• An examination of sensory input in anti-predator behavior of the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

      Carroll, Rory; Garneau, Danielle (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2013)
      Sensing, processing, and responding to environmental cues is a fundamental process, particularly for avifauna. The degree to which signals are effectively responded to, determines an individual's and a species' ability to function and flourish in its habitat. The sensing of sight and sound are highly evolved environmental analysis tools of the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos). This study examined how crows respond to visual and auditory cues in urban and rural environments. Taxidermic models of a great-horned owl (Bubo virginianus) and a red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), a recorded call of the great-horned owl, and a recorded crow mobbing call were used to test the mobbing response of local crows in several different locations. No significant difference was found in mobbing response between urban and rural environments. There was a significant difference in number of crows mobbing the two predator species. Results suggest that crows use sensory information differently; visual cues for predation avoidance and auditory cues for intraspecific communication. The results also suggest crows exhibit discretionary sensory processing and responses. This study provides insight to how a highly successful synanthropic species utilizes sensory information to thrive in natural and anthropogenic habitats.
    • Nearshore Fish Community Analysis On Northwestern Lake Champlain

      Alejandro Reyes, Caleb Smith, George Maynard, Eric Snavely, and Danielle Garneau (Faculty), Center for Earth and Environmental Science, SUNY Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY 12901; Reyes, Alejandro; Smith, Caleb; Maynard, George; Snavely, Eric; Garneau, Danielle (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2013)
      Community surveys are necessary sources of information needed to properly manage fisheries. These surveys detail important historical data concerning past fish assemblages and the previous status of recreational game fish. Historically, Lake Champlain has received little attention with regard to fish community assemblage research. We undertook a beach, seine net survey at four locations along the northwestern shores of Lake Champlain. We surveyed several unique nearshore habitat types and recorded abiotic factors, fishes, and plant communities. Our results revealed 17 different taxa with four being non-native to the basin. Lakeview Park had the highest species richness and abundance, which we believe results from the presence of vegetation at the sampling site. The scope of our survey was limited (i.e., small species or young of the year game fish), thus we recommend future comprehensive surveys that include a variety of fish sampling methods.