URBAN WILDLIFE CONFERENCE, AMHERST, MA 2009
URBAN WILDLIFE ECOLOGY & MANAGEMENT:
AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIM ON
URBAN WILDLIFE & THE ENVIRONMENT
June 21-24, 2009
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Deadline: February 17, 2009 (extended deadline!)
Submission: Send your abstract as a WORD attachment (Please no .docx files) to: email@example.com
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Then please include the following for your abstract, using the format in the example that follows:
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(5) Body of the abstract (a single paragraph of 300 words or less).
Title: Cryptic effects of urban habitat fragmentation on mountain lions: Toxicant exposure, reduced genetic diversity, and intraspecific strife.
Short Title: Hidden urban effects in pumas.
Authors: Seth P. D. Riley, Jeff S. Sikich, Eric C. York, Raymond M. Sauvajot, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Thousand Oaks, CA, Contact: email@example.com; 805-370-2358.
The fragmentation of natural areas as a result of urbanization has profound effects on wildlife populations, particularly for wide-ranging species such as mammalian carnivores. The loss of suitable habitat or sufficient prey resources will have obvious detrimental effects, but other impacts of urbanization may be harder to detect. Since 2002, through the use of GPS radio-collars, we have been studying the behavior and ecology of mountain lions (Puma concolor) in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, north of Los Angeles. Based on home range size and placement, it is clear that remaining blocks of open space are too small to preserve mountain lion populations over the long-term, and that connectivity between natural areas is critical. However, reduced connectivity may also be leading to reduced gene flow and genetic diversity. Microsatellite genotypes of Santa Monica Mountains lions reveal reduced allelic diversity and heterozygosity relative to other populations across the state, and the population is genetically distinct from others that are relatively close geographically but are across the Los Angeles Basin. Two sources of mortality are also related, or potentially related, to anthropogenic impacts. Two mountain lions died from anticoagulant poisoning after exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides, toxicants used to control rodents around the world. Eighty-eight percent of mountain lions tested have been exposed to two or more anticoagulant compounds. Finally, although intraspecific strife is a source of mortality in many mountain lion populations, when animals, particularly young males attempting to disperse, are restricted in their movements by roads and development, there may be an increased likelihood of fights resulting in injury or death. We have documented mortalities in both males and females, including in males that appeared to be attempting to disperse across freeways and development to new areas. Understanding and mitigating urban impacts is critical for puma conservation in urban landscapes.