Effects of an Urban College Campus Environment on Native Wildlife

Jake Gerard Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Julia Angstmann Butler University, Carmen Salsbury Butler University
As Butler University is centered in the urban hub of Indianapolis, they are uniquely positioned to inform urban land management practices that conserve wildlife. I attempt to determine what Butler University can do to better foster environments beneficial to both wildlife and humans through a multi-year wildlife occupancy analysis. Species richness per site and spatial and temporal patterns of mammal occupancy will be quantified using motion-triggered wildlife cameras (Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Game Camera) at eight sites on Butler’s campus. All photos will be manually “tagged” in a Microsoft Access © database to identify which species, if any, are present. Single species, multiple season occupancy modeling will be conducted using the RMark package in Program R (R Core Team, 2014) to compute the probability of a species being captured on camera at a particular site on any given day (MacKenzie, et al. 2006; Fidino et al.2016). This model allows us not only to predict the distribution and timing of a species on campus, but to also determine key environmental covariates that may influence the probability of occupancy for a species. Covariates studied include but are not limited to: human activity, shrub cover, understory cover, adjacent habitat types, edge complexity, distance to nearest water source, distance to nearest dumpster, number of dumpsters per area, and distance to campus center. Butler University is certified as a Gold Level Conservation Champion by the Indiana Wildlife Federation and this project will provide information that can help improve upon these high standards.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:00 AM
Gallahue Hall 102