Check out a nice little write-up on our new Wildlife Atlanta Project. To date, we have deployed 3 GPS units, with hopefully 12 more to go, on coyotes around Atlanta. See the link for more information on the study! bit.ly/WildlifeAtlanta
Our Wildlife Atlanta Project has started the new year off with a bang as PhD student Summer Fink successfully collared her first Atlanta Coyote! This blonde female weighed in at 17 kg, putting her on the very large size. Over the next 1.5 years, this GPS collar will monitor her daily movements to help us understand how coyotes move through the urban landscape. If things go as planned, this will just be the start as we hope to collar up to 15 coyotes this winter. For more information, check out our WildlifeAtlanta.org website and stay tuned for more information!
Ben Carr finished his undergrad at Warnell in style. He was voted by his fellow classmates as the student speaker during the Fall 2021 Convocation Ceremony and he did not disappoint… “I know it sounds cliche, but Warnell is truly a family,” said Carr. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to do life with everyone day in and day out. From late night study sessions in the lab to debates in the lounge to the truly unforgettable road trips, it’s hard to recount all the wonderful memories we’ve made. I would not be the person I am today without my time here with all of you – and for that I am forever grateful.”
Ben Carr successfully defended his Senior Undergrad Thesis titled “Wildlife Behavioral Response to a Global Pandemic.” For his research, Ben evaluated effects of the COVID-19 shutdown on wildlife diurnal activity across an urban to rural gradient. This was possible through a larger-scale collaboration looking at coyote boldness (more to come on that). Ben’s work was really cool in that it used both Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports and turkey harvest rates in Georgia to understand how wildlife responded to shifting human behavior during the lockdowns! You can read his thesis here!
We were able to get two new extension documents out this month, both led by Warnell Undergrads!!! The first was an effort led by Ben Carr, and undergraduate senior in our lab studying the impacts of COVID-19 shutdowns on wildlife in Georgia. As part of that effort, we lead the effort on our new “Coyote Conflicts and Management in the Urban Landscape” document. Miranda Hopper followed that up with this extensive literature review she completed as a Senior Undergrad under the direction of Dr. Gino D’Angelo discussing the “Effects of Prescribed Burning on White-tailed Deer Habitat in the Southeastern United States.”
Fall semester is off to a fast start here in the Kohl Wildlife Lab. We have two new students that we are excited to have as they officially start their graduate programs this month. Jen Brown, co-advised with Dr. Clark Rushing, joins us after finishing her B.S. at ESF-SUNY to study black vulture spatial ecology. Summer Fink, joins us after a few years on the Chicago coyote project, and a BS from Warnell in 2018, to lead our new Atlanta Urban Wildlife study. Cat Carter completed her first full season on the black bear project as part her MS. She was able to deploy 38 collars this summer on bears throughout North Georgia. Casey Morrow is transitioning into our new RHDV2 Outreach project (more to come on that), and Collin Richter gets to spend the next two semesters working on his thesis as he looks to wrap up his Mojave Desert Tortoise ….
Collin Richter was awarded 1st Runner-Up for the best paper at the Turtle Survival Alliance Conference for this talk titled “Multi-year Space Use and Survival of Head-started Mojave Desert Tortoises Following Release in the Mojave National Preserve, California, USA.” I heard through the grape-vine that it came with a nice prize too so huge congrats to Collin.
We deployed our 27 cameras across Athens – Clark County again for the July sampling season as we continue our efforts as part of Urban Wildlife Information Network. Timing worked out well this time around as the Cherokee County 4H crew got to tag along to not only help deploy some of our cameras but also learn more about how we monitor our urban wildlife. Didn’t hurt that we stumbled across a nice 5-point white-tail deer antler shed at this site in the heart of town; this site had plenty …..
This spring, we became the 35th collaborator across the U.S. and Canada to join the Urban Wildlife Information Network. This effort represents the first alliance of urban wildlife scientists and partners committed to understanding, conserving, and managing urban wildlife. Here in Athens, we partnered with Athens-Clarke County to deploy 27 remote game cameras to begin monitoring our local wildlife. More information to follow…
Casey and Cat both received graduate scholarships from the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources to help them as they pursue their degrees in the 2021-22 school year!