Title

Ecological and Genetic Connectivity of Shrews (Sorex spp.) Across Interstate-90 in Washington State

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

18-5-2020

Abstract

To mitigate impacts on wildlife from widening Interstate-90 in the Cascades, the Washington State Department of Transportation in collaboration with other organizations is building wildlife crossing structures to increase ecosystem connectivity. This study focused specifically on shrews near sites where crossing structures will be built. The main objectives were to determine habitat preferences of the several sympatric shrew species and to assess the population genetic structure of the most abundant species. We set up live-trapping transects north and south of the highway in three different habitat types: wetland/riparian, lowland, and upland. Pitfall and Sherman traps on each transect were trapped twice for two consecutive nights during summer 2019. We also measured microhabitat characteristics within each habitat type to determine correlates of shrew abundance. We captured six species totaling 135 individuals of Marsh Shrew (Sorex bendirii), American Water Shrew (S. palustris), Trowbridge’s Shrew (S. trowbridgii), Montane Shrew (S. monticolus), Vagrant Shrew (S. vagrans), and a sixth species (possibly S. rohweri). Total captures and individual species showed no significant preference for habitat types or microhabitat characteristics. DNA extracted from tissue samples of these individuals will be analyzed to determine the genetic structure of populations on the same side of I-90 compared to opposite sides to determine if I-90 acts as a barrier to movement. The results of this study will aid future habitat restoration projects and can be replicated in the future to determine the success of wildlife crossing structures for even the smallest of mammals.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Kristina Ernest

Department/Program

Biological Sciences

Additional Mentoring Department

https://cwu.studentopportunitycenter.com/2020/04/ecological-and-genetic-connectivity-of-shrews-sorex-spp-across-interstate-90-in-washington-state/

Share

COinS
 
May 18th, 12:00 PM

Ecological and Genetic Connectivity of Shrews (Sorex spp.) Across Interstate-90 in Washington State

Ellensburg

To mitigate impacts on wildlife from widening Interstate-90 in the Cascades, the Washington State Department of Transportation in collaboration with other organizations is building wildlife crossing structures to increase ecosystem connectivity. This study focused specifically on shrews near sites where crossing structures will be built. The main objectives were to determine habitat preferences of the several sympatric shrew species and to assess the population genetic structure of the most abundant species. We set up live-trapping transects north and south of the highway in three different habitat types: wetland/riparian, lowland, and upland. Pitfall and Sherman traps on each transect were trapped twice for two consecutive nights during summer 2019. We also measured microhabitat characteristics within each habitat type to determine correlates of shrew abundance. We captured six species totaling 135 individuals of Marsh Shrew (Sorex bendirii), American Water Shrew (S. palustris), Trowbridge’s Shrew (S. trowbridgii), Montane Shrew (S. monticolus), Vagrant Shrew (S. vagrans), and a sixth species (possibly S. rohweri). Total captures and individual species showed no significant preference for habitat types or microhabitat characteristics. DNA extracted from tissue samples of these individuals will be analyzed to determine the genetic structure of populations on the same side of I-90 compared to opposite sides to determine if I-90 acts as a barrier to movement. The results of this study will aid future habitat restoration projects and can be replicated in the future to determine the success of wildlife crossing structures for even the smallest of mammals.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2020/COTS/16