Masters Theses


"Species that are vulnerable to predation exhibit a host of behavioral and physiological adaptations toward the avoidance of this outcome: Heightened awareness of surroundings through visual, olfactory, and auditory senses are common ways in which these species avoid detection by predators. While links between direct predator-prey relationships are well established, less is known about how predators can shape overall community structure or the populations of secondary or less frequently consumed prey items. As humans expand into rural areas, the frequency of wildlife conflicts rises. In response, humans look to prevent these events with a variety of methods. One such method is deterrence of nuisance species with olfactory cues from predator urines. However, the efficacy of this method remains unknown. In this thesis, I present two projects. In Section 1, I used data gathered from the Ozark Research Field Station to assess predator urine avoidance by nuisance wildlife (primarily raccoons) at the Missouri S&T Ozark Research Field Station, Newburg, Missouri. I found that the presence of predator urine deterred raccoons from consumption of high-quality food sources. In Section 2, I used a dataset from Tyson Environmental Research Center, Eureka, Missouri to determine mammal community structure in response to captive predator presence. I established concentric buffers around a captive predator zone and examined differences in mammal communities within each buffer. Mammal communities changed as distance from the predator enclosure changed. These results have implications for management of nuisance, game, and predator species in Missouri Ozark ecosystems and extend our understanding of ecological interactions among predators and their prey items"--Abstract, page iv.


Verble, Robin M.

Committee Member(s)

Duvernell, David D. (David Douglas), 1970-
Niyogi, Dev


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

M.S. in Applied and Environmental Biology


The authors thank the Missouri Department of Conservation Bohigian Conservation Area and the Missouri S&T Ozark Research Field Station for site access and infrastructure. We thank the Missouri S&T Department of Biological Sciences; College of Arts, Science and Business; and College of Graduate Studies for funding.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2021

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Using camera traps to evaluate predator urine avoidance by nuisance wildlife at a rural site in central Missouri, U.S.A.

  • Evaluating the effects of confined canid presence on free roaming wildlife in Missouri, U.S.A.


xi, 62 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.

Geographic Coverage



© 2021 Cara Jean Yocom-Russell, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11859

Electronic OCLC #



Thesis Location