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Natural Hazards: Animal Ecology

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Keddy, P.A., Gough, L, Nyman, J.A., McFalls, T., Carter, J., and Siegrist, J., 2009, Alligator hunters, pelt traders, and runaway consumption of Gulf Coast marshes, p. 115-133, IN, Silliman, B.R., Grosholz, E.D., and Bertness, M.D., eds., Human Impacts on Salt Marshes: A Global Perspective: Berkeley, University of California Press, 413 p.

The rate of loss of Gulf Coast marshes in general, and the Louisiana coastline in particular, is now a national issue, particularly following the 2005 hurricanes in the region. We suggest that current management paradigms for marsh restoration may focus too exclusively on plants and sediment, with a bottom-up view of coastal wetlands. Top-down processes also merit consideration and may expand the array of potential tools for coastal management and restoration. Here we propose an alligator trophic cascade hypotheses incorporating a top-down approach: that alligator hunting, by reducing the density and mean size of alligators, removes a natural control on the primary herbivores in wetlands, enabling the runaway consumption of coastal marshes.

 

Barrow, W.C. Jr., Chadwick, P., Couvillion, B., Doyle, T.W., Faulkner, S., Jeske, C., Michot, T., Randall, L., Wells, C., and Scott Wilson, S., 2007, Cheniere forest as stopover habitat for migrant landbirds: Immediate effects of Hurricane Rita, p. 147-156, IN, Farris, G.S., Smith, G.J., Crane, M.P., Demas, C.R., Robbins, L.L., and Lavoie, D.L., eds., 2007, Science and the storms—the USGS response to the hurricanes of 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1306, 283 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1306/

Chenieres play an important role in the Nearctic-Neotropical bird migration system by virtue of their geographic position along important migration pathways. Twice each year, millions of songbirds, most all species of the eastern United States, swarm Louisiana’s coast as they migrate across and around the Gulf of Mexico. These chenieres serve as safe havens that migrating landbirds use in spring and autumn to rest and replenish energy reserves before continuing migration.

 

Carter, J., and Leonard, B.P., 2002, A review of the literature on the worldwide distribution, spread of, and efforts to eradicate the coypu (Myocastor coypus): Wildlife Society Bulletin, v. 30, n. 1, p. 162-175, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3784650

We conducted a literature review of coypu (Myocastor coypus) introduction and eradication efforts worldwide. The coypu (also called nutria) has been introduced from its origins in South America to every continent except Australia and Antarctica. While perceived in some regions as a valuable resource, in most regions the animals are considered a pest species. Coypus have caused damage to water control structures, crops, and marsh systems and are considered a disease host. Eradication efforts have met with varying degrees of success.


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