Wildlife biology students win big at national conference
CLEMSON — Clemson University wildlife biology students made a strong showing at the 2013 Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Milwaukee.
The undergraduate research team of Sloane Wiggers, Beaufort; Gillie Croft, Summerville; and Matt Kynoch, Easton, Conn., earned first place in the student research in progress poster category for its poster “The effect of artificial increase in coyote presence on nesting bobwhite quail and potential nest predators.”
The researchers are trying to determine if decreased coyote presence in bobwhite quail nesting habitats is resulting in over-predation of nests by middle-level predators, such as raccoons, skunks and snakes. Bobwhite quail is a favored game species in South Carolina.
The research poster is the result of a Creative Inquiry project focusing on mammalian predator ecology and led by wildlife ecology professor Greg Yarrow and wildlife and fisheries biology Ph.D. student Cady Etheredge.
Wildlife and fisheries biology doctoral student Kristina Dunn of Neptune Beach, Fla., earned second place for the best doctoral research poster presentation for “Field assessment for the effectiveness of Diazacon on reducing gray squirrel reproduction and population.”
Dunn tested the effectiveness of the chemical contraceptive DiazaCon in lowering eastern gray squirrel numbers on the Clemson campus. Squirrel outbreaks have resulted in an increase in human-squirrel conflicts. Squirrel infestation in a Duke Power substation caused a recent power outage in the Clemson area.
Jenna Kohles, senior wildlife and fisheries biology major from Cary, N.C., was awarded top prize in flora photography in both the people’s choice and juried exhibit categories for her close-up photograph of a red sourwood leaf floating on a pond.
Clemson students presented a total of 11 research papers and posters at the conference.