Karl Heide

MSc Candidate (2019-present)

Global biodiversity loss is occurring at an alarming rate due to a suite of intertwined anthropogenic factors, including development and urban sprawl. As once-continuous habitats become increasingly fragmented and subjected to surrounding intense land-use pressures, populations that are adapted to a fine-tuned environment begin to decline in numbers. If left unmanaged, small outlying populations can cease to be viable and instead act as sinks, hurting the population as a whole. Little is known about how urban and suburban landscape context affects the inner workings of remnant, isolated forest patches that have been surrounded by development. I am examining this using the wood thrush, a declining migratory songbird which was once abundant in Southern Ontario, as a study system. By looking at long term trend data on abundance and breeding success, as well as time-series spatial data, I am working to identify key landscape contributors to wood thrush population decline in remnant forest patches.

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