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Stephen DeStefano

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Ungulate browsing in predator depleted North American landscapes is believed to be causing widespread tree recruitment failures. However, canopy disturbances and variations in ungulate densities are sources of heterogeneity that can buffer ecosystems against herbivory. Relatively little is known about the functional response (the rate of consumption in relation to food availability) of ungulates in eastern temperate forests, and therefore how “top down” control of vegetation may vary with disturbance type, intensity, and timing. This knowledge gap is relevant in the Northeastern United States today with the recent arrival of hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA; Adelges tsugae) that is killing eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis)...
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We studied Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) in southeastern Arizona to assess the status of the local breeding population. Nest success (≥1 young fledged) was 44.4% in 1999 with an average of 1.43 ± 0.09 (SE) young produced per successful pair. Productivity was similar in 2000, with 58.2% nesting success and 1.83 ± 0.09 fledglings per successful pair. Mesquite (Prosopis velutina) and cottonwood (Populus fremontii) accounted for >50% of 167 nest trees. Nest trees were taller than surrounding trees and random trees, and overall there was more vegetative cover at nest sites than random sites. This apparent requirement for cover around nest sites could be important for management of the species in Arizona. However,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Aim  To demonstrate how the interrelations of individual movements form large-scale population-level movement patterns and how these patterns are associated with the underlying landscape dynamics by comparing ungulate movements across species.Locations  Arctic tundra in Alaska and Canada, temperate forests in Massachusetts, Patagonian Steppes in Argentina, Eastern Steppes in Mongolia.Methods  We used relocation data from four ungulate species (barren-ground caribou, Mongolian gazelle, guanaco and moose) to examine individual movements and the interrelation of movements among individuals. We applied and developed a suite of spatial metrics that measure variation in movement among individuals as population dispersion,...
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The Common Loon (Gavia immer) must defend against many potential egg predators during incubation, including corvids, Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), fisher (Martes pennanti), and mink (Neovison vison) (McIntyre 1988, Evers 2004, McCann et al. 2005). Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been documented as predators of both adult Common Loons and their chicks (Vliestra and Paruk 1997, Paruk et al. 1999, Erlandson et al. 2007, Piper et al. 2008). In Wisconsin, where nesting Bald Eagles are abundant (>1200 nesting pairs, >1 young/pair/year), field biologists observed four instances of eagle predation of eggs in loon nests during the period 2002–2004...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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