The Karner blue butterfly, a federally endangered species, has suffered major population declines mainly due to habitat loss since European settlement. Eric Wood investigated if restoration of oak savannas, critical habitat for this species, also provides an opportunity to protect important avian communities that use sparse canopy oak savannas during the breeding season.
Professor Sarahy Contreras has been studying hummingbirds in western Mexico for nearly 20 years. Her current project tackles the question of how different frequencies and intensities of post-fires affect hummingbird populations in the Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve.
Understanding how spatial patterns of vegetation explain the distribution of organisms is a central theme within Landscape Ecology. Avi Bar Massada developed a novel method to quantify these patterns, which may be more effective than existing methods. He illustrates its effectiveness with bird data from Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy.
Poyang Lake, one of China’s most diverse wildlife areas, increasingly faces shifting use patterns and new threats to the wildlife and human communities who call it home. Ph.D. candidate James Burnham seeks to understand how changing lake hydro-dynamics and human impacts affect the local wildlife, particularly the critically endangered Siberian Crane.
Trends in land use, and in turn wildlife habitat loss, are closely interlinked with economics. Predicting forest bird diversity under different simulated land use scenarios, including both ecological and economic parameters, improves our understanding of the effects and drivers of habitat loss.
The woodlands of the upper Midwest are undergoing a major transformation as oak forests and savannas are being replaced by maples. How will this transformation affect Wisconsin wildlife, such as our colorful migrant wood warblers? A field team led by SILVIS researcher and graduate student Eric Wood is trying to find out.