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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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Road networks and the disturbance associated with vehicle traffic alter animal behavior, movements, and habitat selection. The response of moose (Alces americanus) to roads has been documented in relatively rural areas, but less is known about moose response to roads in more highly roaded landscapes. We examined road‐crossing frequencies and habitat use of global positioning system (GPS)‐collared moose in Massachusetts, USA, where moose home ranges have road densities approximately twice that of previous studies. We compared seasonal road‐crossing frequencies of moose with a null movement model. We estimated moose travel speeds during road‐crossing events and compared them with speeds during other home range movements....
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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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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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