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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Snowshoe Hare in Lower Michigan: The Shifting Range of a Climate-Sensitive Species

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AUTHORS: Spencer West, Grand Valley State University; Paul Keenlance, Grand Valley State University; Robert Sanders, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians; Joseph Jacquot, Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT: Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) are a mid-sized North American leporid that range from northern continental U.S. through Canada and Alaska. Their preferred habitat is northern boreal forest with a thick undergrowth, typically dense in coniferous vegetation. In their core range, climate is cold with long winters and high periods of snowpack. Recently, populations at the southern reaches of their range, such as Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, have struggled and decreased due to changing climate and habitat. Warmer winter temperatures have decreased the amount of winter snowpack, reducing access to higher browse in the winter. Reduction of snow also can cause a camouflage mismatch between the white winter coat of the hares and the brown forest surroundings. These impacts have already reduced hare occupancy in the Huron National Forest while reports of hare sightings in the Manistee National Forest have also declined. This project aims to assess the occupancy of snowshoe hares in the Manistee National Forest through the use of camera traps and track surveys. Live trapping and radio telemetry will be used to provide insight into local habitat requirements, home range information, movement patterns, and dispersal data. These findings will be used to provide management recommendations to improve and increase snowshoe hare populations in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (6)