Zach Farris

Zach Farris
Appalachian State University | ASU · Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science

PhD

About

62
Publications
27,803
Reads
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731
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2006 - August 2009
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Position
  • Instructor
Education
August 2009 - May 2014
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Field of study
  • Wildlife Conservation
August 2004 - December 2006
August 1999 - December 2003
University of Central Arkansas
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (62)
Article
Full-text available
Predator–primate interactions are understudied, yet predators have been shown to influence primate behavior, population dynamics, and spatial distribution. An understanding of these interactions is important for the successful management and conservation of these species. Novel approaches are needed to understand better the spatial relationships be...
Article
Full-text available
The composition of local mammalian carnivore communities has far-reaching effects on terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. To better understand how carnivore communities are structured, we analysed camera trap data for 108 087 trap days across 12 countries spanning five continents. We estimate local probabilities of co-occurrence among 768 species pair...
Article
Full-text available
Effective, targeted management and conservation plans for wildlife populations require reliable population sampling and estimation. Unfortunately, robust, comprehensive primate population estimates are often lacking, particularly for rare, elusive species. Historically, population estimates of primates have relied on labor-intensive line-transect s...
Article
Full-text available
Madagascar has experienced extensive deforestation and overharvesting, and anthropogenic climate change will compound these pressures. Anticipating these threats to endangered species and their ecosystems requires considering both climate change and habitat loss effects. The genus Varecia (ruffed lemurs), which is composed of two Critically Endange...
Article
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
Full-text available
Identifying where introduced animals fit in a food web relative to each other and to endemic species is key for biodiversity conservation planning. Using a multiproxy study of dog feces from eastern Madagascar, we infer that even dogs that spend time in derived grasslands typically eat forest‐derived foods. Regardless of the time that dogs spend in...
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
Full-text available
Managing wildlife populations in the face of global change requires regular data on the abundance and distribution of wild animals but acquiring these over appropriate spatial scales in a sustainable way has proven challenging. Here we present the data from Snapshot USA 2020, a second annual national mammal survey of the United States of America. T...
Article
Full-text available
Current methods to model species habitat use through space and diel time are limited. Development of such models is critical when considering rapidly changing habitats where species are forced to adapt to anthropogenic change, often by shifting their diel activity across space. We use an occupancy modeling framework to specify the multi-state diel...
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
Full-text available
Managing wildlife populations in the face of global change requires regular data on the abundance and distribution of wild animals, but acquiring these over appropriate spatial scales in a sustainable way has proven challenging. Here we present the data from Snapshot USA 2020, a second annual national mammal survey of the locations across 103 array...
Article
Full-text available
en Human–wildlife conflicts are increasing in number and intensity making conflict mitigation and coexistence a top priority for wildlife conservation. Domesticated dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) can mitigate or exacerbate human–wildlife conflict leading to positive and negative impacts on both humans and wildlife. However, the human–dog–wildlife in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Current methods to model species habitat use through space and diel time are limited. Development of such models is critical when considering rapidly changing habitats where species are forced to adapt to anthropogenic change, often by shifting their diel activity across space. We use an occupancy modeling framework to develop a new model, the mult...
Article
Background: Due to lack of resources, especially for mothers and children, Madagascar has high levels of malnutrition. Health promotion and education have shown to be effective in increasing health status in limited-resource areas. This study piloted a tailored, four-week health and nutrition counseling program to improve diet diversity and health...
Article
Primate species face growing risks of extinction throughout the world. To better protect their populations, effective monitoring techniques are needed. The goal of this study was to evaluate the use of arboreal camera traps and occupancy modeling as conservation tools for threatened lemur species. This project aimed to (1) estimate the occupancy an...
Article
Full-text available
Canine rabies causes an estimated 60,000 human deaths per year, but these deaths are preventable through post-exposure prophylaxis of people and vaccination of domestic dogs. Dog vaccination campaigns targeting 70% of the population are effective at interrupting transmission. Here, we report on lessons learned during pilot dog vaccination campaigns...
Article
en • Madagascar’s native carnivorans are an endemic monophyletic group of eight extant species belonging to the family Eupleridae. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently classifies seven of the species as threatened (Vulnerable or Endangered), as their populations are in decline due to intensifying anthropogenic pressu...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are estimated to be one of the most globally abundant invasive carnivores that threaten wildlife. Madagascar is home to large populations of free-roaming dogs and is a highly diverse and anthropogenically threatened environment, making it one of the world's top conservation priorities. Comparatively little is...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Madagascar is an island nation renowned for its biodiversity and species endemism, yet it is still largely understudied, despite intense anthropogenic threats, including forest loss and edge effects. Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve is a recently expanded rainforest protected area that is lacking detailed surveys and assessments of the na...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
The lemurs of Madagascar are threatened by human activities. We present the first molecular detection of canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis)in a wild non-human primate, the mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus). Zoonotic D. immitis infection has been associated with clinical pathology that includes serious and often fatal cardiac and pulmonary reaction...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying scents that are most effective at luring specific carnivores is important for improving capture efforts in the field and making informed conservation and management decisions. However, knowledge on effective and preferred scents for fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is lacking, thus limiting field-based research efforts. To combat this absence...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Introduced carnivores exert considerable pressure on native predators through predation, competition and disease transmission. Recent research shows that exotic carnivores negatively affect the distribution and abundance of the native and endangered carnivores of Madagascar. In this study, we provide information about the frequency and distribution...
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
Full-text available
Biodiversity loss is a major driver of ecosystem change, yet the ecological data required to detect and mitigate losses are often lacking. Recently, camera trap surveys have been suggested as a method for sampling local wildlife communities, because these observations can be collated into a global monitoring network. To demonstrate the potential of...
Article
Protected areas (PA) aim to eliminate many of the threats that species face on the greater landscape. In the last three decades, PA's have expanded considerably; however, quantitative assessments of how well they have mitigated threats to habitat and biodiversity are very limited. Habitat bordering PA's and the wildlife that use it are threatened b...
Article
Full-text available
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
Exotic carnivores, particularly feral and domestic dogs, represent a serious threat to Madagascar's endemic fauna. We obtained information from the local community about dogs in villages in and around Ranomafana National Park (RNP), Madagascar. Surveys were conducted (N=359) to assess local opinions of dogs, reasons for owning dogs, and the willing...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
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
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
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...
Thesis
Full-text available
The carnivores of Madagascar are likely the least studied of the world’s carnivores, thus little is known about threats to their persistence. I provide the first long-term assessment of Madagascar’s rainforest carnivore community, including: 1) how multiple forms of habitat degradation (i.e., fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, an...
Article
Full-text available
Photographic evidence of Brown-tailed Vontsira Salanoia concolor within the Makira Natural Park, northeastern Madagascar, extends the species’s known range north and west 60–70 km from previous records and expands its maximum known eleva¬tion some 30 m higher, to a recorded elevation of 680 m. Salanoia concolor was photographed during two camera-tr...
Article
Full-text available
In this research, we focused on aye-aye populations in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. From August to December 2008, we tested how aye-aye feeding was influenced by presence/absence of both fruiting and non-fruiting Canarium trees. Deadwood feeding traces were used as a proxy for evidence of Canarium feeding. We enumerated deadwood feeding tr...
Article
Field notes on science & nature provides a unique opportunity to peek over the shoulder of veteran field researchers, including botanists, ecologists, entomologists, paleontologists, comparative anatomists, and anthropologists. Imagine following George Schaller as he details the movements of mountain gorillas across the rainforests of Virunga Natio...
Article
Full-text available
The aye-aye is considered the most widely distributed lemur in Madagascar; however, the effect of forest quality on aye-aye abundance is unknown. We compared aye-aye presence across degraded and non-degraded forest at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We used secondary signs (feeding sites, high activity sites) as indirect cues of aye-aye prese...
Data
Of the unique wildlife in Madagascar carnivores are important as they may exert significant pressure on ecosystem structure; however, a paucity of information currently exists for these endemic species. The Masoala-Makira landscape, Madagascar’s largest protected area complex, has the highest levels of biodiversity and safeguards 6 of Madagascar’s...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
The Loky-Manambato Protected Area (LMPA) in northern Madagascar encompasses a unique transitional forest ecosystem that is under pressure from forest loss and fragmentation. We provide the first photographic survey of Madagascar’s carnivore community occupying this region with the aim of documenting carnivore species richness, relative activity (TS), and spatial distribution (Naïve occupancy) across the landscape. To do this, we used 60 motion-activated cameras to survey along established trails in three forest patches across the LMPA: Antsahabe (ANBE), Bekaraoka (BeS), and Antsaharaingy (ANGY). We surveyed each forest for two weeks from September to October 2018. We collected 498 independent captures of fauna across the landscape, including five of the six native carnivores known to occupy eastern Madagascar: Galidia elegans, Galidictis fasciata, Eupleres goudotii, Fossa fossana, and Cryptoprocta ferox. We found F. fossana and G. elegans to be the most active and widely distributed carnivores, while C. ferox, G. fasciata and E. goudotii were the least. Additionally, we documented the presence of two invasive carnivores: Canis familiaris and Felis catus. These findings extended the northern-most known range of Galidictis fasciata (Antsahabe) and Fossa fossana (Bekaraoka) into the LMPA. Forest size was not a good predictor of activity or occurrence as the largest forest patch (BeS) had the fewest captures of all carnivores. Our findings highlight some of the biodiversity within the LMPA and the need for effective management across this unique transitional forest ecosystem.
Project
This project attempts to quantify the interactions between introduced and endemic carnivores, highlight the risks of disease introduction and study the dynamics of disease transmission in a community of carnivores in Eastern Madagascar.