James D. Fraser

James D. (Jim) Fraser
Professor of Wildlife

B. S. SUNY Maritime (1968)
B. S. University of Idaho (1974)
M.S. University of Minnesota (1978)
Ph.D. University of Minnesota (1981)

Contact Information:

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
106 Cheatham Hall
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0321
Phone: (540) 231-6064
Fax: (540) 231-7580
Email: fraser@vt.edu

Jim's Tweets

To see news of Jim's lab, see this site or follow on twitter www.twitter.com/VT_Wildlife (note, Jim's Tweets requires Adobe Flash Player)

Picture of Fraser

Chasing plover chicks in the Alkalai Wetlands of ND



Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught:

Endangered Species Management
Conservation Biology

Research Interests:

Conservation biology, endangered species management, conservation biology, population ecology, behavioral ecology, piping plover, caracara, red knot, Wilsonís plover, shorebirds, raptors

Research Highlight:

Piping plover foraging ecology, habitat requirements and population dynamics
Piping plovers breed on the Atlantic barrier islands from North Carolina to Newfoundland, on the Great Lakes, and on western rivers, lakes, and potholes in the U.S. and Canadian Great Plains. Piping plovers are threatened (Endangered in the Great Lakes) due to population declines caused by low reproductive rates and habitat loss.  We have studied piping plover ecology from North Carolina to Massachusetts, and on the Missouri River and nearby potholes from 1986 to the present, with funding from The National Park Service, USGS BRD, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We developed and tested the hypothesis that variations in food across foraging habitats are an important determinant of breeding density and reproductive output.  Early successional habitats such as ephemeral pools, bay intertidal flats and river sandbars provide abundant food, but they are in short supply due to economic development of barrier islands, beach stabilization, and water management in rivers of the Great Plains, including the Missouri River. We currently are working with the regulatory and management agencies to seek remedies to this increasing shortage of suitable habitat.

Selected Publications:

Current Research Projects :


Other Activites :


Chandeleurs Expedition:

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Sandhill cranes, Rowe Sanctuary, Platte River, Nebraska:

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Trapping Piping Plovers on Raccoon Island, Louisiana:

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Graduate Students:

2007 Graduate Students 2003 Grad Students 2004 Grad Students 2005 Grad Students
Click on the picture to see the grad students and individual pictures

Graduate Student Websites

Last updated April 2013