Current Research on Harvested Species


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River Otter

The status and distribution of river otter in large areas of New York State is unknown. They are one of 14 species of furbearers managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Otter populations are managed via harvest data in approximately one-third of the state. In the remaining two-thirds, harvest is not allowed and the status of otter populations is unknown. This area includes “zones” where harvest was restricted approximately 10 years ago and a larger area where an otter reintroduction effort was conducted in the late 1990s. Project Title: A non-harvest based assessment of river otter (Lontra canadensis) in Read more about this research…


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Coyote

The coyote (Canis latrans) expanded its geographic range considerably on the heels of wolf (Canis lupus) extirpation from most of the United States. The earliest records of wild coyotes in New York State stem from the 1920s, but the species became widespread and common only in the last several decades. This novel addition to the northeastern ecosystem has generated tremendous public interest, and the two most commonly asked questions have been: “How many coyotes are there?” and “What is their potential impact on deer populations? “ Project Title: Population status and foraging ecology of the coyote Summary: This research addresses Read more about this research…


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Foraging and Migration Ecology of Common Merganser

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation spends approximately $7.7 million annually to support its fish hatcheries, which raises and stock approximately 900,000 pounds of fish per year. Brown trout (Salmo trutta), comprise about 55% by weight of the annual production. Given the financial costs involved with raising and releasing trout for put-and-take fisheries, the recent range expansion of Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) across New York State is a concern of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation fisheries biologists. While many studies have documented merganser depredation levels of game fishes across North America, none have sufficiently addressed their Read more about this research…


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Human-Bear Conflict

As the black bear (Ursus americanus) population in the Adirondack region has expanded, so have negative encounters with humans. While it is believed that periodic increases in black bear-human conflict levels and non-hunting mortalities in the central Adirondack region are due to drought and lack of natural food sources, the degree of impact has not been quantified. Indices of hard and soft mast abundance may serve as indicators of potential bear nuisance activity and reproductive rates. Equipping wildlife managers with knowledge of these indicators will increase their predictive ability for population management and provide empirical evidence to support educational outreach Read more about this research…