Theses and Dissertations


Jared Feura

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rush, Scott A.

Committee Member

Woodrey, Mark S.

Committee Member

Evans, Kristine O.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Sea-level rise is a concern for the future of coastal marsh obligate species such as the Clapper Rail (Rallus crepitans). Clapper Rails possess the potential to indicate changes to marsh ecological state due to population variation related to habitat features exhibited in previous study. Estimates for Clapper Rail survival are among the key missing parameters to create predictive models for Clapper Rail populations. I estimated Clapper Rail survival using data collected from six automated telemetry towers located in two Mississippi marshes. Thirty adult rails were harnessed with radio transmitters around telemetry towers to provide evidence of a rail’s status, alive or dead. Using survival estimates in conjunction with existing empirical data, I created an individual-based model that incorporated existing Sea-level Affecting Marsh Models, which predict changing land cover. These models showed that Clapper Rails will likely persist, though at decreased populations, through changes in habitat due to sea-level rise.