Nick Burgmeier (MS)

Nick Burgmeier

Graduated May 2010
Purdue University
Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources
195 Marstellar Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061
email: nburgmei@purdue.edu

Past Projects


Movement, Home Range, and Habitat Use of Eastern Hellbenders in Indiana

A comparison of water quality and blood chemistry in the eastern hellbender in IN: is there a correlation? I’m currently taking monthly water samples from Indiana Department of Natural Resources hellbender survey sites. We’relooking at several water quality variables including atrazine and nitrogen and are planning to compare these to blood samples from individuals taken in these areas. A correlation between water quality and the blood chemistry of individuals could shed some light on their declines.

Parasite loads of the eastern hellender in, IN. Using the blood samples collected for the previously mentioned project we’re hoping to document any endoparasites that may be present.

Population size, seasonal and spatial home range and habitat use of the eastern hellbender in, IN. An accurate estimate of population size is important in designing proper management plans for a species. As there have been no exhaustive population estimates for Indiana hellbenders up to this point we’re hoping to obtain a fairly robust estimate using a mark-recapture design.

Home range and habitat use will be assessed using radio-telemetry. Individuals will be captured and a transmitter will be implanted in the coelomic cavity. Most previous studies have used mark-recapture methods to create home range estimates resulting in estimates based on relatively small sample sizes. Radio-telemetry will allow for the collection of hundreds of locations per individual resulting in a large sample size and a much more complete picture of their movements.

Prevalence and type of physical abnormalities in the eastern hellbender in, IN. Abnormalities occur frequently in hellbender populations. Most abnormalities can be attributed to intraspecific interactions, but some are likely of a less benign origin. We hope to document the frequency and types of abnormalities in the Indiana population to gain a clearer idea of the health status of the population.

Presentations


Oral Presentations:

  • Burgmeier, N. and R. Williams. Dec. 2008. Movements Patterns, Habitat Use, and Home Range Size in Eastern Hellbenders. 69th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio.
  • Burgmeier, N. and R. Williams. June 2009. Movements Patterns, Habitat Use, and Home Range Size in Eastern Hellbenders. 4th Hellbender Symposium, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin, Kentucky.
  • Burgmeier, N. and R. Williams. Dec. 2009. "Blood Chemistry and other Health Parameters of the Eastern Hellbender in Relation to Water Quality in the Blue River, Indiana." 70th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Hilton Hotel, Springfield, IL.

Poster Presentations:

  • Burgmeier, N. and R. Williams. July 2009. Spatial Ecology, Population Size, and Health Status of Eastern Hellbenders. 2009 Joint Meeting of Icthyologists and Herpetologists, Hilton Portland and Executive Towers, Portland, Oregon.
  • Burgmeier, N. and R. Williams. April 2009. Spatial Ecology, Population Size, and Health Status of Eastern Hellbenders. 2009 Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources Poster Symposium, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Publications


  • Burgmeier, N.G., S.D. Unger, T. Sutton, and R. N. Williams. The bender board: a new design for the restraint and measurement of hellbenders and other large paedomorphic salamanders. Herp Review (in press)
  • Burgmeier, N.G., T.M. Sutton, and R.N. Williams. Population status of the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) in Indiana. Journal of Herptetology (in press)