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Ted Simons

Emeritus Faculty

NC Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

David Clark Labs 388



Ph.D., University of Washington (1983)

Research Interests

Avian ecology, wildlife biology, conservation biology

My research strives to improve species conservation and monitoring programs, and the management of protected areas, through a better understanding of wildlife habitat relationships and sampling methods. Central to that research has been the application of ecological principles to the conservation of rare, endangered, or declining species and their habitats. Research is focused in three broad areas: (1) understanding the ecological factors that constrain species diversity and abundance, (2) modeling wildlife habitat relationships at the population and landscape level, and (3) improving wildlife population sampling methods. Studies have contributed to the restoration of endangered Bald Eagles and Hawaiian and Black-capped Petrels, and the conservation of American Oystercatchers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Models of wildlife habitat relationships inform the conservation and management of Neotropical migratory landbirds on their breeding grounds in southern Appalachian forests, and at migratory stopover habitats along the Gulf Coast. Recent experimental studies of the factors affecting detection probability on auditory point count surveys for birds and frogs help practitioners account for previously unknown sources of uncertainty in nationwide population monitoring programs such as the Breeding Bird Survey and the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.

Web Resources

Selected Publications

Simons, T.R. 2017. The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) Working Group: 15 Years of Collaborative Focal Species Research and Management. Waterbirds 40: 1-9.

Cove, M.V., B. Gardner, T.R. Simons, R. Kays, and A.F. O’Connell. 2017. Free Ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) on public lands: estimating density, activity, and diet in the Florida Keys. Biological Invasions. DOI 10.1007/s10530-017-1534-x.

Stocking, J.J., T.R. Simons, A.W. Parsons, and A.F. O’Connell. 2017. Managing Native Predators to Protect Shorebirds: Evidence from a Partial Removal of Raccoons (Procyon lotor) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Waterbirds 40: 10-18.

Felton, S.K., N.J. Hostetter, K.H. Pollock, and T.R. Simons. 2017. Managing American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) Population Growth by Targeting Nesting Season Vital Rates. Waterbirds 40: 44-54.

Denmon, P., S.A. Heath, F.J. Sanders, T.R. Simons, and S.L. Jones. 2017. American Oystercatcher. Waterbirds 40 Special Publication 1: 126 pp.

Schulte, S.A., and T.R. Simons. 2016. Hurricane Disturbance Benefits Nesting American Oystercatchers. Waterbirds 39: 327-337.

Cove, M.V., T.R. Simons, B. Gardner, A.S. Maurer, and A. F. O’Connell. 2016. Evaluating nest supplementation as a recovery strategy for the endangered rodents of the Florida Keys. Restoration Ecology. doi:10.1111/rec.12418.

Rose, E.T. and T.R. Simons. 2016. Avian response to fire in pine-oak forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park following decades of fire suppression. The Condor 118: 179-183.

Rose, E.T.,T.R. Simons, R. Klein, and A.J. McKerrow. 2016. Normalized burn ratios link fire severity with patterns of avian occurrence. Landscape Ecology 31: doi:10.1007/s10980-015-0334-x

Borneman, T.E., E.T. Rose, and T.R. Simons. 2016. Off-road vehicles affect nesting behavior and reproductive success of American Oystercatchers. Ibis 158: 261-78.

Parsons, A.W., T.R. Simons, A.F. O’Connell, K. Pollock, M.K. Stoskopf, and J.J. Stocking. 2015. Camera Traps and Mark-Resight Models: The Value of Ancillary Data for Evaluating Assumptions. Journal of Wildlife Management 79: 1163-1172.

Hostetter, N.J. B. Gardner, S.H. Schweitzer, R. Boettcher, A. L. Wilke, L.Addison, W.R. Swilling, K.H. Pollock, and T.R. Simons. 2015. Repeated count surveys help standardize multi-agency estimates of American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) abundance. The Condor 117: 354-363.

Miller, D.A.W., L.L. Bailey, E.H. Campbell Grant, B.T. McClintock, L.A. Weir, and T.R. Simons. 2015. Performance of occupancy estimators when basic assumptions are not met: a test with field data where truth is known. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 6: 557-565.

Schulte, S.A. and T.R. Simons. 2015. Factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Marine Ornithology 43: 37-47.

Keller, R.A, D. B. Buchwalter, L. Xie, K. E. Franzreb, and T. R. Simons. 2014. Mercury bioaccumulation in southern Appalachian avifauna. Ecotoxicology 23:304-316.

Borneman, T.E., E.T. Rose, and T.R. Simons. 2014. Minimal changes in the heart rate of incubating American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) in response to human activity. The Condor 116: 493-503.

R.P. Clay, A.J. Lesterhuis, S. Schulte, S. Brown, D. Reynolds, and T.R. Simons. 2014. A global assessment of the conservation status of the American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus). Special Issue, International Wader Study Bulletin 20:62-82.

Simons, T.R., D.S. Lee, and J. C. Haney. 2013. Diablotin Pterodroma hasitata: A biography of the endangered Black-capped Petrel. Marine Ornithology 41: 1-43.

Parsons, A.W., T.R. Simons, A.F. O’Connell, and M.K. Stoskopf. 2013. Demographics, diet, movements, and survival of an isolated, unmanaged raccoon Procyon lotor (Procyonidae, Carnivora) population on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Mammalia 77: 21-30.

Sollmann, R., B. Gardner, A.W. Parsons, J.J. Stocking, B.T. McClintock, T. R. Simons, K.H. Pollock, and A.F. O’Connell. 2013. A spatial mark-resight model augmented with telemetry data. Ecology 94: 553-559.

Simons, T.R., E. Nol, and R. Boettcher (eds.), American Oystercatcher Working Group. 2012. American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; doi:10.2173/bna.82.

Miller, D.A.W., L.A. Weir, B.T. McClintock, E.H. Grant, L.L. Bailey, and T.R. Simons. 2012. Experimental investigation of false positive errors in auditory species occurrence surveys. Ecological Applications 22: 1656-1674.

McClintock, B.T., L.L. Bailey, K.H. Pollock and T.R. Simons. 2010. Unmodeled observation error induces bias when inferring patterns and dynamics of species occurrence via aural detections. Ecology 91(8): 2446-2454.

McClintock, B.T., L.L. Bailey, K.H. Pollock and T.R. Simons. 2010. Experimental Investigation of Observation Error in Anuran Call Surves. Journal of Wildlife Management 74(8): 1882-1893.

Stringer, E.M., M.K. Stoskopf, T.R. Simons, A.F. O’Connell, and A. Waldstein. 2010. Ultrasonic Measurement of Body Fat as a Means of Assessing Body Condition in Free-Ranging Raccoons (Procyon lotor). International Journal of Zoology 2010: 1-6.

Martin, J., A.F. O’Connell Jr., W. L. Kendall, M.C. Runge , T.R. Simons, A.H. Waldstein, S.A. Schulte, S.J. Converse, G.W. Smith, T. Pinion, M. Rikard, E.F. Zipkin. 2010. Optimal control of native predators. Biological Conservation 143: 1751-1758.

Stanislav, S., Pollock, K.H., T.R. Simons, and M.W. Alldredge. 2010. Separation of Availability and Perception Processes for Aural Detection in Avian Point Counts: a Combined Multiple Observer and Time-Of-Detection Approach. Avian Ecology and Conservation 5(1): 3.

Riddle, J.D., J.H. Pollock, and T.R Simons. 2010. An unreconciled double-observer method for estimating detection probability and abundance. The Auk 127(4):841-849.

Riddle, J.D., R.S. Mordecai, K.H. Pollock, and T.R. Simons. 2010. Effects of prior detections on estimates of detection probability, abundance, and occupancy. The Auk 127: 1-6.


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