Category Archives: Snakes

IPFW alumnus to speak on snakes and birds

Dr. Brett DeGregorio, who received his master’s degree in Biology from IPFW in 2008, will return to campus later this month to present research he conducted as a doctoral student at the University of Illinois. His presentation, Snakes as Predators of Bird Nests: Now and in a Warming World, will reveal the contemporary role serpents play as predators of birds and the implications climate warming may have on birds’ abilities to escape being eaten by their nocturnal, legless adversaries.

When: January 22nd from 12-1 pm
Where: IPFW Science Building, room 185





Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Supports ERC projects

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is providing support for several projects associated with the ERC.  Drs. Bruce Kingsbury and Mark Jordan, both faculty members in the IPFW Biology Department, and their graduate students, will benefit from the grants.

The projects and the persons working on them:

“Conservation Genetics of the Blanding’s Turtle, Emys blandingii, Using Whole-genome Analyses.” Victoria Wesolowski and Mark Jordan.

“Life in the City: Urban River Ecology of the Common Snapping Turtle in Fort Wayne, Indiana.” Kevin McLane and Bruce Kingsbury.

“Amphibian Occupancy in a System of Restored Wetlands.” Emily Stulik and Bruce Kingsbury.

“Response of Eastern Massasauga to Habitat Alterations by Fire and Forest Management at Camp Grayling, Michigan.” Sasha Tetzlaff, Michael Ravesi and Bruce Kingsbury.

The support is from the Zoo’s Conservation Fund. Cheryl Pirapato, the Zoo’s Education and Communications Director, says the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo distributed more than $81,000 in support of local, regional, and international conservation efforts in 2013. “We are pleased to support the Environmental Resources Center.”

Thanks Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo!

Sauga Saga

Two grad students from Dr. Bruce Kingsbury’s lab, Sasha Tetzlaff and Mike Ravesi, are closing in on finishing their first season of research of the Eastern Massasauga at Camp Grayling in northern Michigan. The massasauga is a candidate for federal listing as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We have learned a great deal about their ecology over the last 10-20 years, but we still have a long way to go in terms of understanding their response to land management.

Mike and Sasha are exploring responses of the species to two habitat alterations: timber harvesting and a large-scale burn. Trees were cut in 2006 with hopes that opening canopy would provide the snakes with basking habitat. The fire burned through the study site in May of 2010. Snake movements are monitored using radio telemetry. Spatial analyses will show which habitats the snakes are choosing, and thermal work will help describe why snakes are picking those habitats.

Soon the snakes will go underground for the winter. That will give Sasha and Mike time to analyze their data from this season before the snakes come out in the spring and everything starts over again!