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Title: Where the Wild Things Are: Evaluating the Conservation Value of Regenerating Tropical Dry Forests for Terrestrial Vertebrates
Authors: Gow, Alexander
Advisors: Wilcove, David
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Anthropogenic habitat loss has threatened biodiversity and continues to destabilize ecosystems. As primary forests become rarer, secondary forests offer an alternate conservation strategy. The conservation value is dependent on the ability of these secondary forests to function as habitat for threatened species and ecosystems. My study focuses on the tropical dry forests of Costa Rica, as tropical dry forests are critically endangered on a global scale and Mesoamerica faces extensive habitat fragmentation. Camera trap surveys were used to collect data about terrestrial vertebrate populations in forest stands with variable ecological characteristics. I found that none of the species exhibited preferences between the different forest stands. This research demonstrates that secondary forests have high conservation potential as the quality of the habitat is not a critical determinant of species presence.
Extent: 66 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1992-2017

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