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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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Solar radiation is a potentially important covariate in many wildlife habitat studies, but it is typically addressed only indirectly, using problematic surrogates like aspect or hillshade. We devised a simple solar radiation index (SRI) that combines readily available information about aspect, slope, and latitude. Our SRI is proportional to the amount of extraterrestrial solar radiation theoretically striking an arbitrarily oriented surface during the hour surrounding solar noon on the equinox. Because it derives from first geometric principles and is linearly distributed, SRI offers clear advantages over aspect-based surrogates. The SRI also is superior to hillshade, which we found to be sometimes imprecise and...
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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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Abstract has not been submitted
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The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis was introduced to California in 1900 and spread rapidly as a sylvatic disease of mammalian hosts and flea vectors, invading the Great Plains in the United States by the 1930s to 1940s. In grassland ecosystems, plague causes periodic, devastating epizootics in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), sciurid rodents that create and maintain subterranean burrows. In doing so, plague inhibits prairie dogs from functioning as keystone species of grassland communities. The rate at which fleas transmit Y. pestis is thought to increase when fleas are abundant. Flea densities can increase during droughts when vegetative production is reduced and herbivorous prairie...
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The effects of winter recreation—specifically snowmobiling—on wildlife in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) have become high-profile management issues. The road grooming needed to support oversnow travel in YNP is also being examined for its effects on bison (Bison bison) ecology. Data were collected from November 1997 through May 1998 and from December 1998 through May 1999 on the effects of road grooming on bison in Madison–Gibbon–Firehole (MGF) area of YNP Peak bison numbers occurred during late March—early April and were strongly correlated with the snow water equivalent measurements in the Hayden Valley area (1997–1998: r* = 0.62, p:0.001: 1998–1999: r2 = 0.64, P-0.001). Data from an infrared trail monitor on...
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Because artificial nests can facilitate controlled experiments of nest success, we used them to assess whether human visitation, nest density, vegetation structure, and proximity to habitat edge could affect depredation of duck nests on Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. More (P < 0.01) nests in a plot visited daily (100%) were depredated than those in plots visited at intervals of 7 (40%), 14 (35%), or 28 days (45%). More (P < 0.01) nests were depredated in a plot with 10 nests/ha (95%) than nests in a plot of a lower density (2/ha; 40%). Vegetation height, vegetation density, distance to a wetland, distance to forest edge, or distance to the nearest ecotone did not differ (P > 0.05) between depredated...
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The status of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) in western North America was last evaluated during 1987–2003. In the interim, concern has grown over the potential impact of predation by double-crested cormorants on juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchusspp.), particularly in the Columbia Basin and along the Pacific coast where some salmonids are listed for protection under the United States Endangered Species Act. Recent re-evaluations of double-crested cormorant management at the local, flyway, and federal level warrant further examination of the current population size and trends in western North America. We collected colony size data for the western population (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon,...
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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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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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We examined results from the first national-scale effort to estimate mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) age ratios and developed a simple, efficient, and generalizable methodology for calibrating estimates. Our method predicted age classes of unknown-age wings based on backward projection of molt distributions from fall harvest collections to preseason banding. We estimated 1) the proportion of late-molt individuals in each age class, and 2) the molt rates of juvenile and adult birds. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrated our estimator was minimally biased. We estimated model parameters using 96,811 wings collected from hunters and 42,189 birds banded during preseason from 68 collection blocks in 22 states during the...
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Reintroduction, and other forms of moving animals around the landscape, is an established action that has been used in the contexts of mitigation, conservation, and salvage. Advances in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna is more than an update of its predecessor (Serena 1995). This book not only enumerates advances in reintroduction but also provides a cogent road map for understanding and applying current knowledge, and for developing future strategies. Review info: Advances in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna. Doug P. Armstrong, Matthew W. Hayward, Dorian Moro, and Philip J. Seddon, editors. 2015. ISBN 978-1486303014. 320 pp.
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The long-accepted conclusion that wolf density is regulated by nutrition was recently challenged, and the conclusion was reached that, at greater levels of prey biomass, social factors such as intraspecific strife and territoriality tend to regulate wolf density. We reanalyzed the data used in that study for 2 reasons: 1) we disputed the use of 2 data points, and 2) because of recognized heteroscedasticity, we used weighted-regression analysis instead of the unweighted regressions used in the original study. We concluded that the data do not support the hypothesis that wolf densities are regulated by social factors.


map background search result map search result map Chronology of migration by American coots in Oklahoma Chronology of migration by American coots in Oklahoma