr falcons, venous blood gas analysis can be used in place of arterial blood gas analysis in clinical situations. Values for hematocrit, measured by the point-of-care analyzer, were significantly lower compared with those obtained by the microhematocrit method.

  14. Using Artificial Nests to Study Nest Predation in Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belthoff, James R.

    2005-01-01

    A simple and effective field exercise that demonstrates factors affecting predation on bird nests is described. With instructor guidance, students in high school biology or college-level biology, ecology, animal behavior, wildlife management or ornithology laboratory courses can collaborate to design field experiments related to nest depredation.

  15. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  16. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  17. Influence of land use and climate on wetland breeding birds in the Prairie Pothole region of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forcey, G.M.; Linz, G.M.; Thogmartin, W.E.; Bleier, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    Bird populations are influenced by a variety of factors at both small and large scales that range from the presence of suitable nesting habitat, predators, and food supplies to climate conditions and land-use patterns. We evaluated the influences of regional climate and land-use variables on wetland breeding birds in the Canada section of Bird Conservation Region 11 (CA-BCR11), the Prairie Potholes. We used bird abundance data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, land-use data from the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, and weather data from the National Climatic Data and Information Archive to model effects of regional environmental variables on bird abundance. Models were constructed a priori using information from published habitat associations in the literature, and fitting was performed with WinBUGS using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques. Both land-use and climate variables contributed to predicting bird abundance in CA-BCR11, although climate predictors contributed the most to improving model fit. Examination of regional effects of climate and land use on wetland birds in CA-BCR11 revealed relationships with environmental covariates that are often overlooked by small-scale habitat studies. Results from these studies can be used to improve conservation and management planning for regional populations of avifauna. ?? 2007 NRC.

  18. Des broussailles dans les prairies alpines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Camacho

    2009-03-01

    expliquer pourquoi l'embroussaillement gagne des prairies encore exploitées. Si la fauche permet de lutter efficacement contre l’avancée des ligneux, il n’en est pas de même dans les prairies pâturées non fauchées où la capacité de prélèvement par les troupeaux s’avère faible par rapport à la production d’herbe. Cette situation se répète d’année en année et c’est la cause la plus probable de la propagation des ligneux. Pour sécuriser leur système fourrager et pour simplifier le travail, les éleveurs constituent des unités de pâturage surdimensionnées par rapport aux besoins des animaux. Ils mettent en œuvre des pratiques de rattrapage, consistant en un entretien mécanique complémentaire au pâturage, pour contenir la dynamique des ligneux. De telles pratiques, exigeantes en travail, ne sont pas mises en œuvre sur toutes les pâtures. L’analyse des pratiques par des agronomes complète ainsi les études de milieux physiques et socio-économiques tant au niveau de la parcelle pâturée qu’à celui de la vallée.

  19. Jordan Isomorphisms on Nest Subalgebras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aili Yang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is devoted to the study of Jordan isomorphisms on nest subalgebras of factor von Neumann algebras. It is shown that every Jordan isomorphism ϕ between the two nest subalgebras algMβ and algMγ is either an isomorphism or an anti-isomorphism.

  20. Neste Corporation - a successful year

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ihamuotila, J.

    1991-01-01

    The past year proved a successful one for Neste Corporation. Profitability was good and operations were consistently developed. Neste is committed to giving high priority to productivity and know- how to ensure that this success continues into the future. Important developments affecting the structure of Neste Corporation during 1990 included the amalgamation of Neste's oil-related activities into a single division, the increasing concentration of Neste Chemicals, activities in Central and Southern Europe and a major strengthening of oil exploration and production operations. Neste Oil turned in a good result during 1990. Neste imported a total of 8.9 million tonnes of crude oil during 1990. Imports from the Soviet Union at 5.2 million tonnes, were over 2 million tonnes less than planned. Some 2.5 million tonnes were imported from the North Sea, and 1.2 million tonnes from the Middle East. The year was one of expansion, diversification, and solid profit for Neste Chemicals. Net sales grew by 18 % compared to 1989 and the division recorded a satisfactory performance. Petrochemicals and polyolefins production increased suhstantially as a result of plants completed, acquired, or leased during 1989. The gas division's net sales during 1990 were 46 % higher than during 1989. This growth largely resulted from an increase in the consumption of natural gas and an expansion in the volume of international IPG business. The division's profitability remained satisfactory

  1. Mourning Dove nesting habitat and nest success in Central Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drobney, R.D.; Schulz, J.H.; Sheriff, S.L.; Fuemmeler, W.J.

    1998-01-01

    Previous Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) nesting studies conducted in areas containing a mixture of edge and continuous habitats have focused on edge habitats. Consequently, little is known about the potential contribution of continuous habitats to dove production. In this study we evaluated the relative importance of these two extensive habitat types by monitoring the habitat use and nest success of 59 radio-marked doves during 1990-1991 in central Missouri. Of 83 nests initiated by our marked sample, most (81.9%) were located in edge habitats. Although continuous habitats were selected less as nest sites, the proportion of successful nests did not differ significantly from that in edge habitats. Our data indicate that continuous habitats should not be considered marginal nesting habitat. If the intensity of use and nest success that we observed are representative regionally or nationally, continuous habitats could contribute substantially to annual Mourning Dove production because of the high availability of these habitats throughout much of the Mourning Dove breeding range.

  2. Levels and trends of toxaphene and chlordane-related pesticides in peregrine falcon eggs from South Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vorkamp, Katrin; Møller, Søren; Falk, Knud

    2014-01-01

    Peregrine falcon eggs were collected in South Greenland between 1986 and 2003 and analysed for 6 congeners of toxaphene and 5 chlordane-related pesticides (cis-chlordane, trans-chlordane, cis-nonachlor, trans-nonachlor and oxychlordane). Oxychlordane had the highest median concentration of 1448 n...

  3. Temporal Development of Brominated Flame Retardants in Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Eggs from South Greenland (1986-2003)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vorkamp, K.; Thomsen, M.; Falk, K.

    2005-01-01

    A time trend between 1986 and 2003 was found for brominated flame retardants in peregrine falcon eggs from South Greenland, with significantly increasing concentrations of the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) 99, 100, 153, 154, and 209. For BDE-99 and -100, the concentration increased appro...

  4. Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    X. Zhou; M.J. Helmers; H. Asbjornsen; R. Kolka; M.D. Tomer; R.M. Cruse

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural landscapes have been identified as primary sources of excess nutrients in aquatic systems. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in removing nutrients from cropland runoff in 12 small watersheds in central Iowa. Four treatments with PFS of different spatial...

  5. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R.; Busch, Joseph D.; Antolin, Michael F.; Wagner, David M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (pdogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  6. Prairie Restoration Project: Alternatives for Identifying Gifted Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salisbury, Katie E.; Rule, Audrey C.; Vander Zanden, Sarah M.

    2016-01-01

    An authentic, challenging curriculum engaged middle school students from an urban district in exploratory work related to restoring a small prairie at the school. Integrated science-literacy-arts activities were coupled with a system of thinking skills that helped students view issues from different perspectives. Impassioned guest speakers and an…

  7. Overview of Prairie Planting Techniques and Maintenance Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    districts have these drills 6 ERDC TN-EMRRP-ER-05 February 2007 available for rent. A three-point broadcast seeder or a fertilizer spreader can...lengthens the growing season for prairie plants but shortens it for many weedy species (Pauly 1997). Fire allows for nutrient recycling in the ecosystem by

  8. Selected hydrologic data, Camas Prairie, south-central Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, H.W.; Backsen, R.L.; Kenyon, K.S.

    1978-01-01

    This report presents data collected during a 1-year study of the water resources of Camas Prairie, Idaho. Included are records of wells, discharge measurements of streams, hydrographs of water levels in wells, water-quality data, and drillers ' logs of wells. The data are conveniently made available to supplement an interpretive report, which will be published separately. (Woodard-USGS)

  9. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  10. Butterfly responses to prairie restoration through fire and grazing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Debinski, Diane M.; Koford, Rolf R.; Miller, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    The development of land for modern agriculture has resulted in losses of native prairie habitat. The small, isolated patches of prairie habitat that remain are threatened by fire suppression, overgrazing, and invasion by non-native species. We evaluated the effects of three restoration practices (grazing only, burning only, and burning and grazing) on the vegetation characteristics and butterfly communities of remnant prairies. Total butterfly abundance was highest on prairies that were managed with burning and grazing and lowest on those that were only burned. Butterfly species richness did not differ among any of the restoration practices. Butterfly species diversity was highest on sites that were only burned. Responses of individual butterfly species to restoration practices were highly variable. In the best predictive regression model, total butterfly abundance was negatively associated with the percent cover of bare ground and positively associated with the percent cover of forbs. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that sites with burned only and grazed only practices could be separated based on their butterfly community composition. Butterfly communities in each of the three restoration practices are equally species rich but different practices yield compositionally different butterfly communities. Because of this variation in butterfly species responses to different restoration practices, there is no single practice that will benefit all species or even all species within habitat-specialist or habitat-generalist habitat guilds. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The Nest Home

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickerill, Heath [Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO (United States)

    2016-07-11

    The purpose of the project was to build a competitive solar-powered house for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 held in Irvine, California. The house, named the Nest Home, was an innovative design that works with the environment to meet the needs of the occupants, identified as a growing family. Reused materials were instrumental in the design. Three refurbished shipping containers composed the primary structure of the house, creating an open floor plan that defies common architecture for container homes. The exterior siding was made of deconstructed shipping pallets collected locally. Other recycled products included carpet composed of discarded fishing nets, denim batting made of recycled blue jeans that outperform traditional fiberglass insulation in sound proofing and thermal resistance, and kitchen cabinets that were purchased used and refinished. Collectively these elements formed a well-balanced blend of modern design, comfort, and sustainability. The house was Missouri University of Science and Technology’s sixth entry in the DOE Solar Decathlon. Missouri S&T has been invited to compete in six of the seven decathlons held, more than any other university worldwide. The house was brought back to Rolla after the Decathlon in California where it has been placed in its permanent location on the S&T campus.

  12. Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Lyman L.; Stanley, Thomas R.; Otis, David L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Stevens, Patricia D.; Koprowski, John L.; Ballard, Warren

    2011-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges for conserving grassland, prairie scrub, and shrub-steppe ecosystems is maintaining prairie dog populations across the landscape. Of the four species of prairie dogs found in the United States, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened, the Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) is a candidate for listing in a portion of its range, and the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) have each been petitioned for listing at least once in recent history. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined listing is not warranted for either the black-tailed prairie dog or white-tailed prairie dog, the petitions and associated reviews demonstrated the need for the States to monitor and manage for self-sustaining populations. In response to these findings, a multi-State conservation effort was initiated for the nonlisted species which included the following proposed actions: (1) completing an assessment of each prairie dog species in each State, (2) developing a range-wide monitoring protocol for each species using a statistically valid sampling procedure that would allow comparable analyses across States, and (3) monitoring prairie dog status every 3-5 years depending upon the species. To date, each State has completed an assessment and currently is monitoring prairie dog status; however, for some species, the inconsistency in survey methodology has made it difficult to compare data year-to-year or State-to-State. At the Prairie Dog Conservation Team meeting held in November 2008, there was discussion regarding the use of different methods to survey prairie dogs. A recommendation from this meeting was to convene a panel in a workshop-type forum and have the panel review the different methods being used and provide recommendations for range-wide monitoring protocols for each species of prairie dog. Consequently, the Western

  13. Diets of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) in continuous and fragmented prairie in Northwestern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamler, J.F.; Ballard, W.B.; Wallace, M.C.; Gipson, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    Distribution of the swift fox (Vulpes velox) has declined dramatically since the 1800s, and suggested causes of this decline are habitat fragmentation and transformation due to agricultural expansion. However, impacts of fragmentation and human-altered habitats on swift foxes still are not well understood. To better understand what effects these factors have on diets of swift foxes, scats were collected in northwestern Texas at two study sites, one of continuous native prairie and one representing fragmented native prairie interspersed with agricultural and fields in the Conservation Reserve Program. Leporids, a potential food source, were surveyed seasonally on both sites. Diets of swift foxes differed between sites; insects were consumed more on continuous prairie, whereas mammals, birds, and crops were consumed more on fragmented prairie. Size of populations of leporids were 2-3 times higher on fragmented prairie, and swift foxes responded by consuming more leporids on fragmented (11.1% frequency occurrence) than continuous (3.8%) prairie. Dietary diversity was greater on fragmented prairie during both years of the study. Differences in diets between sites suggested that the swift fox is an adaptable and opportunistic feeder, able to exploit a variety of food resources, probably in relation to availability of food. We suggest that compared to continuous native prairie, fragmented prairie can offer swift foxes a more diverse prey base, at least within the mosaic of native prairie, agricultural, and fields that are in the Conservation Reserve Program.

  14. Nesting ecology of Arctic loons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Margaret R.

    1979-01-01

    Arctic Loons were studied on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, from the time of their arrival in May to their departure in September, in 1974 and 1975. Pairs arrived on breeding ponds as soon as sufficient meltwater was available to allow their take-off and landing. Loons apparently do not initiate nests immediately after their arrival, even when nest-sites are available. Delayed egg-laying may be dependent on a period of yolk formation. Delaying yolk formation until after arrival on nest ponds is an adaptation by loons to the variable time suitable habitat becomes available for nesting. Predation of eggs by Glaucous Gulls, Long-tailed and Parasitic jaegers and foxes varied in relation to the location of the nest-site, and the availability of alternate prey. Hatching success was the lowest recorded for Arctic Loons (5%) in 1974, when eggs of both loons and Cackling Geese were taken in large numbers by predators. Hatching success increased to 32% in 1975 when an abundance of tundra voles was observed. No loon eggs hatched after the hatching of the Cackling Goose eggs when this alternate prey was no longer available. Nests destroyed by foxes were predominantly along shorelines, and those by gulls and jaegers were predominantly on islands. Nest-site selection by Arctic Loons may reflect an adaptive response to varying selective pressures by their predators.

  15. Bristol Bay, Alaska Subarea ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting seabirds (alcids, pelagic birds), gulls, terns, diving birds, and raptors in the Bristol Bay...

  16. Operation modes of the FALCON ion source as a part of the AMS cluster tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Girka Oleksii

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper investigates the options to increase the production yield of temperature compensated surface acoustic wave (SAW devices with a defined range of operational frequencies. The paper focuses on the preparation of large wafers with SiO2 and AlN/Si3N4 depositions. Stability of the intermediate SiO2 layer is achieved by combining high power density UV radiation with annealing in high humidity environment. A uniform thickness of the capping AlN layer is achieved by local high-rate etching with a focused ion beam emitted by the FALCON ion source. Operation parameters and limitations of the etching process are discussed.

  17. Falcon II seminar, Winfrith Technology Centre, 13-14 March 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, P.J.; Bowsher, B.R.

    1991-05-01

    Falcon was designed to study the transport of fission products released from both simulant and trace-irradiated fuel through a circuit simulating the upper plenum, hot-leg structures and the containment. Various sophisticated analytical techniques were used to provide information on the chemical species and physical forms of the released material. Twenty integral experiments of increasing complexity were successfully completed. The initial experiments were designed to characterise the thermal-hydraulics of the system, while the final tests included: (i) aerosols from Ag-In-Cd control rod and boric acid, (ii) a source of fission products, (iii) a painted surface and aqueous sump in the containment vessel to study iodine chemistry. (author)

  18. Do Predation Rates on Artificial Nests Accurately Reflect Predation Rates on Natural Bird Nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf; Curtice R. Griffin; Thomas J. Maier

    1999-01-01

    Artificial nests are widely used in avian field studies. However, it is unclear how well predation rates on artificial nests reflect predation rates on natural nests. Therefore, we compared survival rates of artificial nests (unused natural nests baited with House Sparrow eggs) with survival rates of active bird nests in the same habitat at the same sites. Survival...

  19. Assessing breeding potential of peregrine falcons based on chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations in prey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, J.E. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, 5421 Robertson Rd., RR no. 1, Delta, British Columbia, V4K 3N2 (Canada)]. E-mail: john.elliott@ec.gc.ca; Miller, M.J. [Iolaire Ecological Consulting, 7899 Thrasher St., Mission, British Columbia, V2V 5H3 (Canada); Wilson, L.K. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, 5421 Robertson Rd., RR no. 1, Delta, British Columbia, V4K 3N2 (Canada)

    2005-03-01

    Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) now breed successfully in most areas of North America from which they were previously extirpated. The loss during the mid-part of the last century of many of the world's peregrine populations was largely a consequence of impaired reproduction caused by the effects of DDE on eggshell quality and embryo hatchability. Population recovery has been attributed to re-introduction efforts, coupled with regulatory restrictions on the use of organochlorine pesticides. Peregrines have not returned to breed in some areas, such as the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. That region has been extensively planted in fruit orchards which were treated annually with DDT during the early 1950s to the 1970s. Ongoing contamination of avian species, including potential peregrine prey, inhabiting orchards has been documented. In response to an initiative to release peregrines around the city of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, we collected potential peregrine prey species and analyzed whole bodies for chlorinated hydrocarbon residues. We used a simple bioaccumulation model to predict concentrations of DDE in peregrine eggs using concentrations in prey and estimates of dietary makeup as input. Peregrines would be expected to breed successfully only if they fed on a diet primarily of doves. Feeding on as little as 10% of other species such as starlings, robins, gulls and magpies would produce DDE concentrations in peregrine eggs greater than the threshold of 15 mg/kg. We also estimated the critical concentration of DDE in total prey to be about 0.5 mg/kg, one half of the previous most conservative criterion for peregrine prey. Concentrations of dieldrin and PCBs in peregrine prey are less than suggested critical levels. - Based on the level of DDE contamination of prey items, it seems unlikely that peregrine falcons could breed successfully throughout most of the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

  20. Ecosystem engineering varies spatially: a test of the vegetation modification paradigm for prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Bruce W.; Augustine, David J.; Sedgwick, James A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2013-01-01

    Colonial, burrowing herbivores can be engineers of grassland and shrubland ecosystems worldwide. Spatial variation in landscapes suggests caution when extrapolating single-place studies of single species, but lack of data and the need to generalize often leads to ‘model system’ thinking and application of results beyond appropriate statistical inference. Generalizations about the engineering effects of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) developed largely from intensive study at a single complex of black-tailed prairie dogs C. ludovicianus in northern mixed prairie, but have been extrapolated to other ecoregions and prairie dog species in North America, and other colonial, burrowing herbivores. We tested the paradigm that prairie dogs decrease vegetation volume and the cover of grasses and tall shrubs, and increase bare ground and forb cover. We sampled vegetation on and off 279 colonies at 13 complexes of 3 prairie dog species widely distributed across 5 ecoregions in North America. The paradigm was generally supported at 7 black-tailed prairie dog complexes in northern mixed prairie, where vegetation volume, grass cover, and tall shrub cover were lower, and bare ground and forb cover were higher, on colonies than at paired off-colony sites. Outside the northern mixed prairie, all 3 prairie dog species consistently reduced vegetation volume, but their effects on cover of plant functional groups varied with prairie dog species and the grazing tolerance of dominant perennial grasses. White-tailed prairie dogs C. leucurus in sagebrush steppe did not reduce shrub cover, whereas black-tailed prairie dogs suppressed shrub cover at all complexes with tall shrubs in the surrounding habitat matrix. Black-tailed prairie dogs in shortgrass steppe and Gunnison's prairie dogs C. gunnisoni in Colorado Plateau grassland both had relatively minor effects on grass cover, which may reflect the dominance of grazing-tolerant shortgrasses at both complexes. Variation in modification of

  1. Nested Cohort - R software package

    Science.gov (United States)

    NestedCohort is an R software package for fitting Kaplan-Meier and Cox Models to estimate standardized survival and attributable risks for studies where covariates of interest are observed on only a sample of the cohort.

  2. Pre-nesting and nesting behavior of the Swainson's warbler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meanley, B.

    1969-01-01

    The Swainson?s Warbler is one of the least known of southern birds. Although fairly common in some parts of its summer range, observations of its breeding biology have been made by very few persons. The present study was conducted mostly at Macon, Georgia; Pendleton Ferry, Arkansas; and Dismal Swamp, Virginia....In central Georgia and east-central Arkansas, Swainson?s Warblers usually arrive on their territories during the first two weeks in April. Territories in several localities ranged in size from 0.3 to 4.8 acres. A color-marked Arkansas male occupied the same territory for at least four months. Hostile encounters between territorial male Swainson?s Warblers usually take place along the boundary of adjacent territories. Paired males were more aggressive than unpaired males. Toward the end of an encounter one of the two males would usually perform a display in which the wing and tail feathers were spread and the tail vibrated. Following boundary encounters males drifted back onto their territories and usually sang unbroken courses of songs for several minutes.....During pre-nesting at Macon, a mated pair spent the day mostly on the ground within 20 feet of each other, often foragin g 3 to 4 feet apart. What may have been a form of courtship display, in which the male flew from a perch down to the female and either pecked her rump or pounced on her, occurred about three times each hour throughout the day. During this period the male sang less than at other times during the breeding season.....First nests are usually built by the first week in May. Although other investigators reported finding nests of this species outside of the defended territory, all nests that I have found were within the territory. The large, bulky nest of this species usually is placed 2-6 feet above the ground. It is built by the female from materials gathered close to the nest site; and takes two or three days to complete.....Three and occasionally four white eggs are laid. The female

  3. Hierarchically nested river landform sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasternack, G. B.; Weber, M. D.; Brown, R. A.; Baig, D.

    2017-12-01

    River corridors exhibit landforms nested within landforms repeatedly down spatial scales. In this study we developed, tested, and implemented a new way to create river classifications by mapping domains of fluvial processes with respect to the hierarchical organization of topographic complexity that drives fluvial dynamism. We tested this approach on flow convergence routing, a morphodynamic mechanism with different states depending on the structure of nondimensional topographic variability. Five nondimensional landform types with unique functionality (nozzle, wide bar, normal channel, constricted pool, and oversized) represent this process at any flow. When this typology is nested at base flow, bankfull, and floodprone scales it creates a system with up to 125 functional types. This shows how a single mechanism produces complex dynamism via nesting. Given the classification, we answered nine specific scientific questions to investigate the abundance, sequencing, and hierarchical nesting of these new landform types using a 35-km gravel/cobble river segment of the Yuba River in California. The nested structure of flow convergence routing landforms found in this study revealed that bankfull landforms are nested within specific floodprone valley landform types, and these types control bankfull morphodynamics during moderate to large floods. As a result, this study calls into question the prevailing theory that the bankfull channel of a gravel/cobble river is controlled by in-channel, bankfull, and/or small flood flows. Such flows are too small to initiate widespread sediment transport in a gravel/cobble river with topographic complexity.

  4. Avoidance behavior by prairie grouse: implications for development of wind energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruett, Christin L; Patten, Michael A; Wolfe, Donald H

    2009-10-01

    New wind-energy facilities and their associated power transmission lines and roads are being constructed at a rapid pace in the Great Plains of North America. Nevertheless, little is known about the possible negative effects these anthropogenic features might have on prairie birds, one of the most threatened groups in North America. We examined radiotelemetry tracking locations of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) in two locations in Oklahoma to determine whether these birds avoided or changed movement behavior near power lines and paved highways. We tracked 463 Lesser Prairie-Chickens (15,071 tracking locations) and 216 Greater Prairie-Chickens (5,750 locations) for 7 and 3 years, respectively. Individuals of both species avoided power lines by at least 100 m and Lesser Prairie-Chickens avoided one of the two highways by 100 m. Prairie-chickens crossed power lines less often than expected if birds moved randomly (p 0.05). In addition, home ranges of Lesser Prairie-Chickens overlapped the power line less often than would be expected by chance placement of home ranges; this result was supported by kernel-density estimation of home ranges. It is likely that new power lines (and other tall structures such as wind turbines) will lead to avoidance of previously suitable habitat and will serve as barriers to movement. These two factors will likely increase fragmentation in an already fragmented landscape if wind energy development continues in prairie habitats.

  5. Persistent organochlorine compounds in peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) eggs from South Greenland: Levels and temporal changes between 1986 and 2003

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vorkamp, Katrin; Thomsen, Marianne; Møller, Søren

    2009-01-01

    Thirty-seven addled peregrine falcon eggs collected in South Greenland between 1986 and 2003 wereanalysed for their content of the organochlorine compounds polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltricloroethane (DDT) and its degradation products, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers andh...

  6. Climate impacts on the agribusiness sectors of a prairie economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arthur, L.M.; Kooten, G.C. Van.

    1992-01-01

    Global warming is likely to result in increased agricultural output on the Canadian prairies. However, using input-output analysis, it is shown that the potential impact of global warming on agribusiness, while significant, is both uncertain and relatively small compared to the impact of government agricultural policies pertaining to the grain and livestock sectors. Furthermore, caution is required in deciding whether or not western Canada and prairie agribusinesses are net beneficiaries of a greenhouse effect because climate-induced changes in agricultural output elsewhere in the world still need to be taken into account. Most previous studies on American and European agriculture under the greenhouse effect predict reduced yields of current crops, which could mean improved markets for Canadian crops. 27 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  7. Influence of olfactory and visual cover on nest site selection and nest success for grassland-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Dillon T; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Loss, Scott R

    2017-08-01

    Habitat selection by animals is influenced by and mitigates the effects of predation and environmental extremes. For birds, nest site selection is crucial to offspring production because nests are exposed to extreme weather and predation pressure. Predators that forage using olfaction often dominate nest predator communities; therefore, factors that influence olfactory detection (e.g., airflow and weather variables, including turbulence and moisture) should influence nest site selection and survival. However, few studies have assessed the importance of olfactory cover for habitat selection and survival. We assessed whether ground-nesting birds select nest sites based on visual and/or olfactory cover. Additionally, we assessed the importance of visual cover and airflow and weather variables associated with olfactory cover in influencing nest survival. In managed grasslands in Oklahoma, USA, we monitored nests of Northern Bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ), Eastern Meadowlark ( Sturnella magna ), and Grasshopper Sparrow ( Ammodramus savannarum ) during 2015 and 2016. To assess nest site selection, we compared cover variables between nests and random points. To assess factors influencing nest survival, we used visual cover and olfactory-related measurements (i.e., airflow and weather variables) to model daily nest survival. For nest site selection, nest sites had greater overhead visual cover than random points, but no other significant differences were found. Weather variables hypothesized to influence olfactory detection, specifically precipitation and relative humidity, were the best predictors of and were positively related to daily nest survival. Selection for overhead cover likely contributed to mitigation of thermal extremes and possibly reduced detectability of nests. For daily nest survival, we hypothesize that major nest predators focused on prey other than the monitored species' nests during high moisture conditions, thus increasing nest survival on these

  8. Interspecific nest use by aridland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    1982-01-01

    Nest holes drilled by woodpeckers (Picidae) are frequently used by secondary cavity-nesting species, but interspecific use of open and domed nests is less well known. Nests constructed by many southwestern desert birds last longer than one year (pers. obs.) and are consequently reused by the same pair (e.g., Abert's Towhees [Pipilo aberti], pers. obs.) or by other...

  9. Constructing bald eagle nests with natural materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. G. Grubb

    1995-01-01

    A technique for using natural materials to build artificial nests for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and other raptors is detailed. Properly constructed nests are as permanently secured to the nest tree or cliff substrate as any eagle-built nest or human-made platform. Construction normally requires about three hours and at least two people. This technique is...

  10. Prairie rattlesnake envenomation in 27 New World camelids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonis, J M; Hackett, E S; Callan, R J; Holt, T N; Hackett, T B

    2013-01-01

    Morbidity and case fatality from rattlesnake envenomation is regionally specific because of variability in relative toxicity of the species of snake encountered. A previous report of rattlesnake envenomation in New World camelids (NWC) from the western coastal United States documented high case fatality rates and guarded prognosis for survival. To describe clinical findings, treatments, and outcome of NWC with prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) envenomation in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Twenty-seven NWC admitted to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for evaluation of acute rattlesnake envenomation between 1992 and 2012. Medical records of NWC evaluated for rattlesnake envenomation as coded by the attending clinician and identified by a database search were reviewed retrospectively. Month of admission, signalment, area of bite, clinical and clinicopathologic data, treatments, and outcome were recorded. Twenty-five llamas and 2 alpacas were admitted for envenomation. Llamas were overrepresented compared to hospital caseload. The face was the most common site of envenomation, observed in 96% of recorded cases. Presenting clinical signs included fever, tachypnea, tachycardia, and respiratory distress. Nine animals required a tracheotomy. Median hospitalization time was 3 days and overall survival rate was 69%. Case fatality rate for prairie rattlesnake envenomation in NWC was lower than that reported in the Western coastal region of the United States and similar to that reported for prairie rattlesnake envenomation in horses. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

  11. Resting state brain networks in the prairie vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Juan J; Portillo, Wendy; Paredes, Raul G; Young, Larry J; Alcauter, Sarael

    2018-01-19

    Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) has shown the hierarchical organization of the human brain into large-scale complex networks, referred as resting state networks. This technique has turned into a promising translational research tool after the finding of similar resting state networks in non-human primates, rodents and other animal models of great value for neuroscience. Here, we demonstrate and characterize the presence of resting states networks in Microtus ochrogaster, the prairie vole, an extraordinary animal model to study complex human-like social behavior, with potential implications for the research of normal social development, addiction and neuropsychiatric disorders. Independent component analysis of rsfMRI data from isoflurane-anestethized prairie voles resulted in cortical and subcortical networks, including primary motor and sensory networks, but also included putative salience and default mode networks. We further discuss how future research could help to close the gap between the properties of the large scale functional organization and the underlying neurobiology of several aspects of social cognition. These results contribute to the evidence of preserved resting state brain networks across species and provide the foundations to explore the use of rsfMRI in the prairie vole for basic and translational research.

  12. Interspecific nutrient transfer in a tallgrass prairie plant community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.E.F.; Hartnett, D.C.; Hetrick, B.A.D.; Schwab, A.P.

    1996-01-01

    Interplant nutrient transfer may be an important ecological process in grasslands, and may significantly influence plant neighborhood interactions. We investigated the potential for phosphorus transfer between the dominant grass Andropogon gerardii and several neighboring plant species in tallgrass prairie via a field 32PO4 labelling experiment. The mean amount of 32P received from donor shoots differed significantly among neighboring species and decreased with increasing distance from the donor. In general, forbs and cool-season C3 grasses received more labelled 32P than warm-season C4 grasses. Phosphorus transfer occurred over distances up to 0.5 m. The effects of species and distance on movement of phosphorus changed with increasing time after labelling. The relative mass of receiver and donor shoots did not affect amounts of 32P transfer. A benomyl fungicide treatment, applied to suppress mycorrhizal activity, likely did not affect existing vegetative hyphae and did not affect the amount of 32P transferred. These studies demonstrate that: (1) phosphorus is transferred among neighboring species in tallgrass prairie plant communities, (2) phosphorus may be transferred over significantly greater distances than reported in other grasslands, and (3) there is differential transfer among co-occurring species. Hypothesized mechanisms accounting for these patterns in tallgrass prairie include mycorrhizal hyphal interconnections and/or extensive and differential root and rhizosphere overlap among neighboring species

  13. Nest use is influenced by the positions of nests and drinkers in aviaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentfer, T L; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Fröhlich, E K F; von Borell, E

    2013-06-01

    The influence of the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers on nest use by laying hens in a commercial aviary was assessed. Twenty pens in a laying hen house were equipped with the same commercial aviary system, but the pens differed in the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers. Nests were placed along the walls in 10 pens, and nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. The other 10 pens were equipped with nests placed on a tier within the aviary (integrated nests). Nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. A total of 225 Lohmann Selected Leghorns were housed per pen. The hens were offered 4 nests per pen: 2 facing the service corridor of the laying hen house and 2 facing the outdoor area. The numbers of nest eggs and mislaid eggs were counted daily per pen. At 25, 36, and 43 wk of age, the nest platforms were videotaped and the behavior of laying hens in front of the nests was analyzed. The nest location affected the stationary and locomotive behaviors in front of the nests. Hens in front of the integrated nests and the nests with drinkers displayed more stationary behaviors than hens in front of wall-placed nests or nests without drinkers. No difference in the number of nest eggs could be detected, but the integration of the nests inside the aviary led to a more even distribution of hens while nest searching. In the pens with wall-placed nests, significantly more hens laid eggs in the nests at the wall near the service corridor than at the wall near the outdoor area. Due to this imbalance, crowding in front of the preferred nests occurred and pushing and agonistic interactions on the nest platforms were significantly more frequent. Placement of nipple drinkers in front of nests had no effect on the number of eggs laid in those nests.

  14. The FALCON Concept: Multi-Object Spectroscopy Combined with MCAO in Near-IR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, François; Sayède, Frédéric; Gendron, Eric; Fusco, Thierry; Burgarella, Denis; Cayatte, Véronique; Conan, Jean-Marc; Courbin, Frédéric; Flores, Hector; Guinouard, Isabelle; Jocou, Laurent; Lançon, Ariane; Monnet, Guy; Mouhcine, Mustapha; Rigaud, François; Rouan, Daniel; Rousset, Gérard; Buat, Véronique; Zamkotsian, Frédéric

    A large fraction of the present-day stellar mass was formed between z=0.5 and z˜ 3 and our understanding of the formation mechanisms at work at these epochs requires both high spatial and high spectral resolution: one shall simultaneously obtain images of objects with typical sizes as small as 1-2 kpc (˜ 0".1), while achieving 20-50 km/s (R≥ 5000) spectral resolution. In addition, the redshift range to be considered implies that most important spectral features are redshifted in the near-infrared. The obvious instrumental solution to adopt in order to tackle the science goal is therefore a combination of multi-object 3D spectrograph with multi-conjugate adaptive optics in large fields. A very promising way to achieve such a technically challenging goal is to relax the conditions of the traditional full adaptive optics correction. A partial, but still competitive correction shall be prefered, over a much wider field of view. This can be done by estimating the turbulent volume from sets of natural guide stars, by optimizing the correction to several and discrete small areas of few arcsec 2 selected in a large field (Nasmyth field of 25 arcmin) and by correcting up to the 6th, and eventually, up to the 60 th Zernike modes. Simulations on real extragalactic fields, show that for most sources (> 80%), the recovered resolution could reach 0".15-0".25 in the J and H bands. Detection of point-like objects is improved by factors from 3 to ≥10, when compared with an instrument without adaptive correction. The proposed instrument concept, FALCON, is equipped with deployable mini-integral field units (IFUs), achieving spectral resolutions between R=5000 and 20000. Its multiplex capability, combined with high spatial and spectral resolution characteristics, is a natural ground based complement to the next generation of space telescopes. Galaxy formation in the early Universe is certainly a main science driver. We describe here how FALCON shall allow to answer puzzling

  15. COMPARISON OF THE POPULATIONS OF COMMON WOOD-NYMPH BUTTERFLIES IN BURNED PRAIRIE, UNBURNED PRAIRIE AND OLD FIELD GRASSES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, M.; Walton, R.

    2007-01-01

    Common wood-nymph butterfl ies are found throughout the United States and Canada. However, not much is known about how they overwinter or their preferences for particular grasses and habitats. In this study, the impact of prairie management plans on the abundance of the wood-nymph population was assessed, as well as the preference of these butterfl ies for areas with native or non-native grasses. The abundance of common wood-nymph butterfl ies was determined using Pollard walks; more common wood-nymph butterfl ies were found in the European grasses than were found in the burned and unburned prairie sites. The majority of the vegetation at each of the three sites was identifi ed and documented. Using a 1 X 3 ANOVA analysis, it was determined there were signifi cantly more butterfl ies in the European grasses than in the burned and unburned prairie sites (p < 0.0005). There was no signifi cant difference between the burned and unburned treatments of the prairie on the common wood-nymph population. A multiple variable linear regression model described the effect of temperature and wind speed on the number of observed common wood-nymph butterfl ies per hour (p = 0.026). These preliminary results need to be supplemented with future studies. Quadrat analysis of the vegetation from all three sites should be done to search for a correlation between common wood-nymph butterfl y abundance per hour and the specifi c types or quantity of vegetation at each site. The effect of vegetation height and density on the observer’s visual fi eld should also be assessed.

  16. Tuberculosis transmission in the Indigenous peoples of the Canadian prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Smit; Paulsen, Catherine; Heffernan, Courtney; Saunders, Duncan; Sharma, Meenu; King, Malcolm; Hoeppner, Vernon; Orr, Pamela; Kunimoto, Dennis; Menzies, Dick; Christianson, Sara; Wolfe, Joyce; Boffa, Jody; McMullin, Kathleen; Lopez-Hille, Carmen; Senthilselvan, Ambikaipakan; Long, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The prairie provinces of Canada. To characterize tuberculosis (TB) transmission among the Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadian-born peoples of the prairie provinces of Canada. A prospective epidemiologic study of consecutively diagnosed adult (age ≥ 14 years) Canadian-born culture-positive pulmonary TB cases on the prairies, hereafter termed "potential transmitters," and the transmission events generated by them. "Transmission events" included new positive tuberculin skin tests (TSTs), TST conversions, and secondary cases among contacts. In the years 2007 and 2008, 222 potential transmitters were diagnosed on the prairies. Of these, the vast majority (198; 89.2%) were Indigenous peoples who resided in either an Indigenous community (135; 68.2%) or a major metropolitan area (44; 22.2%). Over the 4.5-year period between July 1st, 2006 and December 31st 2010, 1085 transmission events occurred in connection with these potential transmitters. Most of these transmission events were attributable to potential transmitters who identified as Indigenous (94.5%). With a few notable exceptions most transmitters and their infected contacts resided in the same community type. In multivariate models positive smear status and a higher number of close contacts were associated with increased transmission; adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), 4.30 [1.88, 9.84] and 2.88 [1.31, 6.34], respectively. Among infected contacts, being Indigenous was associated with disease progression; OR and 95% CI, 3.59 [1.27, 10.14] and 6.89 [2.04, 23.25] depending upon Indigenous group, while being an infected casual contact was less likely than being a close contact to be associated with disease progression, 0.66 [0.44, 1.00]. In the prairie provinces of Canada and among Canadian-born persons, Indigenous peoples account for the vast majority of cases with the potential to transmit as well as the vast majority of infected contacts. Active case finding and preventative therapy

  17. 77 FR 24975 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-26

    ...-FF06E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Utah Prairie Dog... Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens). This species is federally listed as threatened under the... recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog. The Service and other Federal agencies also will take these...

  18. 75 FR 57055 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-17

    ...] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Utah Prairie Dog AGENCY: Fish... recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens). This species is federally listed as threatened... and peer reviewers in an appendix to the approved recovery plan. The Utah prairie dog (Cynomys...

  19. 76 FR 31906 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-02

    ... Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule... prairie dog. We are proposing to revise the existing limits on take, and we also propose a new incidental... dogs see: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/UTprairiedog or http://ecos.fws.gov...

  20. 77 FR 46157 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-02

    ... Utah Prairie Dog; Final Rule #0;#0;Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 149 / Thursday, August 2, 2012...-AW02 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog... special regulations for the conservation of the Utah prairie dog. We are revising our special regulations...

  1. 78 FR 26302 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-06

    ...; 4500030113] RIN 1018-AY21 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken... the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). In addition, we announce the reopening of the public comment period on the December 11, 2012, proposed rule to list the lesser prairie-chicken as a...

  2. 78 FR 75306 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-11

    ...; 4500030113] RIN 1018-AY21 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken... the conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). In addition, we announce... prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the Act. We also announce the availability of the final...

  3. Concentric traveling ionospheric disturbances triggered by the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Charles C. H.; Shen, Ming-Hsueh; Chou, Min-Yang; Chen, Chia-Hung; Yue, Jia; Chen, Po-Cheng; Matsumura, Mitsuru

    2017-08-01

    We report the first observation of concentric traveling ionospheric disturbances (CTIDs) triggered by the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 17 January 2016. The rocket-triggered ionospheric disturbances show shock acoustic wave signature in the time rate change (time derivative) of total electron content (TEC), followed by CTIDs in the 8-15 min band-pass filtering of TEC. The CTIDs propagated northward with phase velocity of 241-617 m/s and reached distances more than 1000 km away from the source on the rocket trajectory. The wave characteristics of CTIDs with periods of 10.5-12.7 min and wavelength 200-400 km agree well with the gravity wave dispersion relation. The optimal wave source searching and gravity wave ray tracing technique suggested that the CTIDs have multiple sources which are originated from 38-120 km altitude before and after the ignition of the second-stage rocket, 200 s after the rocket was launched.

  4. Solid waste integrated management proposal in Churuguara and Maparari population axis, Federacion municipality Falcon State, Venezuela

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reyes Torres, Magly; Melendez, Angelica; Sanchez, Angel

    2009-01-01

    This research shows a solid waste integrated management proposal in Churuguara and Maparari axis population, Federation municipality Falcon State. The inadequate arrangement of solid waste in these populations lacks of any type of control. It has caused environmental pollution problems that affect public health. For this reason, a diagnosis of the situation was made to classify the solid waste, an optimal way of processing and storing them was shown; the fleet that will offer the service, the routes of collection, the frequency and timetable of them, the waste to recycle and the design of a semi-mechanized landfill site were measured as a technical and economical alternative for the government. In this proposal, there are established strategies to increase the quality of life of the inhabitants of this region that allow to reform, improve and transform the solid waste management within a valid legal frame. Since, this is one of the most important services and it has direct consequences in people's health. It is necessary the community and governmental entities participation in the managerial process of these kinds of waste. (author)

  5. CHARACTERIZATION OF FAILURES IN SCHOOL BUILDINGS EXPOSED IN AGRESSIVE ENVIRONMENT M4 OF FALCON STATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Alice Olavarrieta

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The present investigation focused on establishing a characterization of public used reinforced concrete constructions such as school units in the coastal zone of Chichiriviche and Tucacas in Venezuela’s Falcon State, exposed to highly corrosive environments and built with inadequate construction techniques. The ultimate aim was to make recommendations to regional bodies so that they could make structural interventions more precisely and assertively. The study was carried out in seven educational units, in which planimetric surveys were carried out, the collection of fault symptoms, tests in some structural members and finally a general evaluation of damages that allowed identifying their durability and particular recommendations for each school building. As a result, these units of different construction ages were in a better state of conservation, when compared directly to the sample evaluated in 2006 in private multifamily buildings, which were even younger than this sample. It was recommended for all cases that they apply a programmed and technical continuous maintenance system, which goes beyond the systems of paints whose substrate is not properly prepared, resulting in a process of superficial repair and aesthetic ineffective.

  6. Terminal attack trajectories of peregrine falcons are described by the proportional navigation guidance law of missiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brighton, Caroline H; Thomas, Adrian L R; Taylor, Graham K

    2017-12-19

    The ability to intercept uncooperative targets is key to many diverse flight behaviors, from courtship to predation. Previous research has looked for simple geometric rules describing the attack trajectories of animals, but the underlying feedback laws have remained obscure. Here, we use GPS loggers and onboard video cameras to study peregrine falcons, Falco peregrinus , attacking stationary targets, maneuvering targets, and live prey. We show that the terminal attack trajectories of peregrines are not described by any simple geometric rule as previously claimed, and instead use system identification techniques to fit a phenomenological model of the dynamical system generating the observed trajectories. We find that these trajectories are best-and exceedingly well-modeled by the proportional navigation (PN) guidance law used by most guided missiles. Under this guidance law, turning is commanded at a rate proportional to the angular rate of the line-of-sight between the attacker and its target, with a constant of proportionality (i.e., feedback gain) called the navigation constant ( N ). Whereas most guided missiles use navigation constants falling on the interval 3 ≤ N ≤ 5, peregrine attack trajectories are best fitted by lower navigation constants (median N law could find use in small visually guided drones designed to remove other drones from protected airspace. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  7. Bird conservation on electric-power lines in Hungary: Nest boxes for saker falcon and avian protection against electrocutions. Projects' report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fidlóczky József

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ochrana vtáctva na elektrickom vedení má v Madarsku 40-rocnú tradíciu. Zacala s programom na ochranu sokola rároha. Pociatocné maloplošné aktivity sa znacne rozšírili v rámci projektov LIFE. Pocas prvého projektu bolo na stlpy vysokého napätia umiestnených 301 hliníkových hniezdnych búdok nového typu pre rároha. V roku 201 3 hniezdilo v týchto búdkach takmer 70 % párov sokola rároha. Odhaduje sa, že rocne zahynulo na stlpoch elektrického vedenia v Madarsku 1 00 000 jedincov vtákov. V rámci dvoch projektov LIFE bolo 1 4 300 stlpov ošetrených tak, že sa stali bezpecnými pre vtáctvo. Pocas druhého projektu sa na stlpy nainštaluje takmer 800 nových, pre vtáky bezpecných konzol, vdaka comu ocakávame kompletné odstránenie rizika úrazov vtáctva spôsobených elektrickým prúdom

  8. Annual Fire, Mowing and Fertilization Effects on Two Cicada Species (Homoptera: Cicadidae) in Tallgrass Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac A. Callaham; Matt R. Whiles; John M. Blair

    2002-01-01

    In tallgrass prairie, cicadas emerge annually, are abundant and their emergence can be an important flux of energy and nutrients. However, factors influencing the distribution and abundance of these cicadas are virtually unknown. We examined cicada emergence in plots from a long-term (13 y) experimental manipulation involving common tallgrass prairie management...

  9. Ecology of fire in shortgrass prairie of the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Guy R. McPherson

    1996-01-01

    The ecology of fire in shortgrass prairie of the southern Great Plains includes a complex interaction between the shortgrass prairie ecosystem and its inhabitants, all inextricably linked to land-use patterns. The history of the relationship between man and fire has been filled with ambivalence and mistrust, along with an appreciation of the power of fire as a...

  10. 77 FR 75119 - Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental Environmental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas... to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement. SUMMARY: In June of 2003, the Dakota... Dakota Prairie Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan, based on the 2001 Northern Great Plains...

  11. The role of prairie dogs as a keystone species: response to Stapp

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. Miller; R. Reading; J. Hoogland; T. Clark; G. Ceballos; R. List; S. Forrest; L. Hanebury; P. Manzano; J. Pacheco; D. Uresk

    2000-01-01

    Stapp (1998) recently argued that it was premature to characterize prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) as keystone species. In particular, Stapp directed much of his criticism at a paper some of us wrote (Miller et al. 1994). He mistakenly interprets the main objective of our paper as providing evidence that prairie dogs are keystone species. Rather, the...

  12. Review of black-tailed prairie dog reintroduction strategies and site selection: Arizona reintroduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah L. Hale; John L. Koprowski; Holly Hicks

    2013-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) was once widely distributed throughout the western United States; however, anthropogenic influences have reduced the species’ numbers to 2 percent of historical populations. Black-tailed prairie dogs are described as a keystone species in the grassland ecosystem, and provide many unique services, including burrows for...

  13. Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) response to seasonality and frequency of fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felicia D. Archuleta

    2014-01-01

    Fragmentation of the landscape, habitat loss, and fire suppression, all a result of European settlement and activities, have precipitated both the decline of Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) populations and the occurrence of fire throughout the Great Plains, including the Shortgrass steppe of northeastern New Mexico. The presence of Black-tailed prairie...

  14. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services.

  15. Plant composition in oak savanna and woodland restoration at Prairie Fork Conservation Area in Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadia E. Navarrete-Tindall; J.W. Van Sambeek; Jamie Coe; Warren Taylor

    2007-01-01

    The wooded areas of the Prairie Fork Conservation Area in central Missouri are typical of the oak/hickory forest/prairie transition zone that will require active management to restore pre-settlement, grass dominated savannas and open woodlands to improve habitat for wildlife. We initiated a management program to restore savannas and woodlands by reducing the midstory (...

  16. Demography of black-tailed prairie dog populations reoccupying sites treated with rodenticide

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. P. Cincotta; Daniel W. Uresk; R. M. Hansen

    1987-01-01

    A rodenticide, zinc phosphide, was applied to remove black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) from 6 haofa prairie dog colony in southwestern South Dakota. Another adjacent 6 ha was left untreated. The removal experiment was repeated two consecutive years. Contingency table analysis showed that the resultant population was not homogeneous;...

  17. Prairie chicken populations of the Sheyenne Delta in North Dakota, 1961-1987

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry D. Kobriger; David P. Vollink; Michael E. Mcneill; Kenneth F. Higgins

    1988-01-01

    Prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) were first censused on the Sheyenne Grasslands in 1961. The population was extremely low in the 1960's, gradually increased in the 1970's, and reached a peak of 410 in 1980. Sufficient evidence exists to link the increase in numbers of prairie chickens on the grasslands from 1961 through 1987...

  18. Effect of mid-summer haying on growth and reproduction in prairie forbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky Begay; Helen M. Alexander; Erin Questad

    2011-01-01

    Mid-summer haying is a common management practice for prairies; plant species could differ in the effect of haying on subsequent growth and reproduction. We examined the effect of haying on prairie species by performing a clipping experiment. For each of seven species, sixteen plants were chosen and half were randomly assigned to a clipping treatment and half to a...

  19. Physiologic Reference Ranges for Captive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keckler, M Shannon; Gallardo-Romero, Nadia F; Langham, Gregory L; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L; Carroll, Darin S

    2010-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a member of the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. Ecologically, prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecology. This species is used as an animal model for human gallbladder disease and diseases caused by infection with Clostridium difficile, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and most recently, Orthopoxvirus. Despite increasing numbers of prairie dogs used in research and kept as pets, few data are available on their baseline physiology in animal facility housing conditions. To establish baseline physiologic reference ranges, we designed a study using 18 wild-caught black-tailed prairie dogs. Telemetry data were analyzed to establish circadian rhythms for activity and temperature. In addition, hematologic and serum chemistry analyses were performed. Baseline measurements were used to establish the mean for each animal, which then were compiled and analyzed to determine the reference ranges. Here we present physiologic data on serum chemistry and hematology profiles, as well as weight, core body temperature, and daily activity patterns for black-tailed prairie dogs. These results reflect the use of multiple measurements from species- and age-matched prairie dogs and likely will be useful to ecologists, scientists interested in using this animal model in research, and veterinarians caring for pet prairie dogs. PMID:20587156

  20. A novel approach for assessing density and range-wide abundance of prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron N. Facka; Paulette L. Ford; Gary W. Roemer

    2008-01-01

    Habitat loss, introduced disease, and government-sponsored eradication programs have caused population declines in all 5 species of prairie dogs. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) currently occupy only about 2% of an extensive geographic range (160 million hectares) and were recently considered for listing under the United States...

  1. PCDD/Fs, dioxin-like PCBs and marker PCBs in eggs of peregrine falcons from Germany

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malisch, R.; Baum, F. [CVUA, Freiburg (Germany)

    2004-09-15

    Adverse effects of persistent organochlorine pesticides (POPs) on wildlife have been widely documented in the literature. For birds, the reproductive cycle is negatively influenced. Therefore, bird's eggs are frequently used to monitor the contamination of the environment with xenobiotic substances. A high content of PCBs and p,p'-DDE (as main metabolite of p,p'-DDT) was found in eggs of peregrine falcons collected between 1988 and 1993 in the German ''Bundesland'' Baden- Wuerttemberg. Many other publications presented results for organochlorine pesticides, indicator PCBs or organobromine compounds in various bird's eggs. PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs were determined in eggs of California peregrine falcons, of cormorants in Japan, of predatory birds in Spain, of common terns in Michigan, USA, of peregrine falcons in Spain (vii) and of different sorts of hawks in Germany. The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty signed now by 55 parties to take action against certain POPs, among them PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs. After ratification by France as the 50th Party, the Convention entered into force on 17 May 2004. The effectiveness should be evaluated four years after the date of entry into force and periodically thereafter at intervals. Therefore, a Global POPs Monitoring Programme was developed. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) organized a workshop to provide a scientific basis for this programme. One of the conclusions was to select the following matrices: air; bivalves; wildlife species (fish, bird's eggs, marine mammals) and human milk. The main reason for inclusion wildlife including bird's eggs was to gain information on temporal trends on, at the least, a regional basis, in animals, which represent either top predators or important species within aquatic or terrestrial food chains. For falcons, a high accumulation of POPs was observed. Regarding the migration habits it is known that older peregrine falcons

  2. Nested Dynamic Condition Response Graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hildebrandt, Thomas; Mukkamala, Raghava Rao; Slaats, Tijs

    2012-01-01

    We present an extension of the recently introduced declarative process model Dynamic Condition Response Graphs ( DCR Graphs) to allow nested subgraphs and a new milestone relation between events. The extension was developed during a case study carried out jointly with our industrial partner...

  3. Nest-mediated seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert J. Warren; Jason P. Love; Mark A. Bradford

    2017-01-01

    Many plant seeds travel on the wind and through animal ingestion or adhesion; however, an overlooked dispersal mode may lurk within those dispersal modes. Viable seeds may remain attached or embedded within materials birds gather for nest building. Our objective was to determine if birds inadvertently transport seeds when they forage for plant materials to...

  4. Millipedes (Diplopoda) in birds' nests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tajovský, Karel; Mock, A.; Krumpál, M.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 37, - (2001), s. 321-323 ISSN 1164-5563 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6066911 Keywords : bird s nest s * microsites * millipedes Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.317, year: 2001

  5. Citizen knowledge and perception of black-tailed prairie dog management: Report to respondents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, Natalie R.; Brinson, Ayeisha; Ponds, Phadrea D.; Cline, Kurt; Lamb, Berton L.

    2001-01-01

    What do citizens know about black-tailed prairie dogs, and where do they get their information? When management decisions need to be made regarding an animal such as the black-tailed prairie dog, an understanding of the species and its relationship to humans is necessary. This includes knowing the biology of the animal, where it lives, and how it interacts with other animals. But it is equally important for those making decisions about the species to understand citizens’ knowledge and perceptions so managers can effectively communicate with the public and help the public participate in planning and decision making activities. Unfortunately, what is known about public knowledge, perception, and preferences concerning prairie dog management is limited to data from only a few areas. This study attempts to answer the question: What do people in the short-grass prairie region of the United States know and think about black-tailed prairie dogs?

  6. Effect of heterogeneity of nest boxes on occurrence of gregarious nesting in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Tina; Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    Gregarious nesting, where hens select already occupied nest boxes even when other nest boxes are unoccupied, is an unwanted behaviour in laying hens that may reduce animal welfare and pose a financial cost to the producer. It has been suggested that gregarious nesting is caused by the difficulties...... nesting was higher in experimental groups compared to control groups (P right were higher compared to nest boxes positioned...

  7. Do artificial nests simulate nest success of greater sage-grouse?

    OpenAIRE

    Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Conover, Michael R.; Mabray, Scott T.

    2013-01-01

    Artificial nests have been used to study factors affecting nest success because researchers can manipulate them more than natural bird nests. Many researchers have questioned the validity of generalizing the results from artificial nests onto naturally occurring nests. Other studies have assessed the validity of artificial nest studies by simultaneously comparing overall depredation or daily survival rates, depredation timing, predator species, or habitat characteristics of artificial and nat...

  8. Precipitation, Climate Change, and Parasitism of Prairie Dogs by Fleas that Transmit Plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Hoogland, John L

    2017-08-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that can reduce the fitness of vertebrate hosts. Laboratory populations of fleas decline under dry conditions, implying that populations of fleas will also decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. If precipitation and hence vegetative production are reduced, however, then herbivorous hosts might suffer declines in body condition and have weakened defenses against fleas, so that fleas will increase in abundance. We tested these competing hypotheses using information from 23 yr of research on 3 species of colonial prairie dogs in the western United States: Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni, 1989-1994), Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens, 1996-2005), and white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus, 2006-2012). For all 3 species, flea-counts per individual varied inversely with the number of days in the prior growing season with >10 mm of precipitation, an index of the number of precipitation events that might have caused a substantial, prolonged increase in soil moisture and vegetative production. Flea-counts per Utah prairie dog also varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the prior growing season. Furthermore, flea-counts per Gunnison's and white-tailed prairie dog varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the just-completed January and February. These results complement research on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) and might have important ramifications for plague, a bacterial disease transmitted by fleas that devastates populations of prairie dogs. In particular, our results might help to explain why, at some colonies, epizootics of plague, which can kill >95% of prairie dogs, are more likely to occur during or shortly after periods of reduced precipitation. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of droughts in the grasslands of western North America. If so, then climate change might affect the occurrence of plague epizootics

  9. Conservation significance of alternative nests of golden eagles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian A. Millsap; Teryl G. Grubb; Robert K. Murphy; Ted Swem; James W. Watson

    2015-01-01

    Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are long-lived raptors that maintain nesting territories that may be occupied for a century or longer. Within occupied nesting territories there is one nest in which eagles lay their eggs in a given year (i.e., the used nest), but there are usually other nests (i.e., alternative nests). Conservation plans often protect used nests, but...

  10. Nest marking behavior and chemical composition of olfactory cues involved in nest recognition in Megachile rotundata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guédot, Christelle; Buckner, James S; Hagen, Marcia M; Bosch, Jordi; Kemp, William P; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2013-08-01

    In-nest observations of the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata (F.), revealed that nesting females apply olfactory cues to nests for nest recognition. On their way in and out of the nest, females drag the abdomen along the entire length of the nest, and sometimes deposit fluid droplets from the tip of the abdomen. The removal of bee-marked sections of the nest resulted in hesitation and searching behavior by females, indicating the loss of olfactory cues used for nest recognition. Chemical analysis of female cuticles and the deposits inside marked nesting tubes revealed the presence of hydrocarbons, wax esters, fatty aldehydes, and fatty alcohol acetate esters. Chemical compositions were similar across tube samples, but proportionally different from cuticular extracts. These findings reveal the importance of lipids as chemical signals for nest recognition and suggest that the nest-marking cues are derived from a source in addition to, or other than, the female cuticle.

  11. Responses of Raptorial Birds to Low Level Military Jets and Sonic Booms: Results of the 1980-1981 Joint U.S. Air Force-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.

    1981-01-01

    Summary: For this study, we gathered several kinds of data to determine the likely effects of low level jets and sonic booms on nesting Peregrine Falcons and other raptors. We directly observed responses to worst case stimulus loads: responses to extremely frequent and extremely nearby jet aircraft were often minimal, seldom significant and never associated with reproductive failure. Likewise, responses to real and simulated sonic booms were often minimal and never productivity limiting. In addition to directly observing behavioral responses, in 1981 we invited jet passes at four Prairie Falcon eyries during courtship and incubation when the adults were most likely to abandon, on an ad libitum basis. All four eyries fledged young. Nesting success and site reoccupancy rates were high for all eyries. In tests of two relatively naive captive Peregrine Falcons, we failed to detect significantly negative responses. Typically the birds either quickly resumed feeding or other activities within a few seconds following a pass or boom. The female falcon repeatedly made hunting forays as jets swept overhead. From heart rate (HR) data taken via a telemetering egg during incubation at a wild Prairie Falcon eyrie, we determined that stimulus induced HR alterations were comparable to rate changes of the birds settling to incubate following flight. No significant long term responses were identified. The falcons successfully fledged two young even with the more disruptive activities associated with entering the eyrie three times to position and recover the telemetering eggs. Significantly, birds ofprey of several genera commonly nest in the supersonic military operations areas in southern Arizona. In addition, raptor eyries are frequently found at locations where low level jet traffic naturally concentrates. For example, Prairie Falcon Site 11 is directly on the approach path to strafing and bombing targets. Prairie Falcon Site 1 is in a narrow canyon through which A-10 aircraft

  12. Sorting it out: bedding particle size and nesting material processing method affect nest complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson-Junker, Amy; Morin, Amelia; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen; Gaskill, Brianna N

    2017-04-01

    As part of routine husbandry, an increasing number of laboratory mice receive nesting material in addition to standard bedding material in their cages. Nesting material improves health outcomes and physiological performance in mice that receive it. Providing usable nesting material uniformly and efficiently to various strains of mice remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to determine how bedding particle size, method of nesting material delivery, and processing of the nesting material before delivery affected nest building in mice of strong (BALB/cAnNCrl) and weak (C3H/HeNCrl) gathering abilities. Our data suggest that processing nesting material through a grinder in conjunction with bedding material, although convenient for provision of bedding with nesting material 'built-in', negatively affects the integrity of the nesting material and subsequent nest-building outcomes. We also found that C3H mice, previously thought to be poor nest builders, built similarly scored nests to those of BALB/c mice when provided with unprocessed nesting material. This was true even when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate. We also observed that when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate, mice of both strains would sort their bedding by particle size more often than if it were not mixed in. Our findings support the utility of the practice of distributing nesting material mixed in with bedding substrate, but not that of processing the nesting material with the bedding in order to mix them.

  13. Evapotranspiration and the water budget of prairie potholes in North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shjeflo, J.B.

    1968-01-01

    The mass-transfer method was used to study the hydrologic behavior of 10 prairie potholes in central North Dakota during the 5-year period 1960-64. Many of the potholes went dry when precipitation was low. The average evapotranspiration during the May to October period each year was 2.11 feet, and the average seepage was 0.60 foot. These averages remained nearly constant for both wet and dry years. The greatest source of water for the potholes was the direct rainfall on the pond surface; this supplied 1.21 feet per year. Spring snowmelt supplied 0.79 foot of water and runoff from the land surface during the summer supplied 0.53 foot. Even though the water received from snowmelt was only 31 percent of the total, it was probably the most vital part of the annual water supply. This water was available in the spring, when waterfowl were nesting, and generally lasted until about July 1, even with no additional direct rainfall on the pond or runoff from the drainage basin. The average runoff from the land surface into pothole 3 was found to be 1.2 inches per year- 1 inch from snowmelt and 0.2 inch from rainfall.'The presence of growing aquatic plants, such as bulrushes and cattails, was a complicating factor in making measurements. New computation procedures had to be devised to define the variable mass-transfer coefficient. Rating periods were divided into 6-hour units for the vegetated potholes. The instruments had to be carefully maintained, as water levels had to be recorded with such accuracy that changes of 0.001 foot could be detected. In any research project involving the measurements of physical quantities, the results are dependent upon the accuracy and dependability of the instruments used; this was especially true during this project.

  14. Combining multiple sources of data to inform conservation of Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Beth; Haukos, David A.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James

    2018-01-01

    Conservation of small populations is often based on limited data from spatially and temporally restricted studies, resulting in management actions based on an incomplete assessment of the population drivers. If fluctuations in abundance are related to changes in weather, proper management is especially important, because extreme weather events could disproportionately affect population abundance. Conservation assessments, especially for vulnerable populations, are aided by a knowledge of how extreme events influence population status and trends. Although important for conservation efforts, data may be limited for small or vulnerable populations. Integrated population models maximize information from various sources of data to yield population estimates that fully incorporate uncertainty from multiple data sources while allowing for the explicit incorporation of environmental covariates of interest. Our goal was to assess the relative influence of population drivers for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in the core of its range, western and southern Kansas, USA. We used data from roadside lek count surveys, nest monitoring surveys, and survival data from telemetry monitoring combined with climate (Palmer drought severity index) data in an integrated population model. Our results indicate that variability in population growth rate was most influenced by variability in juvenile survival. The Palmer drought severity index had no measurable direct effects on adult survival or mean number of offspring per female; however, there were declines in population growth rate following severe drought. Because declines in population growth rate occurred at a broad spatial scale, declines in response to drought were likely due to decreases in chick and juvenile survival rather than emigration outside of the study area. Overall, our model highlights the importance of accounting for environmental and demographic sources of variability, and provides a thorough

  15. Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken lek density relative to landscape characteristics in Texas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timmer, Jennifer; Butler, Matthew; Ballard, Warren; Boal, Clint; Whitlaw, Heather

    2012-08-31

    My 2.5-yr Master's project accomplished the objectives of estimating lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) lek density and abundance in the Texas occupied range and modeling anthropogenic and landscape features associated with lek density by flying helicopter lek surveys for 2 field seasons and employing a line-transect distance sampling method. This project was important for several reasons. Firstly, wildlife managers and biologists have traditionally monitored LPC populations with road-based surveys that may result in biased estimates and do not provide access to privately-owned or remote property. From my aerial surveys and distance sampling, I was able to provide accurate density and abundance estimates, as well as new leks and I detected LPCs outside the occupied range. Secondly, recent research has indicated that energy development has the potential to impact LPCs through avoidance of tall structures, increased mortality from raptors perching on transmission lines, disturbance to nesting hens, and habitat loss/fragmentation. Given the potential wind energy development in the Texas Panhandle, spatial models of current anthropogenic and vegetative features (such as transmission lines, roads, and percent native grassland) influencing lek density were needed. This information provided wildlife managers and wind energy developers in Texas with guidelines for how change in landscape features could impact LPCs. Lastly, LPC populations have faced range-wide declines over the last century and they are currently listed as a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act. I was able to provide timely information on LPC populations in Texas that will be used during the listing process.

  16. Status of the peregrine falcon in the Rocky Mountains and the southwestern United States, Baja California, and Mexico (south of Texas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Ron; Craig, G.R.; Ellis, D.H.; Enderson, J.H.; Hunt, W.G.; Schaeffer, Philip P.; Ehlers, Sharyn M.

    1978-01-01

    About 31 pairs of peregrines still nest north of Mexico, from Idaho and Montana south through West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. At least thirty-six additional pairs nest in Mexico. Although the nesting sites are occupied, the tissues of the peregrine?s prey species still contain high concentrations of pesticides. The eggs in some Rocky Mountain eyries have shells which are precariously thin and have high residue levels of DDE in their contents. Increasing economic development is encroaching on the peregrine habitat throughout its range in western North America. In Baja California. and Mexico south of Texas this involves increased agricultural activity including use of organochlorine pesticides, increased tourism and increased use of the Gulf of California both for commercial and sport fishing, with their potential disturbance of eyrie sites and reduction of the peregrine?s aquatic feeding prey base. As the fish in the Gulf decrease in number, some of the avian species on which peregrines prey will likewise decrease. This ultimately may effect the peregrine. These factors may have been involved in the demise of the peregrine on Baja California?s Pacific coast. Furthermore, throughout its range, residential, industrial, mining, geothermal, recreational and other types of development and land use practices sometimes destroy habitat essential to the survival of the peregrine. A recent request for the protection of an historical site in California as Critical Habitat under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act was rejected because peregrines, although observed there, were not known to have produced eggs or young at the site for several decades. With inadequate protection of abandoned, but still suitable, historical eyrie sites, the peregrine may have an insufficient number of eyries to reoccupy in recovery attempts. The lack of present occupancy of a site, without biological evidence that the site is no longer suitable for reoccupancy, is insufficient cause to give

  17. Decoration Increases the Conspicuousness of Raptor Nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canal, David; Mulero-Pázmány, Margarita; Negro, Juan José; Sergio, Fabrizio

    2016-01-01

    Avian nests are frequently concealed or camouflaged, but a number of species builds noticeable nests or use conspicuous materials for nest decoration. In most cases, nest decoration has a role in mate choice or provides thermoregulatory or antiparasitic benefits. In territorial species however, decorations may serve additional or complementary functions, such as extended phenotypic signaling of nest-site occupancy and social status to potential intruders. The latter may benefit both signaler and receiver by minimizing the risk of aggressive interactions, especially in organisms with dangerous weaponry. Support for this hypothesis was recently found in a population of black kites (Milvus migrans), a territorial raptor that decorates its nest with white artificial materials. However, the crucial assumption that nest decorations increased nest-site visibility to conspecifics was not assessed, a key aspect given that black kite nests may be well concealed within the canopy. Here, we used an unmanned aircraft system to take pictures of black kite nests, with and without an experimentally placed decoration, from different altitudes and distances simulating the perspective of a flying and approaching, prospecting intruder. The pictures were shown to human volunteers through a standardized routine to determine whether detection rates varied according the nest decoration status and distance. Decorated nests consistently showed a higher detection frequency and a lower detection-latency, compared to undecorated versions of the same nests. Our results confirm that nest decoration in this species may act as a signaling medium that enhances nest visibility for aerial receivers, even at large distances. This finding complements previous work on this communication system, which showed that nest decoration was a threat informing trespassing conspecifics on the social dominance, territory quality and fighting capabilities of the signaler.

  18. Raptor nest management on power lines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harness, R.E. [EDM International Inc., Fort Collins, CO (United States)

    2005-07-01

    Many utilities in South Africa are now implementing labor-intensive methods to combat raptor nesting on power transmission lines. Methods have typically included direct nest removal and trimming of nest materials. However, the process is often unsuccessful, and utilities are now learning to accommodate the raptor nests. This paper argued that managing nests on utility structures has solved many operational problems and has resulted in positive publicity for many line operators. Nest management options included the use of stick deflectors to prevent nest material from accumulating during initial nest construction, as well as encouraging raptors to shift their efforts to a more suitable location. Raptors will often accept alternative nesting platforms, and taller, surrogate nesting poles can be placed next to distribution line structures. Elevated platforms can also be placed on problematic distribution structures, but may result in birds coming into contact with unprotected equipment. It was concluded that a successful nest management program includes plans to make nearby lines safe for raptors and to prevent their electrocution. Providing nests with bird-friendly utility configurations can result in electric facilities enhancing wild raptor populations without impacting power reliability. 14 refs., 9 figs.

  19. Season and application rates affect vaccine bait consumption by prairie dogs in Colorado and Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Streich, Sean P.; Brown, Nathanael L.; Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Miller, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, causes high rates of mortality in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.). An oral vaccine against plague has been developed for prairie dogs along with a palatable bait to deliver vaccine and a biomarker to track bait consumption. We conducted field trials between September 2009 and September 2012 to develop recommendations for bait distribution to deliver plague vaccine to prairie dogs. The objectives were to evaluate the use of the biomarker, rhodamine B, in field settings to compare bait distribution strategies, to compare uptake of baits distributed at different densities, to assess seasonal effects on bait uptake, and to measure bait uptake by nontarget small mammal species. Rhodamine B effectively marked prairie dogs' whiskers during these field trials. To compare bait distribution strategies, we applied baits around active burrows or along transects at densities of 32, 65, and 130 baits/ha. Distributing baits at active burrows or by transect did not affect uptake by prairie dogs. Distributing baits at rates of ≥65/ha (or ≥1 bait/active burrow) produced optimal uptake, and bait uptake by prairie dogs in the autumn was superior to uptake in the spring. Six other species of small mammals consumed baits during these trials. All four species of tested prairie dogs readily consumed the baits, demonstrating that vaccine uptake will not be an obstacle to plague control via oral vaccination.

  20. Factors influencing uptake of sylvatic plague vaccine baits by prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Rachel C.; Russell, Robin E.; Richgels, Katherine; Tripp, Daniel W.; Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2017-01-01

    Sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) is a virally vectored bait-delivered vaccine expressing Yersinia pestis antigens that can protect prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) from plague and has potential utility as a management tool. In a large-scale 3-year field trial, SPV-laden baits containing the biomarker rhodamine B (used to determine bait consumption) were distributed annually at a rate of approximately 100–125 baits/hectare along transects at 58 plots encompassing the geographic ranges of four species of prairie dogs. We assessed site- and individual-level factors related to bait uptake in prairie dogs to determine which were associated with bait uptake rates. Overall bait uptake for 7820 prairie dogs sampled was 70% (95% C.I. 69.9–72.0). Factors influencing bait uptake rates by prairie dogs varied by species, however, in general, heavier animals had greater bait uptake rates. Vegetation quality and day of baiting influenced this relationship for black-tailed, Gunnison’s, and Utah prairie dogs. For these species, baiting later in the season, when normalized difference vegetation indices (a measure of green vegetation density) are lower, improves bait uptake by smaller animals. Consideration of these factors can aid in the development of species-specific SPV baiting strategies that maximize bait uptake and subsequent immunization of prairie dogs against plague.

  1. Differences in predators of artificial and real songbirds nests: Evidence of bias in artificial nest studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank R. Thompson; Dirk E. Burhans

    2004-01-01

    In the past two decades, many researchers have used artificial nest to measure relative rates of nest predation. Recent comparisons show that real and artificial nests may not be depredated at the same rate, but no one has examined the mechanisms underlying these patterns. We determined differences in predator-specific predation rates of real and artificial nests. we...

  2. Cavity-nesting bird use of nest boxes in vineyards of central-coast California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel P. Mummert; Laura Baines; William D. Tietje

    2002-01-01

    Oak woodland habitat is being degraded or replaced by vineyards in many areas of central-coastal California. Oak woodlands are home to many insectivorous, cavity-nesting birds that would be beneficial in and around vineyards. During March to June 2001, we used bluebird nest boxes to study nest box use and productivity of cavity-nesting birds in vineyards versus...

  3. Nest-site habitat of cavity-nesting birds at the San Joaquin Experimental Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared. Verner

    2008-01-01

    Detailed information about the nesting habitats of birds, including those needed for successful nesting, can provide a better understanding of the ecological factors that permit coexistence of different species and may aid in conservation efforts. From 1989 through 1994, we studied the nesting habitat of secondary cavity-nesting birds in oak woodlands at the San...

  4. Modeling nest survival of cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicki Saab; Robin E. Russell; Jay Rotella; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2011-01-01

    Salvage logging practices in recently burned forests often have direct effects on species associated with dead trees, particularly cavity-nesting birds. As such, evaluation of postfire management practices on nest survival rates of cavity nesters is necessary for determining conservation strategies. We monitored 1,797 nests of 6 cavity-nesting bird species: Lewis'...

  5. Avoiding the nest : responses of field sparrows to the threat of nest predation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirk E. Burhans

    2000-01-01

    Nest predation is a major source of reproductive failure in birds (Ricklefs 1969, Martin 1992). Birds confronted with an enemy near the nest may use behaviors to deter the prospect of nest predation. The benefits of nest defense have been shown for many agressive species (Martin 1992), but smaller birds that cannot deter predators may need to resort to other behaviors...

  6. The effect of the Falcon 460 EC fungicide on soil microbial communities, enzyme activities and plant growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baćmaga, Małgorzata; Wyszkowska, Jadwiga; Kucharski, Jan

    2016-10-01

    Fungicides are considered to be effective crop protection chemicals in modern agriculture. However, they can also exert toxic effects on non-target organisms, including soil-dwelling microbes. Therefore, the environmental fate of fungicides has to be closely monitored. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the Falcon 460 EC fungicide on microbial diversity, enzyme activity and resistance, and plant growth. Samples of sandy loam with pH KCl 7.0 were collected for laboratory analyses on experimental days 30, 60 and 90. Falcon 460 EC was applied to soil in the following doses: control (soil without the fungicide), dose recommended by the manufacturer, 30-fold higher than the recommended dose, 150-fold higher than the recommended dose and 300-fold higher than the recommended dose. The observed differences in the values of the colony development index and the eco-physiological index indicate that the mixture of spiroxamine, tebuconazole and triadimenol modified the biological diversity of the analyzed groups of soil microorganisms. Bacteria of the genus Bacillus and fungi of the genera Penicillium and Rhizopus were isolated from fungicide-contaminated soil. The tested fungicide inhibited the activity of dehydrogenases, catalase, urease, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase. The greatest changes were induced by the highest fungicide dose 300-fold higher than the recommended dose. Dehydrogenases were most resistant to soil contamination. The Phytotoxkit test revealed that the analyzed fungicide inhibits seed germination capacity and root elongation. The results of this study indicate that excessive doses of the Falcon 460 EC fungicide 30-fold higher than the recommended dose to 300-fold higher than the recommended dose) can induce changes in the biological activity of soil. The analyzed microbiological and biochemical parameters are reliable indicators of the fungicide's toxic effects on soil quality.

  7. Nest Material Shapes Eggs Bacterial Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Ruiz-Castellano

    Full Text Available Selective pressures imposed by pathogenic microorganisms to embryos have selected in hosts for a battery of antimicrobial lines of defenses that includes physical and chemical barriers. Due to the antimicrobial properties of volatile compounds of green plants and of chemicals of feather degrading bacteria, the use of aromatic plants and feathers for nest building has been suggested as one of these barriers. However, experimental evidence suggesting such effects is scarce in the literature. During two consecutive years, we explored experimentally the effects of these nest materials on loads of different groups of bacteria (mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus and Enterococcus of eggshells in nests of spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor at the beginning and at the end of the incubation period. This was also explored in artificial nests without incubation activity. We also experimentally increased bacterial density of eggs in natural and artificial nests and explored the effects of nest lining treatments on eggshell bacterial load. Support for the hypothetical antimicrobial function of nest materials was mainly detected for the year and location with larger average values of eggshell bacterial density. The beneficial effects of feathers and plants were more easily detected in artificial nests with no incubation activity, suggesting an active role of incubation against bacterial colonization of eggshells. Pigmented and unpigmented feathers reduced eggshell bacterial load in starling nests and artificial nest boxes. Results from artificial nests allowed us to discuss and discard alternative scenarios explaining the detected association, particularly those related to the possible sexual role of feathers and aromatic plants in starling nests. All these results considered together confirm the antimicrobial functionality mainly of feathers but also of plants used as nest materials, and highlight the importance of temporally and

  8. Nest Material Shapes Eggs Bacterial Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina; Tomás, Gustavo; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena; Martín-Gálvez, David; Soler, Juan José

    2016-01-01

    Selective pressures imposed by pathogenic microorganisms to embryos have selected in hosts for a battery of antimicrobial lines of defenses that includes physical and chemical barriers. Due to the antimicrobial properties of volatile compounds of green plants and of chemicals of feather degrading bacteria, the use of aromatic plants and feathers for nest building has been suggested as one of these barriers. However, experimental evidence suggesting such effects is scarce in the literature. During two consecutive years, we explored experimentally the effects of these nest materials on loads of different groups of bacteria (mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus and Enterococcus) of eggshells in nests of spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor) at the beginning and at the end of the incubation period. This was also explored in artificial nests without incubation activity. We also experimentally increased bacterial density of eggs in natural and artificial nests and explored the effects of nest lining treatments on eggshell bacterial load. Support for the hypothetical antimicrobial function of nest materials was mainly detected for the year and location with larger average values of eggshell bacterial density. The beneficial effects of feathers and plants were more easily detected in artificial nests with no incubation activity, suggesting an active role of incubation against bacterial colonization of eggshells. Pigmented and unpigmented feathers reduced eggshell bacterial load in starling nests and artificial nest boxes. Results from artificial nests allowed us to discuss and discard alternative scenarios explaining the detected association, particularly those related to the possible sexual role of feathers and aromatic plants in starling nests. All these results considered together confirm the antimicrobial functionality mainly of feathers but also of plants used as nest materials, and highlight the importance of temporally and geographically

  9. Climate change and prairie pothole wetlands: mitigating water-level and hydroperiod effects through upland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renton, David A.; Mushet, David M.; DeKeyser, Edward S.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie pothole wetlands offer crucial habitat for North America’s waterfowl populations. The wetlands also support an abundance of other species and provide ecological services valued by society. The hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands is dependent on atmospheric interactions. Therefore, changes to the region’s climate can have profound effects on wetland hydrology. The relevant literature related to climate change and upland management effects on prairie pothole wetland water levels and hydroperiods was reviewed. Climate change is widely expected to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole wetlands, as well as the biota and ecological services that the wetlands support. In general, hydrologic model projections that incorporate future climate change scenarios forecast lower water levels in prairie pothole wetlands and longer periods spent in a dry condition, despite potential increases in precipitation. However, the extreme natural variability in climate and hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands necessitates caution when interpreting model results. Recent changes in weather patterns throughout much of the Prairie Pothole Region have been in increased precipitation that results in increased water inputs to wetlands above losses associated with warmer temperatures. However, observed precipitation increases are within the range of natural climate variability and therefore, may not persist. Identifying management techniques with the potential to affect water inputs to prairie pothole wetlands would provide increased options for managers when dealing with the uncertainties associated with a changing climate. Several grassland management techniques (for example, grazing and burning) have the potential to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole by affecting infiltration, evapotranspiration, and snow deposition.

  10. Rangewide genetic analysis of Lesser Prairie-Chicken reveals population structure, range expansion, and possible introgression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; DeYoung, Randall W; Fike, Jennifer; Hagen, Christian A.; Johnson, Jeff A.; Larsson, Lena C.; Patten, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been markedly reduced due to loss and fragmentation of habitat. Portions of the historical range, however, have been recolonized and even expanded due to planting of conservation reserve program (CRP) fields that provide favorable vegetation structure for Lesser Prairie-Chickens. The source population(s) feeding the range expansion is unknown, yet has resulted in overlap between Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) increasing the potential for hybridization. Our objectives were to characterize connectivity and genetic diversity among populations, identify source population(s) of recent range expansion, and examine hybridization with the Greater Prairie-Chicken. We analyzed 640 samples from across the range using 13 microsatellites. We identified three to four populations corresponding largely to ecoregions. The Shinnery Oak Prairie and Sand Sagebrush Prairie represented genetically distinct populations (F ST > 0.034 and F ST > 0.023 respectively). The Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic and Mixed Grass ecoregions appeared admixed (F ST = 0.009). Genetic diversity was similar among ecoregions and N e ranged from 142 (95 % CI 99–236) for the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic to 296 (95 % CI 233–396) in the Mixed Grass Prairie. No recent migration was detected among ecoregions, except asymmetric dispersal from both the Mixed Grass Prairie and to a lesser extent the Sand Sagebrush Prairie north into adjacent Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic (m = 0.207, 95 % CI 0.116–0.298, m = 0.097, 95 % CI 0.010–0.183, respectively). Indices investigating potential hybridization in the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic revealed that six of the 13 individuals with hybrid phenotypes were significantly admixed suggesting hybridization. Continued monitoring of diversity within and among ecoregions is warranted as are actions promoting genetic connectivity and range expansion.

  11. Native prairie revegetation on wellsites in southeastern Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soulodre, E.; Naeth, A.; Hammermeister, A.

    1999-01-01

    The Native Prairie Revegetation Research Project (NPRRP) was initiated to address concerns about wellsite revegetation of native grassland. The objective was to determine the impact of alternative seeding treatments on soil and vegetation and to produce a quantifiable description of what constitutes successful revegetation of native prairie sites. Four wellsites, each site comprising four revegetation treatment plots and an undisturbed control plot, have been chosen for field study. The revegetation treatments included natural recovery without seeding; current mix dominated by native wheatgrass cultivars; simple mix seeding containing wheatgrasses plus other native grasses, and diverse mix seeding with a mixture of wheatgrasses, other grasses and thirteen perennial forbs. The plant communities were monitored for biomass production, species richness, species composition and a combination of factors which include density, frequency, canopy cover and basal cover, these collectively representing importance value. Nitrogen availability in the soil was also monitored. Results showed high importance values for wheatgrasses for all seeded treatments. Perennial non-wheatgrasses had low importance values in the seeded treatment but higher importance in the control plot. The dominance of wheatgrasses in the seeded treatments resulted in communities that differed significantly from both the control and natural recovery communities, probably due to suppression of the growth of other grasses

  12. From neurons to nests: nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Zachary J; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan D

    Despite centuries of observing the nest building of most extant bird species, we know surprisingly little about how birds build nests and, specifically, how the avian brain controls nest building. Here, we argue that nest building in birds may be a useful model behaviour in which to study how the brain controls behaviour. Specifically, we argue that nest building as a behavioural model provides a unique opportunity to study not only the mechanisms through which the brain controls behaviour within individuals of a single species but also how evolution may have shaped the brain to produce interspecific variation in nest-building behaviour. In this review, we outline the questions in both behavioural and comparative neuroscience that nest building could be used to address, summarize recent findings regarding the neurobiology of nest building in lab-reared zebra finches and across species building different nest structures, and suggest some future directions for the neurobiology of nest building.

  13. Vegetation of wetlands of the prairie pothole region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantrud, H.A.; Millar, J.B.; Van Der Valk, A.G.; van der Valk, A.

    1989-01-01

    Five themes dominate the literature dealing with the vegetation of palustrine and lacustrine wetlands of the prairie pothole region: environmental conditions (water or moisture regime, salinity), agricultural disturbances (draining, grazing, burning, sedimentation, etc.), vegetation dynamics, zonation patterns, and classification of the wetlands.The flora of a prairie wetland is a function of its water regime, salinity, and disturbance by man. Within a pothole, water depth and duration determines distribution of species. In potholes deep enough to have standing water even during droughts, the central zone will be dominated by submersed species (open water). In wetlands that go dry during periods of drought or annually, the central zone will be dominated by either tall emergent species (deep marsh) or midheight emergents (shallow marsh), respectively. Potholes that are only flooded briefly in the spring are dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs (wet meadow). Within a pothole, the depth of standing water in the deepest, usually central, part of the basin determines how many zones will be present. Lists of species associated with different water regimes and salinity levels are presented.Disturbances due to agricultural activities have impacted wetlands throughout the region. Drainage has eliminated many potholes, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the region. Grazing, mowing, and burning have altered the composition of pothole vegetation. The composition of different vegetation types impacted by grazing, haying, and cultivation is presented in a series of tables. Indirect impacts of agriculture (increased sediment, nutrient, and pesticide inputs) are widespread over the region, but their impacts on the vegetation have never been studied.Because of the periodic droughts and wet periods, many palustrine and lacustrine wetlands undergo vegetation cycles associated with water-level changes produced by these wet-dry cycles. Periods of above normal

  14. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  15. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollander, Franck A; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio) that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments.

  16. Nest predation increases with parental activity: separating nest site and parental activity effects.

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, T E; Scott, J; Menge, C

    2000-01-01

    Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators h...

  17. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franck A Hollander

    Full Text Available In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments.

  18. Interaction in Balanced Cross Nested Designs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Paulo; Mexia, João T.; Carvalho, Francisco; Covas, Ricardo

    2011-09-01

    Commutative Jordan Algebras, CJA, are used in the study of mixed models obtained, through crossing and nesting, from simpler ones. In the study of cross nested models the interaction between nested factors have been systematically discarded. However this can constitutes an artificial simplification of the models. We point out that, when two crossed factors interact, such interaction is symmetric, both factors playing in it equivalent roles, while when two nested factors interact, the interaction is determined by the nesting factor. These interactions will be called interactions with nesting. In this work we present a coherent formulation of the algebraic structure of models enabling the choice of families of interactions between cross and nested factors using binary operations on CJA.

  19. Physics-based simulations of aerial attacks by peregrine falcons reveal that stooping at high speed maximizes catch success against agile prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Robin; Hildenbrandt, Hanno; Taylor, Graham K; Hemelrijk, Charlotte K

    2018-04-01

    The peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus is renowned for attacking its prey from high altitude in a fast controlled dive called a stoop. Many other raptors employ a similar mode of attack, but the functional benefits of stooping remain obscure. Here we investigate whether, when, and why stooping promotes catch success, using a three-dimensional, agent-based modeling approach to simulate attacks of falcons on aerial prey. We simulate avian flapping and gliding flight using an analytical quasi-steady model of the aerodynamic forces and moments, parametrized by empirical measurements of flight morphology. The model-birds' flight control inputs are commanded by their guidance system, comprising a phenomenological model of its vision, guidance, and control. To intercept its prey, model-falcons use the same guidance law as missiles (pure proportional navigation); this assumption is corroborated by empirical data on peregrine falcons hunting lures. We parametrically vary the falcon's starting position relative to its prey, together with the feedback gain of its guidance loop, under differing assumptions regarding its errors and delay in vision and control, and for three different patterns of prey motion. We find that, when the prey maneuvers erratically, high-altitude stoops increase catch success compared to low-altitude attacks, but only if the falcon's guidance law is appropriately tuned, and only given a high degree of precision in vision and control. Remarkably, the optimal tuning of the guidance law in our simulations coincides closely with what has been observed empirically in peregrines. High-altitude stoops are shown to be beneficial because their high airspeed enables production of higher aerodynamic forces for maneuvering, and facilitates higher roll agility as the wings are tucked, each of which is essential to catching maneuvering prey at realistic response delays.

  20. Physics-based simulations of aerial attacks by peregrine falcons reveal that stooping at high speed maximizes catch success against agile prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Mills

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus is renowned for attacking its prey from high altitude in a fast controlled dive called a stoop. Many other raptors employ a similar mode of attack, but the functional benefits of stooping remain obscure. Here we investigate whether, when, and why stooping promotes catch success, using a three-dimensional, agent-based modeling approach to simulate attacks of falcons on aerial prey. We simulate avian flapping and gliding flight using an analytical quasi-steady model of the aerodynamic forces and moments, parametrized by empirical measurements of flight morphology. The model-birds' flight control inputs are commanded by their guidance system, comprising a phenomenological model of its vision, guidance, and control. To intercept its prey, model-falcons use the same guidance law as missiles (pure proportional navigation; this assumption is corroborated by empirical data on peregrine falcons hunting lures. We parametrically vary the falcon's starting position relative to its prey, together with the feedback gain of its guidance loop, under differing assumptions regarding its errors and delay in vision and control, and for three different patterns of prey motion. We find that, when the prey maneuvers erratically, high-altitude stoops increase catch success compared to low-altitude attacks, but only if the falcon's guidance law is appropriately tuned, and only given a high degree of precision in vision and control. Remarkably, the optimal tuning of the guidance law in our simulations coincides closely with what has been observed empirically in peregrines. High-altitude stoops are shown to be beneficial because their high airspeed enables production of higher aerodynamic forces for maneuvering, and facilitates higher roll agility as the wings are tucked, each of which is essential to catching maneuvering prey at realistic response delays.

  1. Highly (H5N1 and low (H7N2 pathogenic avian influenza virus infection in falcons via nasochoanal route and ingestion of experimentally infected prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kateri Bertran

    Full Text Available An experimental infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI viruses was carried out on falcons in order to examine the effects of these viruses in terms of pathogenesis, viral distribution in tissues and viral shedding. The distribution pattern of influenza virus receptors was also assessed. Captive-reared gyr-saker (Falco rusticolus x Falco cherrug hybrid falcons were challenged with a HPAI H5N1 virus (A/Great crested grebe/Basque Country/06.03249/2006 or a LPAI H7N2 virus (A/Anas plathyrhynchos/Spain/1877/2009, both via the nasochoanal route and by ingestion of previously infected specific pathogen free chicks. Infected falcons exhibited similar infection dynamics despite the different routes of exposure, demonstrating the effectiveness of in vivo feeding route. H5N1 infected falcons died, or were euthanized, between 5-7 days post-infection (dpi after showing acute severe neurological signs. Presence of viral antigen in several tissues was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and real time RT-PCR (RRT-PCR, which were generally associated with significant microscopical lesions, mostly in the brain. Neither clinical signs, nor histopathological findings were observed in any of the H7N2 LPAI infected falcons, although all of them had seroconverted by 11 dpi. Avian receptors were strongly present in the upper respiratory tract of the falcons, in accordance with the consistent oral viral shedding detected by RRT-PCR in both H5N1 HPAI and H7N2 LPAI infected falcons. The present study demonstrates that gyr-saker hybrid falcons are highly susceptible to H5N1 HPAI virus infection, as previously observed, and that they may play a major role in the spreading of both HPAI and LPAI viruses. For the first time in raptors, natural infection by feeding on infected prey was successfully reproduced. The use of avian prey species in falconry husbandry and wildlife rehabilitation facilities could put valuable birds

  2. Highly (H5N1) and low (H7N2) pathogenic avian influenza virus infection in falcons via nasochoanal route and ingestion of experimentally infected prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertran, Kateri; Busquets, Núria; Abad, Francesc Xavier; García de la Fuente, Jorge; Solanes, David; Cordón, Iván; Costa, Taiana; Dolz, Roser; Majó, Natàlia

    2012-01-01

    An experimental infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses was carried out on falcons in order to examine the effects of these viruses in terms of pathogenesis, viral distribution in tissues and viral shedding. The distribution pattern of influenza virus receptors was also assessed. Captive-reared gyr-saker (Falco rusticolus x Falco cherrug) hybrid falcons were challenged with a HPAI H5N1 virus (A/Great crested grebe/Basque Country/06.03249/2006) or a LPAI H7N2 virus (A/Anas plathyrhynchos/Spain/1877/2009), both via the nasochoanal route and by ingestion of previously infected specific pathogen free chicks. Infected falcons exhibited similar infection dynamics despite the different routes of exposure, demonstrating the effectiveness of in vivo feeding route. H5N1 infected falcons died, or were euthanized, between 5-7 days post-infection (dpi) after showing acute severe neurological signs. Presence of viral antigen in several tissues was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and real time RT-PCR (RRT-PCR), which were generally associated with significant microscopical lesions, mostly in the brain. Neither clinical signs, nor histopathological findings were observed in any of the H7N2 LPAI infected falcons, although all of them had seroconverted by 11 dpi. Avian receptors were strongly present in the upper respiratory tract of the falcons, in accordance with the consistent oral viral shedding detected by RRT-PCR in both H5N1 HPAI and H7N2 LPAI infected falcons. The present study demonstrates that gyr-saker hybrid falcons are highly susceptible to H5N1 HPAI virus infection, as previously observed, and that they may play a major role in the spreading of both HPAI and LPAI viruses. For the first time in raptors, natural infection by feeding on infected prey was successfully reproduced. The use of avian prey species in falconry husbandry and wildlife rehabilitation facilities could put valuable birds of prey and

  3. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristene Gedye

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Prairie cordgrass ( Bosc ex Link is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST–SSR (simple sequence repeat regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  4. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  5. Anticoagulant Prairie Dog Bait Risk Mitigation Measures to Protect Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    This Web page contains information on how certified pesticide applicators can use anticoagulant prairie dog bait products such as Rozol and Kaput-D while minimizing exposure risks to listed and non-target species.

  6. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    KAUST Repository

    Gedye, Kristene

    2010-09-15

    Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link) is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST-SSR (simple sequence repeat) regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  7. Polytypic Functions Over Nested Datatypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf Hinze

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available The theory and practice of polytypic programming is intimately connected with the initial algebra semantics of datatypes. This is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because the underlying theory is beautiful and well developed. It is a curse because the initial algebra semantics is restricted to so-called regular datatypes. Recent work by R. Bird and L. Meertens [3] on the semantics of non-regular or nested datatypes suggests that an extension to general datatypes is not entirely straightforward. Here we propose an alternative that extends polytypism to arbitrary datatypes, including nested datatypes and mutually recursive datatypes. The central idea is to use rational trees over a suitable set of functor symbols as type arguments for polytypic functions. Besides covering a wider range of types the approach is also simpler and technically less involving than previous ones. We present several examples of polytypic functions, among others polytypic reduction and polytypic equality. The presentation assumes some background in functional and in polytypic programming. A basic knowledge of monads is required for some of the examples.

  8. Moving Targets and Biodiversity Offsets for Endangered Species Habitat: Is Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat a Stock or Flow?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd K. BenDor

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The US Fish and Wildlife Service will make an Endangered Species Act listing decision for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; “LPC” in March 2014. Based on the findings of a single, Uzbek antelope study, conservation plans put forth for the LPC propose to modify and re-position habitat in the landscape through a series of temporary preservation/restoration efforts. We argue that for certain species, including the LPC, dynamic habitat offsets represent a dangerous re-interpretation of habitat provision and recovery programs, which have nearly-universally viewed ecosystem offsets (habitat, wetlands, streams, etc. as “stocks” that accumulate characteristics over time. Any effort to create a program of temporary, moving habitat offsets must consider species’ (1 life history characteristics, (2 behavioral tendencies (e.g., avoidance of impacted areas, nesting/breeding site fidelity, and (3 habitat restoration characteristics, including long temporal lags in reoccupation. If misapplied, species recovery programs using temporary, moving habitat risk further population declines.

  9. Nest site attributes and temporal patterns of northern flicker nest loss: effects of predation and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Ryan J; Wiebe, Karen L

    2006-04-01

    To date, most studies of nest site selection have failed to take into account more than one source of nest loss (or have combined all sources in one analysis) when examining nest site characteristics, leaving us with an incomplete understanding of the potential trade-offs that individuals may face when selecting a nest site. Our objectives were to determine whether northern flickers (Colaptes auratus) may experience a trade-off in nest site selection in response to mammalian nest predation and nest loss to a cavity nest competitor (European starling, Sturnus vulgaris). We also document within-season temporal patterns of these two sources of nest loss with the hypothesis that flickers may also be constrained in the timing of reproduction under both predatory and competitive influence. Mammalian predators frequently depredated flicker nests that were: lower to the ground, less concealed by vegetation around the cavity entrance and at the base of the nest tree, closer to coniferous forest edges and in forest clumps with a high percentage of conifer content. Proximity to coniferous edges or coniferous trees increased the probability of nest predation, but nests near conifers were less likely to be lost to starlings. Flickers may thus face a trade-off in nest site selection with respect to safety from predators or competitors. Models suggested that peaks of nest predation and nest loss to eviction occurred at the same time, although a competing model suggested that the peak of nest loss to starlings occurred 5 days earlier than the peak of mammalian predation. Differences in peaks of mammalian predation and loss to starlings may constrain any adjustment in clutch initiation date by flickers to avoid one source of nest loss.

  10. Impacts of mesquite distribution on seasonal space use of lesser prairie-chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggie, Matthew A.; Strong, Cody R.; Lusk, Daniel; Carleton, Scott A.; Gould, William R.; Howard, Randy L.; Nichols, Clay T.; Falkowski, Michael J.; Hagen, Christian A.

    2017-01-01

    Loss of native grasslands by anthropogenic disturbances has reduced availability and connectivity of habitat for many grassland species. A primary threat to contiguous grasslands is the encroachment of woody vegetation, which is spurred by disturbances that take on many forms from energy development, fire suppression, and grazing. These disturbances are exacerbated by natural- and human-driven cycles of changes in climate punctuated by drought and desertification conditions. Encroachment of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) into the prairies of southeastern New Mexico has potentially limited habitat for numerous grassland species, including lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). To determine the magnitude of impacts of distribution of mesquite and how lesser prairie-chickens respond to mesquite presence on the landscape in southeastern New Mexico, we evaluated seasonal space use of lesser prairie-chickens in the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. We derived several remotely sensed spatial metrics to characterize the distribution of mesquite. We then used these data to create population-level resource utilization functions and predict intensity of use of lesser prairie-chickens across our study area. Home ranges were smaller in the breeding season compared with the nonbreeding season; however, habitat use was similar across seasons. During both seasons, lesser prairie-chickens used areas closer to leks and largely avoided areas with mesquite. Relative to the breeding season, during the nonbreeding season habitat use suggested a marginal increase in mesquite within areas of low intensity of use, yet aversion to mesquite was strong in areas of medium to high intensity of use. To our knowledge, our study is the first to demonstrate a negative behavioral response by lesser prairie-chickens to woody encroachment in native grasslands. To mitigate one of the possible limiting factors for lesser prairie-chickens, we suggest future conservation

  11. Widespread Use and Frequent Detection of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region

    OpenAIRE

    Main, Anson R.; Headley, John V.; Peru, Kerry M.; Michel, Nicole L.; Cessna, Allan J.; Morrissey, Christy A.

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concent...

  12. Social isolation induces behavioral and neuroendocrine disturbances relevant to depression in female and male prairie voles

    OpenAIRE

    Grippo, Angela J.; Gerena, Davida; Huang, Jonathan; Kumar, Narmda; Shah, Maulin; Ughreja, Raj; Carter, C. Sue

    2007-01-01

    Supportive social interactions may be protective against stressors and certain mental and physical illness, while social isolation may be a powerful stressor. Prairie voles are socially monogamous rodents that model some of the behavioral and physiological traits displayed by humans, including sensitivity to social isolation. Neuroendocrine and behavioral parameters, selected for their relevance to stress and depression, were measured in adult female and male prairie voles following 4 weeks o...

  13. Progress report: baseline monitoring of indicator species (butterflies) at tallgrass prairie restorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allain, Larry; Vidrine, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    This project provides baseline data of butterfly populations at two coastal prairie restoration sites in Louisiana, the Duralde Unit of Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter, the Duralde site) and the Cajun Prairie Restoration Project in Eunice (hereafter, the Eunice site). In all, four distinct habitat types representing different planting methods were sampled. These data will be used to assess biodiversity and health of native grasslands and also provide a basis for adaptive management.

  14. Wildlife habitat management on the northern prairie landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Douglas H.; Haseltine, Susan D.; Cowardin, Lewis M.

    1994-01-01

    The northern prairie landscape has changed dramatically within the past century as a result of settlement by Europeans. Natural ecosystems have been disrupted and wildlife populations greatly altered. Natural resource agencies control only limited areas within the landscape, which they cannot manage independently of privately owned lands. Wildlife managers need first to set quantifiable objectives, based on the survival, reproduction, and distribution of wildlife. Second, they need to build public support and partnerships for meeting those objectives. Finally, they need to evaluate progress not only with respect to attitudes of the public and partners but, more importantly, of the wildlife response. This paper describes some useful tools for managing information at all phases of this process. We follow by discussing management options at a landscape level. Examples are given that involve agency lands as well as private lands, managed for biological resources and diversity as well as economic sustainability.

  15. Classification of Prairie basins by their hysteretic connected functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shook, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Diagnosing climate change impacts in the post-glacial landscapes of the North American Prairies through hydrological modelling is made difficult by drainage basin physiography. The region is cold, dry and flat with poorly developed stream networks, and so the basin area that is hydrologically connected to the stream outlet varies with basin depressional storage. The connected area controls the contributing area for runoff reaching the stream outlet. As depressional storage fills, ponds spill from one to another; the chain of spilling ponds allows water to flow over the landscape and increases the connected area of the basin. As depressional storage decreases, the connected fraction drops dramatically. Detailed, fine-scale models and remote sensing have shown that the relationship between connected area and the depressional storage is hysteretic in Prairie basins and that the nature of hysteresis varies with basin physiography. This hysteresis needs to be represented in hydrological models to calculate contributing area, and therefore streamflow hydrographs. Parameterisations of the hysteresis are needed for large-scale models used for climate change diagnosis. However, use of parameterisations of hysteresis requires guidance on how to represent them for a particular basin. This study shows that it is possible to relate the shape of hysteretic functions as determined by detailed models to the overall physiography of the basin, such as the fraction of the basin below the outlet, and remote sensing estimates of depressional storage, using the size distribution and location of maximum ponded water areas. By classifying basin physiography, the hysteresis of connected area - storage relationships can be estimated for basins that do not have high-resolution topographic data, and without computationally-expensive high-resolution modelling.

  16. An economical wireless cavity-nest viewer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel P. Huebner; Sarah R. Hurteau

    2007-01-01

    Inspection of cavity nests and nest boxes is often required during studies of cavity-nesting birds, and fiberscopes and pole-mounted video cameras are sometimes used for such inspection. However, the cost of these systems may be prohibitive for some potential users. We describe a user-built, wireless cavity viewer that can be used to access cavities as high as 15 m and...

  17. Copper accumulation by stickleback nests containing spiggin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, G L L; Martins, C M G; Barber, I

    2016-07-01

    The three-spined stickleback is a ubiquitous fish of marine, brackish and freshwater ecosystems across the Northern hemisphere that presents intermediate sensitivity to copper. Male sticklebacks display a range of elaborate reproductive behaviours that include nest construction. To build the nests, each male binds nesting material together using an endogenous glycoprotein nesting glue, known as 'spiggin'. Spiggin is a cysteine-rich protein and, therefore, potentially binds heavy metals present in the environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of stickleback nests to accumulate copper from environmental sources. Newly built nests, constructed by male fish from polyester threads in laboratory aquaria, were immersed in copper solutions ranging in concentration from 21.1-626.6 μg Cu L(-1). Bundles of polyester threads from aquaria without male fish were also immersed in the same copper solutions. After immersion, nests presented higher amounts of copper than the thread bundles, indicating a higher capacity of nests to bind this metal. A significant, positive correlation between the concentration of copper in the exposure solution and in the exposed nests was identified, but there was no such relationship for thread bundles. Since both spiggin synthesis and male courtship behaviour are under the control of circulating androgens, we predicted that males with high courtship scores would produce and secrete high levels of the spiggin protein. In the present study, nests built by high courtship score males accumulated more copper than those built by low courtship score males. Considering the potential of spiggin to bind metals, the positive relationship between fish courtship and spiggin secretion seems to explain the higher amount of copper on the nests from the fish showing high behaviour scores. Further work is now needed to determine the consequences of the copper binding potential of spiggin in stickleback nests for the health and survival of

  18. The design and function of birds' nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R; Lambrechts, Marcel M; Deeming, D Charles

    2014-10-01

    All birds construct nests in which to lay eggs and/or raise offspring. Traditionally, it was thought that natural selection and the requirement to minimize the risk of predation determined the design of completed nests. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that sexual selection also influences nest design. This is an important development as while species such as bowerbirds build structures that are extended phenotypic signals whose sole purpose is to attract a mate, nests contain eggs and/or offspring, thereby suggesting a direct trade-off between the conflicting requirements of natural and sexual selection. Nest design also varies adaptively in order to both minimize the detrimental effects of parasites and to create a suitable microclimate for parents and developing offspring in relation to predictable variation in environmental conditions. Our understanding of the design and function of birds' nests has increased considerably in recent years, and the evidence suggests that nests have four nonmutually exclusive functions. Consequently, we conclude that the design of birds' nests is far more sophisticated than previously realized and that nests are multifunctional structures that have important fitness consequences for the builder/s.

  19. The design and function of birds' nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R; Lambrechts, Marcel M; Deeming, D Charles

    2014-01-01

    All birds construct nests in which to lay eggs and/or raise offspring. Traditionally, it was thought that natural selection and the requirement to minimize the risk of predation determined the design of completed nests. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that sexual selection also influences nest design. This is an important development as while species such as bowerbirds build structures that are extended phenotypic signals whose sole purpose is to attract a mate, nests contain eggs and/or offspring, thereby suggesting a direct trade-off between the conflicting requirements of natural and sexual selection. Nest design also varies adaptively in order to both minimize the detrimental effects of parasites and to create a suitable microclimate for parents and developing offspring in relation to predictable variation in environmental conditions. Our understanding of the design and function of birds' nests has increased considerably in recent years, and the evidence suggests that nests have four nonmutually exclusive functions. Consequently, we conclude that the design of birds' nests is far more sophisticated than previously realized and that nests are multifunctional structures that have important fitness consequences for the builder/s. PMID:25505520

  20. The effect of kleptoparasitic bald eagles and gyrfalcons on the kill rate of peregrine falcons hunting dunlins wintering in British Columbia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekker, T.J.; Out, M.; Tabak, M.; Ydenberg, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    Kleptoparasitism in birds has been the subject of much research, and the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a known kleptoparasite. It has been reported to pirate ducks captured by Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus), but ours is the first study to examine the effect of kleptoparasitic Bald

  1. Nested trampoline resonators for optomechanics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weaver, M. J., E-mail: mweaver@physics.ucsb.edu; Pepper, B.; Luna, F.; Perock, B. [Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Buters, F. M.; Eerkens, H. J.; Welker, G.; Heeck, K.; Man, S. de [Huygens-Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Universiteit Leiden, 2333 CA Leiden (Netherlands); Bouwmeester, D. [Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Huygens-Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Universiteit Leiden, 2333 CA Leiden (Netherlands)

    2016-01-18

    Two major challenges in the development of optomechanical devices are achieving a low mechanical and optical loss rate and vibration isolation from the environment. We address both issues by fabricating trampoline resonators made from low pressure chemical vapor deposition Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} with a distributed Bragg reflector mirror. We design a nested double resonator structure with 80 dB of mechanical isolation from the mounting surface at the inner resonator frequency, and we demonstrate up to 45 dB of isolation at lower frequencies in agreement with the design. We reliably fabricate devices with mechanical quality factors of around 400 000 at room temperature. In addition, these devices were used to form optical cavities with finesse up to 181 000 ± 1000. These promising parameters will enable experiments in the quantum regime with macroscopic mechanical resonators.

  2. Nested trampoline resonators for optomechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weaver, M. J.; Pepper, B.; Luna, F.; Perock, B.; Buters, F. M.; Eerkens, H. J.; Welker, G.; Heeck, K.; Man, S. de; Bouwmeester, D.

    2016-01-01

    Two major challenges in the development of optomechanical devices are achieving a low mechanical and optical loss rate and vibration isolation from the environment. We address both issues by fabricating trampoline resonators made from low pressure chemical vapor deposition Si 3 N 4 with a distributed Bragg reflector mirror. We design a nested double resonator structure with 80 dB of mechanical isolation from the mounting surface at the inner resonator frequency, and we demonstrate up to 45 dB of isolation at lower frequencies in agreement with the design. We reliably fabricate devices with mechanical quality factors of around 400 000 at room temperature. In addition, these devices were used to form optical cavities with finesse up to 181 000 ± 1000. These promising parameters will enable experiments in the quantum regime with macroscopic mechanical resonators

  3. Nested trampoline resonators for optomechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, M. J.; Pepper, B.; Luna, F.; Buters, F. M.; Eerkens, H. J.; Welker, G.; Perock, B.; Heeck, K.; de Man, S.; Bouwmeester, D.

    2016-01-01

    Two major challenges in the development of optomechanical devices are achieving a low mechanical and optical loss rate and vibration isolation from the environment. We address both issues by fabricating trampoline resonators made from low pressure chemical vapor deposition Si3N4 with a distributed Bragg reflector mirror. We design a nested double resonator structure with 80 dB of mechanical isolation from the mounting surface at the inner resonator frequency, and we demonstrate up to 45 dB of isolation at lower frequencies in agreement with the design. We reliably fabricate devices with mechanical quality factors of around 400 000 at room temperature. In addition, these devices were used to form optical cavities with finesse up to 181 000 ± 1000. These promising parameters will enable experiments in the quantum regime with macroscopic mechanical resonators.

  4. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: New Hampshire: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting birds in New Hampshire. Vector points in this data set represent locations of nesting osprey...

  5. Livestock grazing and trampling of birds' nests: An experiment using artificial nests

    OpenAIRE

    Mandema, Freek S.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Ens, Bruno J.; Bakker, Jan P.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to experimentally determine the differences between four grazing treatments on the trampling of nests. Additionally, we examine to what extent the trampling probability of nests is higher close to a source of fresh water. We compare the trampling of artificial nests in five different grazing treatments in an experimental design. We use buried clay pigeon targets as artificial mimics of bird nests to obtain reliable estimates of trampling risk and compare these wit...

  6. Biomechanical testing of materials in avian nests provides insight into nest construction behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Biddle, Lucia E.; Deeming, D. Charles; Goodman, Adrian M.

    2015-01-01

    Animals that use materials to build nest structures have long since fascinated biologists and engineers alike. Avian nests are generally composed of collected materials brought together into a cup-like structure in which the bird sits to incubate eggs and, in many cases, it is where chicks are reared. Hence, the materials in a nest can be presumed to be loaded in compression, but relatively few studies have investigated the mechanical role of the nest elements and their position w...

  7. Spawning chronology, nest site selection and nest success of smallmouth bass during benign streamflow conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauwalter, D.C.; Fisher, W.L.

    2007-01-01

    We documented the nesting chronology, nest site selection and nest success of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in an upstream (4th order) and downstream (5th order) reach of Baron Fork Creek, Oklahoma. Males started nesting in mid-Apr. when water temperatures increased to 16.9 C upstream, and in late-Apr. when temperatures increased to 16.2 C downstream. Streamflows were low (77% upstream to 82% downstream of mean Apr. streamflow, and 12 and 18% of meanjun. streamflow; 47 and 55 y of record), and decreased throughout the spawning period. Larger males nested first upstream, as has been observed in other populations, but not downstream. Upstream, progeny in 62 of 153 nests developed to swim-up stage. Downstream, progeny in 31 of 73 nests developed to swim-up. Nesting densities upstream (147/km) and downstream (100/km) were both higher than any densities previously reported. Males selected nest sites with intermediate water depths, low water velocity and near cover, behavior that is typical of smallmouth bass. Documented nest failures resulted from human disturbance, angling, and longear sunfish predation. Logistic exposure models showed that water velocity at the nest was negatively related and length of the guarding male was positively related to nest success upstream. Male length and number of degree days were both positively related to nest success downstream. Our results, and those of other studies, suggest that biological factors account for most nest failures during benign (stable, low flow) streamflow conditions, whereas nest failures attributed to substrate mobility or nest abandonment dominate when harsh streamflow conditions (spring floods) coincide with the spawning season.

  8. Landscape forest cover and edge effects on songbird nest predation vary by nest predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Andrew Cox; Frank R. III Thompson; John. Faaborg

    2012-01-01

    Rates of nest predation for birds vary between and within species across multiple spatial scales, but we have a poor understanding of which predators drive such patterns. We video-monitored nests and identified predators at 120 nests of the Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) and the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) at eight...

  9. Development with age of nest box use and gregarious nesting in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2010-01-01

    in position (left + corner, middle, and right). Nesting behaviour was video recorded for 5 days in each of five distinct periods: age 20, 26, 32, 38, and 44 weeks. The total number of visits and the number of gregarious visits were higher in the left nest box than in the other two nest boxes at all ages...

  10. Livestock grazing and trampling of birds' nests : An experiment using artificial nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, Freek S.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Ens, Bruno J.; Bakker, Jan P.

    The purpose of this study is to experimentally determine the differences between four grazing treatments on the trampling of nests. Additionally, we examine to what extent the trampling probability of nests is higher close to a source of fresh water. We compare the trampling of artificial nests in

  11. Nest predators of open and cavity nesting birds in oak woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared Verner

    1999-01-01

    Camera setups revealed at least three species of rodents and seven species of birds as potential predators at artificial open nests. Surprisingly, among avian predators identified at open nests, one third were Bullock's Orioles (Icterus bullockii). Two rodent species and three bird species were potential predators at artificial cavity nests. This high predator...

  12. Conservation significance of alternative nests of golden eagles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian A. Millsap

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos are long-lived raptors that maintain nesting territories that may be occupied for a century or longer. Within occupied nesting territories there is one nest in which eagles lay their eggs in a given year (i.e., the used nest, but there are usually other nests (i.e., alternative nests. Conservation plans often protect used nests, but not alternative nests or nesting territories that appear vacant. Our objective is to review literature on golden eagle use of alternative nests and occupancy of nesting territories to determine if alternative nests are biologically significant and warrant greater conservation consideration. Our review shows that: (1 alternative nests or their associated habitat are most often in core areas of golden eagle nesting territories; (2 alternative nests likely will become used in the future; (3 probability of an alternative nest becoming used is greatest where prey availability is high and alternative nest sites are limited; (4 likelihood of annual occupancy or reoccupancy of golden eagle nesting territories is high; and (5 prey availability is the most important determinant of nesting territory occupancy and breeding activity. We recommend alternative nests be treated with the same deference as used nests in land use planning.

  13. Nested Sampling with Constrained Hamiltonian Monte Carlo

    OpenAIRE

    Betancourt, M. J.

    2010-01-01

    Nested sampling is a powerful approach to Bayesian inference ultimately limited by the computationally demanding task of sampling from a heavily constrained probability distribution. An effective algorithm in its own right, Hamiltonian Monte Carlo is readily adapted to efficiently sample from any smooth, constrained distribution. Utilizing this constrained Hamiltonian Monte Carlo, I introduce a general implementation of the nested sampling algorithm.

  14. Análisis de los procesos de calidad : un enfoque hacia el cliente “Falcon Freight"

    OpenAIRE

    Baquero Largo, Andrea Catherine; Pintor Pinzon, Carolina; Triana Guerrero, Karen

    2012-01-01

    En este trabajo de grado podrá encontrar el desarrollo logístico en el mundo y en Colombia, permitiendo mostrar el análisis de gestión de la Empresa Falcon Freight a través del análisis por medio de diferentes herramientas como Espina de Pescado que se refiere a la calidad total planteada por Ishikawa, Graficas de Pareto, Diagramas de flujo de procesos y de manera cualitativa el método de las 5 W’s y 2 H’s. Mostrando las diferentes actividades que se llevan a cabo en la compañía y que refleja...

  15. Relatedness of Macrophomina phaseolina isolates from tallgrass prairie, maize, soybean and sorghum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, A A; Ahmed, H U; Todd, T C; Travers, S E; Zeller, K A; Leslie, J F; Garrett, K A

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural and wild ecosystems may interact through shared pathogens such as Macrophomina phaseolina, a generalist clonal fungus with more than 284 plant hosts that is likely to become more important under climate change scenarios of increased heat and drought stress. To evaluate the degree of subdivision in populations of M. phaseolina in Kansas agriculture and wildlands, we compared 143 isolates from maize fields adjacent to tallgrass prairie, nearby sorghum fields, widely dispersed soybean fields and isolates from eight plant species in tallgrass prairie. Isolate growth phenotypes were evaluated on a medium containing chlorate. Genetic characteristics were analysed based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms and the sequence of the rDNA-internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The average genetic similarity was 58% among isolates in the tallgrass prairie, 71% in the maize fields, 75% in the sorghum fields and 80% in the dispersed soybean fields. The isolates were divided into four clusters: one containing most of the isolates from maize and soybean, two others containing isolates from wild plants and sorghum, and a fourth containing a single isolate recovered from Solidago canadensis in the tallgrass prairie. Most of the sorghum isolates had the dense phenotype on media containing chlorate, while those from other hosts had either feathery or restricted phenotypes. These results suggest that the tallgrass prairie supports a more diverse population of M. phaseolina per area than do any of the crop species. Subpopulations show incomplete specialization by host. These results also suggest that inoculum produced in agriculture may influence tallgrass prairie communities, and conversely that different pathogen subpopulations in tallgrass prairie can interact there to generate 'hybrids' with novel genetic profiles and pathogenic capabilities.

  16. Low heritability of nest construction in a wild bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Järvinen, Pauliina; Kluen, Edward; Brommer, Jon E

    2017-10-01

    In birds and other taxa, nest construction varies considerably between and within populations. Such variation is hypothesized to have an adaptive (i.e. genetic) basis, but estimates of heritability in nest construction are largely lacking. Here, we demonstrate with data collected over 10 years from 1010 nests built by blue tits in nest-boxes that nest size (height of nest material) and nest composition (proportion of feathers in the nest) are repeatable but only weakly (12-13%) heritable female traits. These findings imply that nest construction may evolve but only if subjected to strong and consistent selection pressures. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. Observations of sea turtles nesting on Misali islan, Pemba | Pharoah ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A nest-recording programme has collected data over five years from turtles nesting on Misali Island, off the West coast of Pemba, Tanzania. Five species of sea turtle are known to occur in Zanzibar waters, two of these species nested regularly on the island, with green turtle nests outnumbering hawksbill turtle nests by a ...

  18. Nesting success and within-season breeding dispersal in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nest predation is a primary cause of nesting mortality for many bird species, particularly passerines. Nest location can affect predation, and it has also been demonstrated that predation risk can alter nest site selection. Birds can limit predation risk by selecting specific habitat characteristics; by changing nest site ...

  19. Turkey habitat use and nesting characteristics in ponderosa pine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1987-01-01

    Turkeys (Meleagris gallapovo) selected nest sites that provided good horizontal concealment. Rock or rock outcrops were selected most frequently for nest concealment on first-nest attempts. Renest attempts showed a selection preference for shrubs as nest cover; most of these were located in meadows. Nesting success doubled for renests versus first...

  20. Nest structure and communal nesting in Euglossa (Glossura annectans Dressler (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Euglossini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Garófalo

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Three nests of Euglossa (Glossura annectans Dressier, 1982 were obtained from trap nests at Serra do Japi, Jundiai, São Paulo State, Brazil. The bees nested in bamboo cane (one nest and in wooden-boxes (two nests. Solitary (two cases and pleometrotic (one case foundations were observed. Two nests were re-used once by two females working in each of them. Re-using females that shared the nests were of the same generation and each built, provisioned and oviposited in her own cells, characterizing a communal association. The brood development period was related to climatic conditions. Natural enemies included Anthrax oedipus oedipus Fabricius, 1805 (Bombyliidae, Coelioxys sp. (Megachilidae and Melittobia sp. (Eulophidae.

  1. The development and adoption of conservation tillage systems on the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Awada

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available One of the major agricultural innovations on the Canadian Prairies over the last 40 years has been the introduction of conservation tillage (CT. Conservation tillage-a system that includes minimum and zero tillage (ZT -was introduced as an alternative to traditional (conventional tillage (TT to control soil degradation and to promote agricultural sustainability. The development and adoption of CT systems involved pioneer farmers, engineers, scientists, and farmer associations. By the end of the 1970s, CT started to take shape on the Prairies, but for a number of economic, technical, political and social reasons, the adoption of CT did not occur on any major scale before the 1990s. Today, more than 75% of the Prairie's cropland is under some form of CT with more than 50% under ZT. In this paper, the factors behind the development and adoption of conservation tillage technology on the Prairies in the period between 1930 and 2011 are reviewed. Then, some of the benefits of the adoption of CT on the Prairies are highlighted. The data show that CT and ZT became profitable for the majority of farmers during and after the 1990s, and that the increased use of CT contributed to the dramatic decrease in the area under summerfallow and to the increase in the area sown to canola and pulse crops. These changes contributed to the reduction of all forms of land degradation and to decreases in agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG emissions.

  2. Factors that affect parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs by fleas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Hoogland, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that feed on vertebrate hosts. Fleas can reduce the fitness of hosts by interfering with immune responses, disrupting adaptive behaviors, and transmitting pathogens. The negative effects of fleas on hosts are usually most pronounced when fleas attain high densities. In lab studies, fleas desiccate and die under dry conditions, suggesting that populations of fleas will tend to decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. To test this hypothesis, we compared precipitation vs. parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by fleas at a single colony during May and June of 13 consecutive years (1976–1988) at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA. The number of fleas on prairie dogs decreased with increasing precipitation during both the prior growing season (April through August of the prior year) and the just-completed winter–spring (January through April of current year). Due to the reduction in available moisture and palatable forage in dry years, herbivorous prairie dogs might have been food-limited, with weakened behavioral and immunological defenses against fleas. In support of this hypothesis, adult prairie dogs of low mass harbored more fleas than heavier adults. Our results have implications for the spread of plague, an introduced bacterial disease, transmitted by fleas, that devastates prairie dog colonies and, in doing so, can transform grassland ecosystems.

  3. A proposal to conserve black-footed ferrets and the prairie dog ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian; Wemmer, Christen; Biggins, Dean; Reading, Richard

    1990-11-01

    Prairie dogs ( Cynomys spp.) have been poisoned throughout this century because of grazing competition with livestock. Recent evidence showed these early claims were exaggerated, but animal control was already entrenched in government policy. As a result, ongoing government subsidized poisoning has reduced prairie dogs to about 2% of their former distribution. The reduction of prairie dogs diminished species diversity in the arid grasslands of North America, including the potential extinction of the black-footed ferret ( Mustela nigripes). Cost-benefit analysis revealed that poisoning costs more than any grazing benefits accrued. This analysis did not consider the long-term costs of reversing ecosystem degradation, the intangible value of biological diversity as a public benefit, or the depletion of biotic resources as a loss of actual or potential wealth. The government presently finances the poisoning policy and the preservation of endangered species like the black-footed ferret, two apparently conflicting programs. We, therefore, propose an integrated management plan that considers both interests. We propose that federal monies allocated to the poisoning program be converted into a rebate for ranchers who manage livestock while preserving the prairie dog community. This would redirect funds and personnel already allocated to prairie dog eradication to an incentive for ranchers who manage for livestock and wildlife. Livestock interests and grassland biotic diversity would both benefit.

  4. Effects of sexual dimorphism and landscape composition on the trophic behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Blanco-Fontao

    Full Text Available Partitioning of ecological niche is expected in lekking species that show marked sexual size dimorphism as a consequence of sex-specific ecological constraints. However, niche partitioning is uncertain in species with moderate sexual dimorphism. In addition, the ecological niche of a species may also be affected by landscape composition; particularly, agricultural fragmentation may greatly influence the trophic behavior of herbivores. We studied trophic niche variation in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido, a grouse species that shows moderate sex-dimorphism. Greater Prairie-Chickens are native to tallgrass prairies of North America, although populations persist in less natural mosaics of cropland and native habitats. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in blood, claws and feathers to assess seasonal differences in trophic niche breadth and individual specialization between male and female Greater Prairie-Chickens, and between birds living in continuous and fragmented landscapes. We found that females showed broader niches and higher individual specialization than males, especially in winter and autumn. However, differences between females and males were smaller in spring when birds converge at leks, suggesting that females and males may exhibit similar feeding behaviors during the lekking period. In addition, we found that birds living in native prairies showed greater annual trophic variability than conspecifics in agricultural mosaic landscapes. Native habitats may provide greater dietary diversity, resulting in greater diversity of feeding strategies.

  5. Trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates formation of partner preference in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duclot, F; Wang, H; Youssef, C; Liu, Y; Wang, Z; Kabbaj, M

    2016-05-01

    In the socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the development of a social bonding is indicated by the formation of partner preference, which involves a variety of environmental and neurochemical factors and brain structures. In a most recent study in female prairie voles, we found that treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates the formation of partner preference through up-regulation of oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) genes expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TSA treatment also facilitates partner preference formation and alters OTR and V1aR genes expression in the NAcc in male prairie voles. We thus observed that central injection of TSA dose-dependently promoted the formation of partner preference in the absence of mating in male prairie voles. Interestingly, TSA treatment up-regulated OTR, but not V1aR, gene expression in the NAcc similarly as they were affected by mating - an essential process for naturally occurring partner preference. These data, together with others, not only indicate the involvement of epigenetic events but also the potential role of NAcc oxytocin in the regulation of partner preference in both male and female prairie voles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Hydrology of prairie wetlands: Understanding the integrated surface-water and groundwater processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masaki; van der Kamp, Garth; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2016-01-01

    Wetland managers and policy makers need to make decisions based on a sound scientific understanding of hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands. This article presents an overview of the hydrology of prairie wetlands intended for managers, policy makers, and researchers new to this field (e.g., graduate students), and a quantitative conceptual framework for understanding the hydrological functions of prairie wetlands and their responses to changes in climate and land use. The existence of prairie wetlands in the semi-arid environment of the Prairie-Pothole Region (PPR) depends on the lateral inputs of runoff water from their catchments because mean annual potential evaporation exceeds precipitation in the PPR. Therefore, it is critically important to consider wetlands and catchments as highly integrated hydrological units. The water balance of individual wetlands is strongly influenced by runoff from the catchment and the exchange of groundwater between the central pond and its moist margin. Land-use practices in the catchment have a sensitive effect on runoff and hence the water balance. Surface and subsurface storage and connectivity among individual wetlands controls the diversity of pond permanence within a wetland complex, resulting in a variety of eco-hydrological functionalities necessary for maintaining the integrity of prairie-wetland ecosystems.

  7. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of wildland collections of western and Searls prairie clovers for rangeland revegetation in the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai

    2010-01-01

    Western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas ex Hook.) Eaton & J. Wright] is a perennial legume that occurs in the northern Great Basin, Snake River Basin, and southern Columbia Plateau, whereas Searls prairie clover [Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby], also a perennial legume, occurs in the southern Great Basin and surrounding areas. Understanding the genetic and...

  8. Students' Perceptions of a Highly Controversial yet Keystone Species, the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Parrish, Lynne; Jurin, Richard R.

    2008-01-01

    The authors used a case-study methodology to explore the perceptions of 30 9th-grade biology students relative to black-tailed prairie dogs. The case study, which involved classroom- and field-based experiences that focused on black-tailed prairie dogs, revealed 3 major themes: apathy, egocentrism, and naive conceptions. The authors had hoped that…

  9. Macroinvertebrates in North American tallgrass prairie soils: effects of fire, mowing, and fertilization on density and biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.A. Callaham; J.M. Blair; T.C. Todd; D.J. Kitchen; M.R. Whiles

    2003-01-01

    The responses of tallgrass prairie plant communities and ecosystem processes to fire and grazing are well characterized. However, responses of invertebrate consumer groups. and particularly soil-dwelling organisms, to these disturbances are not well known. At Konza Prairie Biological Station. we sampled soil macroinvertebrates in 1994 and 1999 as part of a long-term...

  10. 75 FR 70021 - South Dakota Prairie Winds Project; Partial Term Relinquishment and Release of Easement for Wind...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-16

    ... requested financing for the project from the RUS. PW SD1 has also submitted an application to the Service to...] South Dakota Prairie Winds Project; Partial Term Relinquishment and Release of Easement for Wind Energy... impact statement (FEIS) on the South Dakota Prairie Winds Project issued by the Department of Energy's...

  11. Demand for Neste's City products grows strongly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1994-01-01

    Finland's oil, chemicals, and gas company, Neste Corporation, is well on the road to better financial performance after a very difficult year in 1992. Among the factors contributing to this optimism are Neste's pioneering low environmental impact traffic fuels. Neste Corporation's net sales in 1993 rose 9.9 % on 1992 figures to USD 11,011 million. Investments totalled USD 681 million. Profitability also improved during 1993, and the operating margin rose by 57 %, despite the recession affecting the Finnish economy and the instability of the international market. The operational loss for the year before extraordinary items, reserves, and taxes was USD 265 million, one-third less than in 1992. Neste's strategy has been to achieve a strong position in the Baltic Rim region by becoming the quality and cost leader in oil refining, and by expanding Neste's position in its key markets. A total of 3.3 million tonnes of petroleum products were exported from Finland in 1993. Neste's most important export markets were Sweden, Germany, Poland, the Baltic countries, and the St. Petersburg region. Some 20 % of exports went to customers outside Europe. In addition to Finland, Neste has concertedly developed its service station network in Poland and the Baltic countries

  12. Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Da-Jiang; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G.

    2013-01-01

    Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal’s territory may be more salient than knowing the identity of individuals on whose territory an animal is trespassing. Hence, social and environmental context could affect social recognition in many ways. Here we test social recognition of socially monogamous single male prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster. In experiment 1 we tested recognition of male or female conspecifics and found that males discriminated between different males but not between different females. In experiment 2 we asked whether recognition of males is influenced when males are tested in their own cage (familiar), in a clean cage (neutral) or in the home cage of another male (unfamiliar). Although focal males discriminated between male conspecifics in all three contexts, individual variation in recognition was lower when males were tested in their home cage (in the presence of familiar social cues) compared to when the context lacked social cues (neutral). Experiment 1 indicates that selective pressures may have operated to enhance male territorial behaviour and indiscriminate mate selection. Experiment 2 suggests that the presence of a conspecific cue heightens social recognition and that home-field advantages might extend to social cognition. Taken together, our results indicate social recognition depends on the social and possibly territorial context. PMID:24273328

  13. Climate impacts on the hydrology of prairie wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Mingko; Rowsell, R.D.

    1991-01-01

    A study was carried out in the St. Denis National Wildlife Area, 45 km east of Saskatoon, to observe the hydrological processes and the temporal and spatial variability of slough responses to climate. One slough was instrumented for detailed study, showing that the high water level in spring was supported by snowmelt. In summer, rainfall was the major source of water supply, but was exceeded by losses to evaporation and groundwater recharge, leading to a decline of the water table and complete drying by June 13th. The duration that water remains in sloughs varies temporally and spatially. Ephemeral sloughs, deriving water mainly from snowmelt, tend to occupy higher ground, temporary sloughs rely on precipitation and surface runoff, and may receive groundwater discharge during wetter years. Permanent sloughs often occupy lower areas, receiving water from precipitation, lateral runoff, and groundwater discharge which buffers them from year to year fluctuations in precipitation. Tree ring analyses showed that meltwater is the major factor influencing tree growth, correlating the spatial variability of slough inundation to the temporal variability of winter snowfall. A study of slough hydrology is important to the understanding of the responses of Prairie wetlands to climatic variability and change. 17 refs., 2 figs

  14. Managing Water-Food-Energy Futures in the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheater, H. S.; Hassanzadeh, E.; Nazemi, A.; Elshorbagy, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    The water-food-energy nexus is a convenient phrase to highlight competing societal uses for water and the need for cross-sectoral policy integration, but this can lead to oversimplification of the multiple dimensions of water (and energy) management. In practice, water managers must balance (and prioritize) demands for water for many uses, including environmental flows, and reservoir operation often involves managing conflicting demands, for example to maximize retention for supply, reduce storage to facilitate flood control, and constrain water levels and releases for habitat protection. Agriculture and water quality are also inextricably linked: irrigated agriculture requires appropriate water quality for product quality and certification, but agriculture can be a major source of nutrient pollution, with impacts on human and ecosystem health, drinking water treatment and amenity. And energy-water interactions include energy production (hydropower and cooling water for thermal power generation) and energy consumption (e.g. for pumping and water and wastewater treatment). These dependencies are illustrated for the Canadian prairies, and a risk-based approach to the management of climate change is presented. Trade-offs between economic benefits of hydropower and irrigation are illustrated for alternative climate futures, including implications for freshwater habitats. The results illustrate that inter-sector interactions vary as a function of climate and its variability, and that there is a need for policy to manage inter-sector allocations as a function of economic risk.

  15. Assessing diversity of prairie plants using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity loss endangers ecosystem services and is considered as a global change that may generate unacceptable environmental consequences for the Earth system. Global biodiversity observations are needed to provide a better understanding of biodiversity - ecosystem services relationships and to provide a stronger foundation for conserving the Earth's biodiversity. While remote sensing metrics have been applied to estimate α biodiversity directly through optical diversity, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the optical diversity-biodiversity relationship is needed. We designed a series of experiments at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, MN, to investigate the scale dependence of optical diversity and explore how species richness, evenness, and composition affect optical diversity. We collected hyperspectral reflectance of 16 prairie species using both a full-range field spectrometer fitted with a leaf clip, and an imaging spectrometer carried by a tram system to simulate plot-level images with different species richness, evenness, and composition. Two indicators of spectral diversity were explored: the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectral reflectance in space, and spectral classification using a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). Our results showed that sampling methods (leaf clip-derived data vs. image-derived data) affected the optical diversity estimation. Both optical diversity indices were affected by species richness and evenness (Pguide regional studies of biodiversity estimation using high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing.

  16. Map of mixed prairie grassland vegetation, Rocky Flats, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, S J.V.; Webber, P J; Komarkova, V; Weber, W A

    1980-01-01

    A color vegetation map at the scale of 1:12,000 of the area surrounding the Rocky Flats, Rockwell International Plant near Boulder, Colorado, provides a permanent record of baseline data which can be used to monitor changes in both vegetation and environment and thus to contribute to future land management and land-use policies. Sixteen mapping units based on species composition were identified, and characterized by two 10-m/sup 2/ vegetation stands each. These were grouped into prairie, pasture, and valley side on the basis of their species composition. Both the mapping units and these major groups were later confirmed by agglomerative clustering analysis of the 32 vegetation stands on the basis of species composition. A modified Bray and Curtis ordination was used to determine the environmental factor complexes controlling the distribution of vegetation at Rocky flats. Recommendations are made for future policies of environmental management and predictions of the response to environmental change of the present vegetation at the Rocky Flats site.

  17. Homicide in the Canadian Prairies: elderly and nonelderly killings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, A G; Menzies, Robin P D

    2002-11-01

    To examine the psychosocial and clinical characteristics of male perpetrators of elderly and nonelderly homicides in the Canadian Prairies. We examined data drawn from a study of 901 adult homicide offenders who were incarcerated or on parole between 1988 and 1992 in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Of those studied, 67 men were convicted of homicide involving 79 elderly victims, and 671 were convicted of homicide involving 675 nonelderly victims. Most perpetrators were single and engaged in irregular patterns of employment at the time of their index offence. Fourteen (20.8%) offenders with elderly victims had a history of psychiatric treatment, compared with 98 (14.6%) offenders with nonelderly victims; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Approximately 30% of both groups were diagnosed with personality disorders. A comparison of the index- offence characteristics showed no significant differences between the 2 groups. Our findings suggest that elderly individuals are more likely to be killed in their own homes by strangers. Social isolation appears to be a significant risk factor in cases of elderly homicide.

  18. Methods for excluding cliff swallows from nesting on highway structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-08-01

    Cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) are colonially breeding migratory birds that frequently nest on highway : structures. Protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, nesting control methods cannot harm swallows or active : nests. This c...

  19. Emperor penguins nesting on Inaccessible Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkel, G.M.; Llano, G.A.

    1975-01-01

    Emperor penguins were observed nesting on Inaccessible I. during the 1973 winter. This is the southernmost nesting of emperor penguins thus far recorded; it also could be the first record of emperors attempting to start a new rookery. This site, however, may have been used by emperors in the past. The closest reported nesting of these penguins to Inaccessible I. is on the Ross Ice Shelf east of Cape Crozier. With the exception of the Inaccessible I. record, there is little evidence that emperor penguins breed in McMurdo Sound proper.

  20. Proceedings of the symposium on the management of prairie dog complexes for the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Miller, Brian J.; Crete, Ronald

    1993-01-01

    The workshop featured a review of current knowledge in the biology of prairie dogs in the context of managing black-footed ferret habitat. The review addressed two main components. The first consisted of a series of papers on prairie dog habitat and biology. The second component of the workshop was a summary of the participants' discussion about managing prairie dog complexes. This discussion was based on the previously identified papers and profited from the participants' expertise on the ecology of black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs. The report provides current and comprehensive information about management of habitat for prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets and is a useful guide for agencies and individuals that manage black-footed ferrets.

  1. The nest as fortress: Defensive behavior of Polybia emaciata, a mud-nesting eusocial wasp

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean O'Donnell

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available The swarm-founding wasp Polybia emaciata is unusual among eusocial Vespidae because it uses mud, rather than wood pulp, as its primary nest construction material. Polybia emaciata nests are more durable than similarly sized paper nests. We tested the hypothesis that the defensive behavior of this wasp may have been modified to take advantage of their strong nests in defense against vertebrate attacks. We simulated vertebrate disturbances by tapping on, and breathing in, P. emaciata. nests and similarly sized P. occidentalis paper nests in the same location at the same time. Polybia emaciata. responses to disturbance were qualitatively different from those of P. occidentalis. The latter exit the nest and attack, while P. emaciata. workers typically fled or entered the nest, attacking only after repeated and extended disturbances. We conclude that durable nest material may permit predator avoidance behavior in P. emaciata.. We compare the defensive responses of P. emaciata. workers with those of other swarm-founding Vespidae, and discuss several selective forces that could cause the evolution of species variation in nest defense behavior.

  2. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Biddle

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process.

  3. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process. PMID:28265501

  4. Construction patterns of birds' nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddle, Lucia; Goodman, Adrian M; Deeming, D Charles

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch ( Pyrrhula pyrrhula ) nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a "twig" nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process.

  5. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1) document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population) from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2) assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP) to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s). Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful in

  6. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1 document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2 assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s. Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful

  7. Social transfer of alcohol withdrawal-induced hyperalgesia in female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walcott, Andre T; Smith, Monique L; Loftis, Jennifer M; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2018-03-27

    The expression of pain serves as a way for animals to communicate potential dangers to nearby conspecifics. Recent research demonstrated that mice undergoing alcohol or morphine withdrawal, or inflammation, could socially communicate their hyperalgesia to nearby mice. However, it is unknown whether such social transfer of hyperalgesia can be observed in other species of rodents. Therefore, the present study investigated if the social transfer of hyperalgesia occurs in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). We observe that adult female prairie voles undergoing withdrawal from voluntary two-bottle choice alcohol drinking display an increase in nociception. This alcohol withdrawal-induced hypersensitiity is socially transferred to female siblings within the same cage and female strangers housed in separate cages within the same room. These experiments reveal that the social transfer of pain phenomenon is not specific to inbred mouse strains and that prairie voles display alcohol withdrawal and social transfer-induced hyperalgesia.

  8. The effect of listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species on rural property values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wietelman, Derek C; Melstrom, Richard T

    2017-04-15

    This paper estimates the effect of Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) on rural property values in Oklahoma. The political and legal controversy surrounding the listing of imperiled species raises questions about the development restrictions and opportunity costs the Endangered Species Act imposes on private landowners. Examining parcel-level sales data before and after the listing of the endemic lesser prairie chicken, we employ difference-in-differences (DD) regression to measure the welfare costs of these restrictions. While our basic DD regression provides evidence the listing was associated with a drop in property values, this finding does not hold up in models that control for latent county and year effects. The lack of a significant price effect is confirmed by several robustness checks. Thus, the local economic costs of listing the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act appear to have been small. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Nest Construction by a Ground-nesting Bird Represents a Potential Trade-off Between Egg Crypticity and Thermoregulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Predation selects against conspicuous colors in bird eggs and nests, while thermoregulatory constraints select for nest building behavior that regulates incubation temperatures. We present results that reveal a trade-off between nest crypticity and thermoregulation of eggs base...

  10. Magnetic minerals in soils across the forest-prairie ecotone in NW Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxbauer, D.; Feinberg, J. M.; Fox, D. L.; Nater, E. A.

    2016-12-01

    Soil pedogenesis results in a complex assemblage of iron oxide minerals that can be disentangled successfully using sensitive magnetic techniques to better delineate specific soil processes. Here, we evaluate the variability in soil processes within forest, prairie, and transitional soils along an 11 km transect of anthropogenically unaltered soils that span the forest-to-prairie ecotone in NW Minnesota. All soils in this study developed on relatively uniform topography, similar glacial till parent material, under a uniform climate, and presumably over similar time intervals. The forest-to-prairie transition zone in this region is controlled by naturally occurring fires, affording the opportunity to evaluate differences in soil processes related to vegetation (forest versus prairie) and burning (prairie and transitional soils). Results suggest that the pedeogenic fraction of magnetite/maghemite in soils is similar in all specimens and is independent of soil type, vegetation, and any effects of burning. Magnetically enhanced horizons have 45% of remanence held by a low-coercivity pedogenic component (likely magnetite/maghemite) regardless of vegetation cover and soil type. Enhancement ratios for magnetic susceptibility and low-field remanences, often used as indicators of pedogenic magnetic minerals, are more variable but remain statistically equivalent across the transect. These results support the hypothesis that pedogenic magnetic minerals in soils mostly reflect ambient climatic conditions regardless of the variability in soil processes related to vegetation and soil type. The non-pedogenic magnetic mineral assemblage shows clear distinctions between the forest, prairie, and transitional soils in hysteresis properties (remanence and coercivity ratios; Mr/Ms and Bc/Bcr, respectively), suggesting that variable processes in these settings influence the local magnetic mineral assemblage, and that it may be possible to use magnetic minerals in paleosols to constrain

  11. Landscape composition creates a threshold influencing Lesser Prairie-Chicken population resilience to extreme drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Beth E.; Haukos, David A.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and degradation compound the effects of climate change on wildlife, yet responses to climate and land cover change are often quantified independently. The interaction between climate and land cover change could be intensified in the Great Plains region where grasslands are being converted to row-crop agriculture concurrent with increased frequency of extreme drought events. We quantified the combined effects of land cover and climate change on a species of conservation concern in the Great Plains, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus  ). We combined extreme drought events and land cover change with lek count surveys in a Bayesian hierarchical model to quantify changes in abundance of male Lesser Prairie-Chickens from 1978 to 2014 in Kansas, the core of their species range. Our estimates of abundance indicate a gradually decreasing population through 2010 corresponding to drought events and reduced grassland areas. Decreases in Lesser Prairie-Chicken abundance were greatest in areas with increasing row-crop to grassland land cover ratio during extreme drought events, and decreased grassland reduces the resilience of Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations to extreme drought events. A threshold exists for Lesser Prairie-Chickens in response to the gradient of cropland:grassland land cover. When moving across the gradient of grassland to cropland, abundance initially increased in response to more cropland on the landscape, but declined in response to more cropland after the threshold (δ=0.096, or 9.6% cropland). Preservation of intact grasslands and continued implementation of initiatives to revert cropland to grassland should increase Lesser Prairie-Chicken resilience to extreme drought events due to climate change.

  12. Annual survival of Florida nesting loggerheads

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — 30 PAT tags were deployed on nesting loggerhead turtles at Juno Beach, FL in June 2012. There have been three premature pop-offs, one of which appeared to be a...

  13. Adult Health: Worried About Empty Nest Syndrome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... clinical diagnosis. Instead, empty nest syndrome is a phenomenon in which parents experience feelings of sadness and loss when the last child leaves home. Although you might actively encourage your ...

  14. Nesting biology of Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) lactitarse Saussure (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae) in trap-nests in Southern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Buschini,M. L. T.; Niesing,F.; Wolff,L. L.

    2006-01-01

    This study was carried in the Parque Municipal das Araucárias in the municipality of Guarapuava, state of Paraná, Southern Brazil. Three hundred and sixty five nests of T. lactitarse were obtained using trap-nests of 0.7, 1.0, and 1.3 cm in diameter. All of them had similar architecture, regardless of the diameter of the trap-nest. Completed nests consisted of a linear series of brood cells whose average number per nest was of 3.3, 4.0 and 3.6 for the nests with 0.7 cm, 1.0 cm and 1.3 cm in d...

  15. Discovery of a new Kittlitz's murrelet nest: Clues to habitat selection and nest-site fidelity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatt, John F.; Naslund, Nancy L.; van Pelt, Thomas I.

    1999-01-01

    On 13 June 1993, a new Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) nest was discovered near Red Mountain on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The nest was on a 22° slope at about 900 m elevation with a northeast aspect, and contained a 60.2 × 40.6 mm egg that weighed 49.0 g. Downy feathers and weathered fecal material found at the nest indicated re-use from a previous year, suggesting possible nest site fidelity. The nest was located in an area scoured by winds and free of snow during early spring, suggesting that this may be an important mesoscale factor influencing selection of nesting habitat. Proximity to suitable foraging habitat, particularly sheltered bays and glacial river outflows, may affect breeding habitat choice over larger spatial scales.

  16. Impact of Prairie Cover on Hydraulic Conductivity and Storm Water Runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herkes, D. M. G.; Gori, A.; Juan, A.

    2017-12-01

    Houston has long struggled to find effective solutions to its historic flooding problems. Conventional strategies have revolved around constructing hard infrastructure such as levees or regional detention ponds to reduce flood impacts. However, there has been a recent shift to explore the implementation of nature-based solutions in reducing flood impacts. This is due to the price of structural mechanisms, as well as their failure to adequately protect areas from flooding during the latest flood events. One alternative could be utilizing the natural water retention abilities of native Texas prairies. This study examines the effect of Texas prairie areas in increasing soil infiltration capacities, thereby increasing floodwater storage and reducing surface runoff. For this purpose, an infiltration study of 15 sites was conducted on lands owned by the Katy Prairie Conservancy within Cypress Creek watershed. Located in Northwest Houston, it is an area which had been heavily impacted by recent flood events. Each sampling site was selected to represent a particular land cover or vegetation type, ranging from developed open space to native prairies. Field test results are then compared to literature values of soil infiltration capacity in order to determine the infiltration benefit of each vegetation type. Test results show that certain vegetation, especially prairies, significantly increase the infiltration capacity of the underlying soil. For example, the hydraulic conductivity of prairie on sandy loam soil is approximately an order of magnitude higher than that of the soil itself. Finally, a physics-based hydrologic model is utilized to evaluate the flood reduction potential of native Texas prairie. This model represents Cypress Creek watershed in gridded cell format, and allows varying hydraulic and infiltration parameters at each cell. Design storms are run to obtain flow hydrographs for selected watch points in the study area. Two scenarios are simulated and compared

  17. Field-level financial assessment of contour prairie strips for enhancement of environmental quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyndall, John C; Schulte, Lisa A; Liebman, Matthew; Helmers, Matthew

    2013-09-01

    The impacts of strategically located contour prairie strips on sediment and nutrient runoff export from watersheds maintained under an annual row crop production system have been studied at a long-term research site in central Iowa. Data from 2007 to 2011 indicate that the contour prairie strips utilized within row crop-dominated landscapes have greater than proportionate and positive effects on the functioning of biophysical systems. Crop producers and land management agencies require comprehensive information about the Best Management Practices with regard to performance efficacy, operational/management parameters, and the full range of financial parameters. Here, a farm-level financial model assesses the establishment, management, and opportunity costs of contour prairie strips within cropped fields. Annualized, depending on variable opportunity costs the 15-year present value cost of utilizing contour prairie strips ranges from $590 to $865 ha(-1) year(-1) ($240-$350 ac(-1) year(-1)). Expressed in the context of "treatment area" (e.g., in this study 1 ha of prairie treats 10 ha of crops), the costs of contour prairie strips can also be viewed as $59 to about $87 per treated hectare ($24-$35 ac(-1)). If prairie strips were under a 15-year CRP contract, total per acre cost to farmers would be reduced by over 85 %. Based on sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen export data from the related field studies and across low, medium, and high land rent scenarios, a megagram (Mg) of soil retained within the watershed costs between $7.79 and $11.46 mg(-1), phosphorus retained costs between $6.97 and $10.25 kg(-1), and nitrogen retained costs between $1.59 and $2.34 kg(-1). Based on overall project results, contour prairie strips may well become one of the key conservation practices used to sustain US Corn Belt agriculture in the decades to come.

  18. Predation on simulated duck nests in relation to nest density and landscape structure

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Padyšáková, E.; Šálek, Martin; Poledník, L.; Sedláček, František; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 7 (2010), s. 597-603 ISSN 1035-3712 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520; CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : density-dependent predation * littoral patch * landscape type * nest predators * nest success * simulated nests Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.205, year: 2010

  19. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird

    OpenAIRE

    Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius ...

  20. Nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria A. Saab; Robin E. Russell; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2009-01-01

    Large wildfire events in coniferous forests of the western United States are often followed by postfire timber harvest. The long-term impacts of postfire timber harvest on fire-associated cavity-nesting bird species are not well documented. We studied nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds over a 10-year period (1994-2003), representing 1-11 years after fire, on...

  1. Artificial covering on trap nests improves the colonization of trap-nesting wasps

    OpenAIRE

    Taki, Hisatomo; Kevan, Peter G.; Viana, Blandina Felipe; Silva, Fabiana O.; Buck, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    Acesso restrito: Texto completo. p. 225-229 To evaluate the role that a trap-nest cover might have on sampling methodologies, the abundance of each species of trap-nesting Hymenoptera and the parasitism rate in a Canadian forest were compared between artificially covered and uncovered traps. Of trap tubes exposed at eight forest sites in six trap-nest boxes, 531 trap tubes were occupied and 1216 individuals of 12 wasp species of four predatory families, Vespidae (Eumeninae), Crabronidae...

  2. Importance of structural stability to success of mourning dove nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coon, R.A.; Nichols, J.D.; Percival, H.F.

    1981-01-01

    Studies of nest-site selection and nesting habitats often involve a "characterization" of nests and of habitats in which nests are found. Our objective in the present work is to identify nest-site characteristics that are associated with variation in components of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) fitness (e.g. the probability of a nest succeeding), as opposed to simply "characterizing" dove nest sites. If certain nest- site characteristics affect the probability that a nest will succeed, then we suspect that these characteristics will be associated with either concealment (the probability of detection by certain predators) or structural stability (the probability of eggs or entire nests falling to the ground as a result of wind, rain storms, parental activity, etc.). Although other workers agree that structural stability is an important determinant of Mourning Dove nesting success (e.g. McClure 1944: 384; Woolfenden and Rohwer 1969: 59), we are aware of no actual tests of this hypothesis.

  3. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice...... the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites...... and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown...

  4. The use of genetics for the management of a recovering population: temporal assessment of migratory peregrine falcons in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeff A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Burnham, Kurt K.; Brown, Joseph W.; Maechtle, Tom L.; Seegar, William S.; Yates, Michael A.; Anderson, Bud; Mindell, David P.

    2010-01-01

    Background:Our ability to monitor populations or species that were once threatened or endangered and in the process of recovery is enhanced by using genetic methods to assess overall population stability and size over time. This can be accomplished most directly by obtaining genetic measures from temporally-spaced samples that reflect the overall stability of the population as given by changes in genetic diversity levels (allelic richness and heterozygosity), degree of population differentiation (FST and DEST), and effective population size (Ne). The primary goal of any recovery effort is to produce a long-term self-sustaining population, and these measures provide a metric by which we can gauge our progress and help make important management decisions. Methodology/Principal Findings:The peregrine falcon in North America (Falco peregrinus tundrius and anatum) was delisted in 1994 and 1999, respectively, and its abundance will be monitored by the species Recovery Team every three years until 2015. Although the United States Fish and Wildlife Service makes a distinction between tundrius and anatum subspecies, our genetic results based on eleven microsatellite loci, including those from Brown et al. (2007), suggest no differentiation and warrant delineation of a subspecies in its northern latitudinal distribution from Alaska through Canada into Greenland. Using temporal samples collected at Padre Island, Texas during migration (seven temporal time periods between 1985-2007), no significant differences in genetic diversity or significant population differentiation in allele frequencies between time periods were observed and were indistinguishable from those obtained from tundrius/anatum breeding locations throughout their northern distribution. Estimates of harmonic mean Ne were variable and imprecise, but always greater than 500 when employing multiple temporal genetic methods. These results, including those from simulations to assess the power of each method to

  5. The use of genetics for the management of a recovering population: temporal assessment of migratory peregrine falcons in North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeff A Johnson

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to monitor populations or species that were once threatened or endangered and in the process of recovery is enhanced by using genetic methods to assess overall population stability and size over time. This can be accomplished most directly by obtaining genetic measures from temporally-spaced samples that reflect the overall stability of the population as given by changes in genetic diversity levels (allelic richness and heterozygosity, degree of population differentiation (F(ST and D(EST, and effective population size (N(e. The primary goal of any recovery effort is to produce a long-term self-sustaining population, and these genetic measures provide a metric by which we can gauge our progress and help make important management decisions.The peregrine falcon in North America (Falco peregrinus tundrius and anatum was delisted in 1994 and 1999, respectively, and its abundance will be monitored by the species Recovery Team every three years until 2015. Although the United States Fish and Wildlife Service makes a distinction between tundrius and anatum subspecies, our genetic results based on eleven microsatellite loci suggest limited differentiation that can be attributed to an isolation by distance relationship and warrant no delineation of these two subspecies in its northern latitudinal distribution from Alaska through Canada into Greenland. Using temporal samples collected at Padre Island, Texas during migration (seven temporal time periods between 1985-2007, no significant differences in genetic diversity or significant population differentiation in allele frequencies between time periods were observed and were indistinguishable from those obtained from tundrius/anatum breeding locations throughout their northern distribution. Estimates of harmonic mean N(e were variable and imprecise, but always greater than 500 when employing multiple temporal genetic methods.These results, including those from simulations to assess the power of

  6. Nest Mosquito Trap quantifies contact rates between nesting birds and mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caillouët, Kevin A; Riggan, Anna E; Rider, Mark; Bulluck, Lesley P

    2012-06-01

    Accurate estimates of host-vector contact rates are required for precise determination of arbovirus transmission intensity. We designed and tested a novel mosquito collection device, the Nest Mosquito Trap (NMT), to collect mosquitoes as they attempt to feed on unrestrained nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. In the laboratory, the NMT collected nearly one-third of the mosquitoes introduced to the nest boxes. We then used these laboratory data to estimate our capture efficiency of field-collected bird-seeking mosquitoes collected over 66 trap nights. We estimated that 7.5 mosquitoes per trap night attempted to feed on nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. Presence of the NMT did not have a negative effect on avian nest success when compared to occupied nest boxes that were not sampled with the trap. Future studies using the NMT may elucidate the role of nestlings in arbovirus transmission and further refine estimates of nesting bird and vector contact rates. © 2012 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  7. Residue levels of polychlorobiphenyls,. sigma. DDT, and mercury in bird species commonly preyed upon by the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus Tunst. ) in Sweden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindberg, P.; Odsjoe, T.; Reutergardh, L.

    1985-03-01

    The levels of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), ..sigma..DDT, and total mercury were analyzed in samples of common prey species of the peregrine falcon in two falcon territories, one in northern and one in southern Sweden. Resident and herbivorous prey species showed low residue levels, while elevated levels were found in birds feeding on animals in aquatic habitats. According to biomass, waders accounted for most of the mercury and ..sigma..DDT in the diet of the northern falcons, while the black-headed gulls had this role in southern Sweden. During the breeding season, the peregrines in northern Sweden were exposed to significantly higher levels of ..sigma..DDT and Hg than the southern peregrines. The estimated average residue levels (based on breast muscles) in a diet were in northern Sweden 0.26 ppm ..sigma..DDT, 0.47 ppm PCB and 0.20 ppm Hg wet-weight. Corresponding figures for southern Sweden were 0.17 ppm ..sigma..DDT, 0.53 ppm PCB and 0.07 ppm Hg. The organochlorine levels in a sample of peregrine eggs were higher than expected from contaminant levels in the diet. It is possible that the main accumulation of pesticides occurs on wintering grounds in western Europe for the Fennoscandian peregrines.

  8. Ecological consequences of shifting the timing of burning tallgrass prairie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Gene Towne

    Full Text Available In the Kansas Flint Hills, grassland burning is conducted during a relatively narrow window because management recommendations for the past 40 years have been to burn only in late spring. Widespread prescribed burning within this restricted time frame frequently creates smoke management issues downwind. A potential remedy for the concentrated smoke production in late spring is to expand burning to times earlier in the year. Yet, previous research suggested that burning in winter or early spring reduces plant productivity and cattle weight gain while increasing the proportion of undesirable plant species. In order to better understand the ecological consequences of burning at different times of the year, plant production and species abundance were measured for 20 years on ungrazed watersheds burned annually in autumn, winter, or spring. We found that there were no significant differences in total grass production among the burns on either upland or lowland topographic positions, although spring burned watersheds had higher grass culm production and lower forb biomass than autumn and winter burned watersheds. Burning in autumn or winter broadened the window of grass productivity response to precipitation, which reduces susceptibility to mid-season drought. Burning in autumn or winter also increased the phenological range of species by promoting cool-season graminoids without a concomitant decrease in warm-season grasses, potentially widening the seasonal window of high-quality forage. Incorporating autumn and winter burns into the overall portfolio of tallgrass prairie management should increase the flexibility in managing grasslands, promote biodiversity, and minimize air quality issues caused by en masse late-spring burning with little negative consequences for cattle production.

  9. Continuous Cropping and Moist Deep Convection on the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devon E. Worth

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Summerfallow is cropland that is purposely kept out of production during a growing season to conserve soil moisture. On the Canadian Prairies, a trend to continuous cropping with a reduction in summerfallow began after the summerfallow area peaked in 1976. This study examined the impact of this land-use change on convective available potential energy (CAPE, a necessary but not sufficient condition for moist deep convection. All else being equal, an increase in CAPE increases the probability-of-occurrence of convective clouds and their intensity if they occur. Representative Bowen ratios for the Black, Dark Brown, and Brown soil zones were determined for 1976: the maximum summerfallow year, 2001: our baseline year, and 20xx: a hypothetical year with the maximum-possible annual crop area. Average mid-growing-season Bowen ratios and noon solar radiation were used to estimate the reduction in the lifted index (LI from land-use weighted evapotranspiration in each study year. LI is an index of CAPE, and a reduction in LI indicates an increase in CAPE. The largest reductions in LI were found for the Black soil zone. They were −1.61 ± 0.18, −1.77 ± 0.14 and −1.89 ± 0.16 in 1976, 2001 and 20xx, respectively. These results suggest that, all else being equal, the probability-of-occurrence of moist deep convection in the Black soil zone was lower in 1976 than in the base year 2001, and it will be higher in 20xx when the annual crop area reaches a maximum. The trend to continuous cropping had less impact in the drier Dark Brown and Brown soil zones.

  10. The scale dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.; Stilwell, A.; Zygielbaum, A. I.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Biodiversity loss, one of the most crucial challenges of our time, endangers ecosystem services that maintain human wellbeing. Traditional methods of measuring biodiversity require extensive and costly field sampling by biologists with extensive experience in species identification. Remote sensing can be used for such assessment based upon patterns of optical variation. This provides efficient and cost-effective means to determine ecosystem diversity at different scales and over large areas. Sampling scale has been described as a "fundamental conceptual problem" in ecology, and is an important practical consideration in both remote sensing and traditional biodiversity studies. On the one hand, with decreasing spatial and spectral resolution, the differences among different optical types may become weak or even disappear. Alternately, high spatial and/or spectral resolution may introduce redundant or contradictory information. For example, at high resolution, the variation within optical types (e.g., between leaves on a single plant canopy) may add complexity unrelated to specie richness. We studied the scale-dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, USA using a variety of spectrometers from several platforms on the ground and in the air. Using the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectra as an indicator of optical diversity, we found that high richness plots generally have a higher coefficient of variation. High resolution imaging spectrometer data (1 mm pixels) showed the highest sensitivity to richness level. With decreasing spatial resolution, the difference in CV between richness levels decreased, but remained significant. These findings can be used to guide airborne studies of biodiversity and develop more effective large-scale biodiversity sampling methods.

  11. Interactions among American badgers, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs in the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Grassel, Shaun M.; Livieri, Travis M.; Licht, Daniel S.; Proulx, Gilbert; Do Linh San, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    American badgers (Taxidea taxus) and black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) sometimes occur sympatrically within colonies of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in the grasslands of western North America. From the perspective of a simplified food web, badgers are consumers of ferrets and, to a greater extent, prairie dogs; ferrets are specialized consumers of prairie dogs; and prairie dogs are consumers of vegetation. We review information on the predatory behaviours of badgers, which collectively demonstrate that badgers exhibit complex hunting strategies to improve their probability of capturing prairie dogs and, perhaps, ferrets. We also review studies of interactions between badgers and ferrets, which suggest that there is selective pressure on badgers to compete with ferrets, and pressure on ferrets to compete with and avoid badgers. We then speculate as to how prairie dogs might shape interactions between badgers and ferrets, and how badgers could spread the plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis) among prairie dog colonies. Lastly, we provide recommendations for research on this tractable system of semi-fossorial predators and prey.

  12. Nesting Activity of Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta at Göksu Delta, Turkey during 2004 and 2008 nesting seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salih H. Durmus

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Göksu Delta is one of the most important nesting beaches in Turkey for the endangered loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta. This paper provides information on the nesting activities of loggerhead turtles, the spatial and temporal distribution of nesting, nesting success, nesting density, hatching success, incubation duration and clutch size over two nesting seasons. A total of 902 emergences occurred over two seasons, of which 239 (26.5% nests were deposited (137 nests in 2004 and 102 nests in 2008 and the overall mean nesting density was 3.4 nests/km. The peak of nesting emergences takes place mainly in June. Of the overall nests, 226 (94.6% were excavated and 16044 eggs were counted. Of these eggs, 3680 (22.9% hatchlings emerged and 2695 (73.2% of hatchlings of them were able to reach the sea. The mean number of eggs per clutch was 71 (range: 15 – 143. The shortest and longest incubation duration in these 2 seasons ranged from 46 to 62 days with a mean of 53 days. The main problems are negatively affecting loggerhead turtle population at Göksu Delta are dense jackal predation both adult and eggs and inundation in nests. The average nesting effort here (mean: 119.5 nests/season confirms that Göksu Delta is one of the most important nesting sites for loggerhead turtles in Turkey.

  13. Management of western coniferous forest habitat for nesting accipiter hawks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard T. Reynolds

    1983-01-01

    Availability of nesting sites can limit accipiter populations. Because accipiters nest in dense forest stands, any alteration that opens these stands is likely to lessen their desirability as nest sites. Tree growth and the associated changes in the vegetative structure of aging nest sites limit the number of years sites will be suitable. Therefore, prospective...

  14. Converting nested algebra expressions into flat algebra expressions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paredaens, J.; Van Gucht, D.

    1992-01-01

    Nested relations generalize ordinary flat relations by allowing tuple values to be either atomic or set valued. The nested algebra is a generalization of the flat relational algebra to manipulate nested relations. In this paper we study the expressive power of the nested algebra relative to its

  15. The effects of large beach debris on nesting sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to understand the effects of large beach debris on sea turtle nesting behavior as well as the effectiveness of large debris removal for habitat restoration. Large natural and anthropogenic debris were removed from one of three sections of a sea turtle nesting beach and distributions of nests and false crawls (non-nesting crawls) in pre- (2011–2012) and post- (2013–2014) removal years in the three sections were compared. The number of nests increased 200% and the number of false crawls increased 55% in the experimental section, whereas a corresponding increase in number of nests and false crawls was not observed in the other two sections where debris removal was not conducted. The proportion of nest and false crawl abundance in all three beach sections was significantly different between pre- and post-removal years. The nesting success, the percent of successful nests in total nesting attempts (number of nests + false crawls), also increased from 24% to 38%; however the magnitude of the increase was comparably small because both the number of nests and false crawls increased, and thus the proportion of the nesting success in the experimental beach in pre- and post-removal years was not significantly different. The substantial increase in sea turtle nesting activities after the removal of large debris indicates that large debris may have an adverse impact on sea turtle nesting behavior. Removal of large debris could be an effective restoration strategy to improve sea turtle nesting.

  16. Nest success of the Indian House Crow Corvus splendens : An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nest success of the Indian House Crow Corvus splendens was studied in the urban area of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in late March to early May 2011. The study investigated nest success of the Indian House Crow in different tree species with varying canopy covers and heights. Fifty-five active nests and 38 inactive nests ...

  17. Nesting ecology of Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta in Sfax salina ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper we use the results of a one-year monitoring of nests in Sfax salina to provide information on its nesting parameters, in particular nesting phenology, colony size and hatching success. Our results show that Pied Avocets formed dense colonies at the beginning of the nesting season, but colony size decreased as ...

  18. Factors affecting nesting success in the Great-crested Grebe ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The overall nesting success was 70.4% (N = 209), with nest failure caused mainly by predation (65%) and flooding (23%). Breeding outcome was significantly and positively related to nest size, with bigger nests conferring better survival to eggs and young probably through affording better protection during spells of adverse ...

  19. Gregarious nesting - An anti-predator response in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    Gregarious nesting can be defined as a behaviour that occurs when a laying hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) given the choice between an occupied and an unoccupied nest site chooses the occupied nest site. It occurs frequently in flocks of laying hens kept under commercial conditions, contrasting...... the behaviour displayed by feral hens that isolate themselves from the flock during nesting activities. What motivates laying hens to perform gregarious nesting is unknown. One possibility is that gregarious nesting is an anti-predator response to the risk of nest predation emerging from behavioural flexibility...

  20. The influence of regional hydrology on nesting behavior and nest fate of the American alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugarte, Cristina A.; Bass, Oron L.; Nuttle, William; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Whelan, Kevin R.T.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrologic conditions are critical to the nesting behavior and reproductive success of crocodilians. In South Florida, USA, growing human settlement has led to extensive surface water management and modification of historical water flows in the wetlands, which have affected regional nesting of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Although both natural and anthropogenic factors are considered to determine hydrologic conditions, the aspects of hydrological patterns that affect alligator nest effort, flooding (partial and complete), and failure (no hatchling) are unclear. We deconstructed annual hydrological patterns using harmonic models that estimated hydrological matrices including mean, amplitude, timing of peak, and periodicity of surface water depth and discharge and examined their effects on alligator nesting using survey data from Shark Slough, Everglades National Park, from 1985 to 2005. Nest effort increased in years with higher mean and lesser periodicity of water depth. A greater proportion of nests were flooded and failed when peak discharge occurred earlier in the year. Also, nest flooding rates were greater in years with greater periodicity of water depth, and nest failure rate was greater when mean discharge was higher. This study guides future water management decisions to mitigate negative impacts on reproduction of alligators and provides wildlife managers with a tool for assessing and modifying annual water management plans to conserve crocodilians and other wetland species.

  1. Nesting ecology and nest success of the Blue Grosbeak along two rivers in New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Deborah M. Finch; David L. Hawksworth; Scott H. Stoleson

    2013-01-01

    From 1997 through 2008, we studied the nesting habits and nest success of the Blue Grosbeak (Passerina cerulean) along the middle Gila River (1997-2001) and the middle Rio Grande (2000-2008) in New Mexico. A riparian forest of cottonwoods grows along both rivers. but the forest along the Rio Grande is a much more intensively managed ecosystem, with an understory...

  2. Use of artificial nests to investigate predation on freshwater turtle nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael N. Marchand; John A. Litvaitis; Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2002-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation has raised concerns that populations of generalist predators have increased and are affecting a diverse group of prey. Previous research has included the use of artificial nests to investigate the role of predation on birds that nest on or near the ground. Because predation also is a major factor limiting populations of freshwater turtles, we...

  3. Nest defense behaviors of native cavity-nesting birds to European Starlings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodney G. Olsen; Kathryn L. Purcell; David. Grubbs

    2008-01-01

    We used behavioral experiments to evaluate competition for nest sites and the extent to which European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are seen as a threat by native bird species at the San Joaquin Experimental Range, Madera County, CA. We quantified the level of aggressive behavior of four species of native cavity-nesting birds to starlings at active...

  4. Lack of nest site limitation in a cavity-nesting bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffry R. Waters; Barry R. Noon; Jared Verner

    1990-01-01

    We examined the relationship between nest site availability and density of secondary cavitynesting birds by blocking cavities in an oak-pine (Quercus spp.-Pinus sp. ) woodland. In 1986 and 1987we blocked 67 and 106 cavities, respectively, on a 37-ha plot. The combined density of secondary cavity-nesting birds did not decline...

  5. Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole wetlands and climate change: An Introduction to the Supplemental Issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The multitude of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America forms one of Earth’s largest wetland complexes. The midcontinent location exposes this ecologically and economically important wetland system to a highly variable climate, markedly influencing ponded-water levels, hydroperiods, chemical characteristics, and biota of individual basins. Given their dominance on the landscape and recognized value, great interest in how projected future changes in climate will affect prairie-pothole wetlands has developed and spawned much scientific research. On June 2, 2015, a special symposium, “Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole Wetlands: Influence of a Changed Climate,” was held at the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. The symposium’s twelve presenters covered a wide range of relevant topics delivered to a standing-room-only audience. Following the symposium, the presenters recognized the need to publish their presented papers as a combined product to facilitate widespread distribution. The need for additional papers to more fully cover the topic of prairie-pothole wetlands and climate change was also identified. This supplemental issue of Wetlands is the realization of that vision.

  6. Status of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) in Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyna A. Castillo-Gamez; Rafael Arenas-Wong; Luis Castillo-Quijada; Verónica Coronado-Peraza; Abigail Enríquez-Munguia; Mirna Federico-Ortega; Alejandra García-Urrutia; Alba Lozano-Gámez; Romeo Méndez-Estrella; Laura Ochoa-Figueroa; J. R. Romo-León; Guy Kruse-Llergo; Iván Parra-Salazar

    2005-01-01

    Prairie dog is a keystone species throughout the habitat where it occurs, but its populations have declined about 98% in the last century. This species has been considered of international importance for the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico. Only two populations are recorded for Mexico, and the westernmost (isolated by Sierra Madre...

  7. Testing for thresholds in a semiarid grassland: The influence of prairie dogs and plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    State and transition models for semiarid grasslands in the Great Plains of North America suggest that the presence of herbivorous black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on a site (1) creates a vegetation state characterized by increased dominance of annual forbs and unpalatable bunchgrasse...

  8. Rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for row crops in Mississippi Blackland Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gary Feng; Ying Ouyang; Ardeshir Adeli; John Read; Johnie Jenkins

    2018-01-01

    Irrigation research in the mid-south United States has not kept pace with a steady increase in irrigated area in recent years. This study used rainfall records from 1895 to 2016 to determine rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], corn (Zea mays L.), and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in the Blackland Prairie region of Mississippi...

  9. Spread of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is associated with colony spatial characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T.L.; Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.; Frey, C.M.; Sandercock, B.K.

    2011-01-01

    Sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) is an exotic pathogen that is highly virulent in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and causes widespread colony losses and individual mortality rates >95%. We investigated colony spatial characteristics that may influence inter-colony transmission of plague at 3 prairie dog colony complexes in the Great Plains. The 4 spatial characteristics we considered include: colony size, Euclidean distance to nearest neighboring colony, colony proximity index, and distance to nearest drainage (dispersal) corridor. We used multi-state mark-recapture models to determine the relationship between these colony characteristics and probability of plague transmission among prairie dog colonies. Annual mapping of colonies and mark-recapture analyses of disease dynamics in natural colonies led to 4 main results: 1) plague outbreaks exhibited high spatial and temporal variation, 2) the site of initiation of epizootic plague may have substantially influenced the subsequent inter-colony spread of plague, 3) the long-term effect of plague on individual colonies differed among sites because of how individuals and colonies were distributed, and 4) colony spatial characteristics were related to the probability of infection at all sites although the relative importance and direction of relationships varied among sites. Our findings suggest that conventional prairie dog conservation management strategies, including promoting large, highly connected colonies, may need to be altered in the presence of plague. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  10. Vegetation dynamics of restored and remnant Willamette Valley, OR wet prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wet prairie wetlands are now one of the rarest habitat types in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA. Less than two percent of their historic extent remains, with most having been converted into agricultural fields (Christy and Alverson 2011, ONHP 1983). This habitat is the obl...

  11. Sediment removal by prairie filter strips in row-cropped ephemeral watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew J. Helmers; Xiaobo Zhou; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randy Kolka; Mark D. Tomer; Richard M. Cruse

    2012-01-01

    Twelve small watersheds in central Iowa were used to evaluate the eff ectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in trapping sediment from agricultural runoff. Four treatments with PFS of different size and location (100% rowcrop, 10% PFS of total watershed area at footslope, 10% PFS at footslope and in contour strips, 20% PFS at footslope and in contour strips)...

  12. Restoring sand shinnery oak prairies with herbicide and grazing in New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Haukos, David A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Dixon, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) prairies are increasingly disappearing and increasingly degraded in the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. Restoring and managing sand shinnery oak prairie can support biodiversity, specific species of conservation concern, and livestock production. We measured vegetation response to four treatment combinations of herbicide (tebuthiuron applied at 0.60 kg/ha) and moderate-intensity grazing (50% removal of annual herbaceous production) over a 10-year period in a sand shinnery oak prairie of eastern New Mexico. We compared the annual vegetation response to the historical climax plant community (HCPC) as outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ecological Site Description. From 2 to 10 years postapplication, tebuthiuron-treated plots had reduced shrub cover with twice as much forb and grass cover as untreated plots. Tebuthiuron-treated plots, regardless of the presence of grazing, most frequently met HCPC. Tebuthiuron and moderate-intensity grazing increased vegetation heterogeneity and, based on comparison of the HCPC, successfully restored sand shinnery oak prairie to a vegetation composition similar to presettlement.

  13. Preliminary study of prairies forested with Eucalyptus sp. at the northwestern Uruguayan soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrasco-Letelier, L.; Eguren, G.; Castineira, C.; Parra, O.; Panario, D.

    2004-01-01

    The forestation of Uruguayan natural prairie soil does not always ensure an increase of soil carbon sink. - The land cover change of Uruguayan Forestal Plan provoked biogeochemical changes on horizon Au 1 of Argiudols; in native prairies which were replaced by monoculture Eucalyptus sp. plantation with 20 year rotations as trees. Five fields forested and six natural prairies were compared. The results not only show a statistical significant soil acidification, diminution of soil organic carbon, increase of aliphaticity degree of humic substances, and increase of affinity and capacity of hydrolytic activity from soil microbial communities for forested sites with Eucalyptus sp. but also, a tendency of podzolization and/or mineralization by this kind of land cover changes, with a net soil organic lost of 16.6 tons ha -1 in the horizon Au 1 of soil under Eucalyptus sp. plantation compared with prairie. Besides, these results point out the necessity of correction of the methodology used by assigned Uruguayan commission to assess the national net emission of greenhouse gases, since the mineralization and/or podzolization process detected in forested soil imply a overestimation of soil organic carbon. The biochemical parameters show a statistical significant correlation between the soil organic carbon status and these parameters which were presented as essential for the correct evaluation of Uruguayan soil carbon sink

  14. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of western prairie clover collections from the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai; B. Shaun Bushman; Douglas A. Johnson; John G. Carman

    2010-01-01

    Few North American legumes are available for rangeland revegetation in the semiarid western United States. Western prairie clover (Dalea ornata [Douglas ex Hook.] Eaton & J. Wright) is a perennial legume with desirable forage characteristics and is distributed in the northern Great Basin, Snake River Basin, and southern Columbia Plateau. Understanding the...

  15. Gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion after cholesterol feeding in the prairie dog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y. F.; Moody, F. G.; Weisbrodt, N. W.; Zalewsky, C. A.; Coelho, J. C.; Senninger, N.; Gouma, D.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to evaluate changes in gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion in vitro during the early stages of gallstone formation in prairie dogs. Thirty-two animals were divided into five groups. Control animals were fed a trace cholesterol diet. Experimental animals were

  16. Searls prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae) for rangeland revegetation: Phenotypic and genetic evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai; Shaun Bushman; Douglas A. Johnson; John G. Carman

    2011-01-01

    Few North American legumes are available for use in rangeland revegetation in the western USA, but Searls prairie clover [Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby] is one that holds promise. Commercial-scale seed production of this species could address the issues of unreliable seed availability and high seed costs associated with its wildland seed collection. To evaluate its...

  17. Sodium co-limits and catalyzes macronutrients in a prairie food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaspari, Michael; Roeder, Karl A.; Benson, Brittany

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen and phosphorus frequently limit terrestrial plant production, but have a mixed record in regulating the abundance of terrestrial invertebrates. We contrasted four ways that Na could interact with an NP fertilizer to shape the plants and invertebrates of an inland prairie. We applied NP a...

  18. Comparison of cellulosic ethanol yields from midwestern maize and reconstructed tallgrass prairie systems managed for bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maize- and prairie-based systems were investigated as cellulosic feedstocks by conducting a 9 ha side-by-side comparison on fertile soils in the Midwestern United States. Maize was grown continuously with adequate fertilization over years both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and the 31-spe...

  19. Population status of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the San Pedro River Basin, Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efren Moreno-Arzate; Carlos A. Lopez Gonzalez; Gerardo Carreon Arroyo

    2013-01-01

    The black tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a species of conservation concern for Mexico, the United States and Canada. Populations in Mexico (including those in Sonora), which are considered endangered by the Mexican authority, require additional conservation efforts to maintain them on the long term. Our objective was to determine population size and...

  20. Interactions of raptors and Lesser Prairie-Chickens at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behney, Adam C.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.; Lucia, Duane R.

    2011-01-01

    We examined behavioral interactions of raptors, Chihuahuan Ravens (Corvus cryptoleucus), and Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains. Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) and Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most common raptors observed at leks. Only 15 of 61 (25%) raptor encounters at leks (0.09/hr) resulted in a capture attempt (0.02/hr). Mean (± SD) time for Lesser Prairie-Chickens to return to lekking behavior following a raptor encounter was 4.2 ± 5.5 min suggesting the disturbance had little influence on lekking behaviors. Lesser Prairie-Chickens engaged in different escape behaviors depending on raptor species and, generally, did not respond to ravens suggesting they are able to assess different predation risks. The raptors in our study area posed little predation risk to lekking prairie-chickens. Behavioral disturbance at leks appears minimal due to the lack of successful predation events, low raptor encounter rates, and short time to return to lekking behavior.

  1. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandercock, Brett K. [Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States)

    2013-05-22

    This report summarizes the results of a seven-year, DOE-funded research project, conducted by researchers from Kansas State University and the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, to assess the effects of wind energy development in Kansas on the population and reproduction of greater prairie chickens.

  2. Land use effects on pesticides in sediments of prairie pothole wetlands in North and South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMurry, Scott T.; Belden, Jason B.; Smith, Loren M.; Morrison, Shane A.; Daniel, Dale W.; Euliss, Betty R.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Kensinger, Bart J.; Tangen, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Prairie potholes are the dominant wetland type in the intensively cultivated northern Great Plains of North America, and thus have the potential to receive pesticide runoff and drift. We examined the presence of pesticides in sediments of 151 wetlands split among the three dominant land use types, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), cropland, and native prairie, in North and South Dakota in 2011. Herbicides (glyphosate and atrazine) and fungicides were detected regularly, with no insecticide detections. Glyphosate was the most detected pesticide, occurring in 61% of all wetlands, with atrazine in only 8% of wetlands. Pyraclostrobin was one of five fungicides detected, but the only one of significance, being detected in 31% of wetlands. Glyphosate was the only pesticide that differed by land use, with concentrations in cropland over four-times that in either native prairie or CRP, which were equal in concentration and frequency of detection. Despite examining several landscape variables, such as wetland proximity to specific crop types, watershed size, and others, land use was the best variable explaining pesticide concentrations in potholes. CRP ameliorated glyphosate in wetlands at concentrations comparable to native prairie and thereby provides another ecosystem service from this expansive program.

  3. Intrusion of soil covered uranium mill tailings by whitetail prairie dogs and Richardson's ground squirrels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shuman, R.

    1984-01-01

    The primary objective of the reclamation of uranium mill tailings is the long-term isolation of the matrial from the biosphere. Fossorial and semi-fossorial species represent a potentially disruptive influence as a result of their burrowing habits. The potential for intrusion was investigated with respect to two sciurids, the whitetail prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) and Richardson's ground squirrel (Spermophilus richardsonii). Populations of prairie dogs were established on a control area, lacking a tailings layer, and two experimental areas, underlain by a waste layer, in southeastern Wyoming. Weekly measurements of prairie dog mound surface activities were conducted to demonstrate penetration, or lack thereof, of the tailings layer. Additionally, the impact of burrowing upon radon flux was determined. Limited penetration of the waste layer was noted after which frequency of inhabitance of the intruding burrow system declined. No significant changes in radon flux were detected. In another experiment, it was found that Richardson's ground squirrels burrowed to less extreme depths when confronted by mill tailings. Additional work at an inactive tailings pile in western Colorado revealed repeated intrusion through a shallow cover, and subsequent transport of radioactive material to the ground surface by prairie dogs. Radon flux from burrow entrances was significantly greater than that from undisturbed ground. Data suggested that textural and pH properties of tailings material may act to discourage repeated intrusion at some sites. 58 references

  4. Interannual variability in the extent of wetland-stream connectivity within the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melanie Vanderhoof; Laurie Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The degree of hydrological connectivity between wetland systems and downstream receiving waters can be expected to influence the volume and variability of stream discharge. The Prairie Pothole Region contains a high density of depressional wetland features, a consequence of glacial retreat. Spatial variability in wetland density, drainage evolution, and precipitation...

  5. Nested hyper-resolution modeling of urban areas for the National Water Model - The Dallas-Fort Worth Testbed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noh, S. J.; Kim, S.; Habibi, H.; Seo, D. J.; Welles, E.; Philips, B.; Adams, E.; Smith, M. B.; Wells, E.

    2017-12-01

    With the development of the National Water Model (NWM), the NWS has made a step-change advance in operational water forecasting by enabling high-resolution hydrologic modeling across the US. As a part of a separate initiative to enhance flash flood forecasting and inundation mapping capacity, the NWS has been mandated to provide forecasts at even finer spatiotemporal resolutions when and where such information is demanded. In this presentation, we describe implementation of the NWM at a hyper resolution over a nested domain. We use WRF-Hydro as the core model but at significantly higher resolutions with scale-commensurate model parameters. The demonstration domain is multiple urban catchments within the Cities of Arlington and Grand Prairie in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. This area is susceptible to urban flooding due to the hydroclimatology coupled with large impervious cover. The nested model is based on hyper-resolution terrain data to resolve significant land surface features such as streets and large man-made structures, and forced by the high-resolution radar-based quantitative precipitation information. In this presentation, we summarize progress and preliminary results and share issues and challenges.

  6. Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped watersheds with historical seed coating use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladik, Michelle L.; Bradbury, Steven; Schulte, Lisa A.; Helmers, Matthew; Witte, Christopher; Kolpin, Dana W.; Garrett, Jessica D.; Harris, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides that are commonly applied as seed coatings for agricultural crops. Such neonicotinoid use may pose a risk to non-target insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, and ecosystems. This study assessed neonicotinoid residues in groundwater, surface runoff water, soil, and native plants adjacent to corn and soybean crop fields with a history of being planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds from 2008-2013. Data from six sites with the same crop management history, three with and three without in-field prairie strips, were collected in 2015-2016, 2-3 years after neonicotinoid (clothianidin and imidacloprid) seed treatments were last used. Three of the six neonicotinoids analyzed were detected in at least one environmental matrix: the two applied as seed coatings on the fields (clothianidin and imidacloprid) and another widely used neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam). Sites with prairie strips generally had lower concentrations of neonicotinoids: groundwater and footslope soil neonicotinoid concentrations were significantly lower in the sites with prairie strips than those without; mean concentrations for groundwater were 11 and 20 ng/L (p = 0.048) and <1 and 6 ng/g (p = 0.0004) for soil, respectively. Surface runoff water concentrations were not significantly (p = 0.38) different for control sites (44 ng/L) or sites with prairie strips (140 ng/L). Consistent with the decreased inputs of neonicotinoids, concentrations tended to decrease over the sampling timeframe. Two sites recorded concentration increases, however, potentially due to disturbance of previous applications or influence from nearby fields where use of seed treatments continued. There were no detections (limit of detection: 1 ng/g) of neonicotinoids in the foliage or roots of plants comprising prairie strips, indicating a low likelihood of exposure to pollinators and other insects visiting these plants following the cessation of seed

  7. Subterranean ant nests: Trace fossils past and future?

    OpenAIRE

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2003-01-01

    Many species of ants excavate complex, species-typical nests in soil. The basic structural units of many nests are descending tunnels connecting flattened, generally horizontal chambers of oval to lobed outline. The species-typical structure of many nests results from variation in the size, shape, number and arrangement of these basic elements. Nest architecture can be rendered by filling subterranean nests with a thin slurry of orthodontal plaster, then excavating and reconstructing the hard...

  8. Simulating large-scale spiking neuronal networks with NEST

    OpenAIRE

    Schücker, Jannis; Eppler, Jochen Martin

    2014-01-01

    The Neural Simulation Tool NEST [1, www.nest-simulator.org] is the simulator for spiking neural networkmodels of the HBP that focuses on the dynamics, size and structure of neural systems rather than on theexact morphology of individual neurons. Its simulation kernel is written in C++ and it runs on computinghardware ranging from simple laptops to clusters and supercomputers with thousands of processor cores.The development of NEST is coordinated by the NEST Initiative [www.nest-initiative.or...

  9. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson’s Hawks in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inselman, Will M.; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.; Grovenburg, Troy W.

    2015-01-01

    Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson’s hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson’s hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, S Dist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%–42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson’s hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson’s hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson’s hawks arriving to the breeding grounds. PMID:26327440

  10. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson's Hawks in the Northern Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inselman, Will M; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A; Jensen, Kent C; Grovenburg, Troy W

    2015-01-01

    Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson's hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson's hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, SDist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%-42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson's hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson's hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson's hawks arriving to the breeding grounds.

  11. Nested high voltage generator/particle accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adler, R.J.

    1992-01-01

    This patent describes a modular high voltage particle accelerator having an emission axis and an emission end, the accelerator. It comprises: a plurality of high voltage generators in nested adjacency to form a nested stack, each the generator comprising a cup-like housing having a base and a tubular sleeve extending from the base, a primary transformer winding encircling the nested stack; a secondary transformer winding between each adjacent pair of housings, magnetically linked to the primary transformer winding through the gaps; a power supply respective to each of the secondary windings converting alternating voltage from its respective secondary winding to d.c. voltage, the housings at the emission end forming a hollow throat for particle acceleration, a vacuum seal at the emission end of the throat which enables the throat to be evacuated; a particle source in the thrond power means to energize the primary transformer winding

  12. Cancer Chemotherapy Specific to Acidic Nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi

    2017-04-20

    The realization of cancer therapeutics specific to cancer cells with less of an effect on normal tissues is our goal. Many trials have been carried out for this purpose, but this goal is still far from being realized. It was found more than 80 years ago that solid cancer nests are acidified, but in vitro studies under acidic conditions have not been extensively studied. Recently, in vitro experiments under acidic conditions were started and anti-cancer drugs specific to acidic areas have been identified. Many genes have been reported to be expressed at a high level under acidic conditions, and such genes may be potent targets for anti-cancer drugs specific to acidic nests. In this review article, recent in vitro, in vivo, and clinical achievements in anti-cancer drugs with marked efficacy under acidic conditions are summarized, and the clinical use of anti-cancer drugs specific to acidic nests is discussed.

  13. Predicting Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Site Suitability to Inform Conservation Actions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torre J Hovick

    Full Text Available The demands of a growing human population dictates that expansion of energy infrastructure, roads, and other development frequently takes place in native rangelands. Particularly, transmission lines and roads commonly divide rural landscapes and increase fragmentation. This has direct and indirect consequences on native wildlife that can be mitigated through thoughtful planning and proactive approaches to identifying areas of high conservation priority. We used nine years (2003-2011 of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido lek locations totaling 870 unique leks sites in Kansas and seven geographic information system (GIS layers describing land cover, topography, and anthropogenic structures to model habitat suitability across the state. The models obtained had low omission rates (0.81, indicating high model performance and reliability of predicted habitat suitability for Greater Prairie-Chickens. We found that elevation was the most influential in predicting lek locations, contributing three times more predictive power than any other variable. However, models were improved by the addition of land cover and anthropogenic features (transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas structures. Overall, our analysis provides a hierarchal understanding of Greater Prairie-Chicken habitat suitability that is broadly based on geomorphological features followed by land cover suitability. We found that when land features and vegetation cover are suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, fragmentation by anthropogenic sources such as roadways and transmission lines are a concern. Therefore, it is our recommendation that future human development in Kansas avoid areas that our models identified as highly suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens and focus development on land cover types that are of lower conservation concern.

  14. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Joseph D.; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E.; Cobble, Kacy R.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William E.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Wagner, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  15. Sylvatic plague vaccine partially protects prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in field trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Russell, Robin E.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Richgels, Katherine; Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Griebel, Randall; Schroeder, Greg; Grassel, Shaun M.; Pipkin, David R.; Cordova, Jennifer; Kavalunas, Adam; Maxfield, Brian; Boulerice, Jesse; Miller, Michael W.

    2017-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, frequently afflicts prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), causing population declines and local extirpations. We tested the effectiveness of bait-delivered sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) in prairie dog colonies on 29 paired placebo and treatment plots (1–59 ha in size; average 16.9 ha) in 7 western states from 2013 to 2015. We compared relative abundance (using catch per unit effort (CPUE) as an index) and apparent survival of prairie dogs on 26 of the 29 paired plots, 12 with confirmed or suspected plague (Y. pestis positive carcasses or fleas). Even though plague mortality occurred in prairie dogs on vaccine plots, SPV treatment had an overall positive effect on CPUE in all three years, regardless of plague status. Odds of capturing a unique animal were 1.10 (95% confidence interval [C.I.] 1.02–1.19) times higher per trap day on vaccine-treated plots than placebo plots in 2013, 1.47 (95% C.I. 1.41–1.52) times higher in 2014 and 1.19 (95% C.I. 1.13–1.25) times higher in 2015. On pairs where plague occurred, odds of apparent survival were 1.76 (95% Bayesian credible interval [B.C.I.] 1.28–2.43) times higher on vaccine plots than placebo plots for adults and 2.41 (95% B.C.I. 1.72–3.38) times higher for juveniles. Our results provide evidence that consumption of vaccine-laden baits can protect prairie dogs against plague; however, further evaluation and refinement are needed to optimize SPV use as a management tool.

  16. Specificity in Sociality: Mice and Prairie Voles Exhibit Different Patterns of Peer Affiliation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Annaliese K.; Christensen, Jennifer D; Lee, Nicole S.; Blandino, Katrina L.

    2018-01-01

    Social behavior is often described as a unified concept, but highly social (group-living) species exhibit distinct social structures and may make different social decisions. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous rodents that often reside in extended family groups, and exhibit robust preferences for familiar social partners (same- and opposite-sex) during extended choice tests, although short-term preferences are not known. Mice (Mus musculus) are gregarious and colonial, but in brief laboratory tests of social preference they typically prefer social novelty. This preference for novel vs. familiar peers may represent a species-specific difference in social decision-making between mice and prairie voles. However, the tests used to measure preferences in each species differ markedly in duration and degree of contact, such that the behaviors cannot be directly compared. We assessed whether social preferences for novelty or familiarity differed between mice and prairie voles of both sexes when assessed with matching protocols: the sociability/social preference test (SPT) typically used in mice (short, no direct contact), and the partner preference test (PPT) used in voles (long, direct contact). A subset of voles also underwent a PPT using barriers (long, no direct contact). In the short SPT, behavior did not differ between species. In the longer test, pronounced partner preferences emerged in prairie voles, but mice exhibited no social preferences and rarely huddled. No sex differences were evident in either test. Direct physical contact was required for partner preferences in huddling time in voles, but preference for the partner chamber was evident with or without contact. Both prairie voles and mice are social, but they exhibit important differences in the specificity and extent of their social behavior. While mice are often used to study social approach and other behaviors, voles are a more suitable species for the study of selective social

  17. Specificity in Sociality: Mice and Prairie Voles Exhibit Different Patterns of Peer Affiliation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annaliese K. Beery

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Social behavior is often described as a unified concept, but highly social (group-living species exhibit distinct social structures and may make different social decisions. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster are socially monogamous rodents that often reside in extended family groups, and exhibit robust preferences for familiar social partners (same- and opposite-sex during extended choice tests, although short-term preferences are not known. Mice (Mus musculus are gregarious and colonial, but in brief laboratory tests of social preference they typically prefer social novelty. This preference for novel vs. familiar peers may represent a species-specific difference in social decision-making between mice and prairie voles. However, the tests used to measure preferences in each species differ markedly in duration and degree of contact, such that the behaviors cannot be directly compared. We assessed whether social preferences for novelty or familiarity differed between mice and prairie voles of both sexes when assessed with matching protocols: the sociability/social preference test (SPT typically used in mice (short, no direct contact, and the partner preference test (PPT used in voles (long, direct contact. A subset of voles also underwent a PPT using barriers (long, no direct contact. In the short SPT, behavior did not differ between species. In the longer test, pronounced partner preferences emerged in prairie voles, but mice exhibited no social preferences and rarely huddled. No sex differences were evident in either test. Direct physical contact was required for partner preferences in huddling time in voles, but preference for the partner chamber was evident with or without contact. Both prairie voles and mice are social, but they exhibit important differences in the specificity and extent of their social behavior. While mice are often used to study social approach and other behaviors, voles are a more suitable species for the study of

  18. Lesser prairie-chicken fence collision risk across its northern distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Samantha G.; Haukos, David A.; Plumb, Reid T.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.; Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Sullins, Daniel S.; Kraft, John D.; Lautenbach, Jonathan D.

    2016-01-01

    Livestock fences have been hypothesized to significantly contribute to mortality of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus); however, quantification of mortality due to fence collisions is lacking across their current distribution. Variation in fence density, landscape composition and configuration, and land use could influence collision risk of lesser prairie-chickens. We monitored fences within 3 km of known leks during spring and fall and surveyed for signs of collision occurrence within 20 m of fences in 6 study sites in Kansas and Colorado, USA during 2013 and 2014. We assessed mortality locations of radio-tagged birds (n = 286) for evidence of fence collisions and compared distance to fence relative to random points. Additionally, we quantified locations, propensity, and frequency of fences crossed by lesser prairie-chickens. We tested for landscape and vegetative characteristics that influenced fence-cross propensity and frequency of global positioning system (GPS)-marked birds. A minimum of 12,706 fence crossings occurred by GPS-marked lesser prairie-chickens. We found 3 carcasses and 12 additional possible instances of evidence of collision during >2,800 km of surveyed fences. We found evidence for a single suspected collision based on carcass evidence for 148 mortalities of transmittered birds. Mortality locations of transmittered birds were located at distances from fences 15% farther than expected at random. Our data suggested minimal biological significance and indicated that propensity and frequency of fence crossings were random processes. Lesser prairie-chickens do not appear to be experiencing significant mortality risk due to fence collisions in Kansas and Colorado. Focusing resources on other limiting factors (i.e., habitat quality) has greater potential for impact on population demography than fence marking and removal.

  19. Canola Root–Associated Microbiomes in the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Ying Lay

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Canola is one of the most economically important crops in Canada, and the root and rhizosphere microbiomes of a canola plant likely impact its growth and nutrient uptake. The aim of this study was to determine whether canola has a core root microbiome (i.e., set of microbes that are consistently selected in the root environment, and whether this is distinct from the core microbiomes of other crops that are commonly grown in the Canadian Prairies, pea, and wheat. We also assessed whether selected agronomic treatments can modify the canola microbiome, and whether this was associated to enhanced yield. We used a field experiment with a randomized complete block design, which was repeated at three locations across the canola-growing zone of Canada. Roots and rhizosphere soil were harvested at the flowering stage of canola. We separately isolated total extractable DNA from plant roots and from adjacent rhizosphere soil, and constructed MiSeq amplicon libraries for each of 60 samples, targeting bacterial, and archaeal 16S rRNA genes and the fungal ITS region. We determined that the microbiome of the roots and rhizosphere of canola was consistently different from those of wheat and pea. These microbiomes comprise several putative plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria, including Amycolatopsis sp., Serratia proteamaculans, Pedobacter sp., Arthrobacter sp., Stenotrophomonas sp., Fusarium merismoides, and Fusicolla sp., which correlated positively with canola yield. Crop species had a significant influence on bacterial and fungal assemblages, especially within the roots, while higher nutrient input or seeding density did not significantly alter the global composition of bacterial, fungal, or archaeal assemblages associated with canola roots. However, the relative abundance of Olpidium brassicae, a known pathogen of members of the Brassicaceae, was significantly reduced in the roots of canola planted at higher seeding density. Our results suggest that

  20. Modeling Prairie Pothole Lakes: Linking Satellite Observation and Calibration (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, F. W.; Liu, G.; Zhang, B.; Yu, Z.

    2009-12-01

    This paper examines the response of a complex lake wetland system to variations in climate. The focus is on the lakes and wetlands of the Missouri Coteau, which is part of the larger Prairie Pothole Region of the Central Plains of North America. Information on lake size was enumerated from satellite images, and yielded power law relationships for different hydrological conditions. More traditional lake-stage data were made available to us from the USGS Cottonwood Lake Study Site in North Dakota. A Probabilistic Hydrologic Model (PHM) was developed to simulate lake complexes comprised of tens-of-thousands or more individual closed-basin lakes and wetlands. What is new about this model is a calibration scheme that utilizes remotely-sensed data on lake area as well as stage data for individual lakes. Some ¼ million individual data points are used within a Genetic Algorithm to calibrate the model by comparing the simulated results with observed lake area-frequency power law relationships derived from Landsat images and water depths from seven individual lakes and wetlands. The simulated lake behaviors show good agreement with the observations under average, dry, and wet climatic conditions. The calibrated model is used to examine the impact of climate variability on a large lake complex in ND, in particular, the “Dust Bowl Drought” 1930s. This most famous drought of the 20th Century devastated the agricultural economy of the Great Plains with health and social impacts lingering for years afterwards. Interestingly, the drought of 1930s is unremarkable in relation to others of greater intensity and frequency before AD 1200 in the Great Plains. Major droughts and deluges have the ability to create marked variability of the power law function (e.g. up to one and a half orders of magnitude variability from the extreme Dust Bowl Drought to the extreme 1993-2001 deluge). This new probabilistic modeling approach provides a novel tool to examine the response of the

  1. Mirror nesting and repulsion-induced superconductivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belyavsky, Vladimir I.; Kapaev, Vladimir V.; Kopaev, Yurii V.

    2004-01-01

    Mirror nesting condition that is a rise of pair Fermi contour due to matching of some pieces of the Fermi contour and an isoline of the pair-relative-motion kinetic energy may be satisfied, at definite total pair momenta, due to special features of electron dispersion. Perfect mirror nesting results in a rise of the possibility of superconducting ordering up to arbitrary small pairing repulsive interaction strength. Due to kinematical constraints, the order parameter exists only inside some definite domain of the momentum space and changes its sign on a line belonging to this domain

  2. Nest design in a changing world: great tit Parus major nests from a Mediterranean city environment as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambrechts, Marcel M; Charmantier, Anne; Demeyrier, Virginie; Lucas, Annick; Perret, Samuel; Abouladzé, Matthieu; Bonnet, Michel; Canonne, Coline; Faucon, Virginie; Grosset, Stéphanie; le Prado, Gaëlle; Lidon, Frédéric; Noell, Thierry; Pagano, Pascal; Perret, Vincent; Pouplard, Stéphane; Spitaliéry, Rémy; Bernard, Cyril; Perret, Philippe; Blondel, Jacques; Grégoire, Arnaud

    2017-12-01

    Investigations of urbanization effects on birds have focused mainly on breeding traits expressed after the nest-building stage (e.g. first-egg date, clutch size, breeding success, and offspring characteristics). Urban studies largely ignored how and why the aspects of nest building might be associated with the degree of urbanization. As urban environments are expected to present novel environmental changes relative to rural environments, it is important to evaluate how nest-building behavior is impacted by vegetation modifications associated with urbanization. To examine nest design in a Mediterranean city environment, we allowed urban great tits ( Parus major ) to breed in nest boxes in areas that differed in local vegetation cover. We found that different measures of nest size or mass were not associated with vegetation cover. In particular, nests located adjacent to streets with lower vegetation cover were not smaller or lighter than nests in parks with higher vegetation cover. Nests adjacent to streets contained more pine needles than nests in parks. In addition, in nests adjacent to streets, nests from boxes attached to pine trees contained more pine needles than nests from boxes attached to other trees. We suggest that urban-related alterations in vegetation cover do not directly impose physical limits on nest size in species that are opportunistic in the selection of nesting material. However, nest composition as reflected in the use of pine needles was clearly affected by habitat type and the planted tree species present, which implies that rapid habitat change impacts nest composition. We do not exclude that urbanization might impact other aspects of nest building behaviour not covered in our study (e.g. costs of searching for nest material), and that the strengths of the associations between urbanization and nest structures might differ among study populations or species.

  3. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants

    OpenAIRE

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-01-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypi...

  4. Global warming and prairie wetlands: potential consequences for waterfowl habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poiani, Karen A.; Johnson, W. Carter

    1991-01-01

    The accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is expected to warm the earth's climate at an unprecedented rate (Ramanathan 1988, Schneider 1989). If the climate models are correct, within 100 years the earth will not only be warmer than it has been during the past million years, but the change will have occurred more rapidly than any on record. Many profound changes in the earth's environment are expected, including rising sea level, increasing aridity in continental interiors, and melting permafrost. Ecosystems are expected to respond variously to a rapidly changing climate. Tree ranges in eastern North American are expected to shift northward, and seed dispersal may not be adequate to maintain current diversity (Cohn 1989, Johnson and Webb 1989). In coastal wetlands, rising sea level from melting icecaps and thermal expansion could flood salt-grass marshes and generally reduce the size and productivity of the intertidal zone (Peters and Darling 1985). As yet, little attention has been given to the possible effects of climatic warming on inland prairie wetland ecosystems. These wetlands, located in the glaciated portion of the North American Great Plains (Figure 1), constitute the single most important breeding area for waterfowl on this continent (Hubbard 1988). This region annually produces 50-80% of the continent's total duck production (Batt et al. 1989). These marshes also support a variety of other wildlife, including many species of nongame birds, muskrat, and mink (Kantrud et al. 1989a). Prairie wetlands are relatively shallow, water-holding depressions that vary in size, water permanence, and water chemistry. Permanence types include temporary ponds (typically holding water for a few weeks in the springs), seasonal ponds (holding water from spring until early summer), semipermanent ponds (holding water throughout the growing season during most years), and large permanent lakes (Stewart and Kantrud 1971). Refilling usually occurs in spring from

  5. Preliminary Evaluation of a Nest Usage Sensor to Detect Double Nest Occupations of Laying Hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Zaninelli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Conventional cage systems will be replaced by housing systems that allow hens to move freely. These systems may improve hens’ welfare, but they lead to some disadvantages: disease, bone fractures, cannibalism, piling and lower egg production. New selection criteria for existing commercial strains should be identified considering individual data about laying performance and the behavior of hens. Many recording systems have been developed to collect these data. However, the management of double nest occupations remains critical for the correct egg-to-hen assignment. To limit such events, most systems adopt specific trap devices and additional mechanical components. Others, instead, only prevent these occurrences by narrowing the nest, without any detection and management. The aim of this study was to develop and test a nest usage “sensor”, based on imaging analysis, that is able to automatically detect a double nest occupation. Results showed that the developed sensor correctly identified the double nest occupation occurrences. Therefore, the imaging analysis resulted in being a useful solution that could simplify the nest construction for this type of recording system, allowing the collection of more precise and accurate data, since double nest occupations would be managed and the normal laying behavior of hens would not be discouraged by the presence of the trap devices.

  6. Preliminary evaluation of a nest usage sensor to detect double nest occupations of laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaninelli, Mauro; Costa, Annamaria; Tangorra, Francesco Maria; Rossi, Luciana; Agazzi, Alessandro; Savoini, Giovanni

    2015-01-26

    Conventional cage systems will be replaced by housing systems that allow hens to move freely. These systems may improve hens' welfare, but they lead to some disadvantages: disease, bone fractures, cannibalism, piling and lower egg production. New selection criteria for existing commercial strains should be identified considering individual data about laying performance and the behavior of hens. Many recording systems have been developed to collect these data. However, the management of double nest occupations remains critical for the correct egg-to-hen assignment. To limit such events, most systems adopt specific trap devices and additional mechanical components. Others, instead, only prevent these occurrences by narrowing the nest, without any detection and management. The aim of this study was to develop and test a nest usage "sensor", based on imaging analysis, that is able to automatically detect a double nest occupation. Results showed that the developed sensor correctly identified the double nest occupation occurrences. Therefore, the imaging analysis resulted in being a useful solution that could simplify the nest construction for this type of recording system, allowing the collection of more precise and accurate data, since double nest occupations would be managed and the normal laying behavior of hens would not be discouraged by the presence of the trap devices.

  7. Open cup nests evolved from roofed nests in the early passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, J Jordan; Griffith, Simon C

    2017-02-08

    The architectural diversity of nests in the passerine birds (order Passeriformes) is thought to have played an important role in the adaptive radiation of this group, which now comprises more than half of avian species and occupies nearly all terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present an extensive survey and ancestral state reconstruction of nest design across the passerines, focusing on early Australian lineages and including members of nearly all passerine families worldwide. Most passerines build open cup-shaped nests, whereas a minority build more elaborate domed structures with roofs. We provide strong evidence that, despite their relative rarity today, domed nests were constructed by the common ancestor of all modern passerines. Open cup nests evolved from enclosed domes at least four times independently during early passerine evolution, at least three of which occurred on the Australian continent, yielding several primarily cup-nesting clades that are now widespread and numerically dominant among passerines. Our results show that the ubiquitous and relatively simple cup-shaped nests of many birds today evolved multiple times convergently, suggesting adaptive benefits over earlier roofed designs. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Research and Monitoring Special Use Permit [Minnesota Zoo's Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program on Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge : 2016

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — The Minnesota Zoo’s Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program partners with numerous federal, state, and local agencies to establish the world’s first and only ex situ...

  9. 77 FR 73827 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-11

    ... the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a grassland bird known from southeastern... plants; wind energy development; petroleum production; and presence of roads and manmade vertical structures including towers, utility lines, fences, turbines, wells, and buildings. We will request peer...

  10. The effects of black-tailed prairie dogs on plant communities within a complex urban landscape: an ecological surprise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beals, Stower C; Hartley, Laurel M; Prevéy, Janet S; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2014-05-01

    Historically, prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been considered essential keystone species of western United States grassland ecosystems because they provide unique services and increase vegetation community richness, evenness, and diversity. However, the effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on lands adjacent to or surrounded by urban areas may not result in the same ecosystem benefits historically associated with their presence. An urban landscape presents prairie dogs with movement challenges unparalleled in natural landscapes, as well as suites of nonnative plant species that are more common in disturbed areas. This study examined a complex ecosystem where vegetation communities are being influenced by directional environmental change, and quantified the synergistic effects resulting from the protective management of a native keystone species. The data set for this analysis was comprised of 71 paired (occupied by prairie dogs vs. unoccupied) vegetation surveys and 156 additional unpaired surveys collected from around the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA for 14 yr. Linear mixed models were used to compare data from transects occupied and unoccupied by prairie dogs, as well as to evaluate the effect of prairie dog occupation duration. In the absence of prairie dogs, vegetation in this region exhibited declines in native grasses, no changes in introduced grasses, and increases in native and nonnative forbs and bare soil over the study interval. In the presence of prairie dogs, these observed directional changes were nearly all amplified at rates four to 10 times greater than when prairie dogs were absent. Areas in Boulder occupied by prairie dogs also had significantly lower richness, evenness, and diversity of plant species, compared to unoccupied areas. Analysis of plant functional groups revealed the significant reduction of perennial native grasses, as well as a significantly higher cover of introduced forbs in occupied areas. Prairie dogs

  11. Divergent hepatitis E virus in birds of prey, common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and red-footed falcon (F. vespertinus), Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Gábor; Boros, Ákos; Mátics, Róbert; Kapusinszky, Beatrix; Delwart, Eric; Pankovics, Péter

    2016-09-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV), family Hepeviridae, has raised considerable public health concerns because of its zoonotic potential; however, the animal to animal transmissions and the natural chain of hepevirus infections in wildlife are less known. Using random amplification and next generation sequencing technology a novel HEV in birds of prey was serendipitously identified in Hungary. HEV RNA was detected in total of 2 (18%) of the 11 and 1 (14%) of the 7 faecal samples from common kestrels and red-footed falcons, respectively. High faecal viral load (2.03×10(8) genomic copies/ml) measured by qPCR. The complete genome of strain kestrel/MR22/2014/HUN (KU670940) HEV is 7033-nt long including a 35-nt 5'end and a 63-nt 3'end (excluding the poly(A)-tail). Sequence analyses indicated that the ORF1 (4920nt/639 aa), ORF2 (1989nt/662 aa) and ORF3 (360nt/119aa) proteins of kestrel/MR22/2014/HUN shared the highest identity (58.1%, 66.8% and 28.5%) to the corresponding proteins of ferret, rat and human genotype 4 Orthohepeviruses, respectively. Interestingly, the ORF3 protein is potentially initiated with leucine (L) using an alternate, non-AUG (UUG) start codon. This study reports the identification and complete genome characterization of a novel Orthohepevirus species related to mammalian HEVs in birds of prey. It is important to recognize all potential hosts, reservoirs and spreaders in nature and to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of hepeviruses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Spatio-temporal trends in the predation of large gulls by peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus in an insular breeding population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutton Luke J.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Individual diet specialization occurs in many populations of generalist predators, with specific individuals developing specialist strategies in their feeding behaviour. Intraspecific resource partitioning is hypothesised to be common amongst species in higher trophic levels where competition for resources is intense, and a key driver in breeding success and community structure. Though well-studied in other predators, there is sparse data on ecological specialization in raptors, which are important drivers of community and trophic structure. In this study, the breeding season diet of an insular population of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus was determined from indirect analysis of prey remains collected over three years. An unexpected result was the high proportion of large gulls (Laridae, of the genus Larus, in the diet of two breeding pairs of peregrines. Large gulls made up 18.44% by frequency of total prey recorded and 30.81% by biomass. Herring gulls (Larus argentatus were the most common large gull prey, with immatures most frequent (67.95% compared to adults (19.23%. Overall, most gulls predated were immatures (80.77%. Frequency of predation varied between breeding pairs and months, but was consistent over the three years. Most gulls were taken in April (37.17%, followed by May (19.23%, with a smaller peak of immature herring gulls taken in August and September. The pattern of regular predation by peregrines on large gulls is a new observation with important implications for understanding individual diet specialization in raptors, and its effect on bird populations and community structure.

  13. The Air Force Academy’s Falcon Telescope Network: An Educational and Research Network for K-12 and Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Francis; Tippets, Roger; Della-Rose, Devin J.; Polsgrove, Daniel; Gresham, Kimberlee; Barnaby, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is a global network of small aperture telescopes developed by the Center for Space Situational Awareness Research in the Department of Physics at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Consisting of commercially available equipment, the FTN is a collaborative effort between USAFA and other educational institutions ranging from two- and four-year colleges to major research universities. USAFA provides the equipment (e.g. telescope, mount, camera, filter wheel, dome, weather station, computers and storage devices) while the educational partners provide the building and infrastructure to support an observatory. The user base includes USAFA along with K-12 and higher education faculty and students. The diversity of the users implies a wide variety of observing interests, and thus the FTN collects images on diverse objects, including satellites, galactic and extragalactic objects, and objects popular for education and public outreach. The raw imagery, all in the public domain, will be accessible to FTN partners and will be archived at USAFA. USAFA cadets use the FTN to continue a tradition of satellite characterization and astronomical research; this tradition is the model used for designing the network to serve undergraduate research needs. Additionally, cadets have led the development of the FTN by investigating observation priority schemes and conducting a 'day-in-the-life' study of the FTN in regards to satellite observations. With respect to K-12 outreach, cadets have provided feedback to K-12 students and teachers through evaluation of first-light proposals. In this paper, we present the current status of the network and results from student participation in the project.

  14. Environmental Assessment: Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    requirements are met by metabolizing grazed vegetation. Prairie dogs dig burrows to an average depth of 2-3 meters with some tunnels interconnecting with...the potential to impact non- target species such as mice, kangaroo rats, and some songbirds. Establishing control zones at CAFB and MAFR could not be...Gutierrezia sarothrae), and Russian thistle (Salsola iberica). Water requirements are met by metabolizing grazed vegetation. Prairie dogs dig burrows

  15. Grooming behaviors of black-tailed prairie dogs are influenced by flea parasitism, conspecifics, and proximity to refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Eads, Samantha L.

    2017-01-01

    Grooming is a common animal behavior that aids in ectoparasite defense. Ectoparasites can stimulate grooming, and natural selection can also favor endogenous mechanisms that evoke periodic bouts of “programmed” grooming to dislodge or kill ectoparasites before they bite or feed. Moreover, grooming can function as a displacement or communication behavior. We compared the grooming behaviors of adult female black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on colonies with or without flea control via pulicide dust. Roughly 91% of the prairie dogs sampled on the non-dusted colony carried at least one flea, whereas we did not find fleas on two dusted colonies. During focal observations, prairie dogs on the non-dusted colony groomed at higher frequencies and for longer durations than prairie dogs on the dusted colonies, lending support to the hypothesis that fleas stimulated grooming. However, the reduced amount of time spent grooming on the dusted colonies suggested that approximately 25% of grooming might be attributed to factors other than direct stimulation from ectoparasites. Non-dusted colony prairie dogs rarely autogroomed when near each other. Dusted colony prairie dogs autogroomed for shorter durations when far from a burrow opening (refuge), suggesting a trade-off between self-grooming and antipredator defense. Allogrooming was detected only on the non-dusted colony and was limited to adult females grooming young pups. Grooming appears to serve an antiparasitic function in C. ludovicianus. Antiparasitic grooming might aid in defense against fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. Plague was introduced to North America ca. 1900 and now has a strong influence on most prairie dog populations, suggesting a magnified effect of grooming on prairie dog fitness.

  16. Sequential and Simultaneous Logit: A Nested Model.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ophem, J.C.M.; Schram, A.J.H.C.

    1997-01-01

    A nested model is presented which has both the sequential and the multinomial logit model as special cases. This model provides a simple test to investigate the validity of these specifications. Some theoretical properties of the model are discussed. In the analysis a distribution function is

  17. High-field superconducting nested coil magnet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laverick, C.; Lobell, G. M.

    1970-01-01

    Superconducting magnet, employed in conjunction with five types of superconducting cables in a nested solenoid configuration, produces total, central magnetic field strengths approaching 70 kG. The multiple coils permit maximum information on cable characteristics to be gathered from one test.

  18. Streaming nested data parallelism on multicores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Frederik Meisner; Filinski, Andrzej

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of nested data parallelism (NDP) allows a variety of semi-regular computation tasks to be mapped onto SIMD-style hardware, including GPUs and vector units. However, some care is needed to keep down space consumption in situations where the available parallelism may vastly exceed...

  19. Nested Reconfigurable Robots: Theory, Design, and Realization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Tan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Rather than the conventional classification method, we propose to divide modular and reconfigurable robots into intra-, inter-, and nested reconfigurations. We suggest designing the robot with nested reconfigurability, which utilizes individual robots with intra-reconfigurability capable of combining with other homogeneous/heterogeneous robots (inter-reconfigurability. The objective of this approach is to generate more complex morphologies for performing specific tasks that are far from the capabilities of a single module or to respond to programmable assembly requirements. In this paper, we discuss the theory, concept, and initial mechanical design of Hinged-Tetro, a self-reconfigurable module conceived for the study of nested reconfiguration. Hinged-Tetro is a mobile robot that uses the principle of hinged dissection of polyominoes to transform itself into any of the seven one-sided tetrominoes in a straightforward way. The robot can also combine with other modules for shaping complex structures or giving rise to a robot with new capabilities. Finally, the validation experiments verify the nested reconfigurability of Hinged-Tetro. Extensive tests and analyses of intra-reconfiguration are provided in terms of energy and time consumptions. Experiments using two robots validate the inter-reconfigur ability of the proposed module.

  20. Field guide to red tree vole nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damon B. Lesmeister; James K. Swingle

    2017-01-01

    Surveys for red tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus) nests require tree climbing because the species is a highly specialized arboreal rodent that live in the tree canopy of coniferous forests in western Oregon and northwestern California. Tree voles are associated with old coniferous forest (≥80 years old) that are structurally complex, but are often...

  1. Flattening Queries over Nested Data Types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ruth, J.

    2006-01-01

    The theory developed in this thesis provides a method to improve the efficiency of querying nested data. The roots of this research lie in the tension between data model expressiveness and performance. Obviously, more expressive data models are more convenient for application programmers. For many

  2. A catalog of Louisiana's nesting seabird colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontenot, William R.; Cardiff, Steve W.; DeMay, Richard A.; Dittmann, Donna L.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Jeske, Clinton W.; Lorenz, Nicole; Michot, Thomas C.; Purrington, Robert Dan; Seymour, Michael; Vermillion, William G.

    2012-01-01

    Summarizing his colonial nesting waterbird survey experiences along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in a paper presented to the Colonial Waterbird Group of the Waterbird Society (Portnoy 1978), bird biologist John W. Portnoy stated, “This huge concentration of nesting waterbirds, restricted almost entirely to the wetlands and estuaries of southern Louisiana, is unmatched in all of North America; for example, a 1975 inventory of wading birds along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida [Custer and Osborn, in press], tallied 250,000 breeding [waterbirds] of 14 species, in contrast with the 650,000 birds of 15 species just from Sabine Pass to Mobile Bay.” The “650,000 birds” to which Portnoy referred, were tallied by him in a 1976 survey of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (see below, under “Major Surveys” section). According to the National Atlas of Coastal Waterbird Colonies in the Contiguous United States: 1976-82 (Spendelow and Patton 1988), the percentages of the total U.S. populations of Laughing Gull (11%), Forster's Tern (52%), Royal Tern (16%), Sandwich Tern (77%), and Black Skimmer (44%) which annually nest in Louisiana are significant – perhaps crucially so in the cases of Forster's Tern, Sandwich Tern, and Black Skimmer. Nearly three decades after Spendelow and Patton's determinations above, coastal Louisiana still stands out as the major center of colonial wading bird and seabird nesting in all of the United States. Within those three intervening decades, however, the

  3. Collective fluid mechanics of honeybee nest ventilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Combes, Stacey; Wood, Robert J.; Peters, Jacob

    2014-11-01

    Honeybees thermoregulate their brood in the warm summer months by collectively fanning their wings and creating air flow through the nest. During nest ventilation workers flap their wings in close proximity in which wings continuously operate in unsteady oncoming flows (i.e. the wake of neighboring worker bees) and near the ground. The fluid mechanics of this collective aerodynamic phenomena are unstudied and may play an important role in the physiology of colony life. We have performed field and laboratory observations of the nest ventilation wing kinematics and air flow generated by individuals and groups of honeybee workers. Inspired from these field observations we describe here a robotic model system to study collective flapping wing aerodynamics. We microfabricate arrays of 1.4 cm long flapping wings and observe the air flow generated by arrays of two or more fanning robotic wings. We vary phase, frequency, and separation distance among wings and find that net output flow is enhanced when wings operate at the appropriate phase-distance relationship to catch shed vortices from neighboring wings. These results suggest that by varying position within the fanning array honeybee workers may benefit from collective aerodynamic interactions during nest ventilation.

  4. Aerial surveys adjusted by ground surveys to estimate area occupied by black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidle, John G.; Augustine, David J.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Miller, Sterling D.; Cully, Jack F.; Reading, Richard P.

    2012-01-01

    Aerial surveys using line-intercept methods are one approach to estimate the extent of prairie dog colonies in a large geographic area. Although black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) construct conspicuous mounds at burrow openings, aerial observers have difficulty discriminating between areas with burrows occupied by prairie dogs (colonies) versus areas of uninhabited burrows (uninhabited colony sites). Consequently, aerial line-intercept surveys may overestimate prairie dog colony extent unless adjusted by an on-the-ground inspection of a sample of intercepts. We compared aerial line-intercept surveys conducted over 2 National Grasslands in Colorado, USA, with independent ground-mapping of known black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Aerial line-intercepts adjusted by ground surveys using a single activity category adjustment overestimated colonies by ≥94% on the Comanche National Grassland and ≥58% on the Pawnee National Grassland. We present a ground-survey technique that involves 1) visiting on the ground a subset of aerial intercepts classified as occupied colonies plus a subset of intercepts classified as uninhabited colony sites, and 2) based on these ground observations, recording the proportion of each aerial intercept that intersects a colony and the proportion that intersects an uninhabited colony site. Where line-intercept techniques are applied to aerial surveys or remotely sensed imagery, this method can provide more accurate estimates of black-tailed prairie dog abundance and trends

  5. Nest sharing under semi-natural conditions in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    problems to laying hens, and egg production may also be negatively affected. Understanding what causes this difference in nest location selection may provide solutions to the problems associated with simultaneous nest sharing. The aims were to investigate whether a commercial strain of laying hens normally...... daily of each nest with regard to number of eggs, position, and materials used. On five mornings nesting behaviour was observed. Nest sharing occurred on all but the first 5 days of egg-laying. The majority of hens (n = 14) chose to visit an occupied nest at least once, but no hens exclusively used...

  6. Longitudinal Trajectories and Inter-parental Dynamics of Prairie Vole Biparental Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forrest D. Rogers

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available For altricial mammalian species, early life social bonds are constructed principally between offspring and their mothers, and the mother-offspring relationship sets the trajectory for offspring bio-behavioral development. In the rare subset of monogamous and biparental species, offspring experience an expanded social network which includes a father. Accordingly, in biparental species fathers also have the potential to influence trajectories of offspring development. Previous semi-natural and laboratory study of one monogamous and biparental species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster, has given insight into the role that mothers and fathers play in shaping behavioral phenotypes of offspring. Of particular interest is the influence of biparental care in the development of monogamous behavior in offspring. Here, we first briefly review that influence. We then present novel research which describes how parental investment in prairie voles changes across sequential litters of pups, and the extent to which it is coordinated between mothers and fathers. We use approximately 6 years of archival data on prairie vole parenting to investigate trajectories and inter-parent dynamics in prairie vole parenting. We use a series of latent growth models to assess the stability of parental investment across the first 4 l. Our findings suggest that prairie voles display sexually dimorphic patterns of change in parental behavior: mothers' investment declines linearly whereas fathers' pattern of change is characterized by initial decline between litters 1 and 2 with subsequent increase from litters 2 to 4. Our findings also support a conclusion that prairie vole paternal care may be better characterized as compensatory—that is, fathers may compensate for decline in maternal investment. Opposing trends in investment between mothers and fathers ultimately imply stability in offspring investment across sequential litters. These findings, combined with previous

  7. Decline of Hesperia ottoe (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae in Northern Tallgrass Prairie Preserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann B. Swengel

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We counted butterflies on transect surveys during Hesperia ottoe flight period in 1988–2011 at tallgrass prairie preserves in four states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, divided into units cross-referenced to vegetation type and management history. H. ottoe occurred only in dry and sand prairie types, and was significantly more abundant in undegraded than semi-degraded prairie, and in discontinuous sod (with numerous unvegetated areas due to bare sand and/or rock outcrops than in continuous sod. This skipper was significantly more abundant in small sites compared to medium and large sites, even when the analysis was limited to undegraded prairie analyzed separately by sod type. H. ottoe was significantly under-represented in year-burn 0 (the first growing season after fire compared to an expected distribution proportional to survey effort. However, H. ottoe was also over-represented in fire-managed units compared to non-fire-managed units. However, by far most units and sites were in fire management and most populations declined to subdetection during this study. Peak abundance post-fire occurred in a later year-burn in discontinuous sod and was much higher than in continuous sod. We also analyze H. ottoe status and trend in midwestern prairie preserves by compiling a dataset of our and others’ butterfly surveys from 1974 to 2011. Only 1/9 sites with continuous sod had detectable H. ottoe in recent year(s. In discontinuous sod, 2/6 did, with two sites lacking data for the last few years. The number of years H. ottoe was still detectable after preservation and the number of years to consistent non-detection were both significantly higher in discontinuous than continuous sod. Both measures of population persistence averaged over twice as long in discontinuous than continuous sod, and correlated negatively with prairie size. The year when consistent non-detection began varied over several decades among sites. Despite the currently urgent

  8. Decline of Hesperia ottoe (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) in Northern Tallgrass Prairie Preserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swengel, Ann B; Swengel, Scott R

    2013-11-20

    We counted butterflies on transect surveys during Hesperia ottoe flight period in 1988-2011 at tallgrass prairie preserves in four states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin), divided into units cross-referenced to vegetation type and management history. H. ottoe occurred only in dry and sand prairie types, and was significantly more abundant in undegraded than semi-degraded prairie, and in discontinuous sod (with numerous unvegetated areas due to bare sand and/or rock outcrops) than in continuous sod. This skipper was significantly more abundant in small sites compared to medium and large sites, even when the analysis was limited to undegraded prairie analyzed separately by sod type. H. ottoe was significantly under-represented in year-burn 0 (the first growing season after fire) compared to an expected distribution proportional to survey effort. However, H. ottoe was also over-represented in fire-managed units compared to non-fire-managed units. However, by far most units and sites were in fire management and most populations declined to subdetection during this study. Peak abundance post-fire occurred in a later year-burn in discontinuous sod and was much higher than in continuous sod. We also analyze H. ottoe status and trend in midwestern prairie preserves by compiling a dataset of our and others' butterfly surveys from 1974 to 2011. Only 1/9 sites with continuous sod had detectable H. ottoe in recent year(s). In discontinuous sod, 2/6 did, with two sites lacking data for the last few years. The number of years H. ottoe was still detectable after preservation and the number of years to consistent non-detection were both significantly higher in discontinuous than continuous sod. Both measures of population persistence averaged over twice as long in discontinuous than continuous sod, and correlated negatively with prairie size. The year when consistent non-detection began varied over several decades among sites. Despite the currently urgent need to identify

  9. Potential use of Vitellogenin and Zona radiata proteins as biomarkers of endocrine disruption in Peregrine falcon exposed to organochlorine compounds (DDTs, PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jimenez, B. [CSIC, Inst. of Organic Chemistry, Madrid (Spain); Mori, G.; Concejero, M.A.; Casini, S.; Fossi, M.C. [Siena Univ. (Italy)

    2004-09-15

    Many different classes of environmental contaminants such as industrial chemicals (e.g. alkylphenols, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, PAHs, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and dibenzofurans), ''can cause adverse effects in the reproductive functions of intact organisms or their progenies, consequent to changes in endocrine functions'' showing a so-called Endocrine disruptor activity. Avian raptor species, such as peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) for their peculiar position in the food web are potentially at risk in relation to the accumulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and toxic metals. Recent studies carried out with Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in Spain reveal a contamination with organochlorine compounds (PCDDs, PCDFs, PCBs and DDTs) which could be responsible of the decrease of successful pairs observed during the last ten years. Thus there is a need to develop sensitive diagnostic monitoring tools for the evaluation of toxicological risk and potential effects on the reproductive function and population dynamic of avian top predator species. Two markers for the detection of EDs effects in oviparous vertebrates are induction of Vitellogenin (Vtg) and Zona Radiata Proteins (ZR). Vtg, a complex phospholipoglycoprotein, is the major egg-yolk protein precursor and is normally synthesized by females in response to estradiol. ZR together with Zona Pellucida (ZP) constitutes in birds part of the eggshell. These proteins (Vtg, ZR and ZP) are normally synthesised in the liver as a response to an estrogen signal given by Estradiol. Males and sexually undifferentiated specimens also have the Vtg and ZR genes but do not express them unless exposed to estrogenic compounds. The main aim of this preliminary study was to develop methods for the detection of Vtg and ZR in plasma obtained from peregrine falcon as a specific biomarker for the evaluation of the effects of EDCs.

  10. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Mississippi: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for gulls and terns in Mississippi. Vector points in this data set represent bird nesting sites. Species...

  11. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Southern California: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting and roosting gulls, terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and T/E species in Southern California. Vector...

  12. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Northwest Arctic, Alaska: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting birds in Northwest Arctic, Alaska. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  13. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting birds in coastal Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Vector points in this...

  14. Nest site characteristics, nesting movements, and lack of long-term nest site fidelity in Agassiz's desert tortoises at a wind energy facility in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Agha, Mickey; Yackulic, Charles B.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Ennen, Joshua R.; Arundel, Terry R.; Austin, Meaghan

    2014-01-01

    Nest site selection has important consequences for maternal and offspring survival and fitness. Females of some species return to the same nesting areas year after year. We studied nest site characteristics, fidelity, and daily pre-nesting movements in a population of Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility in southern California during two field seasons separated by over a decade. No females returned to the same exact nest site within or between years but several nested in the same general area. However, distances between first and second clutches within a year (2000) were not significantly different from distances between nests among years (2000 and 2011) for a small sample of females, suggesting some degree of fidelity within their normal activity areas. Environmental attributes of nest sites did not differ significantly among females but did among years due largely to changes in perennial plant structure as a result of multiple fires. Daily pre-nesting distances moved by females decreased consistently from the time shelled eggs were first visible in X-radiographs until oviposition, again suggesting some degree of nest site selection. Tortoises appear to select nest sites that are within their long-term activity areas, inside the climate-moderated confines of one of their self-constructed burrows, and specifically, at a depth in the burrow that minimizes exposure of eggs and embryos to lethal incubation temperatures. Nesting in “climate-controlled” burrows and nest guarding by females relaxes some of the constraints that drive nest site selection in other oviparous species.

  15. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  16. Organochlorine pollutants in Peregrine falcon eggs; Organochlorverbindungen in Eiern von Wanderfalken und anderen wild lebenden Vogelarten in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Gegenwaertige Belastungssituation und zeitlicher Trend

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trenck, K.T. von der [Landesanstalt fuer Umwelt, Messungen und Naturschutz Baden-Wuerttemberg, Karlsruhe (Germany); Baum, F.; Malisch, R. [Chemisches und Veterinaeruntersuchungsamt Freiburg (Germany); Hartwig, H.; Zimmermann, R.D. [Fachhochschule Bingen (Germany); Schilling, F. [Arbeitsgemeinschaft Wanderfalkenschutz (AGW), Nuertingen (Germany); Straub, H.P. [Landratsamt Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis, Villingen-Schwenningen (Germany)

    2006-11-15

    Goal and Scope. Organochlorine pollutants such as some pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans (PCDD/F) and highly persistent compounds in the environment. As synthetic, man-made products they are not encountered in natural ecosystems. Due to their high lipid solubility these compounds can accumulate in animals and humans, where they may exert chronically toxic and carcinogenic effects or disrupt endocrine functions and/or interfere with reproduction. Sound environmental stewardship demands continuous monitoring of such substances, assessment of their ecotoxicological risk, and reduction of excessive risk by setting appropriate standards. Methods. The analysis of birds' eggs is one method for the detection of organochlorine pollutants in ecosystems. In the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg eggs of some bird species, especially Peregrine falcons, have been collected and analysed for selected persistent organic pollutants [total DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane), HCB (hexachlorobenzene), HCEP (heptachloroepoxide), HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane), PCBs] since the 1970s. Long-term continuous investigations yield data concerning temporal changes and regional differences in the pollution of the bio-indicators. Results and Conclusion. Dioxin-like PCBs and total DDT were the most prominent pollutants. The Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) was the most polluted bird species within the project. During the 1970s and 1980s all of the mentioned substances showed an encouraging decrease, undoubtedly because their use was banned in Germany. Analyses for PCDD/F in a small number of Peregrine falcon eggs from the period of 2000 to 2003 revealed the high level of pollution of these samples with dioxin toxicity equivalents (WHO-TEQ) from PCB and PCDD/F, which in all eggs reached the no observed effect level (NOEL) determined in osprey chicks and surpassed this threshold fivefold in the most polluted ones. Because of their great variability the

  17. Construction patterns of birds' nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    OpenAIRE

    Biddle, Lucia; Goodman, Adrian; Deeming, Charles

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in a...

  18. From neurons to nests : nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience

    OpenAIRE

    Hall, Zachary Jonas; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan Denise

    2015-01-01

    This work was supported by funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/ I019502/1 to SDH and SLM) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (grant number PGSD3-409582-2011 to ZJH) and Roslin Institute Strategic Grant funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (SLM). Despite centuries of observing the nest building of most extant bird species, we know surprisingly little about how birds build nests and, s...

  19. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Tanaka

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1 covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes, and 2 open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds. Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1 covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs, and 2 open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment

  20. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests