Smith Thesis.pdf

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First, I would like to thank all my family and friends, especially my parents, Bob and
Jeanie Smith. Their love, encouragement, and support has allowed me to turn my passions into a
career and helped mold me into the person I am today. I thank my major professor, Dr. Alan
Afton, and my committee members, Drs. David Blouin and Lei Wang for all their advice and
I greatly appreciate the financial support provided by the Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Aid, through
Louisiana State Wildlife Grant T-98, the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Trust, the U.S. Geological
Survey-Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the School of Renewable
Natural Resources at Louisiana State University. I thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at
Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge for providing lodging during field operations and especially
Paul Yakupzack for his encouragement and guidance. I also thank the many landowners who
provided local knowledge and access to their property. I thank Louisiana State University
Wildlife Hospital and especially Drs. Joao Brandao and Javier Navarez for assistance and
cooperation in collecting morphometrics and blood samples from Bald Eagles admitted to the
I want to acknowledge the work of Ray Aycock, Wayne Debuc, Thomas Hess
(deceased), Jeb Linscombe, George Melancon, and all the individuals from U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries who assisted with
Louisiana’s nest monitoring program since 1975. I want to acknowledge all those who assisted
with trapping: Bruce Davis, Micheal Drury, John Harrelson, Dr. James LaCour, Eric Ledet,
Matthew McCollister, Justin Rabalais, Jason Stelzer, and Sara Zimorski. I especially thank my