Other Research

We investigate a variety of wildlife and biodiversity issues through collaborations across the globe.

Knowledge of Critically Endangered Chinese pangolin

Chinese pangolin is the world’s most heavily trafficked small mammal for luxury food and traditional medicine. Additionally, populations face extreme habitat degradation. Despite the knowledge that their populations are rapidly declining worldwide, it has been difficult to monitor their population status because of this rarity and nocturnal behavior. Management strategies to identify drivers of species occurrence and population dynamics are incorporated in the Nepalese conservation action plan. Using site occupancy sampling of Chinese pangolin sign in protected and non-protected areas in central Nepal, we worked to provide the first occupancy modeling based on habitat use. Acknowledging the important role local people play in species conservation, we surveyed people living in suitable and unsuitable Chinese pangolin habitat.

©Ms.Sarita Jnawali/NTNC–Central Zoo

©Ashley Lutto/GWCC

Insights into human blood clotting from hibernating black bears

In the northern reaches of their distributions black bears may den for up to 6.5 months, forgoing food and water and reducing their metabolism by as much as 50%. However, a variety of adaptations allow bears to maintain a body temperature greater than typical hibernators (e.g., ground squirrels) while conserving muscle and heart strength along with skeletal integrity. Bears also appear to be immune to blood clotting which can be fatal for post-surgery human patients during recovery. In 2015, we teamed up with researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMASS) to continue their ongoing research to evaluate adaptations in blood components between active and denning black bears. Understanding the mechanisms which prevent blood clotting in denning bears may improve our ability to predict and mitigate these effects in humans in the future. We continue to work closely with UMASS researchers publishing our findings in technical journals and presenting our research at the International Association for Bear Research and Management Conference and the Academic Surgical Conference.