Elizabeth Forys

Elizabeth Forys
Eckerd College · Environmental Studies

PhD

About

46
Publications
5,705
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1,006
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1996 - present
Eckerd College
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
Rynchops Niger (Black Skimmer) is a colonial seabird that forages on small planktivorous fish that are caught while gliding just above the surface. Previous studies have found that baitfish abundance can affect skimmer productivity, so the purpose of this research was to determine the species and size of fish fed to chicks in Southwest Florida. Dur...
Article
Full-text available
Fort De Soto Park (Pinellas County, Florida) encompasses several barrier islands and is accessible to the public by road. Over 32 ha of beach are closed to the general public to allow birds to nest, loaf, and forage without human disturbance. The objective of this study was to use video monitoring of the closed area to determine when intrusions int...
Article
Understanding the scales over which land use affects animal populations is critical for conservation planning, and it can provide information about the mechanisms that underlie correlations between species distributions and land use. We used a citizen science database of anuran surveys to examine the relationship between road density, land use and...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout their range, Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) are one of the most common species to become entangled in fishing gear. We surveyed four piers every other week for one year (6/2019–5/2020) in the Tampa Bay region, FL, USA, to determine frequency of pelican entanglement associated with fishing piers, and explored factors that might i...
Article
Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are adaptable fish-eating raptors that readily nest on artificial structures in heavily human-dominated areas. Although the Osprey is a well-studied species, few researchers have investigated the factors that influence nest success and productivity in an urban environment. We monitored Osprey nests from 2013 to 2017 in h...
Article
Fish crows (Corvus ossifragus) can be important seabird egg predators. In southwestern Florida, USA, crows were previously documented as causing the abandonment of black skimmer (Rynchops niger) colonies. While lethal crow control might be the most effective strategy, there are ethical and practical concerns about corvid control in an urban setting...
Article
Fort De Soto Park (Pinellas County, Florida) encompasses several barrier islands and is accessible to the public by road. Over 32 ha of beach are closed to the general public to allow birds to nest, loaf, and forage without human disturbance. The objective of this study was to use video monitoring of the closed area to determine when intrusions int...
Article
Full-text available
Rynchops Niger (Black Skimmer) is a colonial-nesting seabird that nests on open, sandy or gravel beaches. In densely populated Pinellas County, FL, Black Skimmer colonies often occur on municipal beaches where there is relatively little mammalian predation, but intense predation by Corvus ossifragus (Fish Crow) and Leucophaeus atricilla (Laughing G...
Article
Full-text available
A combination of autonomous acoustic recorders and visual surveys was used to determine the seasonal and spatial distribution of dolphins on the West Florida Shelf (WFS), Gulf of Mexico, USA. Acoustic detection rates were calculated using a model that adjusted the theoretical detection range for variations in ambient noise, which was found to be hi...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Habitat loss and fragmentation represent significant threats to amphibians. Fragmentation is particularly harmful because many amphibians migrate between aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and even narrow bands of unsuitable habitat can act as barriers to movement. Additionally, amphibians are slow-moving and prone to r...
Article
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Sternula antillarum (Least Tern) are small, migratory seabirds that are listed as threatened or endangered in every state in which they occur. While their natural nesting habitat is open beach, Least Terns have adapted to nest on flat tar and gravel roofs, sometimes many kilometers inland. We used the "fish drop" technique to collect fish that bird...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Final report on all migratory, wintering and breeding bird research, including methods, analyzed data, location maps, figures, digital images, recommendations for future protected area management and stewarding programs, as well as lessons learned from chosen experimental design.
Article
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Much of the suitable habitat for birds that nest on beaches in Florida is managed by municipal and county governments whose primary goal is human recreation. Birds attempting to nest on these beaches are exposed to higher levels of human disturbance and predation by human-associated species than birds on more natural, protected beaches. An educatio...
Article
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Trained odontocetes appear to have good control over the timing (pulse rate) of their echolocation clicks; however, there is comparatively little information about how free-ranging odontocetes modify their echolocation in relation to their environment. This study investigates echolocation pulse rate in 14 groups of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid development and urbanization of the lower Florida Keys in the last 30 years has fragmented the habitat of the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri), hereafter called marsh rabbit, and threatened it with extinction. On the Naval Air Station–Key West (NAS), Boca Chica Key, marsh rabbits exist as a meta-population of discrete ha...
Article
Full-text available
Primarily due to loss and disturbance of their open beach habitat, Least Tern (Sterna antillarum) nesting colonies often occur on flat or gently sloped gravel rooftops throughout the Southeastern United States. Currently, these rooftops are being converted to a new substrate, unsuitable for Least Tern nesting, because of changes in state building c...
Article
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"Sprawling development can affect species composition by increasing the rate of invasion by non-native species, and decreasing the persistence of native species. This paper briefly reviews the scientific literature on the impacts of sprawl on biological diversity, with specific emphasis on the influence of sprawl on non-native species richness. We...
Article
Full-text available
Due to a decline in suitable coastal breeding habitat, the Coastal Least Tern (Sterna antillarum antillarum) has been listed as a threatened species by Florida. As available breeding habitat for this species continues to decline, the need to manage and protect existing habitat is crucial. To determine what constitutes suitable habitat for Least Ter...
Article
The Cuban Treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, is an invasive, non-native species whose range is rapidly expanding throughout Florida and may be a significant predator of native treefrogs. To investigate the attractiveness of various sized native Green Treefrogs as prey to Cuban Treefrogs, we conducted laboratory experiments where we offered very...
Article
Full-text available
Least Terns (Sterna antillarum) commonly nest on flat gravel rooftops in the southeastern United States. Increasingly, these rooftops are being replaced with a smooth, modified surface upon which the birds are unable to nest. Eight commercial roofing contractors in Pinellas County, Florida were interviewed between January and June of 2002 to determ...
Article
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We examined the influence of both the proximity and extent of human developments and paved roads on the presence of the predatory, non-indigenous, red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta). This species was inadvertently introduced into the United States at the port of Mobile, Alabama, around 1930 and rapidly spread to many southeastern states, in...
Article
Full-text available
Cross-scale resilience theory predicts that the combination of functional diversity within scales and functional redundancy across scales is an important attribute of ecosystems because it helps these systems resist minor ecological disruptions and regenerate after major disturbances such as hurricanes and fire. Using the vertebrate fauna of south...
Article
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The Stock Island tree snail, Orthalicus reses reses, went extinct in its native range in the Florida Keys in 1992. Fortunately, O. r. reses has been introduced elsewhere and further reintroductions are currently planned. Before these reintroductions are implemented, it is important to try and determine which factors were most likely to have caused...
Article
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The Schaus smallowtail, Papilio aristodemus ponceanus, historically occurred in tropical hardwood hammocks from South Miami to the upper Florida Keys and is currently listed as federally endangered. Much of the remaining hardwood hammock habitat is fragmented by roads and human development that may alter the microhabitat within the hammocks and inc...
Article
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Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) have increasingly been observed in loggerhead (Caretta caretta; L.) and green (Chelonia mydas L.) sea turtle nests in Florida, and in the nests of freshwater turtles. They may be attracted to the disturbance, mucous and moisture associated with turtle nesting and establish foraging tunnels into turt...
Article
Full-text available
The Stock Island tree snail, Orthalicus reses reses, went extinct in its native range in the Florida Keys in 1992. Fortunately, O. r. reses has been introduced elsewhere and further reintroductions are currently planned. Before these reintroductions are implemented, it is important to try and determine which factors were most likely to have caused...
Article
We investigated the role of patch attributes and context on patch occupancy of the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri). The Lower Keys marsh rabbit is a federally endangered lagomorph endemic to the Lower Keys of Florida. The marsh rabbit occurs in subpopulations on patches of high marsh that interact to form a metapopulation. Be...
Article
Full-text available
This study used the endangered and exotic fauna of south Florida, USA, to test three non-exclusive hypotheses about community change. Over one third of the vertebrate fauna of south Florida is either endangered or exotic. We assumed that in the future, many of the currently endangered species will become extinct, while established exotics become mo...
Article
Full-text available
Scale-specific patterns of resource distribution on landscapes entrain attributes of resident animal communities such that species body-mass distributions are organized into distinct aggregations. Species within each aggregation respond to resources over the same range of scale. This discontinuous pattern has predictive power: invasive species and...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a population viability analysis (PVA) for the federally endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri). We estimated parameters via livetrapping, radiotelemetry, and fecal-pellet counting during a 2.5-year study. Historically, this subspecies ranged throughout the Lower Keys of Florida, but today the marsh rabbit is...
Article
We estimated densities of the endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) at 5 habitat patches on Boca Chica Key, Monroe County, Florida, using pellet counting and direct enumeration from livetrapping. We compared density estimates from these 2 methods to an independent estimation of population size based on radiotracking data...
Article
Full-text available
The endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) occurs in a highly fragmented habitat in the Lower Keys of Florida. A primary goal in recovering this subspecies is understanding how individuals interact in this patchy landscape. Home range and movements of marsh rabbits were studied to determine if rabbits are confined within...
Article
We hypothesized that the ability of the semiaquatic rice rat (Oryzomys palustris) to colonize over water is responsible for its ubiquity on the frequently overwashed Virginia barrier islands. A mark and recapture program was conducted from 20 May to 24 August 1989 on three adjacent islands to determine the frequency, direction and causes of the mov...

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