Matching Items (25)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

133855-Thumbnail Image.png

IUCN Red List Assessment of Muraenidae

Description

The International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive and objective global approach to evaluate the conservation status of species by categorizing species based on relative extinction risk. For the Global Muranidae IUCN

The International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive and objective global approach to evaluate the conservation status of species by categorizing species based on relative extinction risk. For the Global Muranidae IUCN Red List assessment, all known, taxonomically valid species of Muraenidae were assessed for their extinction risk using the IUCN Red List Global Categories and Criteria. Of all 208 Muraenidae species, it was concluded that 86% of species qualified for Least Concern, 13% of species are Data Deficient, and 1% of species qualified for a threatened category. Channomuraena bauchotae is listed as threatened under VU D2 and Gymnothorax parini qualified for VU B2ab(iii). This study will have brought the International Union for the Conservation of Nature one step closer to their goal of conducting Red List assessments of all the world's species(not including microorganisms). Future implications of this study may include future monitoring of key habitat areas and species or conducting further research to gain a more in depth understanding of the life history and threats to Muraenidae.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

132545-Thumbnail Image.png

Do Aquarium Visitors have a Preference towards Exhibit Type?

Description

As the public becomes increasingly aware of the morality of wildlife institutions like zoos and aquariums, these places are now having to face possible negativity and lack of support from their communities. In light of this, these institutions are now

As the public becomes increasingly aware of the morality of wildlife institutions like zoos and aquariums, these places are now having to face possible negativity and lack of support from their communities. In light of this, these institutions are now focusing their goals and efforts towards conservation education and outreach programs in order to continue contributing to biodiversity conservation. Research has proven that wildlife institutions like zoos and aquariums are effective ways to teach the community about wildlife and conservation. To measure how effective aquariums are at educating their patrons on conservation, a short survey was administered to 100 patrons of the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. The object of the survey was to assess which type of conservation messaging was preferred by the general public and if patrons of the aquarium were likely to engage in pro-conservation behaviors after their visit. It was found that the majority of respondents preferred interactive exhibits as their choice to learn about conservation and wildlife. In addition, almost all respondents agreed that they would continue practicing behaviors that supported pro-conservation actions after their visit to the aquarium. My results also showed that patrons of the aquarium were well educated about plastic pollution and the rehabilitation that OdySea accomplishes for the sea turtles due to their overexpression of mentioning plastic in their open-ended questions. My findings indicate that this aquarium is succeeding in promoting conservation and wildlife education as well as supporting cultivation within their patrons that will benefit the future health of this planet.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

132843-Thumbnail Image.png

Language Used when Covering People with Disabilities

Description

News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center

News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center of the story. A story about a disabled person is primarily about their disability, with their other accomplishments framed by it.

As one example of the victimhood narrative, ABC News used to run a special called My Extreme Affliction as part of 20/20 until 2012. As the name implies, the specials covered people with disabilities, specifically extreme versions. One 2008 episode on Tourette’s syndrome described Tourette’s like it was some sort of demonic possession. The narrator talked about children who were “prisoners in their own bodies” and a family that was at risk of being “torn apart by Tourette’s.” I have Tourette’s syndrome myself, which made ABC’s special especially uncomfortable to watch. When not wringing their metaphorical hands over the “victims” of disability, many news outlets fall into the “supercrip” narrative. They refer to people as “heroes” who “overcome” their disabilities to achieve something that ranges from impressive to utterly mundane. The main emphasis is on the disability rather than the person who has it. These articles then exploit that disability to make readers feel good. As a person with a disability, I am aware that it impacts my life, but it is not the center of my life. The tics from my Tourette’s syndrome made it difficult to speak to people when I was younger, but even then they did not rule me.

Disability coverage, however, is still incredibly important for promoting acceptance and giving people with disabilities a voice. A little over a fifth of adults in the United States have a disability (CDC: 53 million adults in the US live with a disability), so poor coverage means marginalizing or even excluding a large amount of people. Journalists should try to reach their entire audience. The news helps shape public opinion with the stories it features. Therefore, it should provide visibility for people with disabilities in order to increase acceptance. This is a matter of civil rights. People with disabilities deserve fair and accurate representation.

My personal experience with ABC’s Tourette’s special leads me to believe that the media, especially the news, needs to be more responsible in their reporting. Even the name “My Extreme Affliction” paints a poor picture of what to expect. A show that focuses on sensationalist portrayals in pursuit of views further ostracizes people with disabilities. The emphasis should be on a person and not their condition. The National Center for Disability Journalism tells reporters to “Focus on the person you are interviewing, not the disability” (Tips for interviewing people with disabilities). This people-first approach is the way to improve disability coverage: Treat people with disabilities with the same respect as any other minority group.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2019-05

132662-Thumbnail Image.png

Human-Wildlife Conflict Management in a Rapidly Changing World

Description

As human populations continue to expand, interactions with wildlife are expected to increase due to destruction of land and global climate change threatening native habitats. Established areas of protection are becoming essential to species survival and biodiversity protection. National Parks

As human populations continue to expand, interactions with wildlife are expected to increase due to destruction of land and global climate change threatening native habitats. Established areas of protection are becoming essential to species survival and biodiversity protection. National Parks (NP) are a globally ubiquitous method employed to protect wildlife and habitats. Often NPs are mosaics of relatively small protected areas in a “sea” of human-dominated landscapes, and these remaining habitat “islands” are becoming essential to preventing species extinction. However, the establishment of a NP can lead to increased human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and disenfranchisement of local communities, particularly along their borders. We conducted semi-structured interviews in six different countries to better understand the nature of HWCs at the borders of major NPs: (1) Khao Yai NP, Thailand; (2) Myall Lakes NP, Australia; (3) Chitwan NP, Nepal; (4) Kruger NP, South Africa; (5) Chingaza NP, Colombia, and (6) Yellowstone NP, United States. We evaluated affinity to wildlife, perception of conflicts, management success, and potential solutions at each park to better understand the global nature of HWCs.We also evaluated these data in relationship to the Human Development Index (HDI) to determine if there was a correlation between development and conflict issues. We found the intrinsic value of wildlife to not markedly differ between countries. Conflict was perceived as higher in the United States and Australia but was known to be of greater intensity in Nepal and South Africa. Management of NPs was well-regarded with a slight decrease from less-developed countries to more-developed countries, with solutions that were creative and unique to each region. Results appeared to be related to shifting baselines between countries and also to equivalency in a cross-cultural assessment. When these theories are taken into account, the complexity of HWCs globally is better understood. As our world continues to expand and NPs become some of the only contiguous native habitat and refuges for wildlife, it is important to understand the complex relationships occurring at the interface between natural and human communities and to explore effective solutions to these problems.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

131271-Thumbnail Image.png

Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Arizona

Description

Climate change, as it becomes more prevalent, is putting a much harsher strain on the resources of the world, specifically food, energy, and water. With this in mind, now is the time to make a change and begin working towards

Climate change, as it becomes more prevalent, is putting a much harsher strain on the resources of the world, specifically food, energy, and water. With this in mind, now is the time to make a change and begin working towards a more sustainable future for everyone. Arizona is an especially susceptible location that has the opportunity to be the leader of this change. In order to effectively manage this movement through governance, a food-energy-water nexus approach is required. This approach recognizes and accounts for the intricate relationships between these industries in order to promote more resilience and balance throughout the nexus. While the main focus in Arizona tends to be on water, and rightfully so, it is important to understand the intricacies of the food, energy, and water systems together. Right now, the system is fragile and needs a new, more complex approach. Ultimately, legislation that intertwines water rights with agriculture regulation and energy production goals, while also including equity and justice measures, have the capacity to work towards limiting the effects of climate change that Arizona will see. Arizona has the opportunity here to either provide a cautionary tale to other regions of how mismanagement can lead to destruction or can showcase the legislative success that the nexus governance approach can provide.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

134327-Thumbnail Image.png

Struggle for Existence: Mexican Gray Wolves in the American Southwest

Description

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is a genetically distinct subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) that was driven to the brink of extinction as a result of human persecution. The wolf is listed as Endangered under the

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is a genetically distinct subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) that was driven to the brink of extinction as a result of human persecution. The wolf is listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and a recovery program is underway in Arizona and New Mexico to restore its population. However, the wolf is struggling to recover due to high mortality, which is a result of continued human hostility toward it. This thesis examines historical and current human attitudes toward the wolf and the implications that they have had on the extermination and recovery of the subspecies. An overview is given of wolf biology, the history of wolf extermination and recovery, and recent events relating to the recovery of the wolf. Negative impacts on ranching, hunting, and human safety are the main reasons for opposition toward wolves and wolf recovery; these concerns are analyzed, and solutions to them are proposed, with the goal of addressing them while fostering non-lethal coexistence with the wolf. In addition, opposition to wolves and wolf recovery is tied in with larger socio-political issues and is influenced by the representation of the wolf in culture; these issues in the context of wolves are also analyzed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05

134587-Thumbnail Image.png

A Tale of Two Canyons: Abiotic factors and the distribution of a pathogenic fungus in southeastern Arizona

Description

Chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has played a significant role in global amphibian declines. Researchers studying Bd aim to gain a better understanding of how this pathogen survives in unique microhabitats to

Chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has played a significant role in global amphibian declines. Researchers studying Bd aim to gain a better understanding of how this pathogen survives in unique microhabitats to promote persistence of amphibians in their natural habitat. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has worked for the last 12 years to recover populations of Chiricahua Leopard Frogs to ensure the species survives in the Huachuca Mountains in southeastern Arizona. During this time, the department tested for Bd throughout their release sites. As a result of large differences in prevalence noted in prior sampling for Bd in Miller and Ramsey canyons, I investigated abiotic factors that could explain these differences. I analyzed water samples from two canyons in the Huachuca Mountains and used nutrient analysis and filter extraction to test for differences in abiotic factors between these two sites that could affect Bd transmission. Results show that Ramsey Canyon was a positive site for Bd, while Miller Canyon remained negative. Results from water temperature estimates as well as a test for 30 elements revealed possible reasons for differences in Bd transmission between the two canyons.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05

133275-Thumbnail Image.png

Conservation of Avian Species: Examining the Prevalence of Urban and Non-Urban Bird Species Admitted to Wildlife Centers in the Greater Phoenix Area

Description

Due to the widely accepted trend of urbanization displacing wildlife from their natural habitats and niches, many wildlife conservation organizations have sprouted up, even in Phoenix. Liberty Wildlife Foundation is one that rehabilitates avian wildlife. Several studies have mentioned an

Due to the widely accepted trend of urbanization displacing wildlife from their natural habitats and niches, many wildlife conservation organizations have sprouted up, even in Phoenix. Liberty Wildlife Foundation is one that rehabilitates avian wildlife. Several studies have mentioned an opposing theory: that urbanization helps conserve those species that have turned urban environments into a niche of their own. Since these wildlife conservation centers are localized in cities themselves, this brings into question these organizations' definitions of the term "wildlife." This study examined injury and recovery statistics to determine just how many of the patients admitted were conventional wildlife versus urban-dwelling city birds, and whether this classification had any effect on their likeliness of recovery and release. The data showed that out of over 130 species, a few key urban species contributed to an overwhelmingly large majority of injured birds admitted to the center in 2017; urban and non-urban birds, however, had relatively equal average release frequencies, demonstrating then that their likelihood of recovery was predominantly dependent on the injury borne by them.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

134925-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effect of Park Educational Programs on Public Values, Knowledge of, and Attitudes toward Noncharismatic Species

Description

Current conservation practices are substantially biased towards large, charismatic animals and are influenced by public perceptions of different animals. Therefore, it is important to understand how these perceptions are formed and what factors influence them in order to promote equitable

Current conservation practices are substantially biased towards large, charismatic animals and are influenced by public perceptions of different animals. Therefore, it is important to understand how these perceptions are formed and what factors influence them in order to promote equitable conservation for all species. This study examines the effect of attending a park education program on public values, knowledge of, and attitudes towards a noncharismatic species. Data was collected from May through October 2016 at the Usery Mountain Regional Park "All About Scorpions" program. A four page, onsite, self-administered pre- and post-program survey was given to program attendees. An identical survey was given to hiking park visitors who had never attended the program as the control sample. Survey statements addressed participant's demographics, value of bugs, knowledge about scorpions, and attitudes toward scorpions. Data analysis was completed using paired t-tests to analyze any statistically significant changes in values, knowledge, and attitudes between pre- and post-participants. Independent sample t-tests were used to analyze the same between the control and pre-participants. The results showed no difference in the value of bugs for any of the survey participants. However, the program attendees had more positive attitudes and greater knowledge of scorpions than general park visitors, and attending the program further increased positive attitudes and knowledge. Contributions of the study are twofold: First, the results provide Usery with information regarding the influence of their public programs, along with how these programs can be improved to make a greater impact. Second, findings serve to extend the literature on what alters public perceptions and how educational programs can be used to change the current conservation mindset.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-12

135906-Thumbnail Image.png

Ghost Lands

Description

Southern Arizona was once described as a "sea of grass" extending across the four major valleys, the Sulphur Spring Valley, the San Pedro Valley, the San Simon Valley and the San Bernardino Valley. But today the majority of that land

Southern Arizona was once described as a "sea of grass" extending across the four major valleys, the Sulphur Spring Valley, the San Pedro Valley, the San Simon Valley and the San Bernardino Valley. But today the majority of that land is covered with desert shrubs like mesquite, leaving little to none of the natural grasses that once dominated these valleys. By the late 1800s Americans were flocking to southern Arizona to take advantage of some of the lushest grasslands the United States had to offer. Yet today we can find very little of these grasslands remaining, and so the image of this once productive land has been long forgotten. This thesis/creative project takes an in-depth look at what the land in Cochise County, Arizona once was, what it has become, and what happened to cause these drastic changes. It looks at the four major theories as to what caused these changes. The first of which is the overgrazing of cattle through the cattle boom of the late 1800s. The second is the effect of climactic events like drought and an increase in aridity over time. The third is the encroachment of what was thought to be non-native mesquite, which choked out the natural grasses. And the fourth and final theory is that the overarching suppression of fire by settlers allowed desert shrubs to expand their ranges into the grasslands. Through historical records like newspaper articles, photo archives, land surveys, military travel journals, census data, weather records as well as prior research works and interviews with researchers, conservationists and ranchers, a history of these lands is presented to show the major turning points in the lands' use and determine what led to their deterioration.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-12