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Recently, Roseberry (1979) attempted to (1) clarify the theoretical basis for harvesting bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), (2) assess the impact of varying intensities of harvest on standing densities and long-term yields, and (3) define a harvest strategy appropriate for the bobwhite resource in Illinois. That paper, based on 24 years of field data, unfortunately contains 2 methodological or conceptual errors that are fundamental to the three objectives. Both errors are subtle, and as other have made the same or similar errors in analysis, we identify the problems in a way we hope will be taken constructively.
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Identification of ecological factors that drive animal distributions allows us to understand why distributions vary temporally and spatially, and to develop models to predict future changes to populations–vital tools for effective wildlife management and conservation. For waterbird broods in the boreal forest, distributions are likely driven by factors affecting quality of nesting and brood-rearing habitats, and the influence of these factors may extend beyond singles species, affecting the entire waterbird community. We used occupancy models to assess factors influencing species richness of waterbird broods on 72 boreal lakes, along with brood distributions of 3 species of conservation concern: lesser scaup (Aythya...
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Big Cypress National Preserve constitutes approximately one-third of the range of the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi). Because recreational hunting is allowed in Big Cypress National Preserve, we examined 8 response variables (activity rates, movement rates, predation success, home-range size, home-range shifts, proximity to off-road vehicle trails, use of areas with concentrated human activity, and habitat selection) to evaluate how Florida panthers respond to human activity associated with deer and hog hunting. Data consisted of panther radiolocations collected since 1981 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Park Service, which we augmented with radiolocations...
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Radiotelemetry collars with tip-sensors have long been used to monitor wildlife activity. However, comparatively few researchers have tested the reliability of the technique on the species being studied. To evaluate the efficacy of using tip-sensors to assess mountain lion (Puma concolor) activity, we radiocollared 2 hand-reared mountain lions and simultaneously recorded their behavior and the associated telemetry signal characteristics. We noted both the number of pulse-rate changes and the percentage of time the transmitter emitted a fast pulse rate (i.e., head up) within sampling intervals ranging from 1-5 minutes. Based on 27 hours of observations, we were able to correctly distinguish between active and inactive...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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To improve understanding of northern pintail (Anas acuta) distribution in central California (CCA), we radiotagged 191 Hatch-Year (HY) and 228 After-Hatch-Year (AHY) female northern pintails during late August-early October, 1991-1993, in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) and studied their movements through March each year. Nearly all (94.3%) wintered in CCA, but 5.7% went to southern California, Mexico, or unknown areas; all that went south left before hunting season. Of the 395 radiotagged pintails that wintered in CCA, 83% flew from the SJV north to other CCA areas (i.e., Sacramento Valley [SACV], Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta [Delta], Suisun Marsh, San Francisco Bay) during September-January; most went during...
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Many wildlife management prescriptions are either implicitly or explicitly designed to improve habitat quality for a focal species, but habitat quality is often difficult to quantify. Depending upon the approach used to define and identify high-quality habitat, management decisions may differ widely. Although individual-level measures of habitat quality based on per capita reproduction (e.g., average nesting success, number of young produced per pair) are most common in the literature, they may not align with population-level measures that reflect number of young produced within a defined area. Using data on the cerulean warbler (Setophaga cerulea) collected in the Cumberland Mountains (Tennessee, USA; 2008–2010)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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The American woodcock (Scolopax minor) population has declined since the late 1960s across its range and is now considered a species of special concern. Research on woodcock habitat use during migration and migratory routes through the Central Flyway has been limited. We assessed woodcock phenology, estimated density, and nocturnal habitat use in fields on public lands in the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley portion of Arkansas during November and December of 2010 and 2011. We used all-terrain vehicles to survey woodcock along transects in 67 fields of 8 field types. We analyzed data using hierarchical distance sampling. We detected woodcock from the first week in November through the third week in December but...
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For the past 25 years estimation of mortality rates for waterfowl has been based almost entirely on the composite dynamic life table. We examined the specific assumptions for this method and derived a valid goodness of fit test. We performed this test on 45 data sets representing a cross section of banded sampled for various waterfowl species, geographic areas, banding periods, and age/sex classes. We found that: (1) the composite dynamic method was rejected (P <0.001) in 37 of the 45 data sets (in fact, 29 were rejected at P <0.00001) and (2) recovery and harvest rates are year-specific (a critical violation of the necessary assumptions). We conclude that the restrictive assumptions required for the composite dynamic...
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Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured...
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American coots (Fulica americana) were studied on large reservoirs in north-central Oklahoma in 1979-1982 to determine chronologies of migrations by age- and sex class. Coots began migrating into Oklahoma in mid-September, numbers peaked in early to mid-October, and few birds were seen after 1 November. Some late migrants appeared in mid-December. In spring, coots began migrating in late February, numbers peaked in mid-April, and the last birds were seen in mid-May. Generally, adult and juvenile males and juvenile female coots migrated simultaneously in autumn, but adult females completed migration by 1 November. A few juveniles and adult males migrated in December. Adult coots preceded yearlings in spring. Despite...
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Several elk herds in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are fed during winter to alleviate interactions with livestock, reduce damage to stored crops, and to manage for high elk numbers. The effects of supplemental feeding on ungulate population dynamics has rarely been examined, despite the fact that supplemental feeding is partially justified as necessary for maintaining or enhancing population growth rates. We used linear regression to assess how the presence of feedgrounds, snowpack, summer rainfall, indices of grizzly bear density and wolves per elk, elk population trend counts, brucellosis seroprevalence, and survey date were correlated with midwinter calf:cow ratios, a metric correlated with population growth,...
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Migratory behavior in ungulates has declined globally and understanding the causative factors (environmental change vs. human mediated) is needed to formulate effective management strategies. In the Jackson elk herd of northwest Wyoming, demographic differences between summer elk (Cervus elaphus) population segments have led to changes in migratory patterns over a 35-year time period. The proportion of short-distance migrants (SDM) has increased and the proportion of long-distance migrants (LDM) has concurrently declined. The probability of winter-captured elk on the National Elk Refuge being LDM decreased from 0.99 (95% CI = 0.97–1.00) to 0.59 (95% CI = 0.47–0.70) from 1978 to 2012. We tested 4 hypotheses that...
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Wildfires burned 24,254 ha of critical habitat designated for the recovery of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in southern Nevada during 2005. The proliferation of non-native annual grasses has increased wildfire frequency and extent in recent decades and continues to accelerate the conversion of tortoise habitat across the Mojave Desert. Immediate changes to vegetation are expected to reduce quality of critical habitat, yet whether tortoises will use burned and recovering habitat differently from intact unburned habitat is unknown. We compared movement patterns, home-range size, behavior, microhabitat use, reproduction, and survival for adult desert tortoises located in, and adjacent to,...
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Wildlife ecologists often use the Kaplan-Meier procedure or Cox proportional hazards model to estimate survival rates, distributions, and magnitude of risk factors. The Andersen-Gill formulation (A-G) of the Cox proportional hazards model has seen limited application to mark-resight data but has a number of advantages, including the ability to accommodate left-censored data, time-varying covariates, multiple events, and discontinuous intervals of risks. We introduce the A-G model including structure of data, interpretation of results, and assessment of assumptions. We then apply the model to 22 years of radiotelemetry data for grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) of the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone in...
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Florida panthers are among the world’s most endangered — and elusive — animals. For approximately four decades, scientists have been researching this small population of panthers that inhabit the dense forests and swamps of south Florida. Because of their wide habitat range along with an absence of clear visual features, these animals are difficult to detect and identify. In 2013, however, researchers released a study that used camera trap images collected between 2005 and 2007 to generate the first statistically reliable density estimates for the remaining population of this subspecies. Camera traps — remotely activated cameras with infrared sensors — first gained measurable popularity in wildlife conservation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: The Wildlife Professional
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t: We used 10 Telonics ST-3 platform transmitter terminals (PTT's) configured for wolves and ungulates to examine the performance of the Argos satellite telemetry system. Under near-optimal conditions, 68 percentile errors for location qualities (NQ) 1, 2, and 3 were 1,188, 903, and 361 m, respectively. Errors (rE) exceeded expected values for NQ = 2 and 3, varied greatly among PTT's, increased as the difference (HE) between the estimated and actual PTT elevations increased, and were correlated nonlinearly with maximum satellite pass height (P,). We present a model of the relationships among rE, HE, and PH. Errors were bimodally distributed along the east-west axis and tended to occur away from the satellite when...


map background search result map search result map Chronology of migration by American coots in Oklahoma Mortality patterns and population sinks for Yellowstone grizzly bears, 1973-1985 Mortality patterns and population sinks for Yellowstone grizzly bears, 1973-1985 Chronology of migration by American coots in Oklahoma