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Evidence-based recommendations for Atlantic Coast piping plover (Charadrius melodus) conservation and habitat restoration

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Text
TitleInfo (ID = T-1)
Title
Evidence-based recommendations for Atlantic Coast piping plover (Charadrius melodus) conservation and habitat restoration
SubTitle
PartName
PartNumber
NonSort
Identifier (displayLabel = ); (invalid = )
ETD_2330
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.2/rucore10001600001.ETD.000052135
Language (objectPart = )
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eng
Genre (authority = marcgt)
theses
Subject (ID = SBJ-1); (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Ecology and Evolution
Subject (ID = SBJ-2); (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Piping plover--Conservation
Subject (ID = SBJ-3); (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Piping plover--Habitat
Subject (ID = SBJ-4); (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Restoration ecology
Abstract
Conservation action and habitat restoration for threatened and endangered species are often guided by anecdotal evidence. Limited time and resources are wasted on ineffective strategies, or in some cases, on management that is detrimental to the target species. Therefore, rigorous scientific study must be easily translatable into pragmatic conservation directives. For the Atlantic Coast piping plover (Charadrius melodus), a threatened beach-nesting shorebird, two major threats exist for the recovery of the species -- habitat degradation by beach stabilization practices and human disturbance, and intense predation pressure by the introduced red fox (Vulpes vulpes). This dissertation employs robust statistical methods to: 1) analyze piping plover nesting and foraging behavior, and 2) evaluate the effectiveness of predator exclosures to present evidence-based recommendations for the restoration of breeding habitat and the optimization of reproductive success.
Piping plover nests primarily occur in four distinct habitat conditions defined by percent shell and pebble cover, and distance to nearest dunes and high tide line. Characteristics also vary depending on where the nest is initiated (backshore, overwash fan, primary dune). I translate these results into practical restoration target parameters and identify threshold values to assist managers in maintaining suitable nesting habitat. Restoration projects must also include accessible high quality foraging habitat to bolster reproductive success. Plover chicks foraged at higher rates and spent less time being vigilant or fleeing from threats at restored tidal ponds than at other potential foraging habitats. This result suggests that the study ponds offered adequate prey biomass, were visited less frequently by humans, and provided proximate refuge from approaching predators. The foraging models I created were validated externally and are applicable for evaluating future restoration projects.
Finally, long-term nest monitoring data indicate that predator exclosures do increase nest hatching success. Electrified exclosures are effective under certain conditions, but at sites with high fox density and human disturbance, nest abandonment becomes sizeable. While the direct cause of abandonments remains unclear, these results will assist managers in making informed decisions on using this technique. These science-based directives can help to create effective habitat designs and conservation strategies for this species.
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electronic resource
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x, 100 p. : ill.
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Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 91-99)
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by Brooke Maslo
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Maslo
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Brooke
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1979-
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Brooke Maslo
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Steven
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chair
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Advisory Committee
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Steven N Handel
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Burger
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Joanna
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internal member
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Advisory Committee
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Joanna Burger
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Lockwood
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Julie
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Advisory Committee
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Julie L Lockwood
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Nordstrom
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Karl
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outside member
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Advisory Committee
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Karl F Nordstrom
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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Graduate School - New Brunswick
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school
OriginInfo
DateCreated (point = ); (qualifier = exact)
2010
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2010-01
Place
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xx
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD
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Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore19991600001
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T3862GKT
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Notice
Note
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
Note
RightsHolder (ID = PRH-1); (type = personal)
Name
FamilyName
Maslo
GivenName
Brooke
Role
Copyright Holder
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Place
DateTime
2009-12-22 14:16:34
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Name
Brooke Maslo
Affiliation
Rutgers University. Graduate School - New Brunswick
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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