2009 Legacy Scholarship Applicants

 

Image: Robert Alonso & bobcat

Robert Alonso

Image: Zoe Hanley

Zoe Hanley

Image: Cory Mosby & bobcats

Cory Mosby

Image: Jennifer Korn

Jennifer Korn

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2009 Wild Felid Legacy Scholarship Recipients

Lucrecia Masaya (lmasaya@ufl.edu), MS candidate, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Advisor: Dr. Martin Main (mmain@ufl.edu).
Thesis: Comparison of camera traps and hair snares as non-invasive survey methods for jaguars in Iwokrama Forest, Guyana. Objective: to provide the first jaguar population parameter estimates for the country. Lucrecia initiated her research with a captive jaguar population at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Her work was so successful that the zoo partnered with UF to conduct field experiments in Iwokrama Forest, Guyana, where some of the zoo's jaguars were obtained.

Ashwin Naidu (ashwin@email.arizona.edu), MS candidate, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Advisor: Dr. Melanie Culver (culver@ag.arizona.edu).
Thesis: Diet assessment of the puma and bobcat using non-invasive fecal DNA analyses to address bighorn sheep predation and management issues. Completion November 2009. According to his advisor, Ashwin's study "involves a complex set of interacting factors, including the unexplainable decline in the Kofa Mountains bighorn sheep population, the potential range expansion of pumas in this area, and the ecological factors involved with the interactions between these two species. Ashwin's project will provide critical information to determine potential causes for the desert bighorn mortality in the Kofa, and on the use of prey by felids in this desert ecosystem."

Other Scholarship Applicants

Robert Alonso (Robert.Alonso@colostate.edu), MS Candidate, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins.
Advisor: Dr. Kevin Crooks (kcrooks@warnercnr.colostate.edu).
Thesis: Effects of urbanization and roadway development on bobcats. Goals: estimate bobcat density in a coastal reserve surrounded by urbanization in southern California; assess the effects of a Caltrans freeway widening/carnivore connectivity mitigation project on bobcat underpass use; study the effects of roads on bobcat home range characteristics and movements. Collaborative effort between CSU and USGS.
Completion: Spring 2010.

Steve Borrego (borrego@siu.edu), MS candidate, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Advisor: Dr. Clay Nielsen (kezo92@siu.edu).
Thesis: Relative habitat use by large carnivores and their prey in a ranching landscape in Sonora, Mexico. Goals: Use occupancy modeling and co-occurrence of primary large prey species to estimate relative habitat use by jaguars and pumas. Steve hopes to combine this research methodology with both wildlife management and improved livestock management techniques to help improve a large carnivore strategy in the region.
Field work completion: December 2009
Project completion: December 2010.

Abby Davis (abbyd08@gmail.com), MS candidate, Stephen F Austin University, Nacogdoches, TX.
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Comer.
Thesis: comparing infrared- triggered camera surveys with scat-based DNA surveys to measure abundance of bobcats and coyotes at two private landholdings near Nacogdoches, TX. Goals: accurately estimate population abundance of bobcats and coyotes in east Texas; utilize remote sensing cameras to identify individuals; analyze DNA from scat samples to identify individuals.
Anticipated completion date: December 2010.

Anthony Giordano (species1@hotmail.com), PhD candidate, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.
Advisor: Dr. Warren Ballard.
Dissertation: The status, population structure, and livestock depredationof jaguars in the Paraguayan Chaco. Objectives: (1) to determine the population size and density of jaguars in the region of Paraguay's largest protected area, (2) to describe the gene flow and population structure of jaguars in the Paraguayan Chaco, and (3) to evaluate the impact of livestock depredations by jaguars on private land surrounding Paraguay's largest protected area. Anthony is the first to try to use noninvasive genetic mark-recapture techniques on jaguars. His ultimate goal is to build a fairly accurate Mark-Recapture model that has applications throughout the Chaco.
Completion date: December 2010.

Zoe Hanley (zhanley@frostburg.edu), MS candidate Frostburg State University, Maryland.
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Serfass (tserfass@frostburg.edu).
Thesis: habitat associations of bobcats and fishers in western Maryland. Objectives: to learn more about the life history requirements of these animals, and to generate baseline data for developing conservation plans to protect habitat and prevent further population decline. The project incorporates the use of remote-sensing cameras to assess seasonal habitat partitioning between bobcats and fishers.
Completion date: June 2010.

Jennifer Korn (Jennifer.korn@students.tamuk.edu), PhD candidate, Texas A&M University, Kingsville.
Advisor: Dr. Mike Tewes (michael.tewes@tamuk.edu).
Dissertation: Ecological and behavioral response of bobcats to prescribed fire.
Completion: May 2012.

Cory Mosby (corymosby@gmail.com), MS candidate, South Dakota State University, Brookings.
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Jenks (jonathan.jenks@sdstate.e4du).
Thesis: Evaluating habitat suitability, population size, and prey use of bobcats in South Dakota. Focal areas of study include the Black Hills, Badlands, and eastern agricultural regions of South Dakota. The objective is to enhance our understanding of how bobcats use the diverse landscapes in the state by quantifying habitat attributes associated with bobcat presence as well as assessing techniques for estimating bobcat population size.
Completion: May 2010.

Kerry Nicholson (kernicho@email.arizona.edu), PhD candidate, University of Arizona.
Advisor: Dr. Paul Krausman.
Dissertation: Spatial ecology of urban mountain lions. Objective: to determine how mountain lions use habitat surrounding urban areas (Tucson, Payson, and Prescott, Arizona), specifically how they change their home ranges and movement patterns when encountering urban development. Kerry has also conducted a serosurvey of lions around urban areas and is investigating how genetic relatedness affects home range overlap in males. Lions were fitted with satellite radio collars to document movement characteristics.
Completion 2009.

Laurens Swannepoel (s96162831@tuks.co.za), PhD candidate, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Supervisor: Prof W van Hoven (Centre for Wildlife Managment, University of Pretoria); Co-supervisors: Prof M Somers (Centre for Wildlife Managment, University of Pretoria) and Dr F Dalerum (Mammal Research Instutute and Centre for Wildlife Management).
Dissertation: Sustainability of leopard harvest in the Waterberg Biosphere, South Africa.
Objective: Estimate current leopard densities with mark recapture (camera trapping). Use density estimates and population models to envestigate current sustainability of harvest. Make recommondations to conservation authorities.

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