Wildlife in urban green spaces

Principal Investigator: David Stokes, Ph.D., Email: dstokes@uw.edu

Since 2018, EERC faculty and students have conducted an ongoing camera trap study at St. Edward State Park that has revealed the presence of surprisingly diverse mammalian wildlife species, many of which were previously undocumented in the park. These include bobcats, river otters, flying squirrels, Townsend’s chipmunk, and many others. This work has also identified park habitats of particularly high value for wildlife, wildlife impacts of human disturbance, and potential wildlife movement corridors—information that has informed Washington State Parks’ (WSP) efforts to conserve biodiversity in urban greenspaces.

UW Bothell undergraduate participation in this study has been extensive, including 33 students in three research seminars, three independent study students, and five paid research assistants. Students have co-authored formal reports and presentations to WSP, with additional reports and a scholarly article in preparation.

This project is expanding, with community scientists managing wildlife cameras in the Northshore area. You can find out more about the project and how you can become a community wildlife scientist here:  https://stedwardeerc.org/research/public-research-participation/
Bobcat crossing log

Bobcat crossing log - photo taken with wildlife cam

Bobcat crossing log - photo taken with wildlife cam

Bobcat crossing log - photo taken with wildlife cam

Coyote in Forest

Coyote in forest - taken with wildlife cam

Coyote in forest - taken with wildlife cam

Coyote in forest - taken with wildlife cam

Flying Squirrel

Flying squirrel at night - taken with wildlife cam

Flying squirrel at night - taken with wildlife cam

Flying squirrel at night - taken with wildlife cam

Wildlife Fieldwork

Wildlife research fieldwork

Wildlife research fieldwork

Wildlife research fieldwork

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Bobcat crossing log
Coyote in Forest
Flying Squirrel
Wildlife Fieldwork
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Invasive species spread and impact

Principal Investigator: David Stokes, Ph.D., Email: dstokes@uw.edu, 2012-2017

Invasive species pose one of the most serious threats to biodiversity globally, and native diversity in urban green spaces is particularly vulnerable to this threat. Since 2012, EERC faculty and students have investigated the status, spread, and ecological impacts of non-native invasive woody plants in St. Edward State Park.  These studies have revealed extremely rapid growth rates and exponential spread of some invasives, with dramatic impacts to native vegetation. The upshot of these studies is that management intervention is urgently needed to head off domination of the site by invasives, and Washington State Parks has begun control of these species, using our results to inform that process. This research has involved extensive undergraduate participation, including more than 30 students assisting in fieldwork, 5 students co-authoring formal reports and presentations to government agencies, and 2 students co-authoring scholarly articles.

Fieldwork invasive study

Field work on Invasive Species Study at St. Edward State Park

Field work on Invasive Species Study at St. Edward State Park

Fieldwork on Invasive Species Study at St. Edward State Park

Holly increase

English holly increase, past (solid line) and projected in absence of control (dashed line)

English holly increase, past (solid line) and projected in absence of control (dashed line)

English holly increase, past (solid line) and projected in absence of control (dashed line)

English Holly canopy increase

Holly canopy spread increased over 32 years

Holly canopy spread increased over 32 years

English Holly canopy increased over 32 years

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Fieldwork invasive study
Holly increase
English Holly canopy increase
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