Jump to content

NANFA Conservation Research Grant 2014 Award

1 reply to this topic

#1 Guest_fundulus_*

  • Guests

Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:27 PM

This year's NANFA Conservation Research Grant proposal review committee is Bruce Stallsmith, Derek Wheaton and Michael Wolfe. We received 7 proposals, 3 of which we felt addressed issues of interest in a way consistent with the stated aims of the CRG. The proposal we felt is best for having the most immediate impact, with our financial support being important to the proposed work, is the submission by Michael Moore of Virginia Tech which I've excerpted below. The Clinch Dace is an extremely vulnerable species that is only recently known to science. It has the misfortune to have a restricted range on the north side of the Clinch River in Virginia which puts it in coal mining territory, never a good thing for sensitive fish species. Michael will receive a grant of $1000 from NANFA to support his research.

Michael Moore, Virginia Tech.
Occupancy modeling for the Clinch Dace (Chrosomus sp. cf. saylori) in the Upper Clinch River System, Virginia using minnow trapping, backpack electrofishing, and eDNA sampling.
Although the Clinch Dace is not currently listed under the Endangered Species Act, it is classified as “endangered” by Jelks and is considered to be one of the rarest fish species in the United States. In Virginia, Clinch Dace are known from headwater streams in two counties. Populations are small and separated by large distances of unfavorable habitat. The occupancy status of Clinch Dace remains unknown at many sites throughout the proposed range.
Questions to be investigated- Our research questions for Clinch Dace are threefold. 1. What is the species’ current distribution? 2. Which sampling gear is best to monitor and survey for populations and are habitat conditions correlated to site occupancy? 3. Is eDNA sampling feasible for Clinch Dace?
Research Objectives- In response, we propose the following objectives. 1: Survey streams using minnow traps, visual observation, and backpack electrofishing. 2: Analyze presence/absence data using occupancy models accounting for gears type and habitat features as covariates. 3: Develop primers to detect Chrosomus DNA in water samples collected at a subset of sites. 4: Collect water samples downstream of identified populations to understand spatial distributions of DNA in a lotic system.
Description of Work- We will survey ~70 sites twice during 2014 and 2015 using minnow traps, and once each using visual observation and backpack electrofishing. Sites will be randomly selected south flowing tributaries to the Clinch River in Russell and Tazewell Counties Virginia.
Benefits- Monitoring allows biologists to observe population trends and adjust management accordingly. Specific benefits include updated distributional records, determination of optimal survey effort, identification of habitat requirements to address in habitat restoration, and occupancy prediction at unsampled sites. EDNA protocols and primers we develop could provide a minimally invasive, low effort, high sensitivity approach to monitor Chrosomus dace.

#2 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

Guest_Irate Mormon_*
  • Guests

Posted 18 February 2014 - 10:31 PM

I am looking forward to the write-up on this project.

Reply to this topic


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users