UBAP staff presents at Ecological Society of America

UBAP Ornithologist Anastasia Rahlin presented a poster at the Ecological Society of America conference held in Portland, Oregon from August 6th-11th. The poster reported on the environmental DNA research being conducted in collaboration with Mark Davis and Matthew Niemiller to collect presence-absence data on cryptic rails in Northern Illinois. The project is testing environmental DNA for bird detection and comparing it to traditional playback surveys.

Rahlin, A.A., M.A. Niemiller, and M.A. Davis. Using environmental DNA sampling methods to determine cryptic wetland bird occupancy in Illinois.

 

View poster

UBAP staff present at Turtle Survival Alliance

UBAP staff Michael J. Dreslik and Jason P. Ross recently presented at the 2017 Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles. The meeting was held in Charleston, South Carolina from August 6th – 9th and has international attendance. At the meeting, they presented a poster on the effectiveness of passage gates along the Asian Carp Barrier and a co-authored oral presentation with a collaborator on the reproduction of Common Snapping Turtles which is in press in the Canadian Journal of Zoology.

 

Hedrick, A. R., H. M. Klondaris, L. C. Corichi, M. J. Dreslik. J. B. Iverson. The effects of climate on annual variation in reproductive output in Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Oral Presentation.

 

Ross, J. P., C. Y. Feng, and M. J. Dreslik. Evaluating turtle passage gates using remote camera traps and visual encounter surveys. Poster Presentation. View Poster

UBAP staff mentor intern from the National Great Rivers Research & Education Center (NGRREC) 2017 Intern Program

Members of the Illinois Natural History Survey’s Urban Biotic Assessment Program hosted and advised an intern from the National Great Rivers Research & Education Center (NGRREC) 2017 Intern Program this summer. The intern worked on mapping the spread, determining geometric morphometrics, and genetics of a novel invasive species in the Corbicula genus. They attended the 2017 Annual NGRREC Intern Symposium from 31 July to 1 August 2017.

Presentations:

Reasor, E., S.A. Douglass, J.S. Tiemann, and M.A. Davis. Alien Invaders: Assessing the spread, genetics, and shape of a novel invasive clam.

Posters:

Reasor, E., S.A. Douglass, J.S. Tiemann, and M.A. Davis. Alien Invaders: Assessing the spread, genetics, and shape of a novel invasive clam.

 

Funding received to survey the Alligator Snapping Turtle

ARC Lab members Ethan J. Kessler and Michael J. Dreslik received funding from The Nature Conservancy, Indiana to conduct surveying for the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys teminckii). The surveys will be a combined effort of trapping and eDNA sampling in the Patoka and White River watersheds. The project also includes some proof-of-concept work for eDNA work at the southern Illinois release site. Survey work will commence this summer through fall.

UBAP staff present at Biology of the Snakes Conference

Members of the Urban Biotic Assessment Program, Michael J. Dreslik and Sarah J. Baker, recently attended and presented at the Biology of the Snakes 2017 Conference in Rodeo New Mexico. They gave two oral and two poster presentations.

Oral Presentations
Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Spatial ecology of the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain.

Dreslik, M. J., J. A. Crawford, S. J. Baker, W. E. Peterman, and C. A. Phillips. Detection probability and capture yield of an imperiled species.

 

Poster Presentations
Baker, S. J., M. J. Dreslik, C. A. Phillips, and M. C. Allender. Impact of snake fungal disease on population viability.

Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Factors affecting the movements of Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. View Poster

UBAP ecologist accepts position at University of Alabama, Huntsville

UBAP ecologist Matthew Niemiller accepted a faculty position at the University of Alabama, Huntsville where he will return to his research in cave biology. Matt received his M.S. in Biology from Middle Tennessee State University and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville dissertation topic “Evolution, Speciation, and Conservation of Amblyopsid Cavefishes.” While with UBAP, Matt was responsible for accoustic monitoring of bats in the Chicagoland area. We wish him well and look forward to continued collaboration.

Follow his research here:

http://www.speleobiology.com/cavebiolab/

Funding received to survey the Eryngium Stem Borer

UBAP staff Dr. Michael J. Dreslik and James R. Wiker received funding from the Forest Preserve District of Will County to survey for the State Threatened Eryngium Stem Borer (Papaipema eryngii). The survey focuses on the sand prairie forest preserves in western Will County. To date, surveys have documented the presence of the moth at two of the three sites surveyed.

On July 18th, an in the field training session on identification and survey methods for the larvae of the species. During the training session Will County staff were provided hands on training and instruction and readily found two individuals.

UBAP staff present at the Joint Meeting of Ichtyhologists and Herpetologist

Members of the Illinois Natural History Survey’s Urban Biotic Assessment Program and Herpetology Lab recently attended the Joint Meeting of American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, and Herpetologists’ League in Austin, Texas from 12 July to 16 July 2017. They presented on a variety of topics from rattlesnakes to darters and from wildlife disease to community changes. The combined topics for presentations and posters were:

 

Presentations:

Baker, S. J., M. J. Dreslik, C. A. Phillips, and M. C. Allender. Impact of snake fungal disease on population viability.

Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Factors affecting the movements of Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain.

Low, K. M., M. C. Allender, C. A. Phillips, and S. J. Kimble. A ranavirus-associated mass mortality event in an Illinois amphibian community.

Ross, J. P., C. Y. Feng, and M. J. Dreslik. Evaluating reptile and amphibian passage gates using remote camera traps.

Sites, A. J., J. L. Sherwood, J. S. Tiemann, and M. J. Dreslik. Assessing the distribution of Iowa Darters (Etheostoma exile) in streams of northern Illinois.

 

Posters:

Baker, S. J., and M. C. Allender. Comparison of testing methods for snake fungal disease.

Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Spatial ecology of the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. View Poster

Sherwood, J. L., and J. A. Stein. Habitat and fish community changes in Champaign County, IL over the past 100 years.

Experts hope to increase population of endangered turtles in Lake County

Dreslik said the biggest challenge Blanding’s turtle conservation will have in the Chicago area is the landscape.

“It’s highly fragmented by roads, by industrial areas, by urbanization,” he said.

That’s one reason Chicago Wilderness is partnering with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to create a statewide Blanding’s turtle recovery plan, he said.

“We’ve done radio telemetry, tracking turtles at a very large site at Goose Lake Prairie (in Grundy County),” Dreslik said. “Those turtles were capable of moving many kilometers between wetlands. “

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