2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation


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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Neil Carter and Dr. Kelly Hopping


As the human population grows, people increasingly seek to recreate on public lands. Consequently, humans and animals find themselves sharing space. It is important, therefore, to understand how humans and wildlife interact in these natural spaces. The Big Wood River Watershed in Blaine County, Idaho is an excellent example of a natural area with a high density of recreational activity. This study aims to determine whether frequency and/or intensity of recreational activity affects wildlife activity. Data was collected using a combination of camera trapping and use of autonomous recording units. We expected that areas with high levels of recreational activity and high average sound would correlate with low wildlife activity and also that wildlife would change their activity patterns to avoid interaction with recreationists. Early analysis, however, indicates that the relationship between recreation and wildlife activity is more nuanced. These results will provide insight into public land management and how to best balance recreationist demands for access to lands with needs of wildlife.