INHS PACE Lab on Will County’s “The Buzz”

INHS PACE Lab hired their furry four-legged turtle sniffers again this year to help at sites across Illinois.  Their skill at locating endangered Ornate Box Turtles was featured on the latest episode of The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s “The Buzz”

2021 NRES Symposium

PACE Lab graduate students presented at the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Symposium, April 17th, 2021.

    • Alma C. Schrage presented “Bumble Bee Detection and Occupancy in Northern Illinois” Click for more info
    • Devin Edmonds presented “Informing the Mantella cowanii Conservation Action Plan” Click for more info
    • Anastasia Rahlin presented “Spatial and temporal drivers of marsh bird occupancy in an urbanized matrix” Click for more info
    • Tyler Stewart presented “Distribution and Detection Probability for Kirtland’s Snake (Clonophis kirtlandii)” Click for more info

New paper on habitat restoration impacts on box turtles

Eastern Box Turtle growth is influenced by environmental conditions which in turn can be influenced by vegetative structure. Removal of Autumn Olive and Russian Olive at a site in Illinois occurred during a 16 year mark-recapture study allowing us to analyze impacts of removal on the growth of turtles. The data showed that removing the invasive plants may not negatively impact the growth of the turtles and that growth is variable by individual. This is attributed to reptile growth being influenced by more than just environmental conditions, including genetics.

Read the paper: Edmonds, D., A.R. Kuhns, and M.J. Dreslik. 2020. Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) growth and the impacts of invasive vegetation removal. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 15(3):588–596.

Graduate student Alma Schrage wins scholarship

PACE Lab graduate student Alma Schrage was selected to receive this year’s Mary Jane Neer Scholarship. Alma is a graduate student in the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences department studying bumblebees including the federally endangered Rusty-patched Bumblebee.

Earlier this year, Alma won 2nd place for a student poster at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference for her poster:

“Foraging and nesting habitat of Bombus community in documented B. affinis site in northern Illinois”

eDNA used to detect Alligator Snapping Turtles

PACE Lab member Ethan Kessler’s paper on using eDNA to detect Alligator Snapping Turtles was covered by the University of Illinois Department of ACES.

See complete story at ACES News

The paper “Radiotelemetry reveals effects of upstream biomass and UV exposure on environmental DNA occupancy and detection for a large freshwater turtle,” is available in Environmental DNA

INHS PACE Lab well represented at Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference

With 10 oral presentations, 7 posters, and 2 awards for graduate students, the INHS PACE Lab showed their might at this year’s Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, held in Springfield, Illinois, January 26-29.

Alma Schrage won the Illinois Chapter of the Wildlife Society’s 2nd place student award for her poster “Foraging and nesting habitat of Bombus community in documented B. affinis site in northern Illinois”

Ethan Kessler won 2nd place for student oral presentation for his talk “The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) reintroduction in Illinois: an adaptive approach.”

Congratulations to both!

 

Other lab members presenting included:

Presentations

  1. Crawford, J. A., A. R. Kuhns, and C. A. Phillips. Efficacy of created wetlands for amphibian population persistence in forested ecosystems.
  2. Curtis, A. N, J. S. Tiemann, S. A. Douglass, M. A. Davis, and E. R. Larson. eDNA is not always easy: methodological studies for the advancement of eDNA applications to fish and wildlife conservation.
  3. Edmonds, D. A., and M. J. Dreslik. Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata) demography in Illinois.
  4. Hohoff, T. C., J. A. Kath, A. B. Cable, and M. A Davis. Illinois’s chiropteran landscape: leveraging NaBat acoustic data to inform conservation of Illinois’ bat biodiversity.
  5. Holtswarth, J. N., E. R. Larson, J. S. Tiemann, J. L. Sherwood, P. Willink, and K. Ash. Genetic analysis of the rapid expansion of Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) in Illinois.
  6. Kessler, E. J., S. Ballard, and M. J. Dreslik. The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) reintroduction in Illinois: an adaptive approach.
  7. Phillips, C. A., A. R. Kuhns, J. A. Crawford, M. J. Dreslik, and J. Adams. Surveys for Kirtland’s snakes in Illinois.
  8. Rahlin, A. A., M. L. Niemiller, and M. A. Davis. Testing the effectiveness of eDNA metagenomics to detect endemic wetland bird species.
  9. Ross, J. P., D. Thompson, and M. J. Dreslik. Population viability analysis and the role of head-starting for a northern Illinois Blanding’s Turtle population.
  10. Jesper, A. C. B., and M. J. Dreslik. Over-wintering phelology of the threatened Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in Illinois.

 

Posters

  1. Andree, S., S. A. Douglass, and A. Stodola. Shell shape and body mass index of two freshwater mussels differs with age and location.
  2. Callahan, S. A., A. R. Kuhns, J. A. Crawford, C. A. Phillips, and M. J. Dreslik. Phenology of breeding migrations of three Ambystoma species.
  3. Douglass, S. A., E. J. Kessler, and M. J. Dreslik. Freshwater mussel movement in the Kishwaukee River, Rockford, Illinois.
  4. Dreslik, M. J., J. P. Wiker, T. L. Esker, and J. M. Mui. Status of borer moths (Papaipema) in Illinois with an emphasis on the Rattlesnake-master borer.
  5. Kuhns, A. R., J. A. Crawford, C. A. Phillips, M. Corcoran, and M. J. Dreslik. Herpetofaunal species of greatest conservation need in forested wetlands of southern Illinois.
  6. LaGrange, S. M., L. Adamowicz, M. C. Allender, S. J. Baker, and M. J. Dreslik. Long-term monitoring of snake fungal disease in the Eastern Massasauga in Illinois.
  7. Schrage, A. C., J. L. Robinson, and M. J. Dreslik. Foraging and nesting habitat of Bombus community in documented B. affinis site in northern Illinois.

New Field Herpetology Techniques class being offered for Spring 2020

NRES 285 FHT CRN 46194

NRES 499 GHT CRN 54944

FIELD HERPETOLOGY TECHNIQUES

SPRING 2020

This course is designed for students considering careers or graduate work studying wild amphibian and reptile populations. We will introduce students to techniques used in monitoring and research of amphibians and reptiles including methods for sampling, capturing, measuring, and marking herpetological populations and communities.

We will focus on the types of data often collected and basic statistical analyses used. The course will be designed around brief lectures followed by field trips to study sites where students will get hands-on experience with field techniques, which include methods to determine distribution and abundance; marking and measuring; movement patterns and home range size. The course will culminate in a three-day field trip to southern Illinois where students will get to employ many of the techniques they have learned in the class.

More information and registration on NRES Course Explorer