More than you may want to know about squirrels, chipmunks, marmots and prairie dogs…KCRL members John Koprowski, Emily Goldstein (postdoctoral researcher), Kendell Bennett (doctoral student) and Calebe Mendes (visiting doctoral scholar) recently coauthored the 189 page section on the Sciuridae in Handbook of the Mammals of the World published by Lynx Edicions (http://www.lynxeds.com/hmw/handbook-mammals-world-volume-6). The section provides a species account for all 292 recognized species in the Family Sciuridae and includes a range map and a wonderful artist’s painting of each species on more than 10 plates in additional to copious references and a general overview of the species….now its on to the next project!
KCRL members have published two new species accounts Mammalian Species! The Caucasian Squirrel, Sciurus anomalus, was the subject of an account authored by KCRLs John Koprowski, alum Sandy Doumas and Israeli colleague Leah Gavish. KCRL alums and current members Allyssa Kilanowski, Tim Jessen, Melissa Merrick, Nate Gwinn and John Koprowski also produced the account for Microsciurus flaviventer, the Amazon dwarf squirrel.
Read the abstracts at:
A fantastic collaborative conservation effort among AZGFD, Phoenix Zoo, USFWS, NAU, and the University of Arizona is underway!
On August 17th, the first translocation of captive bred narrow-headed gartersnakes was performed by a collaborative team of conservation experts, including KCRL PhD students Brian Blais and Stuart Wells (Stuart is also the Director of Conservation and Science at the Phoenix Zoo). This occasion marks the first time that the species has been released in the wild from a captive breeding program, and is a big step toward the recovery of the species. Brian will be monitoring these snakes post release (using radio telemetry) to understand space use, habitat needs, diet, survival and more – all of which we know very little.
Way to go team!
KCRL is very pleased to announce 6 new graduate students joining us this fall to begin conservation research projects on species as diverse as garter snakes, Andean bears, tiger salamanders, ground squirrels, and tree squirrels!
Please give a warm welcome to the newest members of Team KowPow!
Brian Blais: captive bred narrow-headed garter snake translocation
Colin Brocka: Sonoran tiger salamander dispersal
Allie Burnett: Harris’s antelope ground squirrel ecology
Kira Hefty: Big Cypress fox squirrel occupancy
Mauro Vela-Vargas: Andean bears in Columbia
Stuart Wells: Mt. Graham red squirrel captive breeding and release
We will be posting more details about their projects here and on our webpage in weeks to come, stay tuned!
Congratulations to KCRL’s Senior Wildlife Biologist and PhD student, Melissa Merrick, on the successful defense of her dissertation that explored the process of natal dispersal in the endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel in order to learn what influences the decision of squirrels to settle at a site after they leave home.
The Koprowski Conservation Research Laboratory have just returned from the 96th Annual Meeting of The American Society of Mammalogists in Minneapolis, Minnesota (#ASMGopher). This meeting was notable, both for the number of student attendees and in the quality of presentations. As we reflect on our experiences, it is clear that this was yet another productive and inspiring meeting for team KowPow, and we look forward to next year!
Workshops – KCRL alum Dr. Karen Munroe and PhD student Melissa Merrick hosted a workshop on how to be a good peer reviewer, with over 100 enrollees! Panelists Doug Kelt, Brad Swanson, and Bob Rose discussed what Editors and Authors need from peer reviewers, and answered many questions.
Talks and posters – KCRL students Melissa Merrick, Max Mazzella, Amanda Veals, and Post-doctoral Researcher Emily Goldstein gave talks on rhino, flying squirrel, and fox space use and comparative red squirrel demography, and Kendell Bennett presented a poster on Abert’s squirrel genetics during contributed paper and poster sessions.
Making and maintaining friendships and connections – each ASM meeting is a great chance to make many new, lasting connections as well as reconnecting with colleagues from near and far. We are already looking forward to the 2017 meetings: 97th Annual Meeting at the University of Idaho, and the International Mammalogical Congress in Perth, Western Australia!
KCRL alum Dr. Hsiang Ling Chen’s recent publication in Biological Conservation demonstrates that even low traffic, narrow roads can act as barriers to small mammal movements due to gap avoidance behavior. Dr. Chen’s research has important implications for the conservation and management of forest dependent small mammal species faced with fragmentation and disturbance.
Check it out:
Chen, H. L. and J. L. Koprowski. 2016. Barrier effects of roads on an endangered forest obligate: influences of traffic, road edges, and gaps. Biological Conservation 199:33-40.