Date of Award

1-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Biology

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Meiyin Wu

Committee Member

Scott Kight

Committee Member

Lisa Hazard

Subject(s)

Wildlife crossings--New Jersey--Bedminster--Evaluation

Abstract

Expanding road networks are detrimental to the populations of many reptile and amphibian species. The fragmenting of the landscape creates barriers, separating the populations of native organisms from the necessary resources. Wildlife crossing structures can be beneficial in aiding the movement of amphibians and reptiles across previously installed wildlife crossing culvert in Bedminster, New Jersey. The wildlife crossing culverts are located underneath River Road, which forms a barrier between the woods on one side of the road and the ponds on the other side. We used a combination of wildlife cameras and pitfall traps to determine the usage and success of the wildlife crossing culvert during a peak migration period of amphibians and reptiles. From March 31, 2017 through June 13, 2017, pitfall traps and wildlife cameras were monitored daily to determine the successful usage of the wildlife crossing culvert during migrations from the woods to the breeding ponds, and then returning from the breeding ponds to the woods. During this time period a total of 102 animals were found utilizing the wildlife crossing culvert. The cameras and pitfall traps revealed that the wildlife crossing culverts were most commonly used by amphibians, reptiles and small mammals when migrating to or from the woods and ponds. This study found the most effective method of monitoring usage of the wildlife crossing culvert was a combination of time-interval cameras and pitfall traps in a structure which is accompanied by angled fencing, directing the organisms into the culvert. Cameras were most effective in monitoring the larger amphibians and larger mammals, while pitfall traps were more effective in monitoring smaller amphibians and mammals.

Included in

Biology Commons

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