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Predicting conservation status of North American avian and mammalian scavengers: Implications of geography, life history, behaviour and human disturbance Open Access


Other title
Conservation status
Correlates of risk
North America
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ives, Kimberly
Supervisor and department
Nielsen, Scott (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Derocher, Andy (Biological Sciences)
Foote, Lee (Renewable Resources)
Department of Renewable Resources

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Conservation risk is spatially and taxonomically variable, affected by both biological (intrinsic) and environmental (extrinsic) factors. To better understand this variability, I examined how intrinsic and extrinsic factors influenced sub-national patterns of conservation risk in North America for 43 avian and 37 mammalian scavengers. Conservation risk for avian species was most influenced by life history and behavioral traits, while conservation risk for mammalian species was determined more by range size, body mass and human disturbance. Correlations between conservation statuses of scavengers suggested that co-extirpations might be due to losses of behavioral interactions among highly interactive scavengers. These losses may contribute to observed patterns in conservation risk. The most interactive species were ravens, black and grizzly bears, gray wolves and river otters. These findings emphasize the importance of behavioural interactions among species on conservation status. I suggest that dependencies be examined prior to reintroduction efforts, with multi-species reintroductions considered.
License granted by Kimberly Ives ( on 2011-09-19T23:52:48Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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