Estimating trends in landbird abundance in the Pacific Northwest

As part of the National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program, together with the Institute for Bird Populations, we are estimating landbird trends through Bayesian models and long-term monitoring across North Cascades, Mount Rainier, and Olympic National Parks. Bird species dependent on late-successional forest conditions find refuge in these large protected areas, and as such they provide vital baseline data for investigating potential stressors such as fire and climate change, as well as local changes in land use. You can follow the project with annual reports and synthesis reports here

Restoring fishers to Washington’s Cascade Mountains

Fishers (Pekania pennanti) are amazing mesocarnivores that disappeared from Washington State by at least the early 1990s. They were reintroduced to Olympic National Park 2008-2010, and now we are trying to establish populations in the Cascades. Together with the National Park Service, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and Conservation Northwest, we released 69 fishers into the southern Cascades during the winter of 2015/2016. Over the next several years we aim to put ~90 more across the Cascades and study their movements, reproduction, and survival. You can follow the project updates here.

CURRENT research TOPICS

Ph.D.

JASON RANSOM 


Behavior of feral horses in response to culling and GnRH immunocontraception

Managing wildlife becomes a daunting challenge when resources to support populations are
limited and protected species become locally overabundant. Increasingly, managers are turning to fertility control technologies to supplement removal of animals in efforts to suppress population growth, but little is quantitatively known about how either of these management tools affects behavior. Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) is a small neuropeptide that performs an obligatory role in mammalian reproduction and has been formulated into the
immunocontraceptive GonaCon-B. We are studying behavior of feral horses at Theodore
Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota, USA before and after culling and fertility control treatment with GonaCon-B to better understand how such tools influence behaviors and ultimately population growth. 

Ecology of reintroduced Böhm’s zebra at Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

Together with Dr. Alison Leslie and Stellenbosch University graduate students, we are uncovering the basic biology and ecology of reintroduced Böhm’s zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) at Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi, toward informing management actions. We are quantifying behavior, social organization, demographics, reproduction, and diet as part of the larger picture of wildlife restoration at Majete. You can follow the team’s work on social media here.

WILDLIFE ECOLOGIST