E. P. Hill

Wood Duck Nest Cavities in Bald Cypress-Tupelo Gum Stands

We studied availability of natural cavities for wood ducks (Aix sponsa) on 5 areas in 3 southeastern states in 1988-1990 because of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) guidelines that called for the reduction of nest boxes on National Wildlife Refuges. Selected forested wetlands dominated by bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) or tupelo gum {Nyssa aquatica) were randomly sampled using 0.5-ha plots to estimate the density of cavities suitable for wood duck nesting. Density of suitable natural cavities in live, mature (≥28 cm dbh, ˉx age = 117.6 years) bald cypress-tupelo gum stands...

Year
1996

Evaluation of Southeastern Coyote Diets During the Wild Turkey Reproductive Season

The role of coyotes (Canis latrans) as predators of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) remains unclear. We determined proportion of wild turkey and other prey species in coyote scats collected during the wild turkey reproductive and non-reproductive seasons from 4 study areas with wild turkey populations. Wild turkey constituted only a small portion (x = <4%) of coyote diet on all study areas. Wild turkey increased in coyote diet during the wild turkey reproductive season, but the differences were not significant. Wild turkeys have evolved in the presence of predators and possess...

Year
1994

Coyote Use of White-tailed Deer Fawns in Relation to Deer Density

We detennined summer diets of coyotes (Canis latrans) from analysis of 523 scats and 9 stomachs collected on 7 study areas in Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee from May 1985 to September 1986. We compared coyote diets among 4 areas where white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) occurred in high densities (HDA's) and 3 areas with low deer densities (LDA's) during prefawning, fawning, and post-fawning periods on each study area. Important coyote foods (by frequency of occurrence) were fruit (45.7%), insects (36.5%), rabbit (Sylvilagus ssp., 31.6%), deer (30.8%), and rodents (23...

Year
1989

Climatic and Aquacultural Influences on Waterfowl Use of Catfish Ponds

We compared climatic and pond-management parameters with aerial census estimates of waterfowl and American coots (Fulica americana) on randomly selected clusters of channel catfish (lctalurus punctatus) impoundments in the Delta Region of Mississippi from November 1983 to March 1984 and from October 1984 to March 1985. Mean total waterfowl and coot estimates for 1983-84 and 1984-85 were 51,853 and 81,325, respectively. Numbers of lesser scaup (Aytha affinis) increased four-fold the second winter. Weekly waterfowl and coot populations fluctuated with temperature, rainfall, and ice over....

Year
1989

Two Tree Climbing Techniques for Wildlife Tasks

We modified top-rope and lead-climbing techniques to develop safe, efficient methods for climbing trees. Two individuals, the climber and belayer, were required for each technique. An ll-mm belay rope, tree pruners saddle, tree climbing gaffs, adjustable lineman's pole strap, and 2.54-cm tubular webbing were required. Top-rope climbing was favored over lead-climbing, and was preceived as substantially safer. Bark characteristics of tree species affected climbing difficulty. Both climbing techniques have application in forestry, botany, and wildlife research.

Year
1988

Taxonomic Assessment of Coyotes and Domestic Dogs in the Southeastern United States

To assess the taxonomic status of coyotes (Canis tatrans) and domestic dogs (C. jamiliaris) in the southeastern United States, 380 skulls of unknown canids were compared to known skulls of these taxa. Twenty-four cranial characters were employed in a discriminant function analysis to separate statistically unknown canids as to coyote or dog. Hybridization between taxa was minimal. Our results indicate that the predominant wild canid occurring in the southeastern United States is coyote. The method of distinguishing coyotes from dogs based on a ratio of 2 skull features (length of the upper...

Year
1988

Diurnal Activity Budgets of Nonbreeding Waterfowl and Coots Using Catfish Ponds in Mississippi

We quantified diurnal time activity budgets of 4 waterfowl species and American coots (Fulica americana), using catfish ponds in the Delta Region of Mississippi from November to March 1983-84 and 1984-85. Within each species, activity budgets were similar (P > 0.05) between seasons (1983-84 vs. 1984-85). Primary activities of lesser scaup (Aythya ajfinis) included foraging (34.6%) and resting (27.7%). Shovelers, (Anas clypeata) mostly foraged (69.0%) and courtship and interaction activities increased in late winter. Primary activities of ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris) were foraging...

Year
1988

Improved Efficiency in Aerial Surveys of Waterfowl using Catfish Ponds

Data from 2 aerial surveys of waterfowl using catfish ponds were used to compare sampling efficiences between 2 stratified sampling designs and 2 completely random designs. Completely random designs produced slightly lower coefficients of variation (CV) than post-stratified sampling designs. The unbiased estimator was simplest to compute. Based on a curve established from proportions of catfish ponds sampled and CV's, sampling intensity may be reduced if lower levels of precision were acceptable. Sampling intensity can be reduced by employing a stratified design and optimal allocation of...

Year
1986

Scent-Stations As Indices Of Abundance In Some Furbearers Of Alabama

A cursory evaluation of scent-station techniques was made in 6 physiographic regions of Alabama between January and April 1979 and between October 1979 and April 1980. In addition, predator calling was conducted at 30 stations in each of these 6 regions between November 1979 and March 1980. Synthetic fatty acid scent (FAS) was used as an attractant the first year, whereas FAS, red fox urine, bobcat urine, and a 1: 1 mixture of red fox and bobcat urine was used in systematic rotation the second year. Animal visitation was converted to indices of relative abundance for each species, and...

Year
1980