Establishing a Wildlife Monitoring Framework for Schenck Forest: Lessons Learned

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Title: Establishing a Wildlife Monitoring Framework for Schenck Forest: Lessons Learned
Author: O'Grady, Grainne
Abstract: Wildlife monitoring programs are important for monitoring changes in wildlife abundance and diversity and can be used to highlight specific patterns and possible drivers of population change. Data created from long-term monitoring projects can provide information to managers and researchers to guide management decisions and development of research hypotheses. Long-term wildlife monitoring projects can also provide opportunities for undergraduate students to gain important skills in preparation for future employment. I laid the foundation for a long-term wildlife monitoring project at the Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest to both establish baseline data on wildlife populations and offer opportunities for hands-on learning by undergraduate students in the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. I established 31 survey points within the forest where coverboards were placed and bird point counts were conducted. Additional surveys were conducted by students as part of several courses. Wildlife detections in 2021 included 96 bird species, 10 reptile species, 9 amphibian species, and 8 mammal species. Herein, I summarize a possible sampling framework for long-term monitoring, outline potential challenges and limitations of various survey methods, and describe examples of how to engage students in the process.
Date: 2021-12

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