Urban Wildlife Ecology & Management:

An International Symposium on

Urban Wildlife & the Environment


University of Massachusetts, Amherst

June 21-24, 2009




June 21-24, 2009




Deadline:  February 17, 2009 (extended deadline!)


Submission: Send your abstract as a WORD attachment (Please no .docx files) to:  samo_urbanconf@nps.gov


Questions or problems? seth_riley@nps.gov


Click here for a pdf version of this announcement


In preparing your abstract, use Times Roman 12-point font if possible.


First, please answer the following questions:


(1)  Is this for an ORAL PRESENTATION or a POSTER?


(2)  Is this for a special symposium? (YES or NO)

            If YES, identify:

                 (a)  The name of the symposium:

                 (b)  The name of the organizer(s):


Then please include the following for your abstract, using the format in the example that follows:


(1)  Full title, in bold font.  (Avoid inclusion of Latin binomial names if possible.)


(2)  A short version of the title.


(3)  Author name(s) and affiliation(s):
Set name of the person to be presenting in BOLD.
Include the email address and telephone number for a CONTACT person at the
end of the authors' affiliations.


(4)  Is the presenter a student?
            If YES, in which program and at which institution?


(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: seth_riley@nps.gov; 805-370-2358.


Student?:  No.

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.


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