Kayla Martin

Undergraduate Thesis Student (2019-Present)

Habitat loss and conversion are common threats to wildlife species at risk. Yet we are limited with our ability to protect wildlife habitat. When we have limited resources to protect wildlife habitat, how do we know where to focus our efforts?

Tracking individual animals provides us with fine-scale information about the locations that individuals choose. A better understanding of habitat preferences allows for targeted, effective habitat management and protection efforts. After spending a field season assisting with nightjar research in the Norris Lab, I was inspired to follow through with an undergraduate thesis project on one nightjar species, the Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferous).

Whip-poor-wills are listed as Threatened in Ontario and Canada, and habitat loss is contributing to their decline. To improve our understanding of whip-poor-will habitat preferences, I will analyze GPS location points obtained from tracking radio-tagged whip-poor-wills. My goal is to develop a model that helps identify and explain the habitat preferences shown by whip-poor-wills.

“Where there’s a whip-poor-WILL, there’s a way!”

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