Projects and Research

MSU Black Bear Genetic Structure and Dietary Components

Hair samples are collected via hair snare corrals, made of strands of barbed wire. Hair samples are necessary for both DNA extraction for genetic analysis and stable isotope analysis to investigate diet. These corrals are checked biweekly over 6 weeks. The corrals were set up May to June, sampling continued through July, and equipment removed in August. Camera traps were deployed to assess black bear activity at other sites. Potential food items were collected. These included arthropods, berries, tree fruit, grasses/sedges, vines, herbaceous vegetation, road-killed vertebrates, and fish.

USM Distribution and Relative Abundance of Alligator Snapping Turtle

The alligator snapping turtle is a candidate species for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Surveys are being conducted throughout their range with direction from USFWS for the species status assessment. Very little is known about the distribution, abundance and demographics of the alligator snapping turtle. Surveys are being conducted throughout all Mississippi major river drainages. All freshwater turtle species captured were marked, measured, tissue sample acquired, and released at the location of capture. Habitats sampled include navigable rivers and oxbow lakes.