Activity Budgets of Branta canadensis : Rural vs Urban Environments Sophia Nem Metropolitan State University of Denver Biology Department INTRODUCTION METHODS RESULTS DISCUSSION REFERENCES 1. Allan, J. R., Kirby, J. S., & Feare , C. J. (1995). The biology of C anada geese Branta canadensis in relation to the management of feral populations. Wildlife Biology , 1(1), 129 143. doi : 10.2981/wlb.1995.018 2. Neumann, D. (2001) The activity budget of free ranging common dolphins ( Delphinus delphis ) in the northwestern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand . Aquatic Mammals 27(2), 121 136, DOI: 10.1080/00288330.2001.9517007 3. Riddington , R., Hassall, M.m Lane, S. J., Turner, P. A., Walters, R. (1996) The impact of disturbance on the behavior of Brent Geese Branta b. bernicala . Bird Study , 43(3), 269 279, DOI: 10.1080/00063659609461019 . 4. Williams, J. E., & Kendeigh , S. C. (1982). Energetics of the Canada Goose. The Journal of Wildlife Management , 46(3), 588. doi : 10.2307/3808549 5. Raveling, D. G., Crews, W. E., & Klimstra , W. D. (1972). Activity Patterns of Canada Geese during Winter . The Wilson Bulletin , 84(3), 278 295. Data collection took place in the month of March 2020. Rural Branta canadensis were chosen from Lake Arbor located in Arvada, CO (n=23) and urban Branta canadensis were chose n from Metropolitan State University of Denver located in Denver, CO ( n=10). An instantaneous focal sampling method was utilized, and photo documentation was taken in ten minute intervals over a one hour period from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Each population was observed for four days (temperature and weather were accounted for). Branta canadensis were observed for time spent grazing, resting and defending. Grazing was defined as continued consumption of grass and head non erect. Resting was defined as laying down, not grazing and head non erect. Defending was defined as not resting, not grazing and head erect and vigilant. Rural Grazing Urban Grazing Mean 12.07142857 7.321428571 Variance 17.32738095 0.577380952 Observations 7 7 Pearson Correlation 0.139729945 Hypothesized Mean Difference 0 df 6 t Stat 3.046156557 P(T<=t) two tail 0.022623269 t Critical two tail 2.446911851 Rural Resting Urban Resting Mean 0.964285714 1.714285714 Variance 0.342261905 0.446428571 Observations 7 7 Pearson Correlation 0.270292381 Hypothesized Mean Difference 0 df 6 t Stat 1.984313483 P(T<=t) two tail 0.002482554 t Critical two tail 2.446911851 Rural Defending Urban Defending Mean 10.64285714 1.714285714 Variance 22.76785714 0.446428571 Observations 7 7 Pearson Correlation 0.122757887 Hypothesized Mean Difference 0 df 6 t Stat 4.987712113 P(T<=t) two tail 0.002482554 t Critical two tail 2.446911851 Branta canadensis, more commonly known as Canadian geese, are water foul native to North America (Allan, 1995). Though their name suggests their residence to be in Canada, these geese can even be found within the borders of Colorado in both urban and rural environments. With such a stark difference in the environments that they occupy, potential differences in the activity budgets of these geese populations provide an interesting area of research. interacts with its environment and other organisms within it. This includes but is not limited to how a population allocates its energy via activities such as foraging, sleeping, reproduction, socialization, migration etc. (Neumann, 2001). Many factors can affect activity budgets of a population through what are known as disturbances of natural origin such as drought or human origin such as the general presence of humans ( Riddington , 1996). While disturbances of natural origin are largely uncontrollable, disturbances of human origin are controllable and observation of their impact on wildlife populations is of great importance. This research focused on the difference in activity budgets of Branta canadensis flocks in rural vs urban environments and the potential effect of human disturbance on both populations. Figure 1. Rural Branta canadensis flock (n = 23) in a grassy field located at Arbor Lake in Arvada, CO. Figure 2. Urban Branta canadensis flock (n = 10) outside the Plaza building located at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, CO. Table 1. Summary of two tailed t test: grazing in rural vs urban environments. Table 2. Summary of two tailed t test: resting in rural vs urban environments. Table 3. Summary of two tailed t test: defending in rural vs urban environments. Branta canadensis within the rural environment, on average, had more individuals defending at any given interval than their urban counterparts in relation to flock size (figures 3 and 4). More individuals within the urban population spent more time resting than the rural population in relation to flock size (figures 3 and 4). Grazing was also more prominent in the urban population than in the rural population as more individuals spent time grazing in relation to flock size (figures 3 and 4). The means of each 10 minute interval were calculated using all four days for each Branta canadensis flock and each activity budget category (grazing, resting and defending). These means were then used to run two tailed t tests (with an alpha level set at 0.05) via Excel data analysis and the results were recorded in tables 1 3. P values for all activity budget categories were < 0.05 (grazing = 0.02, resting = 0.002 and defending = 0.002). With human disturbances differing so greatly between rural and urban environments, activity budgets would be expected to be d iff erent amongst their corresponding populations. For all three activity budget categories (grazing, resting and defending), p values were less t han 0.05 indicating there wa s a significant difference in the activity budgets of the two populations. This could be due in part to the difference in human disturbances as there are more humans in urban environments than there are in rural environments. Limitations of this research included population size as the flock number varied greatly between the two environments. Additionally, day of the week that observations were conducted was also a limitation as weather largely determined this. Future research could implement not only longer, but a greater number of observations days to acquire more data during a season of the year where little to no weather variation occurs to ensure observed activity budget accuracy. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10:00 10:10 10:20 10:30 10:40 10:50 11:00 Number of Individuals Time Grazing Resting Defending Figure 3. Graph of rural Branta canadensis mean activity from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 10:00 10:10 10:20 10:30 10:40 10:50 11:00 Number of Individuals Time Grazing Resting Defending Figure 4. Graph of urban Branta canadensis mean activity from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.