Title

A Biological Survey of Sloan's Crossing Pond, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Howard Whiteman

Second Project Mentor & Advisor(s)

Michael Flinn

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract/Description

Sloan’s Crossing Pond (SCP) is a popular visitor attraction in Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP) that was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1939. In recent years, the pond has begun to shallow and fill with sediment. The National Park Service (NPS) is tasked with preserving landscapes in their pre-Colombian state. However, NPS is obligated to preserve all natural artifacts that are greater than 50 years old, such as Sloan’s Pond that was constructed by the CCC. Furthermore, the park service is required to provide recreation and entertainment to visitors. These conflicting management goals make it difficult for park officials to decide what action to take in regards to the pond.

In order to help park managers with their decision, we began a biological survey of SCP and two nearby ponds. Our goal was to determine whether SCP provided a unique habitat not seen anywhere else in MCNP, or if there was a high level of functional redundancy between SCP and other ponds found within the park.

We surveyed Sloan’s Crossing Pond, Joppa and Quarry ponds. We were limited by permit requirements and had to rely on observational sampling techniques, such as camera trapping and audio recording. We did not find any indication that Sloan’s Crossing Pond provided a unique habitat in the park. We will continue our survey throughout the spring and summer and extend it to more ponds throughout MCNP. We hope to use this preliminary data to guide our future research methods.

Key Words: survey, pond, camera trap, Kentucky, Mammoth Cave National Park, audio recording, observation, forest inventory, management, preliminary data

Location

Barkley Room, Curris Center

Start Date

20-4-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2016 4:00 PM

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Apr 20th, 9:00 AM Apr 20th, 4:00 PM

A Biological Survey of Sloan's Crossing Pond, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Barkley Room, Curris Center

Sloan’s Crossing Pond (SCP) is a popular visitor attraction in Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP) that was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1939. In recent years, the pond has begun to shallow and fill with sediment. The National Park Service (NPS) is tasked with preserving landscapes in their pre-Colombian state. However, NPS is obligated to preserve all natural artifacts that are greater than 50 years old, such as Sloan’s Pond that was constructed by the CCC. Furthermore, the park service is required to provide recreation and entertainment to visitors. These conflicting management goals make it difficult for park officials to decide what action to take in regards to the pond.

In order to help park managers with their decision, we began a biological survey of SCP and two nearby ponds. Our goal was to determine whether SCP provided a unique habitat not seen anywhere else in MCNP, or if there was a high level of functional redundancy between SCP and other ponds found within the park.

We surveyed Sloan’s Crossing Pond, Joppa and Quarry ponds. We were limited by permit requirements and had to rely on observational sampling techniques, such as camera trapping and audio recording. We did not find any indication that Sloan’s Crossing Pond provided a unique habitat in the park. We will continue our survey throughout the spring and summer and extend it to more ponds throughout MCNP. We hope to use this preliminary data to guide our future research methods.

Key Words: survey, pond, camera trap, Kentucky, Mammoth Cave National Park, audio recording, observation, forest inventory, management, preliminary data