Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
James T. Anderson.
The islands and associated back channels on the Ohio River have long been thought to provide important habitat characteristics for riparian wildlife. However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated this importance. As pressure continues to develop back channel areas for commercial and residential use, quantitative information is vital for natural resource managers to justify conserving these areas for wildlife. The goals of my study were to quantify wildlife use of back and main channels relative to waterbirds, anurans, turtles, and riparian furbearing mammals, and to evaluate the habitat quality of back and main channels through the use of habitat suitability index models. My results show that back channels are critical for riparian wildlife that require abundant woody cover and, likely, protection from the main current of the river and human disturbance. I suggest that back channel areas be conserved for wildlife and protected from high levels of potential human disturbance.
Zadnik, Andrew Karl, "Wildlife use and habitat quality of back channel areas associated with islands on the Ohio River, West Virginia" (2003). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 1719.