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

  • Author / Creator
    Ives, Kimberly
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.