Sarah Karpanty

Sarah Karpanty
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | VT · Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, 2003

About

122
Publications
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Publications

Publications (122)
Article
Full-text available
Animal abundance is determined by a number of factors, including vegetation structure, food availability and quality, human activities, predation risk, and disease. Vegetation structure, food availability, and human activity often are used to guide conservation efforts, such as protected area zoning and reforestation, especially for primates. We so...
Article
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Understanding factors that influence a species’ distribution and abundance across the annual cycle is required for range-wide conservation. Thousands of imperiled red knots ( Calidris cantus rufa ) stop on Virginia’s barrier islands each year to replenish fat during spring migration. We investigated the variation in red knot presence and flock size...
Chapter
The exclusion or local extirpation of native species by exotic or introduced carnivores is a burgeoning issue for conservation. Exotic carnivores may indeed present a serious threat as they have the potential to negatively influence and/or interact with native wildlife via exploitative or interference competition, intraguild predation and/or transm...
Article
Madagascar is a threatened global biodiversity hotspot and conservation priority, yet we lack broadscale surveys to assess biodiversity across space and time. To fill this gap, we collated camera trap surveys, capturing species occurrences within Madagascar into a single standardized database. This dataset includes nine distinct protected areas of...
Article
Abstract Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus, “plover”) are beach‐nesting shorebirds that occupy their breeding range from about April to August. When plovers arrive on the breeding grounds, they select and defend territories, lay and incubate eggs, and tend to precocial broods; additionally, adults can return to a non‐breeding stage after final nes...
Article
Identifying the drivers of long-term population change is a key goal of ecological studies. It is complicated by extrinsic and intrinsic factors that may covary with time and/or operate on a time lag. For migratory shorebirds that breed on the barrier islands of eastern North America, populations may be limited by the anthropogenic, climatic, biolo...
Article
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Evaluating population-level responses to conservation action following large-scale disturbance can improve the efficacy of future habitat conservation measures. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy storm surges cleared vegetation and opened inlets through the barrier islands, Fire Island and Westhampton Island, New York, creating Piping Plover (Charadr...
Article
en Mobility of precocial chicks facilitates self‐feeding and escape from predators, but also allows chicks to move into potentially dangerous areas. At Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina, precocial Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus ) are managed with vehicle and pedestrian exclusion buffers to r...
Article
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Conservation of shorebirds throughout their breeding and migratory ranges has become a priority as shorebird populations decline globally. Along the North Atlantic Coast, management efforts have particularly focused on preserving nesting habitat for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), which are protected under the Endangered Species Act. It is unc...
Article
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Studies of elusive carnivores often rely on passive sampling when investigating either spatial or temporal interactions. However, inference on behavioral mechanisms are usually lacking. We present an analysis that combines previously published spatial co-occurrence estimates and temporal kernel density estimates to explore spatiotemporal interspeci...
Article
Collecting spatially explicit locations of individual animals often is an important part of the study of habitat use. Obtaining accurate locations without disturbing an individual can be difficult for small species and may be limited for species of conservation concern, such as piping plover (Charadrius melodus), where a close approach is undesirab...
Article
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Seabird demography and spatial distribution outside of the breeding season are poorly understood, and migratory stopover and staging sites represent important energetic bottlenecks during the avian annual cycle. We quantified hatch-year Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) weekly residency, weekly recruitment rate into the staging population, and derive...
Article
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Abstract Habitat selection and its relationship to fitness is a fundamental concept in ecology, but the mechanisms driving this connection are complex and difficult to detect. Despite the difficulties in understanding such intricate relationships, it is imperative that we study habitat selection and its relationship with fitness. We compared habita...
Article
In the summer of 2016, we observed a pair of Charadrius melodus (Piping Plover) successfully hatch 2 nests at Fire Island National Seashore and fledge chicks from both broods. Double brooding is rare among Piping Plovers, and fledging chicks from both broods is rarer still. In 2017, we observed male and female siblings, 1 individual hatched from ea...
Article
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Species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act are required to meet stated recovery goals for delisting. These goals often are developed early in the species’ conservation history and may need to be updated or refined as new information becomes available. The Atlantic Coast Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), which was listed more than 30 yr...
Article
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Coastal storms have consequences for human lives and infrastructure but also create important early successional habitats for myriad species. For example, storm-induced overwash creates nesting habitat for shorebirds like piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). We examined how piping plover habitat extent and location changed on barrier islands in New...
Article
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Honest signaling mechanisms can function to appropriate care to hungry offspring and avoid misdirected care of unrelated offspring. Begging, the behavior by which offspring solicit food and parental care, may be an honest signaling mechanism for need, as well as association of parents and offspring. Roseate terns (Sterna dougallii) exhibit prolonge...
Article
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Density‐dependent regulation is a fundamental part of ecological theory and a significant driver of animal demography often through complex feedback loops. We investigated the relationship between flood‐ and demographically induced fluctuations in density and the breeding propensity and survival of a pioneer species, the piping plover (plover, Char...
Article
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The intensity of Atlantic Ocean hurricanes is predicted to increase, and although disturbance is recognized as a fundamental driver of ecological processes, the benefits of hurricanes to ecological systems are seldom acknowledged. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy overwashed Fire Island and Westhampton Island, New York. The storm flattened dunes, bu...
Article
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Effective management of wildlife populations requires identification of the factors limiting their growth. The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) is an imperiled, disturbance-dependent, shorebird species that nests on broad, sparsely vegetated beaches, sandbars, and lakeshores. In areas minimally affected by human use, plover habitat loss occurs th...
Article
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The estimation of abundance is fundamental to ecology and conservation, but often is difficult or impossible to accomplish reliably. Recent improvements in wildlife cameras and ecological modeling have allowed for improved accuracy in estimates of abundance. In this study, we paired nest captures and high‐definition nest video camera monitoring wit...
Article
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The presence of exotic predators in ecosystems across the world is a leading driver of native species’ declines. Exotic predators largely influence native species through predation and harassment, which may cause native species to avoid them spatially. We used a camera trap dataset from seven sites in Madagascar's largest protected area complex to...
Article
Buffer zones, calculated by flight‐initiation distance (FID), are often used to reduce anthropogenic disturbances to wildlife, but FID can vary significantly across life‐history stages. We examined the behavioral effect of potential natural (gulls and shorebirds) and anthropogenic (pedestrians) disturbance sources to staging roseate (Sterna dougall...
Article
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Shorebird populations worldwide are declining because of habitat loss from sea‐level rise, accelerated erosion, development, and recreational land use. To better understand the consequences of human recreational activity, we monitored survival, habitat use, condition, and behavior of pre‐fledged piping plover (Charadrius melodus) chicks on Fire Isl...
Article
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The impact of habitat loss on shorebirds may be exacerbated by disturbance from human recreational use, which further reduces the amount of coastal habitat that is functionally available. This can have consequences for the condition of individual birds or for population processes, both of which should be considered in strategies to reduce conflict...
Conference Paper
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Although most conservation effort and research on terns has focused on breeding colonies, there is increasing awareness of the importance of staging, stopover and wintering areas. Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) is well known as a critically important staging area for the endangered Northwest Atlantic population of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii). L...
Article
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1.Migration counts are popular indices used to monitor population trends over time. Advanced analytical methods for estimating abundance of unmarked, open populations now incorporate population growth models and simultaneously test for covariate effects on abundance and detection probability. However, estimating population abundance at a staging si...
Article
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On the Missouri River, the federally endangered interior population of Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) historically nested on sandbars created by sediment deposited during high flows. The Missouri River has been dammed and regulated, however, resulting in decreased flooding and sediment deposition and thus decreased sandbar habitat. In 2011, unus...
Article
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Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) undertake comparatively short migrations for a shorebird and were not previously thought to congregate in large numbers during migration. Superpopulation size (individuals occurring at the study site during the study period) and stopover duration were estimated for migratory Piping Plovers on South Point, Ocracok...
Article
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Globally, riparian ecosystems are in decline due to anthropogenic modifications, including damming. Reduced frequency and altered timing of flood events decreases sandbar deposition, which reduces habitat for sandbarbreeding birds, including the threatened Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). In response to limited breeding habitat and small populat...
Article
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Despite intensive management to protect the federally threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus), breeding success in North Carolina has consistently been lower than in other Atlantic Coast states. The native ghost crab (Ocypode quadrata) preys on plover eggs and chicks, but the effect of ghost crab predation on plover productivity has not been...
Article
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Habitat quality can have a profound effect on the condition and fitness of individual birds and on population demography. We investigated the effects of habitat metrics (invertebrate abundance and habitat type) on the condition (egg mass, adult mass, pre-fledged chick growth rates) of Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) nesting on Missouri River sa...
Article
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Breeding propensity, the probability that an animal will attempt to breed each year, is perhaps the least understood demographic process influencing annual fecundity. Breeding propensity is ecologically complex, as associations among a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors may interact to affect an animal's breeding decisions. Individuals that...
Article
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Understanding patterns of habitat selection across a species’ geographic distribution can be critical for adequately managing populations and planning for habitat loss and related threats. However, studies of habitat selection can be time consuming and expensive over broad spatial scales, and a lack of standardized monitoring targets or methods can...
Article
Even in the presence of environmental safeguards, catastrophic accidents related to anthropogenic activities occur that can result in both immediate and chronic impacts on local biota. However, due to the unplanned nature of catastrophes, studies aimed to identify the effects of these accidents on an ecosystem and its inhabitants often have imperfe...
Article
Sparse detections in camera trap surveys commonly hinder density estimation for threatened species. By combining detections across multiple surveys, or using informative priors in Bayesian model fitting, researchers can improve parameter estimation from sparse capture–recapture data. Using a spatial mark–resight model that incorporates site‐level h...
Article
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Camera trap surveys are a non-invasive way to monitor wildlife populations. Although most often used to study medium- and large-sized mammals, camera traps also detect non-target species. These detections provide useful ecological information on little-known species, but such data usually remain unanalysed. We used detections from camera-trapping s...
Article
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Juvenile prospecting, or exploratory behavior for gleaning information about areas or events, can have profound effects on the selection of future breeding habitat, particularly for birds with high site fidelity whose initial choice of breeding habitat could represent a lifetime investment in fitness. We present data from a 10-yr study of Piping Pl...
Article
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Humans have altered nearly every natural disturbance regime on the planet through climate and land-use change, and in many instances, these processes may have interacting effects. For example, projected shifts in temperature and precipitation will likely influence disturbance regimes already affected by anthropogenic fire suppression or river impou...
Article
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Biological invasions can represent important threats to endemic species, including those within the invaders’ food webs. The Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) was introduced to Madagascar in 2011. This introduction presents a potentially dangerous prey item to a relatively naı¨ve, highly diverse endemic carnivore fauna. Using a multiva...
Article
Avian research that involves potential disturbance to the study species may have unintended fitness consequences and could lead to biases in measurements of interest. The effects of band resighting on the behavior of mixed-species flocks of staging waterbirds were evaluated against recreational pedestrian activity that was expected to cause flushin...
Article
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Between April 2014 and August 2015, we observed 4 Charadrius melodus (Piping Plover) consume small, dead fish, including Anchoa mitchilli (Bay Anchovy) on New York barrier islands. These observations are among the first documented evidence of vertebrate prey in Piping Plover diets. While fish consumption is an opportunistic and infrequent occurrenc...
Article
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Primate populations, including Madagascar’s lemurs, are threatened worldwide and conservationists need accurate population estimates to develop targeted conservation plans. We sought to fill knowledge gaps for three lemur taxa —white-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur albifrons); eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger); and Allocebus/Microcebus, a category...
Article
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Despite exceptionally high levels of biodiversity and endemism found in Madagascar, much of its wildlife remains little studied, particularly the carnivore community. The recently described, little-known black forest cat (locally known as “fitoaty”) is believed to be restricted to NE Madagascar and has been investigated only through village surveys...
Article
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The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects...
Article
Increasing attention is paid to the effects of human activities, including the use of aircraft, on wildlife. However, responses to visual and auditory stimuli associated with aircraft are highly species- and context-dependent and results of existing studies should not be generalized across species, or even across life stages of the same species. We...
Article
Human populations continue to increase and encroach on remaining natural habitats worldwide, resulting in greater numbers and larger ranges of commensal exotic carnivores such as cats and dogs. This results in increased interactions with native wildlife. In Madagascar, we know relatively little about the effects of domestic and/or feral dogs and ca...
Article
Because of the variability in the types of human activities to which animals are exposed and the associated responses by different species, there is a lack of consensus on the effects of humans on wildlife behavior. We studied the effects of military air traffic, all-terrain vehicles, off-road vehicles, and pedestrians on the nesting behaviors of l...
Article
Madagascar's Eupleridae carnivores are perhaps the least studied and most threatened family of Carnivora. Investigating potential direct and indirect competition among these native species and sympatric exotic carnivores is necessary to better direct conservation actions. From 2008 to 2013, we photographically surveyed a diverse rainforest landscap...