A muddy question: assessing human recreation and research disturbance on Missouri River sandbars managed for endangered birds

Evaluating, quantifying, or defining, human disturbance (passive, recreational and research) during research of wildlife species is frequently ignored or considered inconsequential. Scientists generally agree that excessive disturbance, although an undefined quantity, can influence research results by (1) altering behavior of the research subjects, (2) affecting availability of their resources, and in some severe cases, (3) causing death or lost reproductive opportunities. These effects are particularly critical to research and management of species listed under the Endangered Species Act, for which animal welfare and successful reproduction is a prime concern. On the upper Missouri River south of the Gavins Point dam, two federally listed species, interior least terns (Sterna antillarum; endangered) and piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; threatened), nest on open sandbar habitats th [see Narratives for more information.]

Principal Investigator(s):

Jennifer H Stucker

Project Status:

In Progress

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