Todd D. Steury

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 602 Duncan Dr., Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA

Status of Historical Translocations of Gopher Tortoises Outside of Their Geographic Range in Central Alabama

SEAFWA Journal Volume 11, March 2024

The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a species of concern in the southeastern United States, and its distribution is within the range of the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris). One conservation strategy within the state of Alabama has been translocation of adult tortoises to other areas with longleaf pine and sandy soils, including areas outside the current accepted species’ range. Prior examples of such tortoise translocations occurred in two counties in central Alabama: one in the 1960s in Macon County and another in the 1980s in Autauga County. Both introductions...

Size and Composition as a Proxy for Identification of Wild Pig Sounders

SEAFWA Journal Volume 11, March 2024

Management of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) typically employs some form of population survey methodology, and trail cameras are the most common tool for conducting these surveys. Identification of individual sounders is generally at the foundation of these population surveys. Pelage characteristics and relative age distribution of individuals within the sounder coupled with total sounder size are common characteristics used to identify unique sounders. However, in many populations, the pelage of many wild pigs is either black or wild/grizzled, making pelage characteristics unreliable for...

Eastern Gray Squirrel Survival in a Seasonally-Flooded Hunted Bottomland Forest Ecosystem

SEAFWA Journal Volume 6, March 2019

Though the eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is an important game species throughout its range in North America, little is known about environmental factors that may affect survival. We investigated survival and predation of a hunted population of eastern gray squirrels on Lown- des Wildlife Management Area in central Alabama from July 2015–April 2017. This area experiences annual flooding conditions from November through the following September. Our Kaplan-Meier survival estimate at 365 days for all squirrels was 0.25 (0.14–0.44, 95% CL) which is within the range for previously...

Factors that Influence the Risk of Carnivore Road Mortality in Central Alabama

SEAFWA Journal Volume 3, March 2016

Road mortality has been implicated as the most important transportation-related influence on wildlife populations; however, little is known about road mortality of carnivores in the pine-dominated landscapes of the Southeastern United States. We examined the influence of distance to vegetative cover, speed limit, distance to water, and distance to urban center on risk of road mortality to carnivores in central Alabama. We repeatedly drove an established route of six roads to search for road-killed carnivores during the first half of 2014 and used logistic regression to compare attributes...

Success and Failures of an Ecological Detection-dog Service

The use of detection dogs in ecological research and management continues to grow. Two years ago, a collaborative effort was formed at Auburn University with the goal of training detection dogs for use in ecological research. Here we provide details about the projects for which we have used dogs, measures of success for those projects, and lessons learned. We have successfully used dogs in the field to find scat from black bear (Ursus americanus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and coyote (Canis latrans). We have also used dogs to locate live pythons (Python...

Potential Spatial Barriers to Black Bear Dispersal and Population Connectivity in Alabama

SEAFWA Journal Volume 8, March 2021
Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Corridors are important for many species, especially black bears (Ursus americanus), which use corridors for juvenile dispersal and connectivity among local and regional populations. Black bears are native throughout Alabama; however, historic populations have diminished, in part from habitat degradation and decreased connectivity. At present, only two small populations of black bears occur in Alabama. One is a newly recolonized population in northern Alabama, whose numbers are growing quickly. The other is a remnant population in the Mobile River Basin that is genetically...