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Animal Behavior, Physiology, and Conservation

Researchers working on animal behavior have only recently entered the field of conservation biology. Their presence is important because of the wide variety of ways behavior contributes to population persistence, risk, and recovery.

Along with restrictions imposed on conservation by a species' behaviors, however, there exist a wide variety of behaviors that can be manipulated to achieve particular conservation goals.

In particular, research needs to be done relating to how behavior might be understood or manipulated to address, or partially address, species' conservation, including:

  1. using behavior to evaluate ecosystem health,
  2. increasing reproductive success and
  3. survival,
  4. facilitating movement (among populations or through corridors),
  5. increasing the accuracy of population viability analysis,
  6. facilitating species translocation or reintroduction, and
  7. reducing loss of genetic variability.

Some techniques are well developed and used widely, while others have not been developed or used at all.

My research in this field focuses on how behavior affects dispersal and movement behaviors, and their potential effects on population viability. One particularly interesting avenue of research on this topic has been to evaluate the effects of habitat degradation on physiological stress; this work has been done in collaboration with Michael Romero, who is also in this department.


Behavior and Conservation

  • (Download PDF) Mortensen, J. L., and J. M. Reed. 2018. Parental incubation patterns and the effect of group size in a Neotropical cooperative breeder (Ramphocinclus brachyurus). Auk: Ornithological Advances 135:669-692.
  • (Download PDF) Mortensen, J. L., and J. M. Reed. 2016. Population viability and vital rate sensitivity of an endangered cooperative breeder. PLOS One 11: e0148928. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148928.
  • (Download PDF) Keyel, A. C., A. M. Strong, N. G. Perlut, and J. M. Reed. 2013. Evaluating the roles of visual openness and edge effects on grassland bird nest site selection and reproductive success. Auk 130: 161-170.
  • (Download PDF) Keyel, A. C., D.T. Peck, and J. M. Reed. 2012. No evidence for individual assortment by temperament relative to patch area or patch openness in Bobolinks. Condor 114:212-218.
  • (Download PDF) Lattin, C.R., J. M. Reed, D.W. DesRochers, and L.M. Romero. 2011. Testing inferences in the new technique of measuring corticosterone in bird feathers. Journal of Avian Biology 42:247-252.
  • (Download PDF) Dickens, M.J., D.J. Delehanty, J.M. Reed, and L.M. Romero. 2009. What happens to translocated game birds that disappear? Animal Conservation 12:418-425.
  • (Download PDF) Citation: Elphick, C.S., J.M. Reed, and D.J. Delehanty. 2007. Applications of reproductive biology to bird conservation and management. Pages 367-399 in, Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Aves (Birds). B.G.M. Jamieson (editor). Science Publishers, Inc. Enfield, New Hampshire.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., and S. H. Levine. 2005. A model for behavioral regulation of metapopulation dynamics. Ecological Modelling 183:411-423.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 2004. Recognition behavior based problems in species conservation. Annales Zoologici Fennici 41: 859-877.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 2002. Animal behavior as a tool in conservation biology. Pages 145-163, in Conservation Medicine: Ecological Health in Practice (Aguirre, A. A., R. S. Ostfeld, C. A. House, G. M. Tabor, and M. C. Pearl, eds.). Oxford University Press.
  • (Download PDF) Harris, R. J., and J. M. Reed. 2002. Behavioral barriers to non-migratory movements of birds. Annales Zoologici Fennici (Finnish Journal of Zoology) 39:275-290
  • (Download PDF) Harris, R. J., and J. M. Reed. 2001. Territorial movements of black-throated blue warblers in a landscape fragmented by forestry. Auk 118:544-549.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M. 1999. The role of behavior in recent avian extinctions and endangerments. Conservation Biology 13:232-241.
  • (Download PDF) Reed, J. M., T. Boulinier, E. Danchin, and L. W. Oring. 1999. Informed dispersal: prospecting by birds for breeding sites. Current Ornithology 15:189-259.
  • Reed, J. M., and A. P. Dobson. 1993. Behavioural constraints and conservation biology: conspecific attraction and recruitment. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8:253-256.
  • Reed, J. M., and L. W. Oring. 1992. Reconnaissance for future breeding sites by spotted sandpipers. Behavioral Ecology 3:310-317.
  • Reed, J. M., and S. J. Ha. 1983. Enhanced Foraging efficiency in Forster's Terns. Wilson Bulletin 95:479 481.

Conservation Physiology

  • (Download PDF) Gormally, B. M., J. Wright-Lichter, J. M. Reed, and L. M. Romero. 2018. Physiological and behavioral effects of repeated exposure to stressors. PeerJ 6:e4961 DOI 10.7717/peerj.4961
  • (Download PDF) de Bruijn, R. J., M. Reed, and L. M. Romero. 2017. Chronic repeated exposure to weather-related stimuli elicits few symptoms of chronic stress in captive molting and non-molting European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A 327:493-503.
  • (Download PDF) Lattin, C. R., D. E. Keniston, J. M. Reed, and L. M. Romero. 2015. Are responses to circulating hormones coordinated across tissues within individuals? A case study examining glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor binding. Endocrinology 156:1354-1361.
  • (Download PDF) Lapointe, M. A., C. M. Bauer, L. A Ebensperger, J. M. Reed, and L. M. Romero. 2015. Live-trapping is not biased by the endocrine stress response. Journal of Mammalogy 96:762-771.
  • (Download PDF) Shrestha, B., J. M. Reed, P. T. Starks, G. E. Kaufman, J. V. Goldstone, M. E. Roelke, S. J. O'Brien, K.-P. Koepfli, L. Frank, & Michael H. Court. 2011. Evolution of a major drug metabolizing enzyme defect in the domestic cat and other Felidae: Phylogenetic timing and the role of hypercarnivory. PLoS ONE 6(3): e18046.
  • (Download PDF) DesRochers, D.W., S. R. McWillaims, and J. M. Reed. 2010. Evaluating the potential for energy and protein to limit abundance of the endangered Hawaiian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis). Journal of Wildlife Management 74:788-795.
  • (Download PDF) Franceschini, M. D., O. P. Lane, D. C. Evers, J. M. Reed, B. Hoskins, and L. M. Romero. 2009. The corticosterone stress response and mercury contamination in free-living tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor. Ecotoxicology 18:514-521.
  • (Download PDF) DesRochers, D. W., J. M. Reed, J. Awerman, J. Kluge, J. Wilkinson, L. Van Griethuijsen, J. Aman, and L. M. Romero. 2009. Exogenous and endogenous corticosterone alter feather quality. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology 152:46-52.
  • (Download PDF) Franceschini, M. D., C. M. Custer, T. W. Custer, J. M. Reed, and L.M. Romero. 2008. Corticosterone stress response in tree swallows nesting near polychlorinated biphenyl and dioxin contaminated rivers. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 27:2326-2331.
  • (Download PDF) Romero, L. M., and J. M. Reed. 2008. Repeatability of basal corticosterone concentrations. General and Comparative Endocrinology 156:27-33.
  • (Download PDF) Lenkowski, J., J. M. Reed, L. Deininger, and K. A. McLaughlin. 2008. Perturbation of organogenesis by the herbicide atrazine in the model amphibian Xenopus laevis. Environmental Health Perspectives 116:223-230.
  • (Download PDF) Romero, L. M., and J. M. Reed. 2005. Collecting baseline corticosterone samples from vertebrates in the field: is under 3 min good enough? Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology 140:73-79.
  • (Download PDF) Cooperman, M. D., J. M. Reed, and L. M. Romero. 2004. The effects of terrestrial and breeding densities on corticosterone and testosterone levels in spotted salamanders, /Ambystoma maculatum/. Canadian Journal of Zoology 82: 1795-1803.
  • (Download PDF) Homan, R., J. M. Reed, and L. M. Romero. 2003. Gender and seasonal differences in corticosterone concentrations of free-living spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). General and Comparative Endocrinology 130:165-171.
  • (Download PDF) Homan, R., J. V. Regosin, D. M. Rodrigues, J. M. Reed, B. S. Windmiller, and L. M. Romero. 2003. Impacts of varying habitat quality on the physiological stress of Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). Animal Conservation 6:1-8.
  • (Download PDF) Romero, L. M., J. M. Reed, J. C. Wingfield. 2000. Effects of weather on corticosterone responses in wild free-living passerine birds. General and Comparative Endocrinology 118:113-122.