Andres Buitrago

Developing a habitat suitability model for the rare prairie mole cricket
Andres Buitrago Profile Photo

Biological Sciences: Integrative and Organismal Biological Sciences - MS
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Little is currently known about the spatial distribution and ecology of Gryllotalpa major (prairie mole cricket). My thesis research involves conducting an acoustic survey of prairie mole crickets at The Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma. The results of this survey will be used to develop models that incorporate landscape features, biotic interactions, and soundscapes to predict suitable habitat.

These models will be used to identify new populations of prairie mole crickets and determine which factors may be influencing the distribution of this rare species. An additional component involves developing a citizen science program to help collect acoustic recordings of prairie mole crickets. Ultimately, this project aims to provide data that can be used to update the species distribution map, assist with conservation efforts, and raise awareness through community outreach.