Human Dimensions I

Contributed Paper
ROOM: CC, Room 16

8:10AM Establishing Measureable Quality Objectives for Assessing Wildlife and Habitat Monitoring Variables
Craig Palmer
Have you ever questioned the reliability of your data when monitoring wildlife or their habitats? (Be honest!) The collection of ecological data for monitoring presents many challenges. In particular, many variables require data collection based on observations and best professional judgment by field personnel. These can be difficult to obtain in an accurate and reproducible manner. In collaboration with the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office and an interagency committee, we have developed guidance on the application of quality assurance principles applicable to short- and long-term monitoring programs. Our goal is to assist individuals with strategies for maximizing the quality of data generated for their monitoring programs. A critical planning component is to establish quality objectives for indicators of data quality relating to precision, bias and accuracy – and which can be represented by a measurement error tolerance and frequency of compliance. These quality objectives are useful to train and certify field crews, conduct quality control during data collection efforts, and provide a standard necessary for data quality assessment and reporting. Examples will be provided to demonstrate a five-step process for establishing quality objectives that are achievable and meaningful. It is hoped that these simple steps will be considered for including in future wildlife education, citizen-monitoring, or other training and certification efforts.
8:30AM When Worlds Collide: Continent-Wide Variation in Bird-Window Collision Mortality
April A. Conkey; Stephen B. Hager; Bradley J. Cosentino
An estimated 1 billion birds are killed in window collision events per year in North America. Building characteristics and surrounding land cover influence bird-window collisions at a local level; however, little is known about collisions at large spatial scales. Researchers at 40 university campuses across North America used standardized protocols to document bird-window collision (BWC) mortality during the fall 2014 bird migration season. We surveyed 281 buildings of different sizes with varying degrees of local land-cover and urbanization. Buildings were categorized (small, medium, and large) according to window area, number of floors, and floor space area; in addition, land-cover within 50 m of each building was classified. Carcass surveys were conducted around each building’s perimeter for an average of 21 consecutive days from late August – late October in 2014. Bird mortalities (n = 324) ranged from 0 – 34 per site (mean =8.1) with 71 species documented. Migratory passerines had the highest mortality (91%) compared to resident species (9%). Bird-window collision mortality was positively related to building size, but urbanization also had an effect. Large buildings with low levels of regional urbanization had higher mortality than large buildings in areas of high urbanization, while small buildings had low bird mortality regardless of the degree of urbanization. On a local, longer-term scale (5 consecutive years), 58% of BWC mortalities at the Texas site (low urbanization) were resident species (compared to 42% migratory bird mortalities), and 65% of all mortalities occurred at one 2-story medium sized building. Thus, BWC prevention measures should be implemented at all large buildings (> 5 stories, >4181 m2 window area), but mitigation measures should also be considered for medium sized buildings (2-4 stories, 186 – 4181 m2 window area) with contributing factors, such as regional low urbanization, low surrounding structure density, and large lawn size.
8:50AM Public Land and Human Well Being in the Northern Forest
Kathryn Frens; William Porter
The existence and management of public land has long been a source of contention in the United States. Rural residents living in areas with large amounts of public land often believe that public land negatively affects their quality of life due to a perceived tradeoff between conservation and the economy. However, while many studies have argued over the costs and benefits of public land in general, there is little objective research on the relationship between public land and elements of social or economic wellbeing in the United States. The objective of this study is to examine the relationships among public land and several elements of socioeconomic wellbeing in townships in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and New York’s Adirondack Park. These areas were chosen because of their large amounts of public land and their contrasting approaches to land use policy. We used a mixed-methods approach that combined survey and US Census data to define elements of wellbeing in these two regions. We then related the elements of wellbeing to the amount and management of public land using Bayesian general linear modeling. Our results suggest mixed effects of public land on human wellbeing: public land had no effect on income or unemployment, but the percentage of second homes in a township increased as the amount of public land in the township increased. Second homes can be understood as an element of inequality in a community, as well as a symptom of the “culture clash” between newer and longer-term residents that has been described in the rural sociology literature. We conclude that public land likely affects community wellbeing primarily in ways not previously recognized by natural resources practitioners or policy makers. These effects should be considered when deciding whether to protect land and how to manage protected areas.
9:10AM The Little Rapids Restoration Project. a Local, State, and Federal Partnership to Restore Historic Aquatic Habitat in the St Marys River Area of Concern.
Eric Ellis
The St. Marys River is a unique water body connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron with a bi-national channel. In 1987, the river was designated as an Area of Concern (AOC) due to pollution and habitat alteration. The river is listed for multiple Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) including two related to Fish and Wildlife Populations and Habitat. In 1992, the Soo Area Sportsmen’s Club initiated planning to restore the Little Rapids section of the St. Marys River and remove the habitat related BUIs. After 25 years of locally driven, and occasionally contentious, project planning the Little Rapids restoration project was completed in 2018. This project resulted in the removal of a causeway blocking natural water flow and the construction of a 619 feet multi-span bridge in its place. This project restored free flow of water to historic rapids, improved aquatic connection, provided better fishing opportunities to the community, replaced a critical piece of infrastructure, and completed action toward the removal of the Area of Concern designation. Approximately 70 acres of aquatic habitat were restored including foraging, spawning, and nursery habitat for a wide variety of fish, including lithophilic species such as lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), as well as other aquatic organisms needed for a healthy river system. Pre and post construction monitoring was performed and has documented significant ecosystem changes in the short time following project completion. This presentation will cover the history and execution of the project and present up-to-date monitoring results with an emphasis on the changes in fish and macro invertebrate community structures.
9:30AM Wild Meat Sharing and Consumption and Attitudes Toward Hunting
Amber D. Goguen; Shawn J. Riley
Wild meat – meat derived from wildlife – is consumed, shared, bartered, and traded for its nutritional, economic, ecological, and sociocultural importance in societies throughout the world. Evidence suggests that wild meat sharing and consumption function to connect hunters and non-hunters through the culturally significant act of sharing and consumption. We developed a questionnaire to assess patterns of consumption, attitudes toward hunting, hunters and wild meat, as well as consumers’ experiences and relationships to hunting. Our questionnaire went to a geographically stratified random sample of 6,000 Michigan residents in spring-summer 2016 using a modified Dillman total design method with non-response bias checks: 1,778 people returned completed questionnaires. Ninety percent of respondents reported consuming wild meat, with 56% reporting consuming wild meat in the 12 months prior to the survey. Forty-three different types of wild meat were identified, of which venison was reportedly consumed by 89% of respondents. Wild meat was received most often from family members who did not live in the household (53%), close friends (50%), members of the household (34%), self-harvest (25%), acquaintances (14%), community game dinner (12%), and food pantry or donation program (2%). A majority (75-81%) of respondents agreed that wild meat was a local, lean, nutritious food. Sharing and consumption where believed to be culturally important activities by respondents. Although increased frequency of consumption is a positive predictor of attitudes toward hunting and improves model fit, the size of these effects is small. Our findings demonstrate that despite no formal U.S. markets in wild meat, it is widely shared and distributed far beyond the population of hunters. Wild meat sharing and consumption are culturally important activities to some people and consumption can positively affect attitudes towards hunting.


Contributed Paper
Location: Cleveland CC Date: October 10, 2018 Time: 8:10 am - 9:50 am