First Faculty Mentor

Dr. William J. Stark

Department

College of STEM

Award

3rd Empirical Graduate

Classification

Graduate Student

Description

The Broad-Headed Skink is a semi-arboreal species that inhabits deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. Eastern Kansas makes up the northwestern periphery of their range and thus serves as an important area for studying the conservation of the species. In order to better evaluate the conservation status of the Broad-Headed Skink and develop a Recovery Plan, critical habitat needs to be better defined. In 2016, we surveyed 117 sites at Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area, Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge, and La Cygne Wildlife Area. We installed drift fences, performed visual encounter surveys, and conducted a habitat evaluation at each site. A total of 560 individuals were collected that represented 32 species and 39 Broad-Headed Skinks were observed. Critical habitat variables were assessed using a logistic regression where we found insignificant results. However, these results will help guide us into the final field season of this project where we hope to increase our sample size.

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Critical Habitat Assessment of the State Threatened Broad-Headed Skink

The Broad-Headed Skink is a semi-arboreal species that inhabits deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. Eastern Kansas makes up the northwestern periphery of their range and thus serves as an important area for studying the conservation of the species. In order to better evaluate the conservation status of the Broad-Headed Skink and develop a Recovery Plan, critical habitat needs to be better defined. In 2016, we surveyed 117 sites at Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area, Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge, and La Cygne Wildlife Area. We installed drift fences, performed visual encounter surveys, and conducted a habitat evaluation at each site. A total of 560 individuals were collected that represented 32 species and 39 Broad-Headed Skinks were observed. Critical habitat variables were assessed using a logistic regression where we found insignificant results. However, these results will help guide us into the final field season of this project where we hope to increase our sample size.