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This layer represents 5-year relative counts of wildlife carcasses collected by Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) maintenance personnel or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Team personnel on or adjacent to on-system (major) routes from 2008 to 2012. To obtain relative counts, the 5-year total counts per mile, which included all wildlife species observed, were divided by the maximum observed calue (98) to give a relative 0-1 risk score. Total counts, which include all wildlife species observed, along with carnivore counts, which include only black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, and wolves, are provided. Counts were derived by identifying the nearest mile marker to each carcass point...
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These case study sites are detailed in the report accompanying this data layer. The case studies are intended to serve as examples of how some of the opportunities for diverse stakeholders to engage in the process of mitigating road impacts on wildlife that are described in the report might be applied on the ground, as well as other considerations that come into play in selecting sites for possible mitigation and designing mitigation solutions for those sites. Through these case studies, we illustrate potential opportunities for mitigation and partner engagement for each of the four alternative priority sets identified in this study.Wildlife carcasses recorded by Montana Department of Transportation, Idaho Department...
Categories: Data; Types: ArcGIS REST Map Service, ArcGIS Service Definition, Downloadable, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service, Shapefile; Tags: AADT, AADT, Carnivores, Carnivores, Connectivity, All tags...
The effect of herbivory on grassland whole-plant production is poorly understood. Herbivores can increase grassland aboveground productivity, and laboratory experiments suggest that herbivory should reduce grass root growth. However, few field studies have directly measured the response of grassland root production to herbivores. We examined the effect of native migratory ungulates on grassland primary production by comparing aboveground (NAP) and belowground (NBP) production in grazed vs. ungrazed (fenced) grassland at nine variable sites in Yellowstone National Park. NBP was determined with minirhizotrons to account for root turnover. Grazers stimulated aboveground, below-ground, and whole-grassland productivity...
Invasion of natural ecosystems by exotic plant species is a major threat to biodiversity. Disturbance to native plant communities, whether natural or management induced, is a primary factor contributing to successful invasion by exotic plant species. Herbivory by both wild and domestic ungulates exerts considerable impact on structure and composition of native plant communities. Intensive herbivory by ungulates can enhance exotic plant invasion, establishment, and spread for three reasons: (1) many exotic plants are adapted to ground disturbances such as those caused by ungulate feeding, trampling, and movements; (2) many exotic plants are adapted for easy transport from one area to another by ungulates via endozoochory...
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Climate often drives ungulate population dynamics, and as climates change, some areas may become unsuitable for species persistence. Unraveling the relationships between climate and population dynamics, and projecting them across time, advances ecological understanding that informs and steers sustainable conservation for species. Using pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) as an ecological model, we used a Bayesian approach to analyze long-term population, precipitation, and temperature data from 18 populations in the southwestern United States. We determined which long-term (12 and 24 months) or short-term (gestation trimester and lactation period) climatic conditions best predicted annual rate of population growth...
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Many ungulate populations in the Rocky Mountains are predicted to respond to declining snow levels and increased drought, though in ways that remain uncertain. This project investigated how climate change may affect the abundance of Rocky Mountain ungulates, their migration patterns, the degree to which they transmit diseases to livestock, and their herbivory impact on aspen. To complete this work we brought together a team of USGS and University scientists with experience, data, and strong agency collaboration that enabled us to quantify climate impacts and deliver products useful for wildlife managers.
Large predators potentially can help shape the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, yet strong evidence of top-down herbivore limitation has not been widely reported in the scientific literature. Herein we synthesize outcomes of recent tri-trophic cascades studies involving the presence and absence of large predators for five national parks in the western United States, including Olympic, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, and Wind Cave. Historical observations by park biologists regarding woody browse species and recently compiled age structure data for deciduous trees indicate major impacts to woody plant communities by ungulates following the extirpation or displacement of large predators. Declines...
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Wildlife carcasses recorded by Montana Department of Transportation, Idaho Department of Fish & Game, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service were aggregated to the nearest mile marker for major roads of the U.S. Northern Rockies. WGA connectivity flowlines were intersected with the road network and attributed to the nearest mile marker, along with their connectivity ranking, which indicates their expected relative importance to maintaining westwide connectivity. Values for potential risk factors, including average annual daily traffic (AADT), functional class, number of lanes, road surface width, landscape condition of surrounding habitat, ruggedness of surrounding landscape, and topographic position relative to surrounding...
Categories: Data; Types: ArcGIS REST Map Service, ArcGIS Service Definition, Downloadable, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service, Shapefile; Tags: AADT, AADT, Carnivores, Carnivores, Connectivity, All tags...
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Wildlife carcasses recorded by Montana Department of Transportation, Idaho Department of Fish & Game, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service were aggregated to the nearest mile marker for major roads of the U.S. Northern Rockies. WGA connectivity flowlines were intersected with the road network and attributed to the nearest mile marker, along with their connectivity ranking, which indicates their expected relative importance to maintaining westwide connectivity. Values for potential risk factors, including average annual daily traffic (AADT), functional class, number of lanes, road surface width, landscape condition of surrounding habitat, ruggedness of surrounding landscape, and topographic position relative to surrounding...
Categories: Data; Types: Downloadable, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service, Shapefile; Tags: AADT, AADT, Carnivores, Carnivores, Connectivity, All tags...
It is widely believed that wild and domestic herbivores have modified the structure and composition of arid and semi-arid plant communities of western North America, but these beliefs have rarely been tested in long-term, well-replicated studies. We examined the effects of removing large herbivores from semi-arid shrublands for 40-50 years using 17 fenced exclosures in western Colorado, USA. Shrub cover was greater (F=5.87, P=0.0020) and cover (F=3.01, P=0.0601) and frequency (F=3.89, P=0.0211) of forbs was less inside the exclosures (protected) relative to grazed plots. However, we found no significant effects (minimum P=0.18) of protection from grazing on cover or frequency of grasses, biotic crusts, or bare soil....
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Climate often drives ungulate population dynamics, and as climates change, some areas may become unsuitable for species persistence. Unraveling the relationships between climate and population dynamics, and projecting them across time, advances ecological understanding that informs and steers sustainable conservation for species. Using pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) as an ecological model, we used a Bayesian approach to analyze long-term population, precipitation, and temperature data from 18 subpopulations in the southwestern United States. We determined which long-term (12 and 24 months) or short-term (gestation trimester and lactation period) climatic conditions best predicted annual rate of population growth...
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Climate often drives ungulate population dynamics, and as climates change, some areas may become unsuitable for species persistence. Unraveling the relationships between climate and population dynamics, and projecting them across time, advances ecological understanding that informs and steers sustainable conservation for species. Using pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) as an ecological model, we used a Bayesian approach to analyze long-term population, precipitation, and temperature data from 18 subpopulations in the southwestern United States. We determined which long-term (12 and 24 months) or short-term (gestation trimester and lactation period) climatic conditions best predicted annual rate of population growth...
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Each year, plants and animals undergo certain life cycle events, such as breeding or flowering. These phenological events are linked to weather and climate, and as temperature and precipitation patterns have changed, some spring events are occurring earlier. These changes in plant phenology can have cascading effects on wildlife such as elk, moose, and mule deer, which depend on plants for food. It’s thought that the quality of forage available in the spring could play a critical role for these big game species, which need to replenish energy depleted during the winter, in order to survive and successfully reproduce. Climate change will alter plant phenology, which in turn is likely to effect when, where, and for...
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In the southwestern U.S., climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme droughts and cause an overall decrease in precipitation and increase in temperatures. These changes could impact a wide range of species in the region, even those adapted to living in arid environments. It’s possible that some species may be able to adapt to changing conditions by migrating to new locations or altering their behavior, while others may have genetic traits that activate physiological changes to cope with heat and water stress. This project focused on desert bighorn sheep and explored potential adaptations that may help them persist despite varying climates throughout their range. Previous research has shown...
The green wave hypothesis (GWH) states that migrating animals should track or ‘surf’ high-quality forage at the leading edge of spring green-up. To index such high-quality forage, recent work proposed the instantaneous rate of green-up (IRG), i.e. rate of change in the normalized difference vegetation index over time. Despite this important advancement, no study has tested the assumption that herbivores select habitat patches at peak IRG. We evaluated this assumption using step selection functions parametrized with movement data during the green-up period from two populations each of bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, moose and bison, totalling 463 individuals monitored 1–3 years from 2004 to 2014. Accounting for variables...
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This layer represents 5-year relative counts of wildlife carcasses collected by Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) personnel (2008-2012) or reported by the general public (2012) on or adjacent to state highway system (major) routes. To obtain relative counts, the 5-year total counts per mile, which included all wildlife species observed, were divided by the maximum observed calue (98) to give a relative 0-1 risk score. Total counts, which include all wildlife species observed, along with carnivore counts, which include only black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, and wolves, are provided. Counts were derived by identifying the nearest mile marker to each carcass point location, then counting the frequency...


    map background search result map search result map Quantifying the Influence of Climate Change on Rocky Mountain Ungulates Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency, Connectivity Value, and Potential Risk Factors by Mile of U.S. Northern Rockies Major Roads (2008-2012) Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency by Mile of Montana On-System Routes in the U.S. Northern Rockies (2008-2012) Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency by Mile of Idaho State Highway System Routes in the U.S. Northern Rockies (2008-2012) Case Study Sites for Prioritizing Mitigation of Road Impacts on Western Governors' Association Wildlife Corridors Linking Mule Deer Migration to Spring Green-Up in Wyoming Evaluating Adaptations of Desert Bighorn Sheep to Climate Change in the Southwestern U.S. Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency, Connectivity Value, and Potential Risk Factors by Mile Segment of U.S. Northern Rockies Major Roads (2008-2012) Impact of Drought on Southwestern Pronghorn Population Trends and Predicted Trajectories in the Southwest in the Face of Climate Change Impact of Drought on Southwestern Pronghorn Population Trends and Predicted Trajectories Predictor Model Impact of Drought on Southwestern Pronghorn Population Trends and Predicted Trajectories Climate Projection Data Quantifying the Influence of Climate Change on Rocky Mountain Ungulates Linking Mule Deer Migration to Spring Green-Up in Wyoming Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency, Connectivity Value, and Potential Risk Factors by Mile Segment of U.S. Northern Rockies Major Roads (2008-2012) Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency, Connectivity Value, and Potential Risk Factors by Mile of U.S. Northern Rockies Major Roads (2008-2012) Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency by Mile of Montana On-System Routes in the U.S. Northern Rockies (2008-2012) Road-Killed Wildlife Carcass Frequency by Mile of Idaho State Highway System Routes in the U.S. Northern Rockies (2008-2012) Case Study Sites for Prioritizing Mitigation of Road Impacts on Western Governors' Association Wildlife Corridors Impact of Drought on Southwestern Pronghorn Population Trends and Predicted Trajectories in the Southwest in the Face of Climate Change Impact of Drought on Southwestern Pronghorn Population Trends and Predicted Trajectories Predictor Model Impact of Drought on Southwestern Pronghorn Population Trends and Predicted Trajectories Climate Projection Data Evaluating Adaptations of Desert Bighorn Sheep to Climate Change in the Southwestern U.S.