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CURRENT PROJECTS

Integrating Information to Manage Landscapes for Featured Species

Project Start: May 2018, Projected End: May 2020

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Wildlife Division recognized that current habitat management decisions made by MDNR staff are not often based on a coordinated, landscape-level context. They recognized the need for a tool to effectively portray existing data and scientific outputs and map landscape-level decisions for wildlife. This system should retain this information, accept new information as it is generated, and provide a legacy of management decisions. We are piloting this project on 4 species of management interest to MDNR, starting with American marten and snowshoe hare.

Ruffed Grouse Nesting and Survival in Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Project Start: Jan 2018, Projected End: Jan 2020

The Inland Wildlife Department (IWD) of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians identified a need for information on ruffed grouse survival and recruitment to better understand population-level consequences of decreasing aspen as a result of climate change. On cooperation with IWD, AFWEL will quantify attributes associated with ruffed grouse nesting and brood-rearing habitat and, using radio telemetry, quantify adult and brood survival. This study will occur across a gradient of aspen amounts in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Understanding Deer Interactions with Northern Hardwood Regeneration Techniques

Project Start: Aug 2017, Projected End: Aug 2027

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) recognized that standard selection silviculture in northern hardwood forests of Michigan was not resulting in adequate regeneration. Causes for regeneration challenges are thought to include the cumulative effects of herbivory (primarily by deer), a long selection harvest legacy, insect and disease outbreaks, and climate change. Working collaboratively with MDNR and the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University, AFWEL implemented a large experiment to evaluate the effects of alternative silvicultural approaches for improving regeneration success of northern hardwood forests.

Wildlife Responses to Structural Retention in Pacific Northwest Clearcuts

Project Start: May 2016, Projected End: May 2020

Funded by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), this project seeks to understand wildlife response to the spatial arrangement and amount of structural retention in clearcut forests of the Pacific Northwest. Working with NCASI and cooperating landowners, AFWEL implemented a randomized block design (10 blocks, 5 treatments per block) with blocks ranging from St Helens, Washington, to central Oregon. In contrast to other retention studies conducted in this region, our focal taxa are small mammals and Carabid beetles.

Spatial Ecology of Feral Swine in Michigan

Project Start: May 2014, Projected End: Dec 2019

Funded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Wildlife Division, this project seeks to understand feral swine ecology as a means to assist with eradication in Michigan. We GPS radio-collared feral swine (of Russian boar decent) and monitored their locations every 30 min to map high use areas, movement paths and rates, and responses to control activities. We also conducted field sampling in rooted and unrooted areas to portray the short-term effects of rooting on local ecosystems.