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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Graduate Exit Seminar - Jen Myers

Plan to join Jen Myers's graduate exit seminar on April 11, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in Kottman Hall 333C. Jen will present, "Assessing occupancy and functional connectivity of eastern massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus) across an agricultural-prairie landscape in northern Ohio."

Abstract: The federally threatened eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) occurs across the Great Lakes region of the mid-western United States in increasingly small and fragmented populations. While massasaugas are relatively well-studied among snakes, much is still unknown about their baseline habitat requirements, as well as how they move across heterogeneous landscapes. One of the largest remaining populations outside the species strongholds of Michigan and Ontario is found at a wildlife area in northern Ohio. The objectives of my research were to: 1) identify the land use practices and habitat features that best predict massasauga occurrence at the wildlife area in northern Ohio; and 2) determine how the wildlife area is functionally connected for massasaugas given the amount of active agricultural production still taking place on the landscape and their limited dispersal tendencies. My results will facilitate effective and adaptive management for massasaugas in Ohio and will offer valuable insight into how massasaugas traverse heterogeneous landscapes across their range.

Advisor: Dr. Bill Peterman