Loading…
This event has ended. View the official site or create your own event → Check it out
This event has ended. Create your own
To return to the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference website, go to http://www.midwestfw.org/ The following schedule and room names are subject to change (as of February 1, 2017). Please check back for updates. 

Presenters: 
Presenters for technical presentations are either the primary author (the first name listed in the abstract), or are indicated with an asterisk next to their name. 

Please note:
 the conference schedule is hosted by Sched.org which allows you to search within the schedule, and filter the schedule to show sessions only occurring on a certain date or within a track. You can also build your own schedule by creating a free account with Sched.org by selecting "SIGN UP" in the top right corner. 
View analytic
Monday, February 6 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
Technical Session. Dangerous Misperceptions: Eastern Cottontail Survival in an Agroecosystem

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

AUTHORS: Julia A. Nawrocki, Robert L. Schooley, Michael P. Ward - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Intensive agricultural practices often have negative impacts on local wildlife populations. In attempts to alleviate these effects, habitat restoration programs such as State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) have been established. One species that could benefit from restored grassland habitat created by these programs is the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus). In Illinois, populations have undergone a substantial decline over time, especially in the most agriculturally intense regions. To understand how mortality risk and perceived predation risk for eastern cottontails varies within an agroecosystem, we examined survival rates and perceived risk in restored grassland habitats and the surrounding agricultural fields. From June 2014 through June 2016, we radio-collared 95 eastern cottontails with VHF transmitters and tracked their movements year-round until the collar failed or mortality occurred. We then constructed known-fate models in program MARK to determine how survival rates vary across habitats and seasons. To determine if habitats differed in perceived risk for cottontails, we conducted giving-up density (GUD) experiments in grassland and agricultural fields. During the summer when crops (corn and soybean) were present on the landscape, mortalities occurred disproportionately in agricultural fields relative to grassland areas. However, the GUD experiments indicated that cottontails perceived these same agricultural fields to be less risky than the grassland areas. This mismatch suggests that cottontails may be incorrectly assessing the risks of these habitats and that agricultural fields may be acting as ecological traps lowering the potential benefits of restored grassland areas. Our results can be used to inform selection of future SAFE sites, by considering landscape context, to more effectively manage eastern cottontail populations and other species that may be experiencing similar circumstances.

Monday February 6, 2017 2:40pm - 3:00pm
Hawthorne

Attendees (11)