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Moriarty Science Seminar: Sleuthing on Cryptic Mammals at Powdermill Nature Reserve: Bobcats & Coyotes & Bears, Oh My!
April 24, 2023, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Hybrid: Online and At the Museum
R.W. Moriarty Science Seminar Presents: “Sleuthing on Cryptic Mammals at Powdermill Nature Reserve: Bobcats & Coyotes & Bears, Oh My!“
Speakers: Dr. Jan Janecka, Duquesne University
This event will take place Monday, April 24 at Noon online via Zoom.
Abstract: Pennsylvania experienced removal of forest habitat and alterations associated with open pit mining. Starting in the 1960s, pressure on forests was alleviated leading to regeneration across much of Pennsylvania. This contributed to the recovery of many mammals in the Laurel Highlands, such as the bobcat, as well as influx of species that historically did not occur here, such as the coyote. The legacy of mining continues to affect diversity. Powdermill Nature Reserve is an excellent study site to address these dynamics as it encompasses the remains of an abandoned open pit mine. There are plans for mine reclamation to take place. How has this pit mine effected mammal diversity and movement? How will the changes associated with the reclamation affect mammals? These are important questions to address not only for Laurel Highlands, but more broadly for the ecosystems of the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Mammals including bobcats, coyotes, and black bears, as well as prey species, were surveyed in open pit mine and control plots at Powdermill using camera traps. Comparisons provide insight on how abandoned open pit mines affect mammal diversity and habitat use. The data collected also provides an opportunity to understand changes that will occur after the reclamation.