More recent news and updates from the Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center can be found on Twitter. Please follow @bcqwc_msu for the latest!
Ashley Huinker (MS student) and Craig Campaeu (field technician) demonstrate how we mount radio transmitters on woodcock hens. Birds are initially located using pointing dogs in cooperation with many volunteers from the Michigan Woodcock Banders. Transmitters on the hens and chicks allow us to relocate individuals through the season and assess their survival and use of habitat. This research is a collaborative effort between the QWC and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, investigating how local- and landscape-scale habitats influence the reproductive success of woodcock.
Capture, handling, and auxiliary marking protocols are approved and permitted by the Animal Care and Use Committee at Michigan State University and a Federal Bird Banding and Marking Permit.
Ph.D. student Kathryn Frens was awarded 3rd place in the presentation category at The Wildlife Society's Annual Conference in Albuquerque, NM. She is studying how urbanization can affect the biodiversity of bird communities.
Learn more about Kathryn's work and her award by visiting the TWS website. Well done, Kathryn!
Hunter Stanke, an undergraduate researcher in the Boone & Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center, was awarded Best Student Poster at the annual conference of The Wildlife Society in Albuquerque, NM. Hunter's poster was chosen from more than 250 entries. His research focuses on issues surrounding chronic wasting disease in Michigan. Congratulations, Hunter!
Two BCQWC students presented research at the Midwest FW Conference in Lincoln, NE. Jennifer Smith (MS) gave a talk on the performance of SCR models for black bears in Michigan's lower peninsula. Sydney Manning (undergraduate) presented her work on evaluating turkey harvest management models. Sydney was also recognized during the plenary session as a finalist for the Janice Lee Fenske Memorial Award.
Current field work being conducted by Jennifer Smith is evaluating detectability of black bears by hair snares. As part of the work Jennifer and one of our undergraduate researchers, Steve Gurney, are collecting video footage of bear behavior around the snares. Check out this video series showing a bear accessing bait hung higher than he can initially reach.
The Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center, along with the Quantitative Fisheries Center and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), recently hosted a structured decision making (SDM) workshop in East Lansing, MI to inform future directions of wild turkey management in Michigan. This was the second in a sequence of four workshops aimed at integrating management stakeholders, agency biologists, and university researchers into the process of jointly identifying turkey management objectives and potential management options, as well as using advanced statistical modeling to understand spatial-temporal dynamics of turkey populations and predict likely outcomes of management decisions. This highly collaborative project involves a team of modelers and facilitators from Michigan State University, managers and researchers from DNR, and representatives from stakeholder groups, including: Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, Michigan Audubon, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Natural Resources Commission, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Nature Conservancy of Michigan, and the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.
Ms. Sonja Christensen is the 2016 recipient of the Graduate Student of the Year Award for the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society! Sonja was cited for her “absolute passion for wildlife disease ecology and [work] at the highest levels of science,“ while at the same time demonstrating “unusual ability to relate to people at many different levels and leadership abilities to work with teams of volunteers on complex projects.” Further, she was recognized for her leadership “as the coordinator for the National Fish and Wildlife Health Steering Committee, as well as a member of the executive board for both Michigan chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Wildlife Disease Association chapter which she helped to form.”