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Conservation of animal migratory movements is among the most important issues in wildlife management. To address this need for landscape-scale monitoring of raptor populations, we developed a novel, baited photographic observation network termed the “Appalachian Eagle Monitoring Program” (AEMP). During winter months of 2008–2012, we partnered with professional and citizen scientists in 11 states in the United States to collect approximately 2.5 million images. To our knowledge, this represents the largest such camera-trap effort to date. Analyses of data collected in 2011 and 2012 revealed complex, often species-specific, spatial and temporal patterns in winter raptor movement behavior as well as spatial and temporal...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Some animals exhibit call-and-response behaviors that can be exploited to facilitate detection. Traditionally, acoustic surveys that use call-and-respond techniques have required an observer's presence to perform the broadcast, record the response, or both events. This can be labor-intensive and may influence animal behavior and, thus, survey results. We developed an automated acoustic survey device using commercially available hardware (e.g., laptop computer, speaker, microphone) and an author-created (JS) software program ("HOOT") that can be used to survey for any animal that calls. We tested this device to determine 1) deployment longevity, 2) effective sampling area, and 3) ability to detect known packs of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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We examined whether radiotransmitters adversely affected the reproductive performance of Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) breeding on the California Channel Islands during 1999-2001. We attached external radiotransmitters to 1 partner in 108 Cassin's auklet pairs after nest initiation and used 131 unmarked, but handled, pairs as controls. Compared to alpha chicks raised by radiomarked pairs, alpha chicks raised by unmarked pairs had faster mass growth rates (1.95 ± 0.30 g d−1 vs. 3.37 ± 0.53 g d−1, respectively), faster wing growth rates (2.46 ± 0.10 mm d−1 vs. 2.85 ± 0.05 mm d−1), greater peak fledging masses (118.9 ± 3.5 g vs. 148.3 ± 2.4 g), and higher fledging success (61% vs. 90%). Fledging success...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Cougar (Puma concolor) management has been hindered by inability to identify population trends. We documented changes in sex and age of harvested cougars during an experimentally induced reduction in population size and subsequent recovery to better understand the relationship between sex-age composition and population trend in exploited populations. The cougar population in the Snowy Range, southeast Wyoming, was reduced by increased harvest (treatment phase) from 58 independent cougars (>1 year old) (90% CI = 36-81) in the autumn of 1998 to 20 by the spring of 2000 (mean exploitation rate = 43%) and then increased to 46 by spring 2003 following 3 years of reduced harvests (mean exploitation rate = 18%). Pretreatment...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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It is questionable whether food-habits studies of pumas conducted in the southwestern United States can be extrapolated to northwestern Mexico, because of differences in management, distribution, and abundance of wildlife. We determined food habits of pumas (Puma concolor) in the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Sonora, Mexico. Based on studies in the western United States, we hypothesized that desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) were the major food source of pumas in Sonoran Desert habitats of Mexico. The study area supports populations of desert mule deer, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), lagomorphs (Lepus spp. and Sylvilagus audubonii), collared peccary (Pecari tajacu), and the largest population...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Surveillance programs for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in free-ranging cervids often use a standard of being able to detect 1% prevalence when determining minimum sample sizes. However, 1% prevalence may represent >10,000 infected animals in a population of 1 million, and most wildlife managers would prefer to detect the presence of CWD when far fewer infected animals exist. We wanted to detect the presence of CWD in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Pennsylvania when the disease was present in only 1 of 21 wildlife management units (WMUs) statewide. We used computer simulation to estimate the probability of detecting CWD based on a sampling design to detect the presence of CWD at 0.1% and 1.0% prevalence...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) populations rely on seasonal ranges to meet their annual nutritional and energetic requirements. Because seasonal ranges often occur great distances apart and across a mix of vegetation types and land ownership, maintaining migration corridors to and from these ranges can be difficult, especially if managers do not have detailed information on mule deer and pronghorn seasonal movements. We captured, radiomarked, and monitored mule deer (n = 171) and pronghorn (n = 34) in western Wyoming to document seasonal distribution patterns and migration routes. Mule deer and pronghorn migrated 20-158 km and 116-258 km, respectively, between seasonal...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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This paper describes a cooperative learning environment and a course continuum in wildlife ecology and management which promote the professional development of undergraduates. Students learn about functional relationships in ecology and management in lecture periods that focus on concepts, with participation by students in active learning exercises. Laboratory periods are designed around learning groups, which consist of freshmen through graduate students who focus on a common theme as they work together, while each student is responsible for his or her own research. Undergraduate teaching assistants and senior wildlife management students coordinate the activities of the learning groups and supervise the student...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Wildlife managers in northwestern Colorado have had difficulty accurately estimating numbers of subadult male elk (Cervus elaphus) by sampling winter population densities and sex ratios. We investigated emigration and survival of telemetered 2-year-old male elk in a trophy hunting area in a northwestern Colorado Game Management Unit (GMU) to evaluate management strategies. We hypothesized that skewed numbers of males resulted from high subadult mortality or dispersal of subadult males. We used telemetered elk and Kaplan-Meier staggered entry methods to estimate emigration probability of 0.56 and 0.33 in 1995 and 1996, respectively. Maximum distances moved by emigrants from their capture point averaged 87 km (median...
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Forty-four Virginia corn fields on 11 farms were searched for evidence of dead or debilitated wildlife following in-furrow application of granular carbofuran (Furadan 15G) during April and May 1991. Evidence of pesticide poisoned wildlife, including dead animals, debilitated animals, feather spots, and fur spots was found on 33 fields on 10 farms. Carcasses of 61 birds, 4 mammals, and 1 reptile were recovered. Anticholinesterase poisoning was confirmed or suspected as the cause of most wildlife deaths based on the circumstances surrounding kills, necropsies of Carcasses, residue analyses, and brain ChE assays.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Compared to other ungulates of North America, free-roaming horses (Equus caballus) possess a unique evolutionary history that has given rise to a distinct suite of behavioral, morphological, and physiological traits. Because of their unique combination of cecal digestion, an elongate head with flexible lips, and non-uniform use of the landscape, horses represent a unique disturbance agent in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States. Consequently, it is inappropriate to assume that influences of horses on the structure, composition, function, and pattern of arid and semi-arid ecosystems will mirror influences of cattle or other artiodactyls. Although management areas for free-roaming horses occupy 18.6 million...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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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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The Gulf Coast Joint Venture of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan began contracting private agricultural lands (hereafter mini-refuges) in 1988 to expand existing sanctuaries for northern pintails (Anas acuta) in southwestern Louisiana. Previous research suggested that mini-refuges may prove more attractive to pintails than permanent, open-water pools (pools) on refuges because mini-refuges provide sanctuary and food during the day, whereas pools generally provide only sanctuary (Rave and Cordes 1993). We used radiotelemetry to compare diel use of mini-refuges and pools (Lacassine Pool and Amoco Pool) by female pintails in southwestern Louisiana during winters of 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. We examined variation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has used spring aerial surveys to estimate numbers of migrating sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) staging in the Platte River Valley of Nebraska, USA. Resulting estimates index the abundance of the midcontinent sandhill crane population and inform harvest management decisions. However, annual changes in the index have exceeded biologically plausible changes in population size (>50% of surveys between 1982 and 2013 indicate >±20% change), raising questions about nuisance variation due to factors such as migration chronology. We used locations of cranes marked with very-high-frequency transmitters to estimate migration chronology (i.e., proportions of cranes present within the Platte...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Beginning in 1977the FWS provided southern Atlantic Flyway states the opportunity to liberalize wood duck harvest regulations. Harvest subsequently increased throughout the flyway but appeared to be more a function of population growth than changes in regulations. In the South, harvest rate increased only slightly for young males and no decline in average survival was detected. We found no evidence of increased harvest pressure on nontarget northern populations. We concluded that liberalized regulations provided increased hunting opportunities in southern states without adversely impacting northern populations.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Lead poisoning is a threat to birds, particularly scavenging birds of prey. With the availability of portable lead-testing kits, an increasing number of field researchers are testing wild-caught birds, in situ, for lead poisoning. We describe guidelines for evaluation of lead toxicity in wild raptors by outlining field testing of blood-lead concentrations, presenting criteria for removing a lead-poisoned bird from the wild for treatment, and suggesting strategies for effective treatment of lead intoxicated raptors. Field testing of birds is most commonly accomplished via portable electrochemical analysis of blood; visual observation of condition alone may provide insufficient evidence upon which to make a decision...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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Assessing nutrient stores in avian species is important for understanding the extent to which body condition influences success or failure in life‚Äźhistory events. We evaluated predictive models using morphometric characteristics to estimate total body lipids (TBL) and total body protein (TBP), based on traditional proximate analyses, in spring migrating lesser snow geese (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) and Ross's geese (A. rossii). We also compared performance of our lipid model with a previously derived predictive equation for TBL developed for nesting lesser snow geese. We used external and internal measurements on 612 lesser snow and 125 Ross's geese collected during spring migration in 2015 and 2016 within...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin