Institute for Wildlife Studies

The mission of the Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) is to help preserve and protect biodiversity as humans continue to destroy habitats. The more we develop and pollute the world we live in the more species that are going extinct. It is organizations like IWS that are crucial in changing the how humans interact with the natural world. The Institute for Wildlife Studies is collaborating with nonprofits and universities researching into the impacts of climate change on wildlife species. IWS part of the project is researching with the Northern red-legged frog and Hydaspe fritillary to determine if these species will become conservation reliant due to climate change. 

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Northern Red-legged frog

The Northern red-legged (Rana aurora) frog home range is from British Colombia to Mendocino county in California. It is a species of concern in its California and Oregon ranges. To study the demographics of this species we are investigating the survival of each life stage. During the breeding season, adults are captured and marked with visible injector elastomer in the webbing of the feet. Egg masses are monitored through development by counting eggs per mass with photographs. Once hatched, tadpoles are collected and added into mesocosms and individually tracked with VIE.

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hydaspe frtillary

Similar to the frog project, the Hydapse fritillary (Speyeria hydaspe) is studied through all life stages. Adult butterflies are individually marked with sharpie on the wings to determine population size and survival. When caught female butterflies are collected and housed in a pot until eggs are laid. Those eggs are monitored until they hatch into tiny caterpillars. Hydaspe caterpillars enter diapause after hatching without eating. GPS coordinates are taken of the location of the caterpillars to return to the next spring. Currently the caterpillars are slowly being covered by snow as it is entering winter in Oregon. Once the snow melts in June or July we will return to search for the caterpillars.