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Zach J. Farris Photo courtesy of B. Gerber. 4 th largest island 3 forest types: Humid, Deciduous, & Spiny (desert) 8 endemic carnivore species Over 70.

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Presentation on theme: "Zach J. Farris Photo courtesy of B. Gerber. 4 th largest island 3 forest types: Humid, Deciduous, & Spiny (desert) 8 endemic carnivore species Over 70."— Presentation transcript:

1 Zach J. Farris Photo courtesy of B. Gerber

2 4 th largest island 3 forest types: Humid, Deciduous, & Spiny (desert) 8 endemic carnivore species Over 70 species of lemurs Rapidly expanding human population (>3%/yr, CIA worldbook ) Impoverished nation relying on unsustainable agricultural practices Map: pbs.orgMap:US Climate Change Science Program

3 Top predators exert significant influence on ecosystem Top predators serve as “umbrella species” due to large home ranges C. ferox is significant lemur predator and impacts lemur behavior and lemur dynamics A paucity of information is available concerning Madagascar’s carnivores making them extremely susceptible to on-going fragmentation

4 1. Increase our understanding of carnivore density, abundance, occupancy, and trap success in Madagascar 2. Quantify the impacts of fragmentation, human encroachment, and poaching on carnivore populations 3. Identify habitat features affecting carnivore occupancy and activity 4. Provide first home range data, description of diet, and genetic analyses for C. ferox and F. fossana populations across rainforest habitat

5 Masoala-Makira Landscape Largest Protected Area Complex Masoala NP (210,000ha) Makira PA (522,750ha) Major Threats: Habitat Fragmentation Slash and Burn (“tavy”) Human Encroachment Poaching (C. Golden 2009) Map: Wildlife Conservation Society

6 1. Estimate density, activity, and occupancy rates of 6 endemic and 3 invasive carnivore species within and among 3 fragmented and 3 non-fragmented sites. 2. Determine factors influencing carnivore population variables including landscape characteristics (using GIS), microhabitat features, climatic conditions, prey species, and human presence. 3. Capture and radio collar C. ferox and F. fossana to determine seasonal home range and activity patterns for both males and females, as well as collect anatomical measurements. 4. Quantify the seasonal diet of C. ferox and F. fossana through collection and analyses of scat, as well as conduct genetic and disease analyses from blood and scat samples.

7 Use landscape/habitat features to classify forests (FRAGSTATS) Use poaching data (Golden 2009) and village location and size for classification of sites Select 3 fragmented and 3 non- fragmented sites for camera traps Sites will form an arc pattern across landscape

8 Estimate density, activity, and occupancy rates of 6 endemic and 3 invasive carnivore species within and among 3 fragmented and 3 non-fragmented sites.

9 Methods: Remotely sensing cameras (2 cameras at each station) Run 24hrs/day for 60 days Organized in grid with 0.75 km spacing Use capture data to calculate population variables (density, abundance, occupancy, trap success) Provide comparison of density estimation techniques 4.5 x 4.5 km 375m 750 m Program DENSITY Program CAPTURE Photo courtesy of B. Gerber

10 Hypotheses: H 1 : Carnivore population variables vary across fragmented and non-fragmented sites. H 2 : All four density estimation approaches are congruent.

11 Determine factors influencing carnivore population variables including landscape characteristics (using GIS), microhabitat features, climatic conditions, prey species, and human presence.

12 Methods: Compare carnivore occupancy across fragmented and non-fragmented sites using: Landscape variables: GIS layers include roads, rivers, villages, habitat type, core, edge, elevation, and climate Micro-habitat variables: canopy height/cover, tree density, basal area, % understory, etc. Lemur abundance: conduct two surveys at each camera site using perpendicular distance estimation techniques Other species trap success: small mammals, invasive spp., and humans 4 km N 100 m 30 m Location of point quarter plot and canopy height 30m long point intercept transect Canopy cover sampling point (every 10m)

13 Hypotheses: H 1 : Carnivore occupancy is related to landscape metrics. H 2 : Carnivore occupancy is related to micro-habitat features. H 3 : C. ferox abundance is related to lemur abundance. H 4 : C. ferox occupancy is related to co-occurring carnivore, small mammal, invasive species, and human occupancy. H 5 : C. ferox and co-occurring carnivore occupancy are negatively affected by fragmentation.

14 Capture and radio collar C. ferox and F. fossana to determine seasonal home range and activity patterns for both males and females, as well as collect anatomical measurements.

15 Methods: Trap, Measure, and Radio Collar C. ferox and F. fossana Error test collars Take triangulation locations 1-2 times daily at least 4 hrs apart Conduct home range analyses (FK & MCP) for C. ferox and F. fossana Compare activity across sex, season, and forest type

16 Hypotheses: H 1 : C. ferox and F. fossana activity pattern and home range vary significantly across fragmented and non-fragmented sites. H 2 : C. ferox and F. fossana activity pattern and home range vary significantly across sex and season.

17 Quantify the seasonal diet of C. ferox and F. fossana through collection and analyses of scat, as well as conduct genetic and disease analyses from blood and scat samples.

18 Methods: Collect blood samples from immobilized C. ferox and F. fossana Collect scat samples from traps and opportunistically from trails Provide description of diet Compare results of blood and scat analyses for C. ferox and F. fossana across fragmented and non-fragmented sites Poop shots courtesy of B. Gerber vs.

19 Hypotheses: H 1 : C. ferox and F. fossana heterozygosity is significantly reduced across fragmented sites. H 2 : C. ferox and F. fossana blood-borne pathogen and macroparasite loads are significantly higher across fragmented sites. H 3 : Presence of rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and mange in C. ferox and F. fossana is significantly higher across fragmented sites. H 4 : C. ferox and F. fossana diet is more homogenous across fragmented sites.

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21 Field Work: June 2010-May 2012 Analyses (data, genetic, scat): Fall 2012 Defend, Present, Publish: Fall 2013 Activity J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D FIELD SEASON BEGIN Camera Trapping Scat collection Habitat Sampling and Lemur surveys Capture and Radio Telemetry Data Entry FIELD SEASON END Camera Data Analyses Genetic Analyses Scat Analyses Writing, Defense & Publications x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x Spring-Fall 2013

22 Committee: Dr. Sarah Karpanty (Co-advisor) Dr. Marcella J. Kelly (Co-advisor) Dr. Dean Stauffer (Virginia Tech) Dr. Steig E. Johnson (Univ of Calgary) Dr. Christopher Holmes (WCS Madagascar) Funding:

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