Eastern Massasauga Road Ecology and Population Dynamics in Michigan
Project Start: Apr 2020, Projected End: Sep 2022
The Michigan Department of Transportation manages thousands of mile of road-right-of-ways in Michigan. Some of these roads pass through habitats occupied by federally protected massasauga rattlesnakes. Although MDOT has worked with the USFWS on mitigating potential impacts of right-of-way maintenance activities on massasaugas, questions remain on how and when the snakes use right-of-ways. MDOT recognized the importance of answering these questions as a means to develop and implement management that voids harming snakes. Our lab was awarded the contract to conduct this work.
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.