WorldWideScience

Sample records for hemionus hemionus black-tailed

  1. Species-wide phylogeography of North American mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus): cryptic glacial refugia and postglacial recolonization.

    Latch, Emily K; Heffelfinger, James R; Fike, Jennifer A; Rhodes, Olin E

    2009-04-01

    Quaternary climatic oscillations greatly influenced the present-day population genetic structure of animals and plants. For species with high dispersal and reproductive potential, phylogeographic patterns resulting from historical processes can be cryptic, overshadowed by contemporary processes. Here we report a study of the phylogeography of Odocoileus hemionus, a large, vagile ungulate common throughout western North America. We examined sequence variation of mitochondrial DNA (control region and cytochrome b) within and among 70 natural populations across the entire range of the species. Among the 1766 individual animals surveyed, we recovered 496 haplotypes. Although fine-scale phylogenetic structure was weakly resolved using phylogenetic methods, network analysis clearly revealed the presence of 12 distinct haplogroups. The spatial distribution of haplogroups showed a strong genetic discontinuity between the two morphological types of O. hemionus, mule deer and black-tailed deer, east and west of the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Within the mule deer lineage, we identified several haplogroups that expanded before or during the Last Glacial Maximum, suggesting that mule deer persisted in multiple refugia south of the ice sheets. Patterns of genetic diversity within the black-tailed deer lineage suggest a single refugium along the Pacific Northwest coast, and refute the hypothesis that black-tailed deer persisted in one or more northern refugia. Our data suggest that black-tailed deer recolonized areas in accordance with the pattern of glacial retreat, with initial recolonization northward along a coastal route and secondary recolonization inland.

  2. Systemic adenovirus infection associated with high mortality in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in California

    Horzinek, M.C.; Woods, L.W.; Swift, P.K.; Barr, B.C.; Nordhausen, R.W.; Stillian, M.H.; Patton, J.F.; Oliver, M.N.; Jones, K.R.; Maclachlan, N.J.

    1996-01-01

    Seventeen counties in northern California experienced epizootics of high mortality in the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) population during the latter half of 1993. Thirteen deer submitted to the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System as part of this natural die-off had systemic

  3. Mitochondrial DNA analyses revealed low genetic diversity in the endangered Indian wild ass Equus hemionus khur.

    Khaire, Devendra; Atkulwar, Ashwin; Farah, Sameera; Baig, Mumtaz

    2017-09-01

    The Indian wild ass Equus hemionus khur, belonging to ass-like equid branch, inhabits the dry and arid desert of the Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. The E. h. khur is the sole survivor of Asiatic wild ass species/subspecies in South Asia. To provide first ever insights into the genetic diversity, phylogeny, and demography of the endangered Indian wild ass, we sampled 52 free-ranging individuals from the Little Rann of Kutch by using a non-invasive methodology. The sequencing of 230 bp in cytochrome b (Cyt b) and displacement loop (D-loop) region revealed that current ∼4000 extant population of Indian wild ass harbours low genetic diversity. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that E. h. khur, E. h. onager, and E. h. kulan belong to a single strict monophyletic clade. Therefore, we suggest the delimitation of the five E. hemionus subspecies in vogue to a single species E. hemionus. The application of molecular clock confirmed that the Asiatic wild ass had undergone diversification 0.65 Million years ago. Demographic measurements assessed using a Bayesian skyline plot demonstrated decline in the maternal effective population size of the Indian wild ass during different periods; these periods coincided with the origin and rise of the Indus civilization in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent during the Neolithic. In conclusion, maintaining high genetic diversity in the existing isolated population of 4000 Indian wild asses inhabiting the wild ass sanctuary is important compared with subspecies preservation alone.

  4. The population history of endogenous retroviruses in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus).

    Kamath, Pauline L; Elleder, Daniel; Bao, Le; Cross, Paul C; Powell, John H; Poss, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Mobile elements are powerful agents of genomic evolution and can be exceptionally informative markers for investigating species and population-level evolutionary history. While several studies have utilized retrotransposon-based insertional polymorphisms to resolve phylogenies, few population studies exist outside of humans. Endogenous retroviruses are LTR-retrotransposons derived from retroviruses that have become stably integrated in the host genome during past infections and transmitted vertically to subsequent generations. They offer valuable insight into host-virus co-evolution and a unique perspective on host evolutionary history because they integrate into the genome at a discrete point in time. We examined the evolutionary history of a cervid endogenous gammaretrovirus (CrERVγ) in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). We sequenced 14 CrERV proviruses (CrERV-in1 to -in14), and examined the prevalence and distribution of 13 proviruses in 262 deer among 15 populations from Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. CrERV absence in white-tailed deer (O. virginianus), identical 5' and 3' long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences, insertional polymorphism, and CrERV divergence time estimates indicated that most endogenization events occurred within the last 200000 years. Population structure inferred from CrERVs (F ST = 0.008) and microsatellites (θ = 0.01) was low, but significant, with Utah, northwestern Montana, and a Helena herd being particularly differentiated. Clustering analyses indicated regional structuring, and non-contiguous clustering could often be explained by known translocations. Cluster ensemble results indicated spatial localization of viruses, specifically in deer from northeastern and western Montana. This study demonstrates the utility of endogenous retroviruses to elucidate and provide novel insight into both ERV evolutionary history and the history of contemporary host populations.

  5. Serosurveillance for livestock pathogens in free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus.

    Annette Roug

    Full Text Available Routine disease surveillance has been conducted for decades in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus in California for pathogens shared between wildlife and domestic ruminants that may have implications for the animal production industry and wildlife health. Deer sampled from 1990 to 2007 (n = 2,619 were tested for exposure to six pathogens: bluetongue virus (BTV, epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV, bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV, Leptospira spp., Anaplasma spp. and Brucella spp. We evaluated the relationship between exposure to these pathogens and demographic risk factors to identify broad patterns in seroprevalence across a large temporal and spatial scale. The overall seroprevalence for the entire study period was 13.4% for BTV, 16.8% for EHDV, 17.1% for BVDV, 6.5% for Leptospira spp., 0.2% for Brucella spp., and 17% for Anaplasma spp. Antibodies against BTV and EHDV were most prevalent in the deer populations of southern California. Antibodies against Leptospira spp. and Anaplasma spp. were most prevalent in coastal and central northern California whereas antibodies against BVDV were most prevalent in central-eastern and northeastern California. The overall seroprevalence for Anaplasma spp. was slightly lower than detected in previous studies. North and central eastern California contains large tracts of federal land grazed by livestock; therefore, possible contact between deer and livestock could explain the high BVDV seroprevalence found in these areas. Findings from this study will help to establish baseline values for future comparisons of pathogen exposure in deer, inform on long-term trends in deer population health and provide relevant information on the distribution of diseases that are shared between wildlife and livestock.

  6. Effects of starch and fibre in pelleted diets on nutritional status of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) fawns.

    McCusker, S; Shipley, L A; Tollefson, T N; Griffin, M; Koutsos, E A

    2011-08-01

    To compare the effects of a low-starch, high-fibre diet [LSHF; 51.6% neutral detergent fibre (NDF), 3.0% starch, 14.8% crude protein (CP)] and a high-starch, low-fibre diet (HSLF; 33.3% NDF, 20.0% starch, 19.6% CP) on the nutritional status of captive exotic ruminants, 16 mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) were fed one of these two diets ad libitum with ≤25% alfalfa hay cubes from 10 days to 68 weeks of age. During five sampling periods beginning in November and spaced 6-12 weeks apart thereafter, feed intake, rumen and blood chemistry, faecal scores, growth and body condition were measured. Dry matter intake, digestible energy intake, time spent ruminating and feeding and blood acetate concentration were greater for deer fed LSHF (p 0.05). These findings show pelleted diets with less starch, more fibre, and reduced protein met the energy and protein requirements of growing mule deer, a medium-sized browsing ruminant, as well as traditional grain-based diets while more closely mimicking natural forages and stimulating a more natural feeding behaviour. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Human Activity Dampens the Benefits of Group Size on Vigilance in Khulan (Equus hemionus in Western China.

    Mu-Yang Wang

    Full Text Available Animals receive anti-predator benefits from social behavior. As part of a group, individuals spend less time being vigilant, and vigilance decreases with increasing group size. This phenomenon, called "the many-eyes effect", together with the "encounter dilution effect", is considered among the most important factors determining individual vigilance behavior. However, in addition to group size, other social and environmental factors also influence the degree of vigilance, including disturbance from human activities. In our study, we examined vigilance behavior of Khulans (Equus hemionus in the Xinjiang Province in western China to test whether and how human disturbance and group size affect vigilance. According to our results, Khulan showed a negative correlation between group size and the percentage time spent vigilant, although this negative correlation depended on the groups' disturbance level. Khulan in the more disturbed area had a dampened benefit from increases in group size, compared to those in the undisturbed core areas. Provision of continuous areas of high-quality habitat for Khulans will allow them to form larger undisturbed aggregations and to gain foraging benefits through reduced individual vigilance, as well as anti-predator benefits through increased probability of predator detection.

  8. Human Activity Dampens the Benefits of Group Size on Vigilance in Khulan (Equus hemionus) in Western China.

    Wang, Mu-Yang; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E; Xu, Wen-Xuan; Blank, David; Yang, Wei-Kang

    2016-01-01

    Animals receive anti-predator benefits from social behavior. As part of a group, individuals spend less time being vigilant, and vigilance decreases with increasing group size. This phenomenon, called "the many-eyes effect", together with the "encounter dilution effect", is considered among the most important factors determining individual vigilance behavior. However, in addition to group size, other social and environmental factors also influence the degree of vigilance, including disturbance from human activities. In our study, we examined vigilance behavior of Khulans (Equus hemionus) in the Xinjiang Province in western China to test whether and how human disturbance and group size affect vigilance. According to our results, Khulan showed a negative correlation between group size and the percentage time spent vigilant, although this negative correlation depended on the groups' disturbance level. Khulan in the more disturbed area had a dampened benefit from increases in group size, compared to those in the undisturbed core areas. Provision of continuous areas of high-quality habitat for Khulans will allow them to form larger undisturbed aggregations and to gain foraging benefits through reduced individual vigilance, as well as anti-predator benefits through increased probability of predator detection.

  9. Space-Use Patterns of the Asiatic Wild Ass (Equus hemionus): Complementary Insights from Displacement, Recursion Movement and Habitat Selection Analyses.

    Giotto, Nina; Gerard, Jean-François; Ziv, Alon; Bouskila, Amos; Bar-David, Shirli

    2015-01-01

    The way in which animals move and use the landscape is influenced by the spatial distribution of resources, and is of importance when considering species conservation. We aimed at exploring how landscape-related factors affect a large herbivore's space-use patterns by using a combined approach, integrating movement (displacement and recursions) and habitat selection analyses. We studied the endangered Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) in the Negev Desert, Israel, using GPS monitoring and direct observation. We found that the main landscape-related factors affecting the species' space-use patterns, on a daily and seasonal basis, were vegetation cover, water sources and topography. Two main habitat types were selected: high-elevation sites during the day (specific microclimate: windy on warm summer days) and streambed surroundings during the night (coupled with high vegetation when the animals were active in summer). Distribution of recursion times (duration between visits) revealed a 24-hour periodicity, a pattern that could be widespread among large herbivores. Characterizing frequently revisited sites suggested that recursion movements were mainly driven by a few landscape features (water sources, vegetation patches, high-elevation points), but also by social factors, such as territoriality, which should be further explored. This study provided complementary insights into the space-use patterns of E. hemionus. Understanding of the species' space-use patterns, at both large and fine spatial scale, is required for developing appropriate conservation protocols. Our approach could be further applied for studying the space-use patterns of other species in heterogeneous landscapes.

  10. Differentiation of Meat Samples from Domestic Horses ( Equus caballus and Asiatic Wild Asses ( Equus hemionus Using a Species-Speci fi c Restriction Site in the Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Region

    Ralph Kuehn

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies suggest that Asiatic wild asses ( Equus hemionus are being increasingly poached in a commercial fashion. Part of the meat is believed to reach the meat markets in the capital Ulaanbaatar. To test this hypothesis, we collected 500 meat samples between February and May 2006. To differentiate between domestic horse ( Equus caballus and wild ass meat, we developed a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP assay based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR. We ampli fi ed and sequenced a cytochrome b fragment (335 bp and carried out a multialignment of the generated sequences for the domestic horse, the Asiatic wild ass, the domestic donkey ( Equus asinus and the Przewalski’s horse ( Equus ferus przewalskii . We detected a species-speci fi c restriction site (AatII for the Asiatic wild ass, resulting in a speci fi c restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP band pattern. This RFLP assay represents a rapid and cost-effective method to detect wild ass meat. All of the 500 meat samples we collected and analysed within this pilot project proved to be domestic horsemeat as declared by the sales people. Thus, either the assumption that wild ass meat is sold as “cheap horse meat” is wrong, or we picked the wrong markets, products or season.

  11. Black-tailed prairie dog status and future conservation planning

    Daniel W. Mulhern; Craig J. Knowles

    1997-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog is one of five prairie dog species estimated to have once occupied up to 100 million ha or more in North America. The area occupied by black-tailed prairie dogs has declined to approximately 2% of its former range. Conversion of habitat to other land uses and widespread prairie dog eradication efforts combined with sylvatic plague,

  12. Diets of black-tailed hares on the Hanford Reservation

    Uresk, D.W.; Cline, J.F.; Rickard, W.H.

    1975-04-01

    A fecal pellet analyses showed that black-tailed hares (jackrabbits) were selective in plants chosen as food. The most abundant herbaceous plant, cheatgrass, was not found in the pellets. Sagebrush and bitterbrush, woody plants, were not an important part of the hares' diet. Forbs, rabbitbrush, and certain grass species were preferred foods. (auth)

  13. Do different subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit

    Lopes, R.J.; Alves, J.A.; Gill, J.A.; Gunnarsson, T.G.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Lourenço, P.M.; Masero, J.A.; Piersma, T.; Potts, P.M.; Rabaçal, B.; Reis, S.; Sánchez-Guzmán, J.M.; Santiago-Quesada, F.; Villegas, A.

    2013-01-01

    Resolving the migratory connectivity (identifying non-breeding grounds) of migrating bird populations that are morphologically similar is crucial for an understanding of their population dynamics and ultimately their conservation. Such is the case in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa, where the

  14. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs

    Cully, Jack F.; Johnson, T.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  15. Histopathological Study of Esophageal Infection with Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Oestridae in Persian Onager (Equus hemionus onager

    Seyed Mohammad Hoseini

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: The larval stages of Gasterophilus are obligate parasites in the gastrointestinal tract of equine account­able for pathologic ulcers in the Persian onager gastrointestinal. The aim of the current report was to study the histo­pathological change with G. pecorum larvae in the esophagus of a Persian onager.Methods: This study was performed in Iranian Zebra propagation and breeding site in Khartouran National Park, southeast of Shahrud City, Semnan Province, Iran in 2014. Following a necropsy with specific refer to esophagus of one adult female Persian onager were transmitted to the laboratory. After autopsy, parasites collected from the esophagus were transmitted into 70% alcohol. For histopathological investigation, tissue samples were collected from the esophagus. The tissues were fixed in 10% buffered formalin, and conformity routine processing, there were stained with Hematoxylin and eosin.Results: After clarity by lactophenol parasites were identified as G. pecorum. Microscopic recognition contained hyperemia, inflammatory cell infiltration, epithelial destruction, esophageal gland hyperplasia.Conclusion: This is the first survey of G. pecorum and histopathological study in the Persian onager esophagus in the world.

  16. Histopathological Study of Esophageal Infection with Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Oestridae) in Persian Onager (Equus hemionus onager).

    Hoseini, Seyed Mohammad; Zaheri, Bahram Ali; Adibi, Mohamad Ali; Ronaghi, Hooman; Moshrefi, Amir Hossein

    2017-09-01

    The larval stages of Gasterophilus are obligate parasites in the gastrointestinal tract of equine accountable for pathologic ulcers in the Persian onager gastrointestinal. The aim of the current report was to study the histopathological change with G. pecorum larvae in the esophagus of a Persian onager. This study was performed in Iranian Zebra propagation and breeding site in Khartouran National Park, southeast of Shahrud City, Semnan Province, Iran in 2014. Following a necropsy with specific refer to esophagus of one adult female Persian onager were transmitted to the laboratory. After autopsy, parasites collected from the esophagus were transmitted into 70% alcohol. For histopathological investigation, tissue samples were collected from the esophagus. The tissues were fixed in 10% buffered formalin, and conformity routine processing, there were stained with Hematoxylin and eosin. After clarity by lactophenol parasites were identified as G. pecorum . Microscopic recognition contained hyperemia, inflammatory cell infiltration, epithelial destruction, esophageal gland hyperplasia. This is the first survey of G. pecorum and histopathological study in the Persian onager esophagus in the world.

  17. Review of black-tailed prairie dog reintroduction strategies and site selection: Arizona reintroduction

    Sarah L. Hale; John L. Koprowski; Holly Hicks

    2013-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) was once widely distributed throughout the western United States; however, anthropogenic influences have reduced the species’ numbers to 2 percent of historical populations. Black-tailed prairie dogs are described as a keystone species in the grassland ecosystem, and provide many unique services, including burrows for...

  18. Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) response to seasonality and frequency of fire

    Felicia D. Archuleta

    2014-01-01

    Fragmentation of the landscape, habitat loss, and fire suppression, all a result of European settlement and activities, have precipitated both the decline of Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) populations and the occurrence of fire throughout the Great Plains, including the Shortgrass steppe of northeastern New Mexico. The presence of Black-tailed prairie...

  19. Public knowledge and perceptions of black-tailed prairie dogs

    Lamb, B.L.; Cline, K.

    2003-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) historically occupied an 11-state region of the United States. We surveyed 1,900 residents (response rate 56%) of this region to understand citizen knowledge and perceptions about prairie dogs and their management. Those who have direct experience - e.g., those who live very close to prairie dog colonies or know the location of the nearest colony - have higher levels of knowledge. A significantly higher level of knowledge was documented among those who were politically active when compared with the general public. Those who found environmental issues difficult to understand were associated with lower knowledge. People with direct experience were likely to hold negative views, whereas those holding environmentalist values were likely to express positive attitudes toward the species. Although those with higher education reported more knowledge, there was no link between a person's level of knowledge and perceptions of prairie dog management.

  20. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R.; Busch, Joseph D.; Antolin, Michael F.; Wagner, David M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (pdogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  1. No evident spatial genetic structuring in the rapidly declining Black-tailed Godwit

    Trimbos, K.B.; Musters, C.J.M.; Verkuil, Y.I.; Kentie, R.; Piersma, T.; De Snoo, G.; Verkuil, Y.I.

    2011-01-01

    With 40% of the European Black-tailed Godwit population breeding in The Netherlands, this country harbours internationally significant numbers of this species. However, ongoing agricultural intensification has resulted in the fragmentation of the population and drastic population declines since

  2. Citizen knowledge and perception of black-tailed prairie dog management: Report to respondents

    Sexton, Natalie R.; Brinson, Ayeisha; Ponds, Phadrea D.; Cline, Kurt; Lamb, Berton L.

    2001-01-01

    What do citizens know about black-tailed prairie dogs, and where do they get their information? When management decisions need to be made regarding an animal such as the black-tailed prairie dog, an understanding of the species and its relationship to humans is necessary. This includes knowing the biology of the animal, where it lives, and how it interacts with other animals. But it is equally important for those making decisions about the species to understand citizens’ knowledge and perceptions so managers can effectively communicate with the public and help the public participate in planning and decision making activities. Unfortunately, what is known about public knowledge, perception, and preferences concerning prairie dog management is limited to data from only a few areas. This study attempts to answer the question: What do people in the short-grass prairie region of the United States know and think about black-tailed prairie dogs?

  3. Spatial variation in keystone effects: Small mammal diversity associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Van Nimwegen, R. E.; Ray, C.; Johnson, W.C.; Thiagarajan, Bala; Conlin, D.B.; Holmes, B.E.

    2010-01-01

    Species with extensive geographic ranges may interact with different species assemblages at distant locations, with the result that the nature of the interactions may vary spatially. Black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus occur from Canada to Mexico in grasslands of the western Great Plains of North America. Black-tailed prairie dogs alter vegetation and dig extensive burrow systems that alter grassland habitats for plants and other animal species. These alterations of habitat justify the descriptor " ecological engineer," and the resulting changes in species composition have earned them status as a keystone species. We examined the impact of black-tailed prairie dogs on small mammal assemblages by trapping at on- and off-colony locations at eight study areas across the species' geographic range. We posed 2 nested hypotheses: 1) prairie dogs function as a keystone species for other rodent species; and 2) the keystone role varies spatially. Assuming that it does, we asked what are the sources of the variation? Black-tailed prairie dogs consistently functioned as a keystone species in that there were strong statistically significant differences in community composition on versus off prairie dog colonies across the species range in prairie grassland. Small mammal species composition varied along both latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, and species richness varied from 4 to 11. Assemblages closer together were more similar; such correlations approximately doubled when including only on- or off-colony grids. Black-tailed prairie dogs had a significant effect on associated rodent assemblages that varied regionally, dependent upon the composition of the local rodent species pool. Over the range of the black-tailed prairie dog, on-colony rodent richness and evenness were less variable, and species composition was more consistent than off-colony assemblages. ?? 2010 The Authors.

  4. Students' Perceptions of a Highly Controversial yet Keystone Species, the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog: A Case Study

    Fox-Parrish, Lynne; Jurin, Richard R.

    2008-01-01

    The authors used a case-study methodology to explore the perceptions of 30 9th-grade biology students relative to black-tailed prairie dogs. The case study, which involved classroom- and field-based experiences that focused on black-tailed prairie dogs, revealed 3 major themes: apathy, egocentrism, and naive conceptions. The authors had hoped that…

  5. Black-tailed Godwits in West African winter staging areas : habitat use and hunting-related mortality

    Kleijn, D.; Kamp, van der J.; Monteiro, H.; Ndiaye, I.; Wymenga, E.; Zwarts, L.

    2010-01-01

    The persistence of the Dutch Black-tailed Godwit population depends largely on high adult survival. Adult survival may be influenced by hunting pressure and land use change in the wintering area, the West African coastal zone. Here we examine hunting pressure on and habitat use of Black-tailed

  6. Space use by Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during settlement at a previous or a new nest location

    Van Den Brink, Valentijn; Schroeder, Julia; Both, Christiaan; Lourenco, Pedro M.; Piersma, Theunis; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.

    Capsule Black-tailed Godwits first return to the nest location of the previous year, even when moving to a different nest location later that season. Aims To examine the use of space by Black-tailed Godwits during the two months before egg-laying to two weeks afterwards. Methods We compare the

  7. Phylogeography of the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa : substructuring revealed by mtDNA control region sequences

    Höglund, J.; Johansson, T.; Beintema, A.; Schekkerman, H.

    2009-01-01

    Black-tailed (Limosa limosa) and Hudsonian Godwits (L. haemastica) are sometimes described as a superspecies. The Black-tailed Godwit is further split into three subspecies on the basis of morphological differences (L. l. limosa, L. l. islandica and L. l. melanuroides). We studied variation in

  8. Capture and Anaesthesia of Wild Mongolian Equids – the Przewalski’s Horse ( Equus ferus przewalskii and Khulan ( E. hemionus

    Chris Walzer

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Science-based conservation efforts in general, and wide-ranging equid conservation speci fi cally, of- ten require capture and subsequent handling of the subject animal. Safe and animal-welfare appropriate wild equid capture and anaesthesia is a complex operation necessitating a multitude of skills that require appropriate veterinary training. The agent of choice for wild equid capture and anaesthesia is the potent opiate ethorphine in combination with speci fi c opiate antagonists that allow for the complete reversal of the anaesthetic effects. The recommended dosage for a healthy, wild adult Przewalski’s horse is 2.5- 3.0 mg ethorphine, 10 mg of the alpha2-agonist detomidine and 10 mg of the opioid agonist-antagonist butorphanol. In Przewalski’s horses ethorphine is reversed with the opioid antagonist naltrexone (200 mg. In khulan procedures anaesthesia was induced with a combination of 4.4 mg Ethorphine, 10 mg Detomidine and 10 mg Buthorphanol. Anaesthesia was reversed with the opioid antagonist-agonist di- prenorphine or a combination of 200 mg naltrexone and the alpha2-antagonist 20 mg atipamezole. All equids were standing and alert approximately two minutes following administration of the antagonists.

  9. Sexual dimorphism in plumage and size in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa

    Schroeder, Julia; Lourenco, Pedro M.; van der Velde, Marco; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.; Both, Christiaan; Piersma, Theunis; Heg, Dik

    2008-01-01

    Systematic sex-related differences in size and plumage are informative of sex-specific selection pressures. Here, we present an analysis of sexual dimorphism in body size and plumage of Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa from a breeding population in The Netherlands. Molecular methods were

  10. Demography of black-tailed prairie dog populations reoccupying sites treated with rodenticide

    R. P. Cincotta; Daniel W. Uresk; R. M. Hansen

    1987-01-01

    A rodenticide, zinc phosphide, was applied to remove black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) from 6 haofa prairie dog colony in southwestern South Dakota. Another adjacent 6 ha was left untreated. The removal experiment was repeated two consecutive years. Contingency table analysis showed that the resultant population was not homogeneous;...

  11. Age-dependent dispersal and habitat choice in black-tailed godwits

    Kentie, R.; Both, C.; Hooijmeijer, J.W.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2014-01-01

    Whether to disperse, and where to, are two of the most prominent decisions in an individual's life, with major consequences for reproductive success. We studied natal and breeding dispersal in the monogamous black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa in the Netherlands, where they breed in

  12. Variation in nutritional quality of plants for deer in relation to sunny versus shady environments

    Thomas A. Hanley; Jeffrey C. Barnard

    2014-01-01

    Variation in nutritional quality of natural forages for black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus) was studied in summer and winter in southeast Alaska. Freeze-dried samples of 17 summer forages collected in early July and 10 winter forages collected in February from three replicate sites each of shady forest understory and open, sunny habitat were...

  13. A modern landscape ecology of Black-tailed Godwits: habitat selection in southwest Friesland, The Netherlands

    Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2012-01-01

    For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we provide a quantitative characterization of agricultural habitats and their use by Black-tailed Godwits Limosa I. limosa in the south-western part of the province of Friesland, The Netherlands, in ...

  14. Physiologic Reference Ranges for Captive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    Keckler, M Shannon; Gallardo-Romero, Nadia F; Langham, Gregory L; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L; Carroll, Darin S

    2010-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a member of the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. Ecologically, prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecology. This species is used as an animal model for human gallbladder disease and diseases caused by infection with Clostridium difficile, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and most recently, Orthopoxvirus. Despite increasing numbers of prairie dogs used in research and kept as pets, few data are available on their baseline physiology in animal facility housing conditions. To establish baseline physiologic reference ranges, we designed a study using 18 wild-caught black-tailed prairie dogs. Telemetry data were analyzed to establish circadian rhythms for activity and temperature. In addition, hematologic and serum chemistry analyses were performed. Baseline measurements were used to establish the mean for each animal, which then were compiled and analyzed to determine the reference ranges. Here we present physiologic data on serum chemistry and hematology profiles, as well as weight, core body temperature, and daily activity patterns for black-tailed prairie dogs. These results reflect the use of multiple measurements from species- and age-matched prairie dogs and likely will be useful to ecologists, scientists interested in using this animal model in research, and veterinarians caring for pet prairie dogs. PMID:20587156

  15. No evident spatial genetic structuring in the rapidly declining Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa in the Netherlands

    Trimbos, K.B.; Kentie, R.; Verkuil, Y.; Musters, C.J.M.; Piersma, Th.; Snoo, de G.R.

    2011-01-01

    With 40% of the European Black-tailed Godwit population breeding in The Netherlands, this country harbours internationally significant numbers of this species. However, ongoing agricultural intensification has resulted in the fragmentation of the population and drastic population declines since

  16. No evident spatial genetic structuring in the rapidly declining Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa limosa in the Netherlands

    Trimbos, Krijn B.; Musters, C. J. M.; Verkuil, Yvonne I.; Kentie, Rosemarie; Piersma, Theunis; de Snoo, Geert R.

    With 40% of the European Black-tailed Godwit population breeding in The Netherlands, this country harbours internationally significant numbers of this species. However, ongoing agricultural intensification has resulted in the fragmentation of the population and drastic population declines since

  17. Does wintering north or south of the Sahara correlate with timing and breeding performance in black-tailed godwits?

    Kentie, Rosemarie; Marquez-Ferrando, Rocío; Figuerola, Jordi; Gangoso, Laura; Hooijmeijer, Jos C E W; Loonstra, A. H Jelle; Robin, Frédéric; Sarasa, Mathieu; Senner, Nathan; Valkema, Haije; Verhoeven, Mo A.; Piersma, Theunis

    2017-01-01

    Migrating long distances requires time and energy, and may interact with an individual's performance during breeding. These seasonal interactions in migratory animals are best described in populations with disjunct nonbreeding distributions. The black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa limosa), which

  18. Chlorophacinone residues in mammalian prey at a black-tailed prairie dog colony

    Vyas, Nimish B.; Hulse, Craig S.; Rice, Clifford P.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs), Cynomys ludovicianus, are an important prey for raptors; therefore, the use of the rodenticide Rozol (0.005% chlorophacinone active ingredient) to control BTPDs raises concern for secondary poisonings resulting from the consumption of contaminated prey by raptors. In the present study, the authors observed Rozol exposure and adverse effects to mammalian prey on 11 of 12 search days of the study. Mammalian hepatic chlorophacinone residues ranged from 0.44 to 7.56 µg/g. Poisoned prey availability was greater than previously reported.

  19. Prescribed fire: A proposed management tool to facilitate black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony expansion

    Felicia D. Archuleta; Paulette L. Ford

    2013-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are considered a keystone species in grassland ecosystems. Through their burrowing activities, they conspicuously alter grassland landscapes and provide foraging, shelter and nesting habitat for a diverse array of grassland species, in addition to serving as prey for the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes...

  20. Timing of breeding and reproductive output in two Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa populations in The Netherlands

    Roodbergen, Maja; Klok, Chris

    2008-01-01

    To get a better understanding of the current population decline of Black-tailed Godwits in The Netherlands, we determined reproductive parameters in two Dutch breeding populations over the period 2002-2005 and investigated the relationship between reproductive output and timing of breeding. Annual

  1. Timing of breeding and reproductive output in two Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa populations in The Netherlands

    Roodbergen, M.; Klok, C.

    2008-01-01

    To get a better understanding of the current population decline of Black-tailed Godwits in The Netherlands, we determined reproductive parameters in two Dutch breeding populations over the period 2002¿2005 and investigated the relationship between reproductive output and timing of breeding. Annual

  2. Survival rates of Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa, breeding in The Netherlands estimated from ring recoveries

    Van Noordwijk, A.J.; Thompson, D.J.

    2008-01-01

    The Netherlands holds internationally important numbers of Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa, and reports of a substantial population decline have prompted concern. One way of narrowing the list of possible causes of this decline is to identify the demographic processes responsible. For this

  3. Expansion into an Herbivorous Niche by a Customary Carnivore: Black-Tailed Godwits Feeding on Rhizomes of

    Robin, F.; Piersma, T.; Meunier, F.; Bocher, P.

    2013-01-01

    In expanding populations, individuals may increasingly be forced to use sites of relatively low quality. This process, named the "buffer effect," was previously described for the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa islandica) in its use of nonbreeding sites in Great Britain and of breeding areas in

  4. Site selection and resource depletion in black-tailed godwits Limosa l. limosa eating rice during northward migration

    Lourenco, Pedro M.; Mandema, Freek S.; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.; Granadeiro, Jose P.; Piersma, Theunis; Bearhop, Stuart

    P>1. During migratory stopovers, animals are under strong time stress and need to maximize intake rates. We examine how foragers react to resource depletion by studying the foraging ecology and foraging site selection of black-tailed godwits Limosa l. limosa staging in rice fields during their

  5. Phenology, stopover dynamics and population size of migrating Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa in Portuguese rice plantations

    Lourenco, Pedro M.; Kentie, Rosemarie; Schroeder, Julia; Alves, Jose A.; Groen, Niko M.; Piersma, Theunis; Kraaijeveld, Ken; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.

    2010-01-01

    Between 2005/06 and 2008/09 we studied Black-tailed Godwits Limosa I. limosa staging in the rice fields surrounding the Tejo and Sado estuaries, Portugal. Godwits were counted weekly and flocks were scanned for colour-ringed individuals. We analysed phenology, dynamics of the stopover, and estimated

  6. Patterns in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA reveal historical and recent isolation in the black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa)

    Trimbos, Krijn B.; Doorenweerd, Camiel; Kraaijeveld, Ken; Musters, C.J.M.; Groen, Niko M.; Knijff, Peter de; Piersma, Theunis; de Snoo, Geert R.

    2014-01-01

    On the basis of morphological differences, three subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) have been recognized (L. l. limosa, L. l. islandica and L. l. melanuroides). In previous studies mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data showed minimal genetic divergence between the three subspecies

  7. Patterns in Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Reveal Historical and Recent Isolation in the Black-Tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

    Trimbos, K.B.; Doorenweerd, C.; Kraaijeveld, K.; Musters, C.J.M.; Groen, N.M.; Kniff, de P.; Piersma, T.; Snoo, de G.R.

    2014-01-01

    On the basis of morphological differences, three subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) have been recognized (L. l. limosa, L. l. islandica and L. l. melanuroides). In previous studies mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data showed minimal genetic divergence between the three subspecies

  8. Patterns in Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Reveal Historical and Recent Isolation in the Black-Tailed Godwit (

    Trimbos, K.B.; Doorenweerd, C.; Kraaijeveld, K.; Musters, C.J.M.; Groen, N.M.; de Knijff, P.; Piersma, T.; de Snoo, G.R.

    2014-01-01

    On the basis of morphological differences, three subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) have been recognized (L. l. limosa, L. l. islandica and L. l. melanuroides). In previous studies mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data showed minimal genetic divergence between the three subspecies

  9. Factors that affect parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs by fleas

    Eads, David A.; Hoogland, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that feed on vertebrate hosts. Fleas can reduce the fitness of hosts by interfering with immune responses, disrupting adaptive behaviors, and transmitting pathogens. The negative effects of fleas on hosts are usually most pronounced when fleas attain high densities. In lab studies, fleas desiccate and die under dry conditions, suggesting that populations of fleas will tend to decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. To test this hypothesis, we compared precipitation vs. parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by fleas at a single colony during May and June of 13 consecutive years (1976–1988) at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA. The number of fleas on prairie dogs decreased with increasing precipitation during both the prior growing season (April through August of the prior year) and the just-completed winter–spring (January through April of current year). Due to the reduction in available moisture and palatable forage in dry years, herbivorous prairie dogs might have been food-limited, with weakened behavioral and immunological defenses against fleas. In support of this hypothesis, adult prairie dogs of low mass harbored more fleas than heavier adults. Our results have implications for the spread of plague, an introduced bacterial disease, transmitted by fleas, that devastates prairie dog colonies and, in doing so, can transform grassland ecosystems.

  10. Spread of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is associated with colony spatial characteristics

    Johnson, T.L.; Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.; Frey, C.M.; Sandercock, B.K.

    2011-01-01

    Sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) is an exotic pathogen that is highly virulent in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and causes widespread colony losses and individual mortality rates >95%. We investigated colony spatial characteristics that may influence inter-colony transmission of plague at 3 prairie dog colony complexes in the Great Plains. The 4 spatial characteristics we considered include: colony size, Euclidean distance to nearest neighboring colony, colony proximity index, and distance to nearest drainage (dispersal) corridor. We used multi-state mark-recapture models to determine the relationship between these colony characteristics and probability of plague transmission among prairie dog colonies. Annual mapping of colonies and mark-recapture analyses of disease dynamics in natural colonies led to 4 main results: 1) plague outbreaks exhibited high spatial and temporal variation, 2) the site of initiation of epizootic plague may have substantially influenced the subsequent inter-colony spread of plague, 3) the long-term effect of plague on individual colonies differed among sites because of how individuals and colonies were distributed, and 4) colony spatial characteristics were related to the probability of infection at all sites although the relative importance and direction of relationships varied among sites. Our findings suggest that conventional prairie dog conservation management strategies, including promoting large, highly connected colonies, may need to be altered in the presence of plague. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  11. Aerial surveys adjusted by ground surveys to estimate area occupied by black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Sidle, John G.; Augustine, David J.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Miller, Sterling D.; Cully, Jack F.; Reading, Richard P.

    2012-01-01

    Aerial surveys using line-intercept methods are one approach to estimate the extent of prairie dog colonies in a large geographic area. Although black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) construct conspicuous mounds at burrow openings, aerial observers have difficulty discriminating between areas with burrows occupied by prairie dogs (colonies) versus areas of uninhabited burrows (uninhabited colony sites). Consequently, aerial line-intercept surveys may overestimate prairie dog colony extent unless adjusted by an on-the-ground inspection of a sample of intercepts. We compared aerial line-intercept surveys conducted over 2 National Grasslands in Colorado, USA, with independent ground-mapping of known black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Aerial line-intercepts adjusted by ground surveys using a single activity category adjustment overestimated colonies by ≥94% on the Comanche National Grassland and ≥58% on the Pawnee National Grassland. We present a ground-survey technique that involves 1) visiting on the ground a subset of aerial intercepts classified as occupied colonies plus a subset of intercepts classified as uninhabited colony sites, and 2) based on these ground observations, recording the proportion of each aerial intercept that intersects a colony and the proportion that intersects an uninhabited colony site. Where line-intercept techniques are applied to aerial surveys or remotely sensed imagery, this method can provide more accurate estimates of black-tailed prairie dog abundance and trends

  12. Black-tailed jack rabbit movements and habitat utilization at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory radioactive waste management complex

    Grant, J.C.

    1983-01-01

    In June 1982, a study of black-tailed jack rabbit (Lepus californicus) ecology was initiated at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC). This study will provide data necessary to evaluate the role of jack rabbits in radionuclide transport away from the Subsurface Disposal Area of the RWMC. Primary goals are to document radionuclide concentrations in jack rabbit tissues, and determine population size, movement patterns, habitat use, and food habits of jack rabbits inhabiting the RWMC area. Study design and prelimianry results are discussed

  13. Patterns of surface burrow plugging in a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs occupied by black-footed ferrets

    Eads, David E.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) can surface-plug openings to a burrow occupied by a black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). At a coarse scale, surface plugs are more common in colonies of prairie dogs occupied by ferrets than in colonies without ferrets. However, little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of surface plugging in a colony occupied by ferrets. In a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota, we sampled burrow openings for surface plugs and related those data to locations of ferrets observed during spotlight surveys. Of 67,574 burrow openings in the colony between June and September 2007, 3.7% were plugged. In a colony-wide grid of 80 m × 80 m cells, the occurrence of surface plugging (≥1 opening plugged) was greater in cells used by ferrets (93.3% of cells) than in cells not observably used by ferrets (70.6%). Rates of surface plugging (percentages of openings plugged) were significantly higher in cells used by ferrets (median = 3.7%) than in cells without known ferret use (median = 3.2%). Also, numbers of ferret locations in cells correlated positively with numbers of mapped surface plugs in the cells. To investigate surface plugging at finer temporal and spatial scales, we compared rates of surface plugging in 20-m-radius circle-plots centered on ferret locations and in random plots 1–4 days after observing a ferret (Jun–Oct 2007 and 2008). Rates of surface plugging were greater in ferret-plots (median = 12.0%) than in random plots (median = 0%). For prairie dogs and their associates, the implications of surface plugging could be numerous. For instance, ferrets must dig to exit or enter plugged burrows (suggesting energetic costs), and surface plugs might influence microclimates in burrows and consequently influence species that cannot excavate soil (e.g., fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis).

  14. Transfer of heavy metals in the food chain earthworm Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) : Comparison of a polluted and a reference site in The Netherlands

    Roodbergen, Maja; Klok, Chris; van der Hout, Annemariet

    2008-01-01

    The Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is a migratory wader that favours wet meadows for breeding. The species has a Red List status in The Netherlands, as it strongly declined in numbers since the 1960s. intensification of agriculture and land use change resulting in habitat loss are considered

  15. Transfer of heavy metals in the food chain earthworm Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa): Comparison of a polluted and a reference site in The Netherlands

    Roodbergen, M.; Klok, C.; Hout, van der A.

    2008-01-01

    The Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is a migratory wader that favours wet meadows for breeding. The species has a Red List status in The Netherlands, as it strongly declined in numbers since the 1960s. Intensification of agriculture and land use change resulting in habitat loss are considered

  16. Comparing inferences of solar geolocation data against high-precision GPS data : Annual movements of a double-tagged black-tailed godwit

    Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Senner, Nathan R.; Verhoeven, Mo A.; Winkler, David W.; Bouten, Willem; Piersma, Theunis

    2016-01-01

    Annual routines of migratory birds inferred from archival solar geolocation devices have never before been confirmed using GPS technologies. A female black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa captured on the breeding grounds in The Netherlands in 2013 and recaptured in 2014 was outfitted with both an

  17. Comparing inferences of solar geolocation data against high-precision GPS data: annual movements of a double-tagged black-tailed godwit

    Rakhimberdiev, E.; Senner, N.R.; Verhoeven, M.A.; Winkler, D.W.; Bouten, W.; Piersma, T.

    2016-01-01

    Annualroutines of migratory birds inferred from archival solar geolocation devices have never before been confirmedusing GPS technologies. A female black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa captured on the breeding grounds in theNetherlands in 2013 and recaptured in 2014 was outfitted with both an

  18. Estimating the size of the Dutch breeding population of continental black-tailed godwits from 2007-2015 using resighting data from spring staging sites

    Kentie, Rosemarie; Senner, Nathan R.; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.; Márquez-Ferrando, Rocío; Figuerola, Jordi; Masero, José A.; Verhoeven, Mo A.; Piersma, Theunis

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 50 years, the population of Continental Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa breeding of the East Atlantic Flyway has been in steep decline. This decline has previously been documented in trend analyses and six Netherlands-wide count-based population estimates, the last of which

  19. Expansion into an herbivorous niche by a customary carnivore : Black-tailed godwits feeding on rhizomes of Zostera at a newly established wintering site

    Robin, Frederic; Piersma, Theunis; Meunier, Francis; Bocher, Pierrick

    In expanding populations, individuals may increasingly be forced to use sites of relatively low quality. This process, named the "buffer effect," was previously described for the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa islandica) in its use of nonbreeding sites in Great Britain and of breeding areas in

  20. Recently created man-made habitats in Doñana provide alternative wintering space for the threatened continental European black-tailed godwit population

    Márquez-Ferrando, Rocío; Figuerola, Jordi; Hooijmeijer, Jos; Piersma, Theunis

    Over the last decades the Continental European population of black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa limosa, has shown steep declines as a consequence of agricultural intensification on the breeding grounds. Although numbers have also declined in their traditional wintering areas in West-Africa, in the

  1. Recently created man-made habitats in Doñana provide alternative wintering space for the threatened Continental European black-tailed godwit population

    Márquez-Ferrando, R.; Figuerola, J.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decades the Continental European population of black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa limosa, has shown steep declines as a consequence of agricultural intensification on the breeding grounds. Although numbers have also declined in their traditional wintering areas in West-Africa, in the

  2. The influence of environment, sex, and innate timing mechanisms on body temperature patterns of free-ranging black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    Lehmer, Erin M; Bossenbroek, Jonathan M; Van Horne, Beatrice

    2003-01-01

    Mechanisms that influence body temperature patterns in black-tailed prairie dogs are not well understood. Previous research on both free-ranging and laboratory populations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) has suggested that reductions in ambient temperature and food and water deprivation are the primary factors that stimulate torpor in this species. In other species, however, torpor has been shown to be influenced by a multitude of factors, including innate circadian and circannual timing mechanisms, energy status, and reproductive behaviors. Our objective was to clarify the influence of weather, sex, and intrinsic timing mechanisms on the body temperature patterns of free-ranging black-tailed prairie dogs. We monitored body temperatures of eight adult (>1 yr) prairie dogs from November 1999 to June 2000. Prairie dogs showed distinct daily and seasonal body temperature patterns, which reflected changes in ambient temperatures that occurred during these periods. These patterns of daily and seasonal heterothermy suggest that body temperature patterns of black-tailed prairie dogs may be driven by an innate timing mechanism. All prairie dogs entered torpor intermittently throughout winter and spring. Torpor bouts appeared to be influenced by precipitation and reductions in ambient temperature. Our results also suggest that reproductive behaviors and circadian timing may influence torpor in this species.

  3. The ongoing decline of the breeding population of Black-tailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa in The Netherlands is not explained by changes in adult survival

    Roodbergen, Maja; Klok, Chris; Schekkerman, Hans

    2008-01-01

    The Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa is a characteristic breeding wader of wet grasslands in The Netherlands which has suffered a strong population decline since the 1960s. Low breeding success has been implicated as the main driver of this decline and here we examine whether changes in adult

  4. The ongoing decline of the breeding population of Black-tailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa in The Netherlands is not explained by changes in adult survival

    Roodbergen, M.; Klok, C.; Schekkerman, H.

    2008-01-01

    The Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa is a characteristic breeding wader of wet grasslands in the Netherlands which has suffered a strong population decline since the 1960s. Low breeding success has been implicated as the main driver of this decline and here we examine whether changes in adult

  5. Deltamethrin flea-control preserves genetic variability of black-tailed prairie dogs during a plague outbreak

    Jones, P.H.; Biggins, D.E.; Eads, D.A.; Eads, S.L.; Britten, H.B.

    2012-01-01

    Genetic variability and structure of nine black-tailed prairie dog (BTPD, Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies were estimated with 15 unlinked microsatellite markers. A plague epizootic occurred between the first and second years of sampling and our study colonies were nearly extirpated with the exception of three colonies in which prairie dog burrows were previously dusted with an insecticide, deltamethrin, used to control fleas (vectors of the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis). This situation provided context to compare genetic variability and structure among dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic, and among the three dusted colonies pre- and post-epizootic. We found no statistical difference in population genetic structures between dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic. On dusted colonies, gene flow and recent migration rates increased from the first (pre-epizootic) year to the second (post-epizootic) year which suggested dusted colonies were acting as refugia for prairie dogs from surrounding colonies impacted by plague. Indeed, in the dusted colonies, estimated densities of adult prairie dogs (including dispersers), but not juveniles (non-dispersers), increased from the first year to the second year. In addition to preserving BTPDs and many species that depend on them, protecting colonies with deltamethrin or a plague vaccine could be an effective method to preserve genetic variability of prairie dogs. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  6. Post-breeding migration of Dutch-breeding black-tailed godwits: timing, routes, use of stopovers, and nonbreeding destinations

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Senner, Nathan R.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E.; Douglas, David C.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Wymenga, Eddy; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Conservation of long-distance migratory shorebirds is complex because these species use habitats spread across continents and hemispheres, making identification of critical habitats and potential bottlenecks in the annual cycle especially difficult. The population of Black-tailed Godwits that breeds in Western Europe, Limosa limosa limosa, has declined precipitously over the past few decades. Despite significant efforts to identify the root causes of this decline, much remains unclear. To better understand the migratory timing, use of stopover and nonbreeding sites, and the potential impact of breeding success on these parameters, we attached 15 Argos satellite transmitters and 10 geolocation tracking devices to adult godwits nearing completion of incubation at breeding sites in southwest Friesland, The Netherlands during the spring of 2009. We successfully tracked 16 adult godwits for their entire southward migration and two others for part of it. Three migration patterns and four regions of use were apparent. Most godwits left their breeding sites and proceeded south directly to stopover sites in the Mediterranean — e.g. Spain, Portugal, and Morocco — before flying on to non-breeding sites in West Africa. Other individuals spent the entire nonbreeding season in the Mediterranean. A third pattern included a few individuals that flew nonstop from their Dutch breeding sites to nonbreeding sites in West Africa. Tracking data from this study will be immediately useful for conservation efforts focused on preserving the dispersed network of sites used by godwits during their southward migration.

  7. Characterization of MHC class I in a long distance migratory wader, the Icelandic black-tailed godwit.

    Pardal, Sara; Drews, Anna; Alves, José A; Ramos, Jaime A; Westerdahl, Helena

    2017-07-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) encodes proteins that are central for antigen presentation and pathogen elimination. MHC class I (MHC-I) genes have attracted a great deal of interest among researchers in ecology and evolution and have been partly characterized in a wide range of bird species. So far, the main focus has been on species within the bird orders Galliformes and Passeriformes, while Charadriiformes remain vastly underrepresented with only two species studied to date. These two Charadriiformes species exhibit striking differences in MHC-I characteristics and MHC-I diversity. We therefore set out to study a third species within Charadriiformes, the Icelandic subspecies of black-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa islandica). This subspecies is normally confined to parasite-poor environments, and we hence expected low MHC diversity. MHC-I was partially characterized first using Sanger sequencing and then using high-throughput sequencing (MiSeq) in 84 individuals. We verified 47 nucleotide alleles in open reading frame with classical MHC-I characteristics, and each individual godwit had two to seven putatively classical MHC alleles. However, in contrast to previous MHC-I data within Charadriiformes, we did not find any evidence of alleles with low sequence diversity, believed to represent non-classical MHC genes. The diversity and divergence of the godwits MHC-I genes to a large extent fell between the previous estimates within Charadriiformes. However, the MHC genes of the migratory godwits had few sites subject to positive selection, and one possible explanation could be a low exposure to pathogens.

  8. Black-footed ferrets and recreational shooting influence the attributes of black-tailed prairie dog burrows

    Biggins, Dean E.; Ramakrishnan, Shantini; Goldberg, Amanda R.; Eads, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) plug burrows occupied by black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), and they also plug burrows to entomb dead prairie dogs. We further evaluated these phenomena by sampling connectivity and plugging of burrow openings on prairie dog colonies occupied by ferrets, colonies where recreational shooting was allowed, and colonies with neither shooting nor ferrets. We counted burrow openings on line surveys and within plots, classified surface plugging, and used an air blower to examine subsurface connectivity. Colonies with ferrets had lower densities of openings, fewer connected openings (suggesting increased subsurface plugging), and more surface plugs compared to colonies with no known ferrets. Colonies with recreational shooting had the lowest densities of burrow openings, and line-survey data suggested colonies with shooting had intermediate rates of surface plugging. The extent of surface and subsurface plugging could have consequences for the prairie dog community by changing air circulation and escape routes of burrow systems and by altering energetic relationships. Burrow plugging might reduce prairie dogs' risk of predation by ferrets while increasing risk of predation by American badgers (Taxidea taxus); however, the complexity of the trade-off is increased if plugging increases the risk of predation on ferrets by badgers. Prairie dogs expend more energy plugging and digging when ferrets or shooting are present, and ferrets increase their energy expenditures when they dig to remove those plugs. Microclimatic differences in plugged burrow systems may play a role in flea ecology and persistence of the flea-borne bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis).

  9. Grooming behaviors of black-tailed prairie dogs are influenced by flea parasitism, conspecifics, and proximity to refuge

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Eads, Samantha L.

    2017-01-01

    Grooming is a common animal behavior that aids in ectoparasite defense. Ectoparasites can stimulate grooming, and natural selection can also favor endogenous mechanisms that evoke periodic bouts of “programmed” grooming to dislodge or kill ectoparasites before they bite or feed. Moreover, grooming can function as a displacement or communication behavior. We compared the grooming behaviors of adult female black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on colonies with or without flea control via pulicide dust. Roughly 91% of the prairie dogs sampled on the non-dusted colony carried at least one flea, whereas we did not find fleas on two dusted colonies. During focal observations, prairie dogs on the non-dusted colony groomed at higher frequencies and for longer durations than prairie dogs on the dusted colonies, lending support to the hypothesis that fleas stimulated grooming. However, the reduced amount of time spent grooming on the dusted colonies suggested that approximately 25% of grooming might be attributed to factors other than direct stimulation from ectoparasites. Non-dusted colony prairie dogs rarely autogroomed when near each other. Dusted colony prairie dogs autogroomed for shorter durations when far from a burrow opening (refuge), suggesting a trade-off between self-grooming and antipredator defense. Allogrooming was detected only on the non-dusted colony and was limited to adult females grooming young pups. Grooming appears to serve an antiparasitic function in C. ludovicianus. Antiparasitic grooming might aid in defense against fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. Plague was introduced to North America ca. 1900 and now has a strong influence on most prairie dog populations, suggesting a magnified effect of grooming on prairie dog fitness.

  10. The effects of black-tailed prairie dogs on plant communities within a complex urban landscape: an ecological surprise?

    Beals, Stower C; Hartley, Laurel M; Prevéy, Janet S; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2014-05-01

    Historically, prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been considered essential keystone species of western United States grassland ecosystems because they provide unique services and increase vegetation community richness, evenness, and diversity. However, the effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on lands adjacent to or surrounded by urban areas may not result in the same ecosystem benefits historically associated with their presence. An urban landscape presents prairie dogs with movement challenges unparalleled in natural landscapes, as well as suites of nonnative plant species that are more common in disturbed areas. This study examined a complex ecosystem where vegetation communities are being influenced by directional environmental change, and quantified the synergistic effects resulting from the protective management of a native keystone species. The data set for this analysis was comprised of 71 paired (occupied by prairie dogs vs. unoccupied) vegetation surveys and 156 additional unpaired surveys collected from around the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA for 14 yr. Linear mixed models were used to compare data from transects occupied and unoccupied by prairie dogs, as well as to evaluate the effect of prairie dog occupation duration. In the absence of prairie dogs, vegetation in this region exhibited declines in native grasses, no changes in introduced grasses, and increases in native and nonnative forbs and bare soil over the study interval. In the presence of prairie dogs, these observed directional changes were nearly all amplified at rates four to 10 times greater than when prairie dogs were absent. Areas in Boulder occupied by prairie dogs also had significantly lower richness, evenness, and diversity of plant species, compared to unoccupied areas. Analysis of plant functional groups revealed the significant reduction of perennial native grasses, as well as a significantly higher cover of introduced forbs in occupied areas. Prairie dogs

  11. Insight on trace element detoxification in the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) through genetic, enzymatic and metallothionein analyses

    Lucia, Magali; Bocher, Pierrick; Cosson, Richard P.; Churlaud, Carine; Robin, Frédéric; Bustamante, Paco

    2012-01-01

    Trace element concentrations (Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn) were investigated in the liver, kidneys, muscle and feathers of 31 black-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa) accidentally killed during catches by mist net in the Pertuis Charentais, Atlantic coast of France. Analyses of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were carried out in liver, muscle and feathers in order to elucidate dietary patterns and to determine whether differences in diet explained the variation in elemental uptake. This study also aimed to have a preliminary assessment of sub-lethal effects triggered by trace elements through the investigation of gene expressions by quantitative real-time PCR, antioxidant enzyme activities (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase), and metallothionein (MT) levels. The results showed that Cr and Ni concentrations in tissues of adults were lower than in juveniles in part because adults may have eliminated these trace elements through moulting. Except for Cd and Ni, trace element concentrations were negatively correlated to the body mass of godwits. Ag, As, Hg and Se concentrations were positively linked with the trophic position of birds. The diet could be considered as a fundamental route of exposure for these elements demonstrating therefore the qualitative linkage between dietary habits of godwits and their contaminant concentrations. Our results strongly suggest that even though trace element concentrations were mostly below toxicity threshold level, the elevated concentrations of As, Ag, Cd, Cu, Fe and Se may however trigger sub-lethal effects. Trace elements appear to enhance expression of genes involved in oxidative stress defence, which indicates the production of reactive oxygen species. Moreover, birds with the highest concentrations appeared to have an increased mitochondrial metabolism suggesting that the fight against trace element toxicity requires additional energetic needs notably to produce detoxification

  12. Insight on trace element detoxification in the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) through genetic, enzymatic and metallothionein analyses

    Lucia, Magali, E-mail: m.lucia33@laposte.net [Littoral, Environnement et Societes (LIENSs), UMR 7266 CNRS-Universite de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle (France); Bocher, Pierrick [Littoral, Environnement et Societes (LIENSs), UMR 7266 CNRS-Universite de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle (France); Cosson, Richard P. [Mer Molecules Sante (MMS), Universite de Nantes, EA 2663, 2 rue de la Houssiniere, BP 92208, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3 (France); Churlaud, Carine; Robin, Frederic; Bustamante, Paco [Littoral, Environnement et Societes (LIENSs), UMR 7266 CNRS-Universite de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle (France)

    2012-04-15

    Trace element concentrations (Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn) were investigated in the liver, kidneys, muscle and feathers of 31 black-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa) accidentally killed during catches by mist net in the Pertuis Charentais, Atlantic coast of France. Analyses of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were carried out in liver, muscle and feathers in order to elucidate dietary patterns and to determine whether differences in diet explained the variation in elemental uptake. This study also aimed to have a preliminary assessment of sub-lethal effects triggered by trace elements through the investigation of gene expressions by quantitative real-time PCR, antioxidant enzyme activities (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase), and metallothionein (MT) levels. The results showed that Cr and Ni concentrations in tissues of adults were lower than in juveniles in part because adults may have eliminated these trace elements through moulting. Except for Cd and Ni, trace element concentrations were negatively correlated to the body mass of godwits. Ag, As, Hg and Se concentrations were positively linked with the trophic position of birds. The diet could be considered as a fundamental route of exposure for these elements demonstrating therefore the qualitative linkage between dietary habits of godwits and their contaminant concentrations. Our results strongly suggest that even though trace element concentrations were mostly below toxicity threshold level, the elevated concentrations of As, Ag, Cd, Cu, Fe and Se may however trigger sub-lethal effects. Trace elements appear to enhance expression of genes involved in oxidative stress defence, which indicates the production of reactive oxygen species. Moreover, birds with the highest concentrations appeared to have an increased mitochondrial metabolism suggesting that the fight against trace element toxicity requires additional energetic needs notably to produce detoxification

  13. Presence of Antibodies to Leptospira spp. in Black-tailed Prairie Dogs ( Cynomys ludovicianus ) and Beavers ( Castor canadensis ) in Northwestern Mexico.

    López-Pérez, Andrés M; Carreón-Arroyo, Gerardo; Atilano, Daniel; Vigueras-Galván, Ana L; Valdez, Carlos; Toyos, Daniel; Mendizabal, Daniel; López-Islas, Jonathan; Suzán, Gerardo

    2017-10-01

    Leptospires are widespread spirochete bacteria that infect mammals, including rodents and humans. We investigated the presence of Leptospira antibodies in two species of rodents from San Pedro River Basin (SPRB) in northwestern Mexico as part of the black-tailed prairie dog ( Cynomys ludovicianus ) monitoring plan and the North American beaver ( Castor canadensis ) reintroduction program. We sampled a total of 26 black-tailed prairie dogs and three beavers during October-November 2015. We detected antibodies against Leptospira spp. by microagglutination test in 12 (46%) prairie dogs and in two (67%) beavers. The antibody titers for seropositive rodents varied from 1:100 to 1:200, but none of the animals showed clinical signs of disease. We found seven Leptospira spp. serogroups (Autumnalis, Australis, Bataviae, Canicola, Celledoni, Grippotyphosa, and Sejroe) circulating in rodent species in SPRB. We did not find any differences between sex and age concerning Leptospira-positive rodents. Our findings suggest the presence of endemic cycles and potential risks of Leptospira infection in both species from SPRB. Although the impact of this infection on threatened species remains unclear, human activities and environmental stress might facilitate the emergence or reemergence of leptospirosis disease as has been reported elsewhere.

  14. Nitrogen isotopic patterns of vegetation as affected by breeding activity of Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassiostris): A coupled analysis of feces, inorganic soil nitrogen and flora

    Mizota, C.

    2009-01-01

    Two currently breeding colonies (Matsushima Bay and Rishiri island; northern Japan) of predominant Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassiostris) were studied for N isotopic patterns of flora, which is affected by increased supply of inorganic soil N derived from the microbial transformation of feces. Coupled samples of feces, topsoil and flora were collected in early to mid July (2008), when input of fecal N onto soils was at its maximum. As bird migration and breeding continued, native Japanese red-pine (Pinus densiflora), junipers (Juniperus chinensis and Juniperus rigita; Matsushima Bay colony) and Sasa senanensis (Rishiri colony) declined, while ornithocoprophilus exotic plants succeeded. Among tree species on the islands, P. densiflora with ectomycorrizal colonization appears highly susceptible to elevated concentrations of NH 4 -N in the topsoil. A mechanism for best explaining the plant succession associated with the breeding activity of Black-tailed Gull was evidenced by two parameters: first, concomitant elevation of N content in the flora and second, inorganic soil N content, along with changes in N isotopic composition (δ 15 N). Earlier isotopic data on the foliar N affected by breeding activity were compiled and reviewed. Emphasis was put on isotopic information for inorganic N in soils that controls plant succession.

  15. Transfer of heavy metals in the food chain earthworm Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa): Comparison of a polluted and a reference site in The Netherlands

    Roodbergen, Maja [Department of Ecology and Environment, ALTERRA, PO Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen (Netherlands); Animal Ecology Group, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Haren (Netherlands)], E-mail: maja.roodbergen@sovon.nl; Klok, Chris; Hout, Annemariet van der [Department of Ecology and Environment, ALTERRA, PO Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2008-12-01

    The Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is a migratory wader that favours wet meadows for breeding. The species has a Red List status in The Netherlands, as it strongly declined in numbers since the 1960s. Intensification of agriculture and land use change resulting in habitat loss are considered major causes of this decline. In some areas the breeding habitat is contaminated with heavy metals. Adult godwits mainly feed on earthworms in the breeding season, which are known to accumulate heavy metals from the soil. In this paper we investigate the transfer of heavy metals from the soil to the Black-tailed godwit, which may have an additive negative effect on the viability of local populations. We measured heavy metal concentrations in soil, earthworms, and godwit eggs and feathers at a polluted and a reference site. The results suggest that Lead, Mercury and Cadmium are transferred from the soil to godwits even though the species spends only a few months in the breeding area during the year.

  16. Transfer of heavy metals in the food chain earthworm Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa): Comparison of a polluted and a reference site in The Netherlands

    Roodbergen, Maja; Klok, Chris; Hout, Annemariet van der

    2008-01-01

    The Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is a migratory wader that favours wet meadows for breeding. The species has a Red List status in The Netherlands, as it strongly declined in numbers since the 1960s. Intensification of agriculture and land use change resulting in habitat loss are considered major causes of this decline. In some areas the breeding habitat is contaminated with heavy metals. Adult godwits mainly feed on earthworms in the breeding season, which are known to accumulate heavy metals from the soil. In this paper we investigate the transfer of heavy metals from the soil to the Black-tailed godwit, which may have an additive negative effect on the viability of local populations. We measured heavy metal concentrations in soil, earthworms, and godwit eggs and feathers at a polluted and a reference site. The results suggest that Lead, Mercury and Cadmium are transferred from the soil to godwits even though the species spends only a few months in the breeding area during the year

  17. ONLINE RESOURCES

    Navya

    Low genetic diversity of the endangered Indian wild ass Equus hemionus khur, as revealed by microsatellite ... species of the Asiatic wild asses, Equus hemionus and Equus kiang, have been .... 5'-TCA CCC ACT AAA TCT CAA ATC C-3'.

  18. Translocation and radiotelemetry monitoring of black-tailed marmosets, Callithrix (Mico melanura(É. Geoffroy in Humboldt, in a wildlife rescue operation in Brazil

    AAB. Marques

    Full Text Available Five black-tailed marmoset Callithrix (Mico melanura (Primates - Callitrichidae individuals were monitored by radiotelemetry as part of a project on translocated wildlife affected by flooding the Manso River reservoir in the state of Mato Grosso, western Brazil (14° 52' S and 55° 48' W. The animals were monitored for eight months from October 2000 through August 2001. Only one death was recorded among the translocated animals. Two pairs established their home ranges in the new area, after some exploratory behavior. The new home range sizes varied from 0.72 to 4.27 km². The home ranges of male and female overlapped in the case of both pairs by 0.59 to 2.30 km². Trips were always made in pairs and not individually. The results indicate the feasibility of a successful translocation program for this species, as long as the animals are translocated to a similar habitat nearby.

  19. The rice fields around the estuaries of the Tejo and Sado are a critical stopover area for the globally near-threatened Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa : Site description, international importance and conservation proposals

    Lourenço, Pedro M.; Groen, Niko; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.; Piersma, Theunis

    2010-01-01

    Rice fields are a globally important habitat for waterbirds. Portugal is one of the main rice producers in Europe, but little is known about how these rizicultures are used by the avifauna. The continental Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa is likely the most important avian population using

  20. Temporal changes in tree-ring nitrogen of Pinus thunbergii trees exposed to Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) breeding colonies

    Larry, Lopez C.M., E-mail: larry@iwate-u.ac.jp [United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University, Morioka 020-8550 (Japan); Chitoshi, Mizota [Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka 020-8550 (Japan); Toshiro, Yamanaka [Division of Earth Science, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, 1-1, Naka 3-Chome, Tsushima, Okayama 700-8530 (Japan); Yoshihiro, Nobori [Faculty of Agriculture, Yamagata University, 1-23 Wakabamachi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-8555 (Japan)

    2010-11-15

    Research highlights: {yields} N concentration and isotope ratio on tree-rings can be an important tool to infer past N soil conditions where trees grow. {yields} Changes in avian population on established or new breeding grounds caused by natural or anthropogenic mechanism could be inferred from the analysis shown in this paper. {yields} The property of trees to retain N concentration and N isotope characteristics is found in Pinus thunbergii. The use of other trees for similar analysis have to be determined because other species (Pinus densiflora, for example) do not have this property. - Abstract: Natural abundances of {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N ratios (commonly designated by {delta}{sup 15}N notation) of annual rings from Pinus thunbergii trees were determined after transplantation from a nursery to breeding colonies of Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) in Miyagi and Aomori and a control site in Yamagata, in northeastern Japan. Tree-rings were collected in July/August/September, 2009. Transplanting was conducted in the year 2000 in the Miyagi site, whereas there is no information about transplanting data in the Aomori and Yamagata sites. Soils associated with piscivorous (fish eating) avian colonies receive large seasonal input of organic N in the form of feces. The organic N is microbiologically transformed into inorganic N in soils, from which P. thunbergii derives its N. The resulting NH{sub 4}{sup -} and NO{sub 3}{sup -}N are characterized by distinctly heavy {delta}{sup 15}N ratios, due to coupled processes of mineralization, volatilization, nitrification and denitrification of feces. In general, total N concentration along with {delta}{sup 15}N values stored in the annual rings of P. thunbergii increased steadily after transplanting from the nursery to locations under continued avian N input. Tree-ring N content and isotopic ratios provided a reliable record of past annual available soil N caused by changes in the Black-tailed Gull population, and thus can

  1. Responses of Juvenile Black-tailed Prairie Dogs ( Cynomys ludovicianus ) to a Commercially Produced Oral Plague Vaccine Delivered at Two Doses.

    Cárdenas-Canales, Elsa M; Wolfe, Lisa L; Tripp, Daniel W; Rocke, Tonie E; Abbott, Rachel C; Miller, Michael W

    2017-10-01

    We confirmed safety and immunogenicity of mass-produced vaccine baits carrying an experimental, commercial-source plague vaccine (RCN-F1/V307) expressing Yersinia pestis V and F1 antigens. Forty-five juvenile black-tailed prairie dogs ( Cynomys ludovicianus ) were randomly divided into three treatment groups (n=15 animals/group). Animals in the first group received one standard-dose vaccine bait (5×10 7 plaque-forming units [pfu]; STD). The second group received a lower-dose bait (1×10 7 pfu; LOW). In the third group, five animals received two standard-dose baits and 10 were left untreated but in contact. Two vaccine-treated and one untreated prairie dogs died during the study, but laboratory analyses ruled out vaccine involvement. Overall, 17 of 33 (52%; 95% confidence interval for binomial proportion [bCI] 34-69%) prairie dogs receiving vaccine-laden bait showed a positive anti-V antibody response on at least one sampling occasion after bait consumption, and eight (24%; bCI 11-42%) showed sustained antibody responses. The STD and LOW groups did not differ (P≥0.78) in their proportions of overall or sustained antibody responses after vaccine bait consumption. Serum from one of the nine (11%; bCI 0.3-48%) surviving untreated, in-contact prairie dogs also had detectable antibody on one sampling occasion. We did not observe any adverse effects related to oral vaccination.

  2. Prevalence of Yersinia pestis in rodents and fleas associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) at Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming

    Thiagarajan, Bala; Bai, Ying; Gage, Kenneth L.; Cully, Jack F.

    2008-01-01

    Rodents (and their fleas) that are associated with prairie dogs are considered important for the maintenance and transmission of the bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that causes plague. Our goal was to identify rodent and flea species that were potentially involved in a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs at Thunder Basin National Grassland. We collected blood samples and ectoparasites from rodents trapped at off- and on-colony grids at Thunder Basin National Grassland between 2002 and 2004. Blood samples were tested for antibodies to Y. pestis F-1 antigen by a passive hemagglutination assay, and fleas were tested by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction, for the presence of the plague bacterium. Only one of 1,421 fleas, an Oropsylla hirsuta collected in 2002 from a deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, tested positive for Y. pestis. Blood samples collected in summer 2004 from two northern grasshopper mice, Onychomys leucogaster, tested positive for Y. pestis antibodies. All three positive samples were collected from on-colony grids shortly after a plague epizootic occurred. This study confirms that plague is difficult to detect in rodents and fleas associated with prairie dog colonies, unless samples are collected immediately after a prairie dog die-off.

  3. Low genetic diversity of the endangered Indian wild ass Equus ...

    DEVENDRA KHAIRE

    (Equus hemionus khur) belongs to an endangered wild species/subspecies of wild ... species of the Asiatic wild asses, E. hemionus and E. kiang, have been described on .... 57.9. Tseng et al. (2010). 5 -TCA CCC ACT AAA TCT CAA ATC C-3.

  4. The Starkey habitat database for ungulate research: construction, documentation, and use.

    Mary M. Rowland; Priscilla K. Coe; Rosemary J. Stussy; [and others].

    1998-01-01

    The Starkey Project, a large-scale, multidisciplinary research venture, began in 1987 in the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range in northeast Oregon. Researchers are studying effects of forest management on interactions and habitat use of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus), elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and cattle. A...

  5. Temporal variations in the concentration and isotopic signature of ammonium- and nitrate-nitrogen in soils under a breeding colony of Black-tailed Gulls (Larus crassirostris) on Kabushima Island, northeastern Japan

    Mizota, C.

    2009-01-01

    Temporal variations in the concentration and N isotopic ratios of inorganic N (NH 4 - and NO 3 -N) as affected by the soil temperature regime together with the input of bird excreta were analyzed in a sedentary soil under a dense colony (1.6 nests/m 2 ) of breeding Black-tailed Gulls (Laruscrassirostris: a ground-nesting seabird). Surface soil samples were taken monthly from mid-March to late July 2005 from Kabushima Island, Hachinohe, northeastern Japan. The spatial concentration of inorganic N in the soils varied considerably on all sampling dates. There may be a statistically significant trend, showing increased NH 4 -N content from settlement up to early June when the input of fecal N attains its maximum, and then decreases towards the end of breeding activity (early August). Abundant NO 3 -N was observed in all soils, particularly in the later stage of breeding (up to 3800 mg-N/kg dry soil), refuting earlier claims that nitrification is unimportant in the soils. δ 15 N values of NH 4 in the soils showed unusually high values up to +51 per mille , reflecting N isotope fractionation due to volatilization of NH 3 during the mineralization. Mean δ 15 N values of the monthly collected totals of NH 4 and NO 3 were not significantly different at the 5% level based on ANOVA and significant differences were observed only among the three means of NO 3 -N collected in mid-March (settlement of colony: δ 15 N = -0.2 ± 3.5 per mille ) and late July (later stages of breeding: δ 15 N = +22.1 ± 7.0 per mille, +23.3 ± 7.8 per mille) at the 1% and 5% levels by t-test, respectively. Such an observation of significantly increased δ 15 N values for NO 3 -N in soils from the fledgling stage indicates the integration of denitrification coupled with nitrification under a limited supply of fecal N

  6. Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibody prevalence in Alaska wildlife.

    Stieve, Erica; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Kania, Stephen A; Widner, Amanda; Patton, Sharon

    2010-04-01

    Free-ranging caribou and moose populations in some regions of Alaska undergo periodic declines in numbers. Caribou and moose are managed by the state as valuable resources for not only sustenance and subsistence, but also for cultural heritage. Incidence and prevalence of diseases that may impact herd health and recruitment from year to year are relevant to management decisions aimed to protect the long-term viability of these herds. Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii are two apicomplexan parasites that can cause neurologic disease and abortions in their intermediate hosts and less frequently cause disease in their definitive hosts. The definitive hosts of N. caninum and T. gondii are canids and felids, respectively, and prevalence in the environment is in part dependent on maintenance of the life cycle through the definitive hosts. Serum samples from caribou (Rangifer tarandus, n=453), wolf (Canis lupus, n=324), moose (Alces alces, n=201), black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus, n=55), coyote (Canis latrans, n=12), and fox (Vulpes vulpes, n=9) collected in Alaska were assayed for N. caninum- and T. gondii-reactive antibodies with an immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and a modified agglutination test (MAT), respectively. Seroprevalence of N. caninum was greater in caribou (11.5%) than in wolves (9.0%), moose (0.5%), or black-tailed deer (0%). Seroprevalence of T. gondii was greater in wolves (17.8%) than in caribou (0.4%), moose (0%), or black-tailed deer (0%). Seroprevalence of N. caninum and T. gondii were 16.7% and 0.0% in coyotes and 0.0% and 12.5% in fox, but small sample sizes prevented further analysis. Antibodies to N. caninum in young caribou compared to adult caribou suggest that vertical transmission may be an important component of new infections in Alaskan caribou. The spatial distribution of antibody-positive individuals across Alaska may reflect differences in frequency of definitive hosts and alteration of predation patterns among regions.

  7. 50 CFR 17.11 - Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    2010-10-01

    ... Argentina Entire E 15 NA NA Armadillo, pink fairy Chlamyphorus truncatus Argentina ......do E 3 NA NA Ass, African wild Equus asinus Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia ......do E 3, 22 NA NA Ass, Asian wild Equus hemionus...

  8. Identification of novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in deer (Odocoileus spp. using the BovineSNP50 BeadChip.

    Gwilym D Haynes

    Full Text Available Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs are growing in popularity as a genetic marker for investigating evolutionary processes. A panel of SNPs is often developed by comparing large quantities of DNA sequence data across multiple individuals to identify polymorphic sites. For non-model species, this is particularly difficult, as performing the necessary large-scale genomic sequencing often exceeds the resources available for the project. In this study, we trial the Bovine SNP50 BeadChip developed in cattle (Bos taurus for identifying polymorphic SNPs in cervids Odocoileus hemionus (mule deer and black-tailed deer and O. virginianus (white-tailed deer in the Pacific Northwest. We found that 38.7% of loci could be genotyped, of which 5% (n = 1068 were polymorphic. Of these 1068 polymorphic SNPs, a mixture of putatively neutral loci (n = 878 and loci under selection (n = 190 were identified with the F(ST-outlier method. A range of population genetic analyses were implemented using these SNPs and a panel of 10 microsatellite loci. The three types of deer could readily be distinguished with both the SNP and microsatellite datasets. This study demonstrates that commercially developed SNP chips are a viable means of SNP discovery for non-model organisms, even when used between very distantly related species (the Bovidae and Cervidae families diverged some 25.1-30.1 million years before present.

  9. Adenoviral hemorrhagic disease in California mule deer, 1990-2014.

    Woods, Leslie W; Schumaker, Brant A; Pesavento, Patricia A; Crossley, Beate M; Swift, Pamela K

    2018-03-01

    We reviewed case records from the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) laboratory and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) spanning 25 years (1990-2014) for all deer accessions submitted to CAHFS for pathology and/or histopathology, with and without a diagnosis of adenoviral hemorrhagic disease (AHD), in order to determine the prevalence of AHD in California. We also examined spatial and temporal distribution, age, and mule deer subspecies in deer that died from AHD. Of 483 deer submitted to CAHFS for diagnostic testing in 1990-2014, 17.2% were diagnosed with confirmed AHD, and 26.5% were confirmed plus suspected cases of AHD. Columbian black-tailed deer ( Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), particularly fawns and juveniles, were most frequently affected. Deer adenovirus ( Odocoileus adenovirus 1; OdAdV-1) was detected by immunohistochemistry in archived CDFW formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from deer that died in mortality events in 1981, 1983, and 1986-1987. OdAdV-1 is a common cause of hemorrhagic disease mortality events in California deer, and mortality as a result of AHD is documented as early as 1981.

  10. Carcass Search & Recovery Guidelines for Black Tailed Prairie Dogs

    The availability of dead or intoxicated prairie dogs above ground will be monitored, recorded and these carcasses will be properly disposed of, in accordance with the procedures described on this page.

  11. Trophic facilitation or limitation? Comparative effects of pumas and black bears on the scavenger community.

    Allen, Maximilian L; Elbroch, L Mark; Wilmers, Christopher C; Wittmer, Heiko U

    2014-01-01

    Scavenging is a widespread behaviour and an important process influencing food webs and ecological communities. Large carnivores facilitate the movement of energy across trophic levels through the scavenging and decomposition of their killed prey, but competition with large carnivores is also likely to constrain acquisition of carrion by scavengers. We used an experimental approach based on motion-triggered video cameras at black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) carcasses to measure the comparative influences of two large carnivores in the facilitation and limitation of carrion acquisition by scavengers. We found that pumas (Puma concolor) and black bears (Ursus americanus) had different effects on their ecological communities. Pumas, as a top-level predator, facilitated the consumption of carrion by scavengers, despite significantly reducing their observed sum feeding times (165.7 min ± 21.2 SE at puma kills 264.3 min ± 30.1 SE at control carcasses). In contrast, black bears, as the dominant scavenger in the system, limited consumption of carrion by scavengers as evidenced by the observed reduction of scavenger species richness recorded at carcasses where they were present (mean = 2.33 ± 0.28 SE), compared to where they were absent (mean = 3.28 ± 0.23 SE). Black bears also had large negative effects on scavenger sum feeding times (88.5 min ± 19.8 SE at carcasses where bears were present, 372.3 min ± 50.0 SE at carcasses where bears were absent). In addition, we found that pumas and black bears both increased the nestedness (a higher level of order among species present) of the scavenger community. Our results suggest that scavengers have species-specific adaptions to exploit carrion despite large carnivores, and that large carnivores influence the structure and composition of scavenger communities. The interactions between large carnivores and scavengers should be considered in future studies of food webs and ecological communities.

  12. Trophic facilitation or limitation? Comparative effects of pumas and black bears on the scavenger community.

    Maximilian L Allen

    Full Text Available Scavenging is a widespread behaviour and an important process influencing food webs and ecological communities. Large carnivores facilitate the movement of energy across trophic levels through the scavenging and decomposition of their killed prey, but competition with large carnivores is also likely to constrain acquisition of carrion by scavengers. We used an experimental approach based on motion-triggered video cameras at black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus carcasses to measure the comparative influences of two large carnivores in the facilitation and limitation of carrion acquisition by scavengers. We found that pumas (Puma concolor and black bears (Ursus americanus had different effects on their ecological communities. Pumas, as a top-level predator, facilitated the consumption of carrion by scavengers, despite significantly reducing their observed sum feeding times (165.7 min ± 21.2 SE at puma kills 264.3 min ± 30.1 SE at control carcasses. In contrast, black bears, as the dominant scavenger in the system, limited consumption of carrion by scavengers as evidenced by the observed reduction of scavenger species richness recorded at carcasses where they were present (mean = 2.33 ± 0.28 SE, compared to where they were absent (mean = 3.28 ± 0.23 SE. Black bears also had large negative effects on scavenger sum feeding times (88.5 min ± 19.8 SE at carcasses where bears were present, 372.3 min ± 50.0 SE at carcasses where bears were absent. In addition, we found that pumas and black bears both increased the nestedness (a higher level of order among species present of the scavenger community. Our results suggest that scavengers have species-specific adaptions to exploit carrion despite large carnivores, and that large carnivores influence the structure and composition of scavenger communities. The interactions between large carnivores and scavengers should be considered in future studies of food webs and ecological communities.

  13. Brown bear-human interactions associated with deer hunting on Kodiak Island

    Barnes, Victor G.

    1994-01-01

    I compared distribution and range of brown bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi) with temporal and spatial distribution of Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) hunting activity on westside Kodiak Island, Alaska, to examine impacts of deer hunting on bears. Mean number of bears that annually ranged ≤5 km from the coast, >5 km inland from the coast, or in both areas was 10, 8, and 11, respectively. Bears that exclusively or seasonally occupied the coast zone were usually classed as having moderate or high potential to interact with hunters because most hunter access and effort (>95%) was via the coast. Bears that ranged exclusively inland were considered unlikely to encounter hunters. Animals that ranged in both zones often (39%) moved inland during fall (Oct-Dec) and most bears (70%) denned in the inland zone. Females that denned near the coast entered dens later (x̄ = 22 Nov) than females that denned inland (x̄ = 12 Nov). Two radio-collared bears were known to raid deer-hunting camps and 9 other marked bears were observed by hunters or were located bear during their hunt. Seven to 21% of the respondents reported having a threatening encounter with a bear and 5-26% reported losing deer meat to bears. Human-induced mortality to radio-collared bears occurred more often near the coast (5) than inland (3); 7 bears were harvested by sport hunters and 1 was killed (nonsport) in a Native village. Deer hunters killed 2 unmarked females in defense of life or property situations in the study area. High bear densities and concentrated deer-hunting activity combine to make conflicts unavoidable. Adverse impacts to bears can be minimized by maintaining low levels of human activity in inland areas and improving hunter awareness of bear ecology and behavior.

  14. Landscape simulation of foraging by elk, mule deer, and cattle on summer range.

    Alan A. Ager; Bruce K. Johnson; Priscilla K. Coe; Michael J. Wisdom

    2004-01-01

    Cattle, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and elk (Cervus elaphus) share more area of spring, summer and fall range than any other combination of wild and domestic ungulates in western North America (Wisdom and Thomas 1996). Not surprisingly, conflicts over perceived competition for forage have a long history, yet knowledge about...

  15. Asia Beyond the Border: Physical Geography - Central and Northeastern Asia -

    1961-03-21

    Shan: the kiang species ( Equus hemionus kiang). Forest hoofed animals are characteristic only for the western and northern mountain groups which are...severe winter olinate or its hot suremers» ’ „ ,, . •The Hwang Ho has a bread a»4>in S»*** a low vamy «»«»S tee sand and alluvial desert

  16. Installation Restoration Program. Phase 2 - Confirmation/ Quantification. Stage 2 for McChord Air Force Base, Washington

    1986-04-30

    canadensis), beaver (Castor canadensis), muskrat (Ondatra zibethica), and mink ( Mustela vison ). Mule or blacktail deer (Oedocoileus hemionus), raccoon...aprons, blouse, trousers) C. Respiratory protection using half-facepiece air purifying res- pirator with replaceable filter cartridges 1...Hierarchy of protective controls: engineered, admini- strative, work practice, personal protective clothing and eq- ^.pment. J-6 2. Forms of respiratory

  17. A Common Parvovirus in Deer from California, USA.

    Li, Linlin; Woods, Leslie; Gerstenberg, Greg; Deng, Xutao; Delwart, Eric

    2016-10-01

    We characterize the genome of the first reported deer parvovirus, Ungulate tetraparvovirus 5, which we detected by PCR in multiple tissues from 2/9 California mule deer ( Odocoileus hemionus californicus) with hair loss syndrome (HLS) and in 4/12 deer without HLS, suggesting this common infection does not cause HLS.

  18. Movements and habitat use of rocky mountain elk and mule deer.

    Alan A. Ager; Haiganoush K. Preisler; Bruce K. Johnson; John G. Kie

    2004-01-01

    Understanding how ungulates use large landscapes to meet their daily needs for food, security and other resources is critical to wildlife management and conservation practices (Johnson et al. 2002). For ungulates like Rocky Mountain elk (Gems elaphui) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), landscapes are a mosaic of different...

  19. The Starkey databases: spatial-environmental relations of North American elk, mule deer, and cattle at the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range in northeastern Oregon.

    John G. Kie; Alan A. Ager; Norman J. Cimon; Michael J. Wisdom; Mary M. Rowland; Priscilla K. Coe; Scott L. Findholt; Bruce K. Johnson; Martin. Vavra

    2004-01-01

    In the late 1980s, the Starkey Project was initiated to study interactions among North American elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and domestic cattle at Starkey Experimental Forest and Range (Starkey) in northeastern Oregon. As part of the Starkey Project, an automated radio telemetry system was developed to...

  20. Spatial partitioning by mule deer and elk in relation to traffic.

    Michael J. Wisdom; Norman J. Cimon; Bruce K. Johnson; Edward O. Garton; Jack Ward. Thomas

    2004-01-01

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) have overlapping ranges on millions of acres of forests and rangelands in western North America. Accurate prediction of their spatial distributions within these ranges is essential to effective land-use planning, stocking allocation and population management (Wisdom and...

  1. Overview of the Starkey Project: mule deer and elk research for management benefits.

    Michael J. Wisdom; Mary M. Rowland; Bruce K. Johnson; Brian L. Dick

    2004-01-01

    Managers have long been concerned about the welfare of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and elk (Cervus elaphus) on public lands in the western United States. These two species generate millions of dollars annually to state wildlife agencies from sales of hunting licenses, and elk viewing generates millions of additional dollars...

  2. Genetic evaluation of the captive breeding program of the Persian wild ass

    Nielsen, R.K.; Pertoldi, C.; Loeschcke, Volker

    2007-01-01

    the interpretation of the results obtained from analyses based on such data. In this investigation, 12 microsatellite loci were investigated to evaluate the studbook information of the critically endangered Persian wild ass, Equus hemionus onager. Relatedness and inbreeding coefficients were calculated in order...

  3. Journal of Genetics | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 96; Online resources. Low genetic diversity of the endangered Indian wild ass Equus hemionus khur, as revealed by microsatellite analyses. DEVENDRA KHAIRE ASHWIN ATKULWAR SAMEERA FARAH MUMTAZ BAIG. Online Resource Volume 96 Online resources 2017 pp ...

  4. Weathered antlers as a source of DNA

    Roy G. Lopez; Paul Beier

    2012-01-01

    We tested antlers of Coues white-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus couesi) and mule deer (O. hemionus) in various stages of natural decomposition to determine the degree of weathering that cast antlers could endure and still yield usable DNA. Based on physical characteristics, we partitioned antlers into 7 weathering categories ranging from freshly cast (class 1) to...

  5. Status of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) in Sonora, Mexico

    Reyna A. Castillo-Gamez; Rafael Arenas-Wong; Luis Castillo-Quijada; Verónica Coronado-Peraza; Abigail Enríquez-Munguia; Mirna Federico-Ortega; Alejandra García-Urrutia; Alba Lozano-Gámez; Romeo Méndez-Estrella; Laura Ochoa-Figueroa; J. R. Romo-León; Guy Kruse-Llergo; Iván Parra-Salazar

    2005-01-01

    Prairie dog is a keystone species throughout the habitat where it occurs, but its populations have declined about 98% in the last century. This species has been considered of international importance for the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico. Only two populations are recorded for Mexico, and the westernmost (isolated by Sierra Madre...

  6. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

    Full Text Available Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp. have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands.

  7. Management of modern agricultural landscapes increases nest predation rates in black-tailed godwits Limosa limosa

    Kentie, Rosemarie; Both, Christiaan; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.; Piersma, Theunis

    Effective conservation of endangered species requires a solid understanding of the demographic causes of population change. Bird populations breeding on agricultural grasslands have declined because their preferred habitat of herb-rich meadows has been replaced by grassland monocultures. The timing

  8. Management of modern agricultural landscapes increases nest predation rates in Black-tailed Godwits

    Kentie, R.; Both, C.; Hooijmeijer, C.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2015-01-01

    Effective conservation of endangered species requires a solid understanding of the demographic causes of population change. Bird populations breeding on agricultural grasslands have declined because their preferred habitat of herb-rich meadows has been replaced by grassland monocultures. The timing

  9. Population overlap and habitat segregation in wintering Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

    Alves, Jose A.; Lourenco, Pedro M.; Piersma, Theunis; Sutherland, William J.; Gill, Jennifer A.

    2010-01-01

    Capsule Distinct breeding populations of migratory species may overlap both spatially and temporally, but differ in patterns of habitat use. This has important implications for population monitoring and conservation. Aims To quantify the extent to which two distinct breeding populations of a

  10. LANDSCAPE EFFECTS ON BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG COLONIES. (R829091)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  11. SMALL MAMMAL COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATED WITH BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG COLONIES. (R829091)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  12. A modern landscape ecology of Black-tailed Godwits : Habitat selection in southwest Friesland, The Netherlands

    Groen, Niko M.; Kentie, Rosemarie; de Goeij, Petra; Verheijen, Bram; Piersma, Theunis; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.

    2012-01-01

    For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we

  13. A modern landscape ecology of Black-tailed Godwits: habitat selection in southwest Friesland, The Netherlands

    Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2012-01-01

    For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we

  14. Hanford Site Black-Tailed Jackrabbit Monitoring Report for Fiscal Year 2013

    Lindsey, Cole T. [Mission Support Alliance (MSA), Richland, WA (United States); Nugent, John J. [Mission Support Alliance (MSA), Richland, WA (United States); Wilde, Justin W. [Mission Support Alliance (MSA), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Scott J. [Mission Support Alliance (MSA), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-02-13

    The U.S. Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) conducts ecological monitoring on the Hanford Site to collect and track data needed to ensure compliance with an array of environmental laws, regulations, and policies governing DOE activities. Ecological monitoring data provide baseline information about the plants, animals, and habitat under DOE-RL stewardship at Hanford required for decision-making under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The Hanford Site Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP, DOE/EIS-0222-F) which is the Environmental Impact Statement for Hanford Site activities, helps ensure that DOE-RL, its contractors, and other entities conducting activities on the Hanford Site are in compliance with NEPA.

  15. Estimating abundance of Sitka black-tailed deer using DNA from fecal pellets

    Todd J. Brinkman; David K. Person; F. Stuart Chapin; Winston Smith; Kris J. Hundertmark

    2011-01-01

    Densely vegetated environments have hindered collection of basic population parameters on forest-dwelling ungulates. Our objective was to develop a mark-recapture technique that used DNA from fecal pellets to overcome constraints associated with estimating abundance of ungulates in landscapes where direct observation is difficult. We tested our technique on Sitka black...

  16. Linking Hunter Knowledge with Forest Change to Understand Changing Deer Harvest Opportunities in Intensively Logged Landscapes

    Todd J. Brinkman

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The effects of landscape changes caused by intensive logging on the availability of wild game are important when the harvest of wild game is a critical cultural practice, food source, and recreational activity. We assessed the influence of extensive industrial logging on the availability of wild game by drawing on local knowledge and ecological science to evaluate the relationship between forest change and opportunities to harvest Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. We used data collected through interviews with local deer hunters and GIS analysis of land cover to determine relationships among landscape change, hunter access, and habitat for deer hunting over the last 50 yr. We then used these relationships to predict how harvest opportunities may change in the future. Intensive logging from 1950 into the 1990s provided better access to deer and habitat that facilitated deer hunting. However, successional changes in intensively logged forests in combination with a decline in current logging activity have reduced access to deer and increased undesirable habitat for deer hunting. In this new landscape, harvest opportunities in previously logged landscapes have declined, and hunters identify second-growth forest as one of the least popular habitats for hunting. Given the current state of the logging industry in Alaska, it is unlikely that the logging of the remaining old-growth forests or intensive management of second-growth forests will cause hunter opportunities to rebound to historic levels. Instead, hunter opportunities may continue to decline for at least another human generation, even if the long-term impacts of logging activity and deer harvest on deer numbers are minimal. Adapting hunting strategies to focus on naturally open habitats such as alpine and muskeg that are less influenced by external market forces may require considerably more hunting effort but provide the best option for

  17. Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional assessment—Volume I. Ecological communities

    Reese, Gordon C.; Burris, Lucy; Carr, Natasha B.; Leinwand, Ian I.F.; Melcher, Cynthia P.

    2017-10-19

    nivosus), mountain plover (Charadrius montanus), long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus), interior least tern (Sternula antillarum athalassos), burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), bat assemblage, swift fox (Vulpes velox), and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus).The Southern Great Plains REA is summarized in a series of three reports and associated datasets. The pre-assessment report (available online at https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2015/1003/) summarizes the process used by the REA stakeholders to select management questions, conservation elements, and change agents. It also provides background information for each conservation element. Volume I of the Southern Great Plains REA report (this volume) addresses the ecological communities. Volume II will address the species and species assemblages. All source and derived datasets used to produce the maps and graphs for REAs are available online at the BLM Landscape Approach Data Portal (https://landscape.blm.gov/geoportal/catalog/REAs/REAs.page).

  18. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals' Visitation to Water.

    Grant Harris

    Full Text Available Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014 using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana, less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus. Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans visitation. Puma (Puma concolor visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx. Most ungulate visitation peaked during

  19. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals’ Visitation to Water

    Harris, Grant; Sanderson, James G.; Erz, Jon; Lehnen, Sarah E.; Butler, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation) and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence) predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014) using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella) and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature) and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits) predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus) visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans) visitation. Puma (Puma concolor) visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx). Most ungulate visitation peaked during May and

  20. Serologic survey for brucellosis in feral swine, wild ruminants, and black bear of California, 1977 to 1989.

    Drew, M L; Jessup, D A; Burr, A A; Franti, C E

    1992-07-01

    A retrospective analysis of brucellosis serologic testing results in eight wildlife species in California from 1977 to 1989 was done. Samples were collected from 5,398 live-captured or hunter-killed animals and tested by combinations of up to six serologic tests for antibodies to Brucella spp. Twenty-three of 611 (3.8%) feral swine (Sus scrofa), one of 180 (0.6%) black bear (Ursus americanus), one of 355 (0.3%) California mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus californicus), and one of 1,613 (0.06%) blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) samples were considered reactors. Suspect serologic reactions occurred in three of 619 (0.5%) desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) and one of 355 (0.3%) California mule deer samples. Brucellosis is not considered an important wildlife health problem in California except in feral swine.

  1. [The morphology and differential diagnosis of parasitic larvae of Triodontophorus (Nematoda, Strongylidae)].

    Kharchenko, V A; Dvoĭnos, G M

    1989-01-01

    356 parasitic larvae of the genus Triodontophorus from Equidae (two Equus hemionus and one E. grevyi) have been investigated. They belong to three phenons, which differ from each other by the shape and dimensions of a stoma, the structure of teeth and other signs. That phenons belong to three different species: T. serratus, T. tenuicollis and T. brevicauda. The differential diagnosis of L4 of that species of Triodontophorus are given.

  2. Timing of seasonal migration in mule deer: effects of climate, plant phenology, andlife-history characteristics

    Monteith, Kevin L.; Bleich, Vernon C.; Stephenson, Thomas R.; Pierce, Becky M.; Conner, Mary M.; Klaver, Robert W.; Bowyer, R. Terry

    2011-01-01

    Phenological events of plants and animals are sensitive to climatic processes. Migration is a life-history event exhibited by most large herbivores living in seasonal environments, and is thought to occur in response to dynamics of forage and weather. Decisions regarding when to migrate, however, may be affected by differences in life-history characteristics of individuals. Long-term and intensive study of a population of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA, ...

  3. Select tissue mineralconcentrations and chronic wasting disease status in mule deer from north-central Colorado

    Wolfe, Lisa L.; Conner, Mary M.; Bedwell, Cathy L.; Lukacs, Paul M.; Miller, Michael W.

    2010-01-01

    Trace mineral imbalances have been suggested as having a causative or contributory role in chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease of several North American cervid species. To begin exploring relationships between tissue mineral concentrations and CWD in natural systems, we measured liver tissue concentrations of copper, manganese, and molybdenum in samples from 447 apparently healthy, adult (≥2 yr old) mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) culled or vehicle killed from free-ranging populati...

  4. The role of geographic information systems inwildlife epidemiology: models of chronic wasting disease in Colorado mule deer

    Farnsworth, Matthew L.; Hoeting, Jennifer A.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Conner, Mary M.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Wolfe, Lisa L.; Williams, Elizabeth S.; Theobald, David M.; Miller, Michael W.

    2007-01-01

    The authors present findings from two landscape epidemiology studies of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in northern Colorado mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). First, the effects of human land use on disease prevalence were explored by formulating a set of models estimating CWD prevalence in relation to differences in human land use, sex and geographic location. Prevalence was higher in developed areas and among male deer suggesting that anthropogenic influences (changes in land use), differences...

  5. Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer

    Krumm, Caroline E.; Conner, Mary M.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Hunter, Don O.; Miller, Michael W.

    2009-01-01

    The possibility that predators choose prey selectively based on age or condition has been suggested but rarely tested. We examined whether mountain lions (Puma concolor) selectively prey upon mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) infected with chronic wasting disease, a prion disease. We located kill sites of mountain lions in the northern Front Range of Colorado, USA, and compared disease prevalence among lion-killed adult (?2 years old) deer with prevalence among sympatric deer taken by hunters i...

  6. Environmental Assessment for the Indoor Training Facility, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    2010-05-01

    Cadet Area. Aluminum would be 35 used on all columns , beam cladding, and window frame trim to provide a visual connection 36 FINAL EA – USAFA INDOOR...and intramural sports played at the Academy. 17 The facility exterior would be white precast concrete, blue polycarbonate, aluminum and 18 glass. The...present there provide a high degree of connectivity between habitat types and 11 maintain migration corridors. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), elk

  7. Environmental Assessment: Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico

    2005-12-01

    requirements are met by metabolizing grazed vegetation. Prairie dogs dig burrows to an average depth of 2-3 meters with some tunnels interconnecting with...the potential to impact non- target species such as mice, kangaroo rats, and some songbirds. Establishing control zones at CAFB and MAFR could not be...Gutierrezia sarothrae), and Russian thistle (Salsola iberica). Water requirements are met by metabolizing grazed vegetation. Prairie dogs dig burrows

  8. Does wintering north or south of the Sahara correlate with timing and breeding performance in black-tailed godwits?

    Kentie, R.; Marquez-Ferrando, R.; Figuerola, J.; Gangoso, L.; Hooijmeijer, C.E.W.; Loonstra, A.H.J.; Robin, F.; Sarasa, M.; Senner, N.; Valkema, H.; Verhoeven, M.A.; Piersma, T.

    2017-01-01

    Migrating long distances requires time and energy, and may interact with an individual’sperformance during breeding. These seasonal interactions in migratoryanimals are best described in populations with disjunct nonbreeding distributions.The black-tailedgodwit (Limosa limosa limosa), which breeds

  9. When Siberia comes to the Netherlands : The response of continental black-tailed godwits to extreme spring weather

    Senner, N. R.; Verhoeven, M.; Zwart, L.; Tibbitts, T. L.; Gutierrez, J.; Abad, J. M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Many migratory bird species are able to anticipate weather conditions along their migration routes and adjust their progress and behavior accordingly, but there are numerous instances of extreme weather events surprising birds mid−migration. These occurrences can act as strong selection events and

  10. When Siberia came to the Netherlands: The response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather event

    Senner, Nathan R.; Verhoeven, Mo A.; Abad-Gómez, José M.; Gutiérrez, Jorge S.; Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Kentie, Rosemarie; Masero, José A.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-01-01

    Summary Extreme weather events have the potential to alter both short- and long-term population dynamics as well as community- and ecosystem-level function. Such events are rare and stochastic, making it difficult to fully document how organisms respond to them and predict the repercussions of similar events in the future.

  11. Repeatable timing of northward departure, arrival and breeding in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa, but no domino effects

    Lourenco, Pedro M.; Kentie, Rosemarie; Schroeder, Julia; Groen, Niko M.; Piersma, Theunis; Bairlein, F.; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.

    2011-01-01

    When early breeding is advantageous, migrants underway to the breeding areas may be time stressed. The timing of sequential events such as migration and breeding is expected to be correlated because of a "domino effect", and would be of particular biological importance if timings are repeatable

  12. Variation in skin surface lipid composition among the Equidae.

    Colton, S W; Downing, D T

    1983-01-01

    Skin surface lipids from Equus caballus, E. przewalskii, E. asinus, E. grevyi, E. hemionus onager and a mule (E. asinus/E. caballus) were analyzed in detail. In all species the surface lipid mixtures consisted of giant-ring lactones, cholesterol, cholesteryl esters and minor amounts of wax diesters. In E. caballus, the lactone hydroxyacids were entirely branched chained, while in E. asinus and E. grevyi they were almost exclusively straight chained. In E. przewalskii, the onager and the mule there were both straight and branched chain hydroxyacid lactones. These results are in harmony with published interpretations of the evolutionary relationships among Equus species.

  13. First stable isotope analysis of Asiatic wild ass tail hair from the Mongolian Gobi.

    Horacek, Micha; Sturm, Martina Burnik; Kaczensky, Petra

    Stable isotope analysis has become a powerful tool to study feeding ecology, water use or movement pattern in contemporary, historic and ancient species. Certain hair and teeth grow continuously, and when sampled longitudinally can provide temporally explicit information on dietary regime and movement pattern. In an initial trial, we analysed a tail sample of an Asiatic wild ass ( Equus hemionus ) from the Mongolian Gobi. We found seasonal variations in H, C and N isotope patterns, likely being the result of temporal variations in available feeds, water supply and possibly physiological status. Thus stable isotope analysis shows promise to study the comparative ecology of the three autochthonous equid species in the Mongolian Gobi.

  14. Chemical immobilization of North American mule deer

    Lange, Robert E.; Nielsen, Leon; Haigh, Jerry C.; Fowler, Murray E.

    1983-01-01

    The choice of agents for chemical immobilization of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a problem with a simple and effective solution, in my opinion. I recommend combinations of etorphine hydrochloride (M199©) and xylazine hydrochloride (Rompun©) administered intravenously and reversed intravenously. I have used this combination on hundreds of mule deer and have supervised its use on hundreds more. It is a forgiving combination in terms of safety to the deer. I have never seen a mortality in mule deer that I could blame on this combination of drugs, which, in my experience, has performed well under a wide variety of environmental, physiological and organizational conditions.

  15. Exposure pathways and biological receptors: baseline data for the canyon uranium mine, Coconino County, Arizona

    Hinck, Jo E.; Linder, Greg L.; Darrah, Abigail J.; Drost, Charles A.; Duniway, Michael C.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Méndez-Harclerode, Francisca M.; Nowak, Erika M.; Valdez, Ernest W.; van Riper, Charles; Wolff, S.W.

    2014-01-01

    are the locally endemic Tusayan flameflower Phemeranthus validulus, the long-legged bat Myotis volans, and the Arizona bat Myotis occultus. The most common vertebrate species identified at the mine site included the Mexican spadefoot toad Spea multiplicata, plateau fence lizard Sceloporus tristichus, violetgreen swallow Tachycineta thalassina, pygmy nuthatch Sitta pygmaea, purple martin Progne subis, western bluebird Sialia mexicana, deermouse Peromyscus maniculatus, valley pocket gopher Thomomys bottae, cliff chipmunk Tamias dorsalis, black-tailed jackrabbit Lepus californicus, mule deer Odocoileus hemionus, and elk Cervus canadensis. A limited number of the most common species were collected for contaminant analysis to establish baseline contaminant and radiological concentrations prior to ore extraction. These empirical baseline data will help validate contaminant exposure pathways and potential threats from contaminant exposures to ecological receptors. Resource managers will also be able to use these data to determine the extent to which local species are exposed to chemical and radiation contamination once the mine is operational and producing ore. More broadly, these data could inform resource management decisions on mitigating chemical and radiation exposure of biota at high-grade uranium breccia pipes throughout the Grand Canyon watershed.

  16. Mitochondrial DNA evolution in the genus Equus.

    George, M; Ryder, O A

    1986-11-01

    Employing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction-endonuclease maps as the basis of comparison, we have investigated the evolutionary affinities of the seven species generally recognized as the genus Equus. Individual species' cleavage maps contained an average of 60 cleavage sites for 16 enzymes, of which 29 were invariant for all species. Based on an average divergence rate of 2%/Myr, the variation between species supports a divergence of extant lineages from a common ancestor approximately 3.9 Myr before the present. Comparisons of cleavage maps between Equus przewalskii (Mongolian wild horse) and E. caballus (domestic horse) yielded estimates of nucleotide sequence divergence ranging from 0.27% to 0.41%. This range was due to intraspecific variation, which was noted only for E. caballus. For pairwise comparisons within this family, estimates of sequence divergence ranged from 0% (E. hemionus onager vs. E. h. kulan) to 7.8% (E. przewalskii vs. E. h. onager). Trees constructed according to the parsimony principle, on the basis of 31 phylogenetically informative restriction sites, indicate that the three extant zebra species represent a monophyletic group with E. grevyi and E. burchelli antiquorum diverging most recently. The phylogenetic relationships of E. africanus and E. hemionus remain enigmatic on the basis of the mtDNA analysis, although a recent divergence is unsupported.

  17. Infectious Disease and Grouping Patterns in Mule Deer.

    María Fernanda Mejía Salazar

    Full Text Available Infectious disease dynamics are determined, to a great extent, by the social structure of the host. We evaluated sociality, or the tendency to form groups, in Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus from a chronic wasting disease (CWD endemic area in Saskatchewan, Canada, to better understand factors that may affect disease transmission. Using group size data collected on 365 radio-collared mule deer (2008-2013, we built a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM to evaluate whether factors such as CWD status, season, habitat and time of day, predicted group occurrence. Then, we built another GLMM to determine factors associated with group size. Finally, we used 3 measures of group size (typical, mean and median group sizes to quantify levels of sociality. We found that mule deer showing clinical signs of CWD were less likely to be reported in groups than clinically healthy deer after accounting for time of day, habitat, and month of observation. Mule deer groups were much more likely to occur in February and March than in July. Mixed-sex groups in early gestation were larger than any other group type in any season. Groups were largest and most likely to occur at dawn and dusk, and in open habitats, such as cropland. We discuss the implication of these results with respect to sociobiology and CWD transmission dynamics.

  18. Investigation of anatomical anomalies in Hanford Site mule deer

    Tiller, B.L.; Cadwell, L.L.; Poston, T.M. [and others

    1997-03-01

    Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus), common residents of the Hanford Site, are an important part of the shrub-steppe ecosystem as well as being valued for aesthetics and hunting. Because mule deer have been protected from hunting on the Site for 50 years, the herd has developed unique population characteristics, including a large number of old animals and males with either large or atypically developed antlers, in contrast to other herds in the semi-arid regions of the Northwest. Hanford Site mule deer have been studied since 1991 because of the herd`s unique nature and high degree of public interest. A special study of the mule deer herd was initiated in 1993 after observations were made of a relatively large number of male deer with atypical, velvet-covered antlers. This report specifically describes our analyses of adult male deer found on the Site with atypical antlers. The report includes estimates of population densities and composition; home ranges, habitat uses, and dietary habits; natural and human-induced causes of mortality; and the herd`s overall health and reproductive status.

  19. Investigation of anatomical anomalies in Hanford Site mule deer

    Tiller, B.L.; Cadwell, L.L.; Poston, T.M.

    1997-03-01

    Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus), common residents of the Hanford Site, are an important part of the shrub-steppe ecosystem as well as being valued for aesthetics and hunting. Because mule deer have been protected from hunting on the Site for 50 years, the herd has developed unique population characteristics, including a large number of old animals and males with either large or atypically developed antlers, in contrast to other herds in the semi-arid regions of the Northwest. Hanford Site mule deer have been studied since 1991 because of the herd's unique nature and high degree of public interest. A special study of the mule deer herd was initiated in 1993 after observations were made of a relatively large number of male deer with atypical, velvet-covered antlers. This report specifically describes our analyses of adult male deer found on the Site with atypical antlers. The report includes estimates of population densities and composition; home ranges, habitat uses, and dietary habits; natural and human-induced causes of mortality; and the herd's overall health and reproductive status

  20. Stopover ecology of Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa in Portuguese rice fields : a guide on where to feed in winter

    Lourenco, Pedro M.; Piersma, Theunis

    Capsule Conservation management of rice fields may be necessary to guarantee the availability of high quality stopover habitats. Aims To analyse habitat selection and quantify the diet composition of birds. Methods Using water level and agricultural management of the fields as variables, habitat

  1. Mortality of Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa and Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus chicks in wet grasslands : influence of predation and agriculture

    Schekkerman, Hans; Teunissen, Wolf; Oosterveld, Ernst

    Grassland-breeding shorebirds show widespread declines due to a reduction in breeding productivity following agricultural intensification. However, there is also concern that increasing predation causes further declines or precludes population recovery. Predation may itself be enhanced by

  2. Molecular phylogeny of equine herpesvirus 1 isolates from onager, zebra and Thomson's gazelle.

    Ghanem, Y M; Fukushi, H; Ibrahim, E S M; Ohya, K; Yamaguchi, T; Kennedy, M

    2008-01-01

    Viruses related to equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) were isolated from an aborted fetus of an onager (Equus hemionus) in 1984, an aborted fetus of Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) in 1984 and a Thomson's gazelle (Gazella thomsoni) with nonsuppurative encephalitis in 1996, all in the USA. The mother of the onager fetus and the gazelle were kept near plains zebras (Equus burchelli). In phylogenetic trees based on the nucleotide sequences of the genes for glycoproteins B (gB), I (gI), and E (gE), and teguments including ORF8 (UL51), ORF15 (UL45), and ORF68 (US2), the onager, Grevy's zebra and gazelle isolates formed a genetic group that was different from several horse EHV-1 isolates. Within this group, the onager and gazelle isolates were closely related, while the Grevy's zebra isolate was distantly related to these two isolates. The epizootiological origin of the viruses is discussed.

  3. Gasterophilus (Diptera, Gasterophilidae infestation of equids in the Kalamaili Nature Reserve, China

    Huang Heqing

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated infections with Gasterophilus spp. in three equids within the Kalamaili Nature Reserve (northern China. We conducted necropsies on 6 Przewalski’s horses (Equus ferus przewalskii and 6 Mongolian wild asses (Equus hemionus and administered ivermectin to 10 overwintering domestic horses to expel parasites during winter periods. All 22 equids studied (100% were infested with Gasterophilus spp. and a total of 17,225 larvae were collected. These included six species: G. haemorrhoidalis, G. inermis, G. intestinalis, G. nasalis, G. nigricornis, and G. pecorum. The mean intensity of Gasterophilus spp. larvae was 1904 in Przewalski’s horses, 780 in Mongolian wild asses, and 113 in domestic horses. Gasterophilus pecorum was the most abundant species in all three equids. Przewalski’s horses, a reintroduced species, had a significantly higher intensity of Gasterophilus spp. than the Mongolian wild ass, indicating greater susceptibility to parasites in its ancestral home.

  4. Diets and habitat analyses of mule deer on the 200 areas of the Hanford Site in southcentral Washington

    Uresk, D.W.; Uresk, V.A.

    1980-10-01

    Forty-four food items were identified in the fecal pellets of the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) on three areas of the Hanford Site. Microscopic analysis of plant fragments indicated that bitterbrush was the most common species occurring in the diets of deer from the B-C Cribs area. Russian thistle (Salsola kali) and goldenrod (Solidago sp.) were the most abundant plants found in the fecal pellets collected from B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond habitats, respectively. The similarity in diets among the habitats was low, ranging from 10% to 16%. Preference indices of forage plants among sites were not similar (7% to 19%). The B-C Cribs, B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond habitats were characterized for canopy cover and frequency of occurrence of plant species. Twelve species were sampled in the B-C Cribs and B Pond areas; 22 species were identified on the Gable Mountain site. The most commonly occurring plant was cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in all three sites. The similarity in frequency and canopy cover of plants was low among sites. Mule deer inhabiting the Hanford site can serve as a pathway for movement of radioactive material from low-level radioactive waste management areas to man. Maximum levels of /sup 137/Cs found in deer pellet groups collected from B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond areas were 100 pCi/g and 128 pCi/g, respectively. Background levels were reported at B-C Cribs area. Maximum /sup 90/Sr values found in deer pellets at B Pond were 107 pCi/g and 184 pCi/g at Gable Mountain Pond.

  5. Mule deer spatial association patterns and potential implications for transmission of an epizootic disease.

    María Fernanda Mejía-Salazar

    Full Text Available Animal social behaviour can have important effects on the long-term dynamics of diseases. In particular, preferential spatial relationships between individuals can lead to differences in the rates of disease spread within a population. We examined the concurrent influence of genetic relatedness, sex, age, home range overlap, time of year, and prion disease status on proximal associations of adult Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus in a chronic wasting disease endemic area. We also quantified the temporal stability of these associations across different sex, age, and disease status classes. We used three years of high frequency telemetry data from 74 individuals to record encounters within 25 m of each other, and to calculate seasonal home range overlap measured by volume of intersection (VI. The strength of pairwise spatial association between adult mule deer was independent of genetic relatedness, age and disease status. Seasonal variation in association strength was not consistent across years, perhaps due to annual changes in weather conditions. The influence of home range overlap on association strength varied seasonally, whereby associations were stronger in pre-rut and fawning than in the rest of the seasons. The sexes of individuals also interacted with both VI and season. At increasing levels of VI, associations were stronger between females than between males and between females and males. The strongest associations in pre-rut were between males, while the strongest in rut were between females and males. The temporal stability of associations was markedly dependant on the sex and the diagnosis of the associating pair. Our findings highlight the importance of considering concurrent effects of biological and environmental factors when seeking to understand the role of social preference in behavioural ecology and disease spread. Applying this knowledge in epidemiological modelling will shed light on the dynamics of

  6. Diets and habitat analyses of mule deer on the 200 areas of the Hanford Site in southcentral Washington

    Uresk, D.W.; Uresk, V.A.

    1980-10-01

    Forty-four food items were identified in the fecal pellets of the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) on three areas of the Hanford Site. Microscopic analysis of plant fragments indicated that bitterbrush was the most common species occurring in the diets of deer from the B-C Cribs area. Russian thistle (Salsola kali) and goldenrod (Solidago sp.) were the most abundant plants found in the fecal pellets collected from B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond habitats, respectively. The similarity in diets among the habitats was low, ranging from 10% to 16%. Preference indices of forage plants among sites were not similar (7% to 19%). The B-C Cribs, B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond habitats were characterized for canopy cover and frequency of occurrence of plant species. Twelve species were sampled in the B-C Cribs and B Pond areas; 22 species were identified on the Gable Mountain site. The most commonly occurring plant was cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in all three sites. The similarity in frequency and canopy cover of plants was low among sites. Mule deer inhabiting the Hanford site can serve as a pathway for movement of radioactive material from low-level radioactive waste management areas to man. Maximum levels of 137 Cs found in deer pellet groups collected from B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond areas were 100 pCi/g and 128 pCi/g, respectively. Background levels were reported at B-C Cribs area. Maximum 90 Sr values found in deer pellets at B Pond were 107 pCi/g and 184 pCi/g at Gable Mountain Pond

  7. Echinococcus granulosus in gray wolves and ungulates in Idaho and Montana, USA.

    Foreyt, William J; Drew, Mark L; Atkinson, Mark; McCauley, Deborah

    2009-10-01

    We evaluated the small intestines of 123 gray wolves (Canis lupus) that were collected from Idaho, USA (n=63), and Montana, USA (n=60), between 2006 and 2008 for the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. The tapeworm was detected in 39 of 63 wolves (62%) in Idaho, USA, and 38 of 60 wolves (63%) in Montana, USA. The detection of thousands of tapeworms per wolf was a common finding. In Idaho, USA, hydatid cysts, the intermediate form of E. granulosus, were detected in elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and a mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus). In Montana, USA, hydatid cysts were detected in elk. To our knowledge, this is the first report of adult E. granulosus in Idaho, USA, or Montana, USA. It is unknown whether the parasite was introduced into Idaho, USA, and southwestern Montana, USA, with the importation of wolves from Alberta, Canada, or British Columbia, Canada, into Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, and central Idaho, USA, in 1995 and 1996, or whether the parasite has always been present in other carnivore hosts, and wolves became a new definitive host. Based on our results, the parasite is now well established in wolves in these states and is documented in elk, mule deer, and a mountain goat as intermediate hosts.

  8. Using Pop-II models to predict effects of wolf predation and hunter harvests on elk, mule deer, and moose on the northern range

    Mack, John A.; Singer, Francis J.

    1993-01-01

    The effects of establishing a gray wolf (Canis lupus) population in Yellowstone National Park were predicted for three ungulate species—elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and moose (Alces alces)—using previously developed POP-II population models. We developed models for 78 and 100 wolves. For each wolf population, we ran scenarios using wolf predation rates of 9, 12, and 15 ungulates/wolf/year. With 78 wolves and the antlerless elk harvest reduced 27%, our modeled elk population estimated were 5-18% smaller than the model estimate without wolves. With 100 wolves and the antlerless elk harvest reduced 27%, our elk population estimated were 11-30% smaller than the population estimates without wolves. Wolf predation effects were greater on the modeled mule deer population than on elk. With 78 wolves and no antlerless deer harvest, we predicted the mule deer population could be 13-44% larger than without wolves. With 100 wolves and no antlerless deer harvest, the mule deer population was 0-36% larger than without wolves. After wolf recovery, our POP-II models suggested moose harvests would have to be reduced at least 50% to maintain moose numbers at the levels predicted when wolves were not present. Mule deer and moose population data are limited, and these wolf predation effects may be overestimated if population sizes or male-female ratios were underestimated in our population models. We recommend additional mule deer and moose population data be obtained.

  9. West Foster Creek 2007 Follow-up Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report.

    Ashley, Paul R.

    2008-02-01

    A follow-up habitat evaluation procedures (HEP) analysis was conducted on the West Foster Creek (Smith acquisition) wildlife mitigation site in May 2007 to determine the number of additional habitat units to credit Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for providing funds to enhance and maintain the project site as partial mitigation for habitat losses associated with construction of Grand Coulee Dam. The West Foster Creek 2007 follow-up HEP survey generated 2,981.96 habitat units (HU) or 1.51 HUs per acre for a 34% increase (+751.34 HUs) above baseline HU credit (the 1999 baseline HEP survey generated 2,230.62 habitat units or 1.13 HUs per acre). The 2007 follow-up HEP analysis yielded 1,380.26 sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) habitat units, 879.40 mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) HUs, and 722.29 western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) habitat units. Mule deer and sharp-tailed grouse habitat units increased by 346.42 HUs and 470.62 HUs respectively over baseline (1999) survey results due largely to cessation of livestock grazing and subsequent passive restoration. In contrast, the western meadowlark generated slightly fewer habitat units in 2007 (-67.31) than in 1999, because of increased shrub cover, which lowers habitat suitability for that species.

  10. Infectious disease survey of gemsbok in New Mexico

    Bender, L.C.; Li, H.; Thompson, B.C.; Morrow, P.C.; Valdez, R.

    2003-01-01

    Exotic wildlife can introduce new diseases or act as reservoirs of endemic diseases. On White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (USA), significant declines in populations of native ungulates generally correspond to increases in range and population density of the exotic gemsbok (Oryx gazella gazella), introduced beginning in 1969. We surveyed gemsbok in 2001 for exposure to a variety of diseases potentially important for native ungulates. High seroprevalence was found for malignant catarrhal fever virus (49 [98%] of 50 sera; 43 [96%] of 45 plasma samples), bluetongue virus (48 [96%] of 50), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (33 [66%] of 50), and parainfluenza-3 virus (10 [20%] of 50). Low numbers of Nematodirus spp. eggs in a few individuals were the only parasites detected in gemsbok. Exposure to the above diseases in gemsbok is of interest to managers because of potential implications for recovery of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) and desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) in the White Sands area because each has been implicated in mortality in these species either in the White Sands area or elsewhere in the western/southwestern United States. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2003.

  11. Summer watering patterns of mule deer in the Great Basin Desert, USA: implications of differential use by individuals and the sexes for management of water resources.

    Shields, Andrew V; Larsen, Randy T; Whiting, Jericho C

    2012-01-01

    Changes in the abundance and distribution of free water can negatively influence wildlife in arid regions. Free water is considered a limiting factor for mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the Great Basin Desert. Consequently, a better understanding of differential use of water by individuals and the sexes could influence the conservation and management of mule deer and water resources in their habitats. We deployed remote cameras at all known water sources (13 wildlife water developments and 4 springs) on one mountain range in western Utah, USA, during summer from 2007 to 2011 to document frequency and timing of water use, number of water sources used by males and females, and to estimate population size from individually identified mule deer. Male and female mule deer used different water sources but visited that resource at similar frequencies. Individual mule deer used few water sources and exhibited high fidelity to that resource. Wildlife water developments were frequently used by both sexes. Our results highlight the differing use of water sources by sexes and individual mule deer. This information will help guide managers when siting and reprovisioning wildlife water developments meant to benefit mule deer and will contribute to the conservation and management of this species.

  12. A simple solar radiation index for wildlife habitat studies

    Keating, Kim A.; Gogan, Peter J.; Vore, John N.; Irby, Lynn R.

    2007-01-01

    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 ill-behaved. To illustrate application of our SRI, we assessed niche separation among 3 ungulate species along a single environmental axis, solar radiation, on the northern Yellowstone winter range. We detected no difference between the niches occupied by bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) and elk (Cervus elaphus; P = 0.104), but found that mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) tended to use areas receiving more solar radiation than either of the other species (P solar radiation component.

  13. Identifying and prioritizing ungulate migration routes for landscape-level conservation

    Sawyer, Hall; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Nielson, Ryan M.; Horne, Jon S.

    2009-01-01

    As habitat loss and fragmentation increase across ungulate ranges, identifying and prioritizing migration routes for conservation has taken on new urgency. Here we present a general framework using the Brownian bridge movement model (BBMM) that: (1) provides a probabilistic estimate of the migration routes of a sampled population, (2) distinguishes between route segments that function as stopover sites vs. those used primarily as movement corridors, and (3) prioritizes routes for conservation based upon the proportion of the sampled population that uses them. We applied this approach to a migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) population in a pristine area of southwest Wyoming, USA, where 2000 gas wells and 1609 km of pipelines and roads have been proposed for development. Our analysis clearly delineated where migration routes occurred relative to proposed development and provided guidance for on-the-ground conservation efforts. Mule deer migration routes were characterized by a series of stopover sites where deer spent most of their time, connected by movement corridors through which deer moved quickly. Our findings suggest management strategies that differentiate between stopover sites and movement corridors may be warranted. Because some migration routes were used by more mule deer than others, proportional level of use may provide a reasonable metric by which routes can be prioritized for conservation. The methods we outline should be applicable to a wide range of species that inhabit regions where migration routes are threatened or poorly understood.

  14. Network metrics reveal differences in social organization between two fission-fusion species, Grevy's zebra and onager.

    Sundaresan, Siva R; Fischhoff, Ilya R; Dushoff, Jonathan; Rubenstein, Daniel I

    2007-02-01

    For species in which group membership frequently changes, it has been a challenge to characterize variation in individual interactions and social structure. Quantifying this variation is necessary to test hypotheses about ecological determinants of social patterns and to make predictions about how group dynamics affect the development of cooperative relationships and transmission processes. Network models have recently become popular for analyzing individual contacts within a population context. We use network metrics to compare populations of Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) and onagers (Equus hemionus khur). These closely related equids, previously described as having the same social system, inhabit environments differing in the distribution of food, water, and predators. Grevy's zebra and onagers are one example of many sets of coarsely similar fission-fusion species and populations, observed elsewhere in other ungulates, primates, and cetaceans. Our analysis of the population association networks reveals contrasts consistent with their distinctive environments. Grevy's zebra individuals are more selective in their association choices. Grevy's zebra form stable cliques, while onager associations are more fluid. We find evidence that females associate assortatively by reproductive state in Grevy's zebra but not in onagers. The current approach demonstrates the utility of network metrics for identifying fine-grained variation among individuals and populations in association patterns. From our analysis, we can make testable predictions about behavioral mechanisms underlying social structure and its effects on transmission processes.

  15. The non-fisheries biological resources of the Hanford reach of the Columbia River

    Rickard, W.H.; Hanson, W.C.; Fitzner, R.E.

    1982-01-01

    The Hanford Reach is the only undammed segment of the Columbia River in the United States upstream from Bonneville Dam. The non-agricultural and non-recreational land-use policies imposed by the Department of Energy have permitted the Hanford Site to function as a refugium for wildlife for 35 years. The protection offered by the Hanford Site has been especially important for the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leurocephalus), mule deer (Odocileus hemionus), coyote (Canis latrans), and resident Great Basin Canada Goose (Branta canadensis moffitti). Island habitats are especially important for nesting geese and for mule deer fawning. Coyotes are important predators upon nesting geese and mule deer fawns. Salmon carcasses are an important winter food for Bald Eagles. Riparian plant communities along the Columbia River have been changing in response to changing water level fluctuations largely regulated by power generation schedules at upstream hydroelectric dams. There are no studies presently established to record the response of Columbia River shoreline plant communities to these kinds of fluctuating water levels. The existing information is summarized on birds and mammals closely allied with the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. High trophic level wild animals are discussed as indicators of chemical contamination of food chains

  16. Lions and prions and deer demise.

    Michael W Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Contagious prion diseases--scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease of several species in the deer family--give rise to epidemics that seem capable of compromising host population viability. Despite this prospect, the ecological consequences of prion disease epidemics in natural populations have received little consideration. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a cohort study design, we found that prion infection dramatically lowered survival of free-ranging adult (>2-year-old mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus: estimated average life expectancy was 5.2 additional years for uninfected deer but only 1.6 additional years for infected deer. Prion infection also increased nearly fourfold the rate of mountain lions (Puma concolor preying on deer, suggesting that epidemics may alter predator-prey dynamics by facilitating hunting success. Despite selective predation, about one fourth of the adult deer we sampled were infected. High prevalence and low survival of infected deer provided a plausible explanation for the marked decline in this deer population since the 1980s. CONCLUSION: Remarkably high infection rates sustained in the face of intense predation show that even seemingly complete ecosystems may offer little resistance to the spread and persistence of contagious prion diseases. Moreover, the depression of infected populations may lead to local imbalances in food webs and nutrient cycling in ecosystems in which deer are important herbivores.

  17. Evidence of bovine viral diarrhea virus infection in three species of sympatric wild ungulates in Nevada: life history strategies may maintain endemic infections in wild populations

    Peregrine Lee Wolff

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV infection was detected in 2009-10 while investigating a pneumonia die-off in Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis, and sympatric mountain goats (Oreamnos americanum in adjacent mountain ranges in Elko County, Nevada. Seroprevalence to BVDV-1 was 81% (N=32 in the bighorns and 100% (N=3 in the mountain goats. Serosurveillance from 2011 to 2015 of surviving bighorns and mountain goats as well as sympatric mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, indicated a prevalence of 72% (N=45, 45% (N=51, and 51% (N=342 respectively. All species had antibody titers to BVDV1 and BVDV2. BVDV1 was isolated in cell culture from three bighorn sheep and a mountain goat kid. BVDV2 was isolated from two mule deer. Six deer (N=96 sampled in 2013 were positive for BVDV by antigen-capture ELISA on ear notch. Wild ungulates and cattle concurrently graze public and private lands in these two mountain ranges, thus providing potential for interspecies viral transmission. Like cattle, mule deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep can be infected with BVDV and can develop clinical disease including immunosuppression. Winter migration patterns that increase densities and species interaction during the first and second trimester of gestation may contribute to the long term maintenance of the virus in these wild ungulates. More studies are needed to determine the population level impacts of BVDV infection on these three species.

  18. The Apache Longbow-Hellfire Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground: Introduction and Problem Formulation for a Multiple Stressor Risk Assessment

    Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Peterson, Mark J.; Jones, Daniel Steven; Suter, Glenn

    2008-01-01

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, as a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF). The focus of the assessment was a testing program at Cibola Range, which involved an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, i.e., M60-A1 tanks. The problem formulation for the assessment included conceptual models for three component activities of the test, helicopter overflight, missile firing, and tracked vehicle movement, and two ecological endpoint entities, woody desert wash communities and desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) populations. An activity-specific risk assessment framework was available to provide guidance for assessing risks associated with aircraft overflights. Key environmental features of the study area include barren desert pavement and tree-lined desert washes. The primary stressors associated with helicopter overflights were sound and the view of the aircraft. The primary stressor associated with Hellfire missile firing was sound. The principal stressor associated with tracked vehicle movement was soil disturbance, and a resulting, secondary stressor was hydrological change. Water loss to washes and wash vegetation was expected to result from increased ponding, infiltration and/or evaporation associated with disturbances to desert pavement. A plan for estimating integrated risks from the three military activities was included in the problem formulation

  19. Hepatic minerals of white-tailed and mule deer in the southern Black Hills, South Dakota.

    Zimmerman, Teresa J; Jenks, Jonathan A; Leslie, David M; Neiger, Regg D

    2008-04-01

    Because there is a paucity of information on the mineral requirements of free-ranging deer, data are needed from clinically healthy deer to provide a basis for the diagnosis of mineral deficiencies. To our knowledge, no reports are available on baseline hepatic mineral concentrations from sympatric white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) using different habitats in the Northern Great Plains. We assessed variation in hepatic minerals of female white-tailed deer (n = 42) and mule deer (n = 41). Deer were collected in February and August 2002 and 2003 from study areas in Custer and Pennington Counties, South Dakota, in and adjacent to a wildfire burn. Hepatic samples were tested for levels (parts per million; ppm) of aluminum (Al), antimony (Sb), arsenic (As), barium (Ba), boron (B), cadmium (Cd), calcium (Ca), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), mercury (Hg), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), selenium (Se), sodium (Na), sulfur (S), thalium (Tl), and zinc (Zn). We predicted that variability in element concentrations would occur between burned and unburned habitat due to changes in plant communities and thereby forage availability. We determined that Zn, Cu, and Ba values differed (P feeding strategies and morphology between deer species, hepatic elemental concentrations would reflect dietary differences; Ca, Cu, K, Co, Mo, Se, and Zn differed (P

  20. Overview of a comprehensive environmental monitoring and surveillance program: The role of fish and wildlife

    Gray, R.H.

    1988-05-01

    Concern about the effects of potential releases from nuclear and non-nuclear activities on the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington has evolved over four decades into a comprehensive environmental monitoring and surveillance program. The program includes field sampling, and chemical and physical analyses of air, surface and ground water, fish and wildlife, soil, foodstuffs, and natural vegetation. In addition to monitoring radioactivity in fish and wildlife, population numbers of key species are determined, usually during the breeding season. Data from monitoring efforts are used to assess the environmental impacts of Hanford operations and calculate the overall radiological dose to humans onsite, at the Site perimeter, or residing in nearby communities. Chinook salmon spawning in the Columbia River at Hanford has increased in recent years with a concomitant increase in winter nesting activity of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). An elk (Cervus elaphus) herd, established by immigration in 1972, is also increasing. Nesting Canada goose (Branta canadensis) and great blue heron (Ardea herodias), and various other animals, e.g., mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) are common. Measured exposure to penetrating radiation and calculated radiation doses to the public are well below applicable regulatory limits

  1. Ungulate exclusion, conifer thinning and mule deer forage in northeastern New Mexico

    Kramer, David W.; Sorensen, Grant E.; Taylor, Chase A.; Cox, Robert D.; Gipson, Philip S.; Cain, James W.

    2015-01-01

    The southwestern United States has experienced expansion of conifer species (Juniperus spp. and Pinus ponderosa) into areas of semi-arid grassland over the past century. The expansion of conifers can limit palatable forage and reduce grass and forb communities. Conifer species are sometimes thinned through hydraulic mulching or selective cutting. We assessed the effects of these treatments on mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) habitat in northeastern New Mexico to determine if conifer thinning improved cover of preferred forage species for mule deer in areas with and without ungulates. We measured plant cover and occurrence of preferred forage species in the summers of 2011 and 2012. An ongoing regional drought probably reduced vegetation response, with preferred forage species and herbaceous cover responding to conifer thinning or ungulate exclusion immediately following treatment, but not the following year. In 2011, areas that received thinning treatments had a higher abundance of preferred forage when compared to sites with no treatment. Grass coverage exhibited an immediate response in 2011, with ungulate exclosures containing 8% more coverage than areas without exclosures. The results suggest that conifer thinning and ungulate exclusion may elicit a positive response, however in the presence of drought; the positive effects are only short-term.

  2. Landowner and permit-holder perceptions of wildlife damage around the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. A survey of INEEL neighbors about elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and depredation

    Roush, D.E. Jr. [Environmental Science and Research Foundation, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Beaver, D.E. [Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (United States). Coll. of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences

    1998-06-01

    Property-owners (N = 220) around the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in southeastern Idaho were surveyed about depredation, control methods and economic issues related to use of the area by elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana). Depredation was defined as damage to privately-owned crops, forage, and fences and irrigation equipment by these animals. The focus on the three ungulate species was prompted by concerns that elk, which had recolonized the INEEL since 1984, were responsible for an inordinate amount of unprecedented damage to agricultural operations. As the INEEL is a US Department of Energy (DOE) reserve with little public hunting access, there have been calls for removal of elk from this land. This study`s objective was to quantify the wildlife damage occurring on agricultural operations adjacent to the INEEL and to characterize the damage attributed to each big game species. Responses from 70.2% of the target population indicate an evenness of opinion, by which the authors mean that various opinions were represented equitably, toward these animals and wildlife damage Total estimated wildlife damage in 1996 was between $140,000 and $180,000 It was attributed foremost to elk, although pronghorn antelope were viewed nearly as damaging. Respondents placed high values in big game animals and wished to see them continue to inhabit these lands. For managing depredation, adjusting hunting seasons was preferred.

  3. Induction and characterization of a replication competent cervid endogenous gammaretrovirus (CrERV) from mule deer cells.

    Fábryová, Helena; Hron, Tomáš; Kabíčková, Hana; Poss, Mary; Elleder, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) were acquired during evolution of their host organisms after infection and mendelian inheritance in the germline by their exogenous counterparts. The ERVs can spread in the host genome and in some cases they affect the host phenotype. The cervid endogenous gammaretrovirus (CrERV) is one of only a few well-defined examples of evolutionarily recent invasion of mammalian genome by retroviruses. Thousands of insertionally polymorphic CrERV integration sites have been detected in wild ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) host populations. Here, we describe for the first time induction of replication competent CrERV by cocultivation of deer and human cells. We characterize the physical properties and tropism of the induced virus. The genomic sequence of the induced virus is phylogenetically related to the evolutionarily young endogenous CrERVs described so far. We also describe the level of replication block of CrERV on deer cells and its capacity to establish superinfection interference. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer

    Krumm, Caroline E.; Conner, Mary M.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Hunter, Don O.; Miller, Michael W.

    2010-01-01

    The possibility that predators choose prey selectively based on age or condition has been suggested but rarely tested. We examined whether mountain lions (Puma concolor) selectively prey upon mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) infected with chronic wasting disease, a prion disease. We located kill sites of mountain lions in the northern Front Range of Colorado, USA, and compared disease prevalence among lion-killed adult (≥2 years old) deer with prevalence among sympatric deer taken by hunters in the vicinity of kill sites. Hunter-killed female deer were less likely to be infected than males (odds ratios (OR) = 0.2, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 0.1–0.6; p = 0.015). However, both female (OR = 8.5, 95% CI = 2.3–30.9) and male deer (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1–10) killed by a mountain lion were more likely to be infected than same-sex deer killed in the vicinity by a hunter (p < 0.001), suggesting that mountain lions in this area actively selected prion-infected individuals when targeting adult mule deer as prey items. PMID:19864271

  5. Columbia River wildlife mitigation habitat evaluation procedures report: Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, Berg Brothers, and Douglas County pygmy rabbit projects

    Ashley, P.R.; Ratassepp, J.; Berger, M.; Judd, S.L.

    1997-01-01

    This Habitat Evaluation Procedure study was conducted to determine baseline habitat units (HUs) on the Scotch Creek, Mineral Hill, Pogue Mountain, Chesaw and Tunk Valley Habitat Areas (collectively known as the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area) in Okanogan County, Sagebrush Flat and the Dormaler property in Douglas County, and the Berg Brothers ranch located in Okanogan County within the Colville Reservation. A HEP team comprised of individuals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Appendix A) conducted baseline habitat surveys using the following HEP evaluation species: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), mink (Mustela vison), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), Lewis woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), and Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia). Results of the HEP analysis are listed below. General ratings (poor, marginal, fair, etc.,) are described in Appendix B. Mule deer habitat was marginal lacking diversity and quantify of suitable browse species. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat was marginal lacking residual nesting cover and suitable winter habitat Pygmy rabbit habitat was in fair condition except for the Dormaier property which was rated marginal due to excessive shrub canopy closure at some sites. This report is an analysis of baseline habitat conditions on mitigation project lands and provides estimated habitat units for mitigation crediting purposes. In addition, information from this document could be used by wildlife habitat managers to develop management strategies for specific project sites

  6. Bayesian Modeling of Prion Disease Dynamics in Mule Deer Using Population Monitoring and Capture-Recapture Data.

    Chris Geremia

    Full Text Available Epidemics of chronic wasting disease (CWD of North American Cervidae have potential to harm ecosystems and economies. We studied a migratory population of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus affected by CWD for at least three decades using a Bayesian framework to integrate matrix population and disease models with long-term monitoring data and detailed process-level studies. We hypothesized CWD prevalence would be stable or increase between two observation periods during the late 1990s and after 2010, with higher CWD prevalence making deer population decline more likely. The weight of evidence suggested a reduction in the CWD outbreak over time, perhaps in response to intervening harvest-mediated population reductions. Disease effects on deer population growth under current conditions were subtle with a 72% chance that CWD depressed population growth. With CWD, we forecasted a growth rate near one and largely stable deer population. Disease effects appear to be moderated by timing of infection, prolonged disease course, and locally variable infection. Long-term outcomes will depend heavily on whether current conditions hold and high prevalence remains a localized phenomenon.

  7. Endemic chronic wasting disease causes mule deer population decline in Wyoming.

    Melia T DeVivo

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is a fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni, and moose (Alces alces shirasi in North America. In southeastern Wyoming average annual CWD prevalence in mule deer exceeds 20% and appears to contribute to regional population declines. We determined the effect of CWD on mule deer demography using age-specific, female-only, CWD transition matrix models to estimate the population growth rate (λ. Mule deer were captured from 2010-2014 in southern Converse County Wyoming, USA. Captured adult (≥ 1.5 years old deer were tested ante-mortem for CWD using tonsil biopsies and monitored using radio telemetry. Mean annual survival rates of CWD-negative and CWD-positive deer were 0.76 and 0.32, respectively. Pregnancy and fawn recruitment were not observed to be influenced by CWD. We estimated λ = 0.79, indicating an annual population decline of 21% under current CWD prevalence levels. A model derived from the demography of only CWD-negative individuals yielded; λ = 1.00, indicating a stable population if CWD were absent. These findings support CWD as a significant contributor to mule deer population decline. Chronic wasting disease is difficult or impossible to eradicate with current tools, given significant environmental contamination, and at present our best recommendation for control of this disease is to minimize spread to new areas and naïve cervid populations.

  8. Performance of Arch-Style Road Crossing Structures from Relative Movement Rates of Large Mammals

    A. Z. Andis

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, an increasing number of highway construction and reconstruction projects have included mitigation measures aimed at reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and maintaining habitat connectivity for wildlife. The most effective and robust measures include wildlife fences combined with wildlife underpasses and overpasses. The 39 wildlife crossing structures included along a 90 km stretch of US Highway 93 on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana represent one of the most extensive of such projects. We measured movements of large mammal species at 15 elliptical arch-style wildlife underpasses and adjacent habitat between April and November 2015. We investigated if the movements of large mammals through the underpasses were similar to large mammal movements in the adjacent habitat. Across all structures, large mammals (all species combined were more likely to move through the structures than pass at a random location in the surrounding habitat. At the species level, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus and mule deer (O. hemionus used the underpasses significantly more than could be expected based on their movement through the surrounding habitat. However, carnivorous species such as, black bear (Ursus americanus and coyote (Canis latrans moved through the underpasses in similar numbers compared to the surrounding habitat.

  9. Summer Watering Patterns of Mule Deer in the Great Basin Desert, USA: Implications of Differential Use by Individuals and the Sexes for Management of Water Resources

    Andrew V. Shields

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the abundance and distribution of free water can negatively influence wildlife in arid regions. Free water is considered a limiting factor for mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus in the Great Basin Desert. Consequently, a better understanding of differential use of water by individuals and the sexes could influence the conservation and management of mule deer and water resources in their habitats. We deployed remote cameras at all known water sources (13 wildlife water developments and 4 springs on one mountain range in western Utah, USA, during summer from 2007 to 2011 to document frequency and timing of water use, number of water sources used by males and females, and to estimate population size from individually identified mule deer. Male and female mule deer used different water sources but visited that resource at similar frequencies. Individual mule deer used few water sources and exhibited high fidelity to that resource. Wildlife water developments were frequently used by both sexes. Our results highlight the differing use of water sources by sexes and individual mule deer. This information will help guide managers when siting and reprovisioning wildlife water developments meant to benefit mule deer and will contribute to the conservation and management of this species.

  10. Molecular identification of host feeding patterns of snow-melt mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae): potential implications for the transmission ecology of Jamestown Canyon virus.

    Murdock, C C; Olival, Kevin J; Perkins, Susan L

    2010-03-01

    We collected blood-fed, snow-melt mosquitoes (Culicidae: Culiseta and Aedes) to describe the feeding patterns of potential mosquito vectors of Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV, Bunyaviridae: Orthobunyavirus). JCV is an arthropod-borne, zoonotic virus with deer as the primary amplifying host in western alpine ecosystems. We collected mosquitoes from natural resting areas, fiber pots, and carbon-dioxide baited miniature light traps in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in 2007. We conducted two polymerase chain reactions to amplify and sequence vertebrate DNA extracted from blood-fed mosquitoes, which yielded comparable, but not identical, results. Mammal-specific primers found mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) as the source of all bloodmeals. To determine if unamplified bloodmeals were from nonmammalian sources, we screened all samples with conserved vertebrate primers, which confirmed the initial polymerase chain reaction results, but also found porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) and human (Homo sapiens) as additional bloodmeal sources. We consistently found that mule deer were the primary hosts for mosquitoes in this system. These results suggest that snow-melt mosquitoes, in particular A. cataphylla, may be important vectors in western JCV alpine systems and may also act as a bridge vector for JCV from cervid virus reservoirs to humans.

  11. Histological variability in the limb bones of the Asiatic wild ass and its significance for life history inferences.

    Nacarino-Meneses, Carmen; Jordana, Xavier; Köhler, Meike

    2016-01-01

    The study of bone growth marks (BGMs) and other histological traits of bone tissue provides insights into the life history of present and past organisms. Important life history traits like longevity or age at maturity, which could be inferred from the analysis of these features, form the basis for estimations of demographic parameters that are essential in ecological and evolutionary studies of vertebrates. Here, we study the intraskeletal histological variability in an ontogenetic series of Asiatic wild ass ( Equus hemionus ) in order to assess the suitability of several skeletal elements to reconstruct the life history strategy of the species. Bone tissue types, vascular canal orientation and BGMs have been analyzed in 35 cross-sections of femur, tibia and metapodial bones of 9 individuals of different sexes, ages and habitats. Our results show that the number of BGMs recorded by the different limb bones varies within the same specimen. Our study supports that the femur is the most reliable bone for skeletochronology, as already suggested. Our findings also challenge traditional beliefs with regard to the meaning of deposition of the external fundamental system (EFS). In the Asiatic wild ass, this bone tissue is deposited some time after skeletal maturity and, in the case of the femora, coinciding with the reproductive maturity of the species. The results obtained from this research are not only relevant for future studies in fossil Equus , but could also contribute to improve the conservation strategies of threatened equid species.

  12. Hanford, Washington: Monitoring to assess the state of the environment

    Gray, R.H.

    1992-01-01

    Environmental monitoring has been ongoing at the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site for almost 5 years. Concentrations of airborne radionuclides at the Site perimeter, and concentrations of radionuclides and nonradiological water quality in the Columbia River are in compliance with applicable standards. Radionuclide levels in food stuffs irrigated with river water taken downstream of the Site, most onsite wildlife samples, and soils and vegetation from both on- and off-site locations are typical of those attributable to worldwide fallout. The calculated dose potentially received by a maximally exposed individual, using worst-case assumptions for all routes of exposure, was 0.05 mrem/yr in 1989. The average per capita whole-body effective dose to people, based on a population of 340,000 living within 80 km (50 mi) of the Site, was <0.01 to 0.03 mrem annually from 1985 through 1989. Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning in Hanford Reach of the Columbia River has increased in recent years with a con-comitant increase in winter roosting activity of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). An elk (Cervus elaphus) herd, established by immigration in 1972, is also increasing. Nesting Canada goose (Branta canadensis), great blue heron (Ardea herodias), various plants and other animals, e.g., mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and coyotes (Canis latrans) are common

  13. The Apache Longbow-Hellfire Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground: Ecological Risk Assessment for Missile Firing

    Jones, Daniel Steven; Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Hargrove, William Walter; Suter, Glenn; Pater, Larry

    2008-01-01

    A multiple stressor risk assessment was conducted at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, as a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework. The focus was a testing program at Cibola Range, which involved an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, M60-A1 tanks. This paper describes the ecological risk assessment for the missile launch and detonation. The primary stressor associated with this activity was sound. Other minor stressors included the detonation impact, shrapnel, and fire. Exposure to desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) was quantified using the Army sound contour program BNOISE2, as well as distances from the explosion to deer. Few effects data were available from related studies. Exposure-response models for the characterization of effects consisted of human 'disturbance' and hearing damage thresholds in units of C-weighted decibels (sound exposure level) and a distance-based No Observed Adverse Effects Level for moose and cannonfire. The risk characterization used a weight-of-evidence approach and concluded that risk to mule deer behavior from the missile firing was likely for a negligible number of deer, but that no risk to mule deer abundance and reproduction is expected

  14. West Foster Creek Expansion Project 2007 HEP Report.

    Ashley, Paul R.

    2008-02-01

    During April and May 2007, the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority's (CBFWA) Regional HEP Team (RHT) conducted baseline Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) (USFWS 1980, 1980a) analyses on five parcels collectively designated the West Foster Creek Expansion Project (3,756.48 acres). The purpose of the HEP analyses was to document extant habitat conditions and to determine how many baseline/protection habitat units (HUs) to credit Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for funding maintenance and enhancement activities on project lands as partial mitigation for habitat losses associated with construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams. HEP evaluation models included mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), sharp-tailed grouse, (Tympanuchus phasianellus), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), mink (Neovison vison), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus). Combined 2007 baseline HEP results show that 4,946.44 habitat units were generated on 3,756.48 acres (1.32 HUs per acre). HEP results/habitat conditions were generally similar for like cover types at all sites. Unlike crediting of habitat units (HUs) on other WDFW owned lands, Bonneville Power Administration received full credit for HUs generated on these sites.

  15. Multidirectional cross-species painting illuminates the history of karyotypic evolution in Perissodactyla.

    Trifonov, Vladimir A; Stanyon, Roscoe; Nesterenko, Anastasia I; Fu, Beiyuan; Perelman, Polina L; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Stone, Gary; Rubtsova, Nadezhda V; Houck, Marlys L; Robinson, Terence J; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Dobigny, Gauthier; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Yang, Fengtang

    2008-01-01

    The order Perissodactyla, the group of odd-toed ungulates, includes three extant families: Equidae, Tapiridae, and Rhinocerotidae. The extremely rapid karyotypic diversification in perissodactyls has so far prevented the establishment of genome-wide homology maps between these three families by traditional cytogenetic approaches. Here we report the first genome-wide comparative chromosome maps of African rhinoceroses, four tapir species, four equine species, and humans. These maps were established by multidirectional chromosome painting, with paint probes derived from flow-sorted chromosomes of Equus grevyi, Tapirus indicus, and Ceratotherium simum as well as painting probes from horse and human. The Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), Baird's tapir (T. bairdii), mountain tapir (T. pinchaque), lowland tapir (T. terrestris), and onager (E. hemionus onager), were studied by cross-species chromosome painting for the first time. Our results, when integrated with previously published comparative chromosome maps of the other perissodactyl species, have enabled the reconstruction of perissodactyl, ceratomorph, and equid ancestral karyotypes, and the identification of the defining evolutionary chromosomal rearrangements along each lineage. Our results allow a more reliable estimate of the mode and tempo of evolutionary chromosomal rearrangements, revealing a striking switch between the slowly evolving ceratomorphs and extremely rapidly evolving equids.

  16. Food habits of pumas in northwestern Sonora, Mexico

    Rosas-Rosas, O. C.; Valdez, R.; Bender, L.C.; Daniel, D.

    2003-01-01

    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 (???300 individuals) of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in Sonora. Based on pugmark characteristics, we recorded 3 different adult resident pumas in approximately 90 km2. We analyzed 60 puma fecal samples collected September 1996-November 1998. Primary prey items based on frequency of occurrence and estimated biomass consumed were desert bighorn sheep (40% and 45%, respectively), lagomorphs (33%, 19%), deer (17%, 17%), and collared peccary (15%, 11%). The high percentage of desert bighorn sheep in puma diets may be due to high abundance relative to mule deer, which declined in number during our study. No differences were found in puma diets between seasons (??22=2.4526, P=0.2934). Fluctuations in mule deer populations in northwestern Sonora may influence prey selection by pumas.

  17. A collaborative approach for estimating terrestrial wildlife abundance

    Ransom, Jason I.; Kaczensky, Petra; Lubow, Bruce C.; Ganbaatar, Oyunsaikhan; Altansukh, Nanjid

    2012-01-01

    Accurately estimating abundance of wildlife is critical for establishing effective conservation and management strategies. Aerial methodologies for estimating abundance are common in developed countries, but they are often impractical for remote areas of developing countries where many of the world's endangered and threatened fauna exist. The alternative terrestrial methodologies can be constrained by limitations on access, technology, and human resources, and have rarely been comprehensively conducted for large terrestrial mammals at landscape scales. We attempted to overcome these problems by incorporating local peoples into a simultaneous point count of Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) and goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) across the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, Mongolia. Paired observers collected abundance and covariate metrics at 50 observation points and we estimated population sizes using distance sampling theory, but also assessed individual observer error to examine potential bias introduced by the large number of minimally trained observers. We estimated 5671 (95% CI = 3611–8907) wild asses and 5909 (95% CI = 3762–9279) gazelle inhabited the 11,027 km2 study area at the time of our survey and found that the methodology developed was robust at absorbing the logistical challenges and wide range of observer abilities. This initiative serves as a functional model for estimating terrestrial wildlife abundance while integrating local people into scientific and conservation projects. This, in turn, creates vested interest in conservation by the people who are most influential in, and most affected by, the outcomes.

  18. The extra mile: Ungulate migration distance alters the use of seasonal range and exposure to anthropogenic risk

    Sawyer, Hall; Middleton, Arthur D.; Hayes, Matthew M.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Monteith, Kevin L.

    2016-01-01

    Partial migration occurs across a variety of taxa and has important ecological and evolutionary consequences. Among ungulates, studies of partially migratory populations have allowed researchers to compare and contrast performance metrics of migrants versus residents and examine how environmental factors influence the relative abundance of each. Such studies tend to characterize animals discretely as either migratory or resident, but we suggest that variable migration distances within migratory herds are an important and overlooked form of population structure, with potential consequences for animal fitness. We examined whether the variation in individual migration distances (20–264 km) within a single wintering population of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) was associated with several critical behavioral attributes of migration, including timing of migration, time allocation to seasonal ranges, and exposure to anthropogenic mortality risks. Both the timing of migration and the amount of time animals allocated to seasonal ranges varied with migration distance. Animals migrating long distances (150–250 km) initiated spring migration more than three weeks before than those migrating moderate (50–150 km) or short distances (forage and effectively increase carrying capacity. Clear differences in winter residency, migration duration, and risk of anthropogenic mortality among short-, moderate-, and long-distance migrants suggest fitness trade-offs may exist among migratory segments of the population. Future studies of partial migration may benefit from expanding comparisons of residents and migrants, to consider how variable migration distances of migrants may influence the costs and benefits of migration.

  19. The greenscape shapes surfing of resource waves in a large migratory herbivore.

    Aikens, Ellen O; Kauffman, Matthew J; Merkle, Jerod A; Dwinnell, Samantha P H; Fralick, Gary L; Monteith, Kevin L

    2017-06-01

    The Green Wave Hypothesis posits that herbivore migration manifests in response to waves of spring green-up (i.e. green-wave surfing). Nonetheless, empirical support for the Green Wave Hypothesis is mixed, and a framework for understanding variation in surfing is lacking. In a population of migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), 31% surfed plant phenology in spring as well as a theoretically perfect surfer, and 98% surfed better than random. Green-wave surfing varied among individuals and was unrelated to age or energetic state. Instead, the greenscape, which we define as the order, rate and duration of green-up along migratory routes, was the primary factor influencing surfing. Our results indicate that migratory routes are more than a link between seasonal ranges, and they provide an important, but often overlooked, foraging habitat. In addition, the spatiotemporal configuration of forage resources that propagate along migratory routes shape animal movement and presumably, energy gains during migration. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Monitoring fish, wildlife, radionuclides and chemicals at Hanford, Washington

    Gray, R.H.

    1989-02-01

    Concern about the effects of potential releases from nuclear and non-nuclear activities on the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington has evolved over four decades into a comprehensive environmental monitoring and surveillance program. The program includes field sampling, and chemical and physical analyses of air, surface and ground water, fish, wildlife, soil, foodstuffs, and natural vegetation. In addition to monitoring radioactivity in fish and wildlife, population numbers of key species are determined, usually during the breeding season. Data from monitoring efforts are used to assess the environmental impacts of Hanford operations and calculate the overall radiological dose to humans onsite, at the Site perimeter, or residing in nearby communities. Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning in the Columbia River at Hanford has increased in recent years with a concomitant increase in winter nesting activity of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). An elk (Cervus elaphus) herd, established by immigration in 1972, is also increasing. Nesting Canada goose (Branta canadensis) and great blue heron (Ardea herodias), and various other animals, e.g., mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) are common. Measured exposure to penetrating radiation and calculated radiation doses to the public are well below applicable regulatory limits. 35 refs., 4 figs

  1. Conservation genetics of managed ungulate populations

    Scribner, Kim T.

    1993-01-01

    Natural populations of many species are increasingly impacted by human activities. Perturbations are particularly pronunced for large ungulates due in part to sport and commercial harvest, to reductions and fragmentation of native habitat, and as the result of reintroductions. These perturbations affect population size, sex and age composition, and population breeding structure, and as a consequence affect the levels and partitioning of genetic variation. Three case histories highlighting long-term ecological genetic research on mule deer Odocoileus hemionus (Rafinesque, 1817), white-tailed deer O. virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780), and Alpine ibex Capra i. ibex Linnaeus, 1758 are presented. Joint examinations of population ecological and genetic data from several populations of each species reveal: (1) that populations are not in genetic equilibrium, but that allele frequencies and heterozygosity change dramatically over time and among cohorts produced in successive years, (2) populations are genetically structured over short and large geographic distances reflecting local breeding structure and patterns of gene flow, respectively; however, this structure is quite dynamic over time, due in part to population exploitation, and (3) restocking programs are often undertaken with small numbers of founding individuals resulting in dramatic declines in levels of genetic variability and increasing levels of genetic differentiation among populations due to genetic drift. Genetic characteristics have and will continue to provide valuable indirect sources of information relating enviromental and human perturbations to changes in population processes.

  2. Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation Habitat Evaluation Procedures Report / Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, Berg Brothers, and Douglas County Pygmy Rabbit Projects.

    Ashley, Paul R.

    1997-01-01

    This Habitat Evaluation Procedure study was conducted to determine baseline habitat units (HUs) on the Scotch Creek, Mineral Hill, Pogue Mountain, Chesaw and Tunk Valley Habitat Areas (collectively known as the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area) in Okanogan County, Sagebrush Flat and the Dormaler property in Douglas County, and the Berg Brothers ranch located in Okanogan County within the Colville Reservation. A HEP team comprised of individuals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Appendix A) conducted baseline habitat surveys using the following HEP evaluation species: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), mink (Mustela vison), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), Lewis woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), and Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia). Results of the HEP analysis are listed below. General ratings (poor, marginal, fair, etc.,) are described in Appendix B. Mule deer habitat was marginal lacking diversity and quantify of suitable browse species. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat was marginal lacking residual nesting cover and suitable winter habitat Pygmy rabbit habitat was in fair condition except for the Dormaier property which was rated marginal due to excessive shrub canopy closure at some sites. This report is an analysis of baseline habitat conditions on mitigation project lands and provides estimated habitat units for mitigation crediting purposes. In addition, information from this document could be used by wildlife habitat managers to develop management strategies for specific project sites.

  3. Mineral licks: motivational factors for visitation and accompanying disease risk at communal use sites of elk and deer.

    Lavelle, Michael J; Phillips, Gregory E; Fischer, Justin W; Burke, Patrick W; Seward, Nathan W; Stahl, Randal S; Nichols, Tracy A; Wunder, Bruce A; VerCauteren, Kurt C

    2014-12-01

    Free-ranging cervids acquire most of their essential minerals through forage consumption, though occasionally seek other sources to account for seasonal mineral deficiencies. Mineral sources occur as natural geological deposits (i.e., licks) or as anthropogenic mineral supplements. In both scenarios, these sources commonly serve as focal sites for visitation. We monitored 11 licks in Rocky Mountain National Park, north-central Colorado, using trail cameras to quantify daily visitation indices (DVI) and soil consumption indices (SCI) for Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) during summer 2006 and documented elk, mule deer, and moose (Alces alces) visiting licks. Additionally, soil samples were collected, and mineral concentrations were compared to discern levels that explain rates of visitation. Relationships between response variables; DVI and SCI, and explanatory variables; elevation class, moisture class, period of study, and concentrations of minerals were examined. We found that DVI and SCI were greatest at two wet, low-elevation licks exhibiting relatively high concentrations of manganese and sodium. Because cervids are known to seek Na from soils, we suggest our observed association of Mn with DVI and SCI was a likely consequence of deer and elk seeking supplemental dietary Na. Additionally, highly utilized licks such as these provide an area of concentrated cervid occupation and interaction, thus increasing risk for environmental transmission of infectious pathogens such as chronic wasting disease, which has been shown to be shed in the saliva, urine, and feces of infected cervids.

  4. Health status of mule deer and white-tailed deer herds on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    Creekmore, T.E.; Franson, J.C.; Sileo, L. [National Wildlife Health Research Center, Madison, WI (United States); Griess, J.M.; Roy, R.R. [Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Commerce City, CO (United States); Baker, D.L. [Colorado Division of Wildlife, Ft. Collins, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a fenced, 6,900-ha Superfund site under remediation by the US Army and the Shell Oil Company. A variety of environmental contaminants including organochlorine pesticides, metals, and nerve-gas-production by-products are in the soil or in the water on the site. The authors evaluated the health of 18 radio-collared deer (13 mule deer [Odocoileus hemionus] and 5 white-tailed deer [O. virginianus]) collected by gunshot. Prior to collection, more than 4,000 locations of the 18 deer were plotted during a period of more than 2 years. Blood samples from the euthanized animals were collected for serologic, hematologic, and contaminant evaluations. Necropsies were preformed and tissues collected for histopathologic examinations and environmental contaminants analyses. Results indicate that the physical conditions of the mule deer were fair/good and of the white-tailed deer were good. Antibody prevalence against epizootic hemorrhagic disease serotype 2 was 85% and bovine virus diarrhea 56%. Two mule deer had severe testicular atrophy, and one of these animals also had antler deformities. Three mule deer had alopecia with dermatitis and hyperkeratosis. Results of heavy metal, and organochlorine pesticide analyses from blood and tissue samples and other analyses will be presented.

  5. Nodeomics: pathogen detection in vertebrate lymph nodes using meta-transcriptomics.

    Nicola E Wittekindt

    Full Text Available The ongoing emergence of human infections originating from wildlife highlights the need for better knowledge of the microbial community in wildlife species where traditional diagnostic approaches are limited. Here we evaluate the microbial biota in healthy mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus by analyses of lymph node meta-transcriptomes. cDNA libraries from five individuals and two pools of samples were prepared from retropharyngeal lymph node RNA enriched for polyadenylated RNA and sequenced using Roche-454 Life Sciences technology. Protein-coding and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA sequences were taxonomically profiled using protein and rRNA specific databases. Representatives of all bacterial phyla were detected in the seven libraries based on protein-coding transcripts indicating that viable microbiota were present in lymph nodes. Residents of skin and rumen, and those ubiquitous in mule deer habitat dominated classifiable bacterial species. Based on detection of both rRNA and protein-coding transcripts, we identified two new proteobacterial species; a Helicobacter closely related to Helicobacter cetorum in the Helicobacter pylori/Helicobacter acinonychis complex and an Acinetobacter related to Acinetobacter schindleri. Among viruses, a novel gamma retrovirus and other members of the Poxviridae and Retroviridae were identified. We additionally evaluated bacterial diversity by amplicon sequencing the hypervariable V6 region of 16S rRNA and demonstrate that overall taxonomic diversity is higher with the meta-transcriptomic approach. These data provide the most complete picture to date of the microbial diversity within a wildlife host. Our research advances the use of meta-transcriptomics to study microbiota in wildlife tissues, which will facilitate detection of novel organisms with pathogenic potential to human and animals.

  6. Variable terrestrial GPS telemetry detection rates: Addressing the probability of successful acquisitions

    Ironside, Kirsten E.; Mattson, David J.; Choate, David; Stoner, David; Arundel, Terry; Hansen, Jered R.; Theimer, Tad; Holton, Brandon; Jansen, Brian; Sexton, Joseph O.; Longshore, Kathleen M.; Edwards, Thomas C.; Peters, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Studies using global positioning system (GPS) telemetry rarely result in 100% fix success rates (FSR), which may bias datasets because data loss is systematic rather than a random process. Previous spatially explicit models developed to correct for sampling bias have been limited to small study areas, a small range of data loss, or were study-area specific. We modeled environmental effects on FSR from desert to alpine biomes, investigated the full range of potential data loss (0–100% FSR), and evaluated whether animal body position can contribute to lower FSR because of changes in antenna orientation based on GPS detection rates for 4 focal species: cougars (Puma concolor), desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). Terrain exposure and height of over story vegetation were the most influential factors affecting FSR. Model evaluation showed a strong correlation (0.88) between observed and predicted FSR and no significant differences between predicted and observed FSRs using 2 independent validation datasets. We found that cougars and canyon-dwelling bighorn sheep may select for environmental features that influence their detectability by GPS technology, mule deer may select against these features, and elk appear to be nonselective. We observed temporal patterns in missed fixes only for cougars. We provide a model for cougars, predicting fix success by time of day that is likely due to circadian changes in collar orientation and selection of daybed sites. We also provide a model predicting the probability of GPS fix acquisitions given environmental conditions, which had a strong relationship (r 2 = 0.82) with deployed collar FSRs across species.

  7. Using digital photography to examine grazing in montane meadows

    McIlroy, Susan K.; Allen-Diaz, Barbara H.; Berg, Alexander C.

    2011-01-01

    Cattle (Bos taurus) numbers on national forests are allocated based on allotment grazing capacity, but spatial patterns of timing and density at smaller scales are difficult to assess. However, it is often in meadows or riparian areas that grazing may affect hydrology, biodiversity, and other important ecosystem characteristics. To explore real-time animal presence in montane meadows we distributed 18 digital cameras across nine sites in the Sierra National Forest, California. Our objectives were to document seasonal and diurnal presence of both cattle and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), identify the effects of three fencing treatments on animal distribution, and test digital photography as a tool for documenting cattle presence. We recorded 409 399 images during daylight hours for two grazing seasons, and we identified 5 084 and 24 482 cattle "marks" (instances of animal occurrence) in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Deer presence was much lower, with 331 marks in 2006 and 598 in 2007. Morning cattle presence was highest before 0800 hours both years (13.7% and 15.4% of total marks for 2006 and 2007, respectively). Marks decreased until 1100 hours and then increased around 1400 hours and remained relatively stable until 1900 hours. Marks then rose precipitously, with >20% of total marks recorded after 1900 hours both years. Deer presence was less than 10% per hour until 1800 hours, when >20% of total marks were recorded after this time both years. Among treatments, cattle marks were highest outside fences at partially fenced meadows, and deer were highest within completely fenced meadows. Our experience suggests that cameras are not viable tools for meadow monitoring due to variation captured within meadows and the time and effort involved in image processing and review.

  8. Phylogeny of horse chromosome 5q in the genus Equus and centromere repositioning.

    Piras, F M; Nergadze, S G; Poletto, V; Cerutti, F; Ryder, O A; Leeb, T; Raimondi, E; Giulotto, E

    2009-01-01

    Horses, asses and zebras belong to the genus Equus and are the only extant species of the family Equidae in the order Perissodactyla. In a previous work we demonstrated that a key factor in the rapid karyotypic evolution of this genus was evolutionary centromere repositioning, that is, the shift of the centromeric function to a new position without alteration of the order of markers along the chromosome. In search of previously undiscovered evolutionarily new centromeres, we traced the phylogeny of horse chromosome 5, analyzing the order of BAC markers, derived from a horse genomic library, in 7 Equus species (E. caballus, E. hemionus onager, E. kiang, E. asinus, E. grevyi, E. burchelli and E. zebra hartmannae). This analysis showed that repositioned centromeres are present in E. asinus (domestic donkey, EAS) chromosome 16 and in E. burchelli (Burchell's zebra, EBU) chromosome 17, confirming that centromere repositioning is a strikingly frequent phenomenon in this genus. The observation that the neocentromeres in EAS16 and EBU17 are in the same chromosomal position suggests that they may derive from the same event and therefore, E. asinus and E. burchelli may be more closely related than previously proposed; alternatively, 2 centromere repositioning events, involving the same chromosomal region, may have occurred independently in different lineages, pointing to the possible existence of hot spots for neocentromere formation. Our comparative analysis also showed that, while E. caballus chromosome 5 seems to represent the ancestral configuration, centric fission followed by independent fusion events gave rise to 3 different submetacentric chromosomes in other Equus lineages. (c) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Human influence on distribution and extinctions of the late Pleistocene Eurasian megafauna.

    Pushkina, Diana; Raia, Pasquale

    2008-06-01

    Late Pleistocene extinctions are of interest to paleontological and anthropological research. In North America and Australia, human occupation occurred during a short period of time and overexploitation may have led to the extinction of mammalian megafauna. In northern Eurasia megafaunal extinctions are believed to have occurred over a relatively longer period of time, perhaps as a result of changing environmental conditions, but the picture is much less clear. To consider megafaunal extinction in Eurasia, we compare differences in the geographical distribution and commonness of extinct and extant species between paleontological and archaeological localities from the late middle Pleistocene to Holocene. Purely paleontological localities, as well as most extinct species, were distributed north of archaeological sites and of the extant species, suggesting that apart from possible differences in adaptations between humans and other species, humans could also have a detrimental effect on large mammal distribution. However, evidence for human overexploitation applies only to the extinct steppe bison Bison priscus. Other human-preferred species survive into the Holocene, including Rangifer tarandus, Equus ferus, Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Equus hemionus, Saiga tatarica, and Sus scrofa. Mammuthus primigenius and Megaloceros giganteus were rare in archaeological sites. Carnivores appear little influenced by human presence, although they become rarer in Holocene archaeological sites. Overall, the data are consistent with the conclusion that humans acted as efficient hunters selecting for the most abundant species. Our study supports the idea that the late Pleistocene extinctions were environmentally driven by climatic changes that triggered habitat fragmentation, species range reduction, and population decrease, after which human interference either by direct hunting or via indirect activities probably became critical.

  10. Revealing life-history traits by contrasting genetic estimations with predictions of effective population size.

    Greenbaum, Gili; Renan, Sharon; Templeton, Alan R; Bouskila, Amos; Saltz, David; Rubenstein, Daniel I; Bar-David, Shirli

    2017-12-22

    Effective population size, a central concept in conservation biology, is now routinely estimated from genetic surveys and can also be theoretically predicted from demographic, life-history, and mating-system data. By evaluating the consistency of theoretical predictions with empirically estimated effective size, insights can be gained regarding life-history characteristics and the relative impact of different life-history traits on genetic drift. These insights can be used to design and inform management strategies aimed at increasing effective population size. We demonstrated this approach by addressing the conservation of a reintroduced population of Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus). We estimated the variance effective size (N ev ) from genetic data (N ev =24.3) and formulated predictions for the impacts on N ev of demography, polygyny, female variance in lifetime reproductive success (RS), and heritability of female RS. By contrasting the genetic estimation with theoretical predictions, we found that polygyny was the strongest factor affecting genetic drift because only when accounting for polygyny were predictions consistent with the genetically measured N ev . The comparison of effective-size estimation and predictions indicated that 10.6% of the males mated per generation when heritability of female RS was unaccounted for (polygyny responsible for 81% decrease in N ev ) and 19.5% mated when female RS was accounted for (polygyny responsible for 67% decrease in N ev ). Heritability of female RS also affected N ev ; hf2=0.91 (heritability responsible for 41% decrease in N ev ). The low effective size is of concern, and we suggest that management actions focus on factors identified as strongly affecting Nev, namely, increasing the availability of artificial water sources to increase number of dominant males contributing to the gene pool. This approach, evaluating life-history hypotheses in light of their impact on effective population size, and contrasting

  11. Globalization of the cashmere market and the decline of large mammals in central Asia.

    Berger, Joel; Buuveibaatar, Bayarbaatar; Mishra, Charudutt

    2013-08-01

    As drivers of terrestrial ecosystems, humans have replaced large carnivores in most areas, and human influence not only exerts striking ecological pressures on biodiversity at local scales but also has indirect effects in distant corners of the world. We suggest that the multibillion dollar cashmere industry creates economic motivations that link western fashion preferences for cashmere to land use in Central Asia. This penchant for stylish clothing, in turn, encourages herders to increase livestock production which affects persistence of over 6 endangered large mammals in these remote, arid ecosystems. We hypothesized that global trade in cashmere has strong negative effects on native large mammals of deserts and grassland where cashmere-producing goats are raised. We used time series data, ecological snapshots of the biomass of native and domestic ungulates, and ecologically and behaviorally based fieldwork to test our hypothesis. In Mongolia increases in domestic goat production were associated with a 3-fold increase in local profits for herders coexisting with endangered saiga (Saiga tatarica).That increasing domestic grazing pressure carries fitness consequences was inferred on the basis of an approximately 4-fold difference in juvenile recruitment among blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur)in trans-Himalayan India. Across 7 study areas in Mongolia, India, and China's Tibetan Plateau, native ungulate biomass is now degradation and decreased capacity for the persistence of native species, including at least 8 Asian endemic species: saiga, chiru (Pantholops hodgsoni), Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), snow leopard(Panthera uncia), khulan(Equus hemionus), kiang (E. kiang), takhi (E. przewalski), and wild yak (Bos mutus). Our results suggest striking yet indirect and unintended actions that link trophic-level effects to markets induced by the trade for cashmere. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Endemic chronic wasting disease causes mule deer population decline in Wyoming

    DeVivo, Melia T.; Edmunds, David R.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Schumaker, Brant A.; Binfet, Justin; Kreeger, Terry J.; Richards, Bryan J.; Schatzl, Hermann M.; Cornish, Todd

    2017-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and moose (Alces alces shirasi) in North America. In southeastern Wyoming average annual CWD prevalence in mule deer exceeds 20% and appears to contribute to regional population declines. We determined the effect of CWD on mule deer demography using age-specific, female-only, CWD transition matrix models to estimate the population growth rate (λ). Mule deer were captured from 2010–2014 in southern Converse County Wyoming, USA. Captured adult (≥ 1.5 years old) deer were tested ante-mortem for CWD using tonsil biopsies and monitored using radio telemetry. Mean annual survival rates of CWD-negative and CWD-positive deer were 0.76 and 0.32, respectively. Pregnancy and fawn recruitment were not observed to be influenced by CWD. We estimated λ= 0.79, indicating an annual population decline of 21% under current CWD prevalence levels. A model derived from the demography of only CWD-negative individuals yielded; λ = 1.00, indicating a stable population if CWD were absent. These findings support CWD as a significant contributor to mule deer population decline. Chronic wasting disease is difficult or impossible to eradicate with current tools, given significant environmental contamination, and at present our best recommendation for control of this disease is to minimize spread to new areas and naïve cervid populations.

  13. The population history of endogenous retroviruses in mule deer (Odocoileus heminous)

    Kamath, Pauline L.; Elleder, Daniel; Bao, Le; Cross, Paul C.; Powell, John H.; Poss, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Mobile elements are powerful agents of genomic evolution and can be exceptionally informative markers for investigating species and population-level evolutionary history. While several studies have utilized retrotransposon-based insertional polymorphisms to resolve phylogenies, few population studies exist outside of humans. Endogenous retroviruses are LTR-retrotransposons derived from retroviruses that have become stably integrated in the host genome during past infections and transmitted vertically to subsequent generations. They offer valuable insight into host-virus co-evolution and a unique perspective on host evolutionary history because they integrate into the genome at a discrete point in time. We examined the evolutionary history of a cervid endogenous gammaretrovirus (CrERVγ) in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). We sequenced 14 CrERV proviruses (CrERV-in1 to -in14), and examined the prevalence and distribution of 13 proviruses in 262 deer among 15 populations from Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. CrERV absence in white-tailed deer (O. virginianus), identical 5′ and 3′ long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences, insertional polymorphism, and CrERV divergence time estimates indicated that most endogenization events occurred within the last 200000 years. Population structure inferred from CrERVs (F ST = 0.008) and microsatellites (θ = 0.01) was low, but significant, with Utah, northwestern Montana, and a Helena herd being particularly differentiated. Clustering analyses indicated regional structuring, and non-contiguous clustering could often be explained by known translocations. Cluster ensemble results indicated spatial localization of viruses, specifically in deer from northeastern and western Montana. This study demonstrates the utility of endogenous retroviruses to elucidate and provide novel insight into both ERV evolutionary history and the history of contemporary host populations.

  14. Analysis of radionuclide concentrations and movement patterns of Hanford-site mule deer

    Eberhardt, L.E.; Hanson, E.E.; Cadwell, L.L.

    1982-10-01

    From 1980 through 1982, the movements of 37 radio-collared mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) were monitored for periods of 3 to 17 months on the Handord Site in southcentral Washington. The objectives were to compare radionuclide concentrations in deer residing near the 200 Area waste management sites with concentrations in deer occupying areas remote from waste management sites and to document movement patterns of Hanford Site deer with particular emphasis on offsite movements. Cesium-137 in deer muscle and liver and 90 Sr concentrations in deer bone were statistically higher in deer living near the 200 Area than in control animals. During this study, the highest concentrations of 137 Cs and 90 Sr in 200 Area deer were in those individuals residing in or immediately adjacent to radiation zones. Cesium-137 and 90 Sr concentrations were more variable in deer residing near the 200 Area than in control animals, where only background (fallout) levels were observed. Movement patterns of Hanford site deer were analyzed to determine home range size and usage. The average home range was 0.39 +- 27 km 2 . In addition, ten (27%) of the monitored deer made offsite movements during the study period. While most of these movements were made in the spring and summer, some fall and winter movements were noted. It was estimated that approximately 8% (95% confidence interval is from 0 to 21%) of the Hanford deer herd is harvested each year. As a result of the low harvest rate, the Hanford deer herd appears to have a disproportionate number of older animals, with 24% of the 17 examined deer older than 10.5 years

  15. Seasonal foraging ecology of non-migratory cougars in a system with migrating prey.

    L Mark Elbroch

    Full Text Available We tested for seasonal differences in cougar (Puma concolor foraging behaviors in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, a multi-prey system in which ungulate prey migrate, and cougars do not. We recorded 411 winter prey and 239 summer prey killed by 28 female and 10 male cougars, and an additional 37 prey items by unmarked cougars. Deer composed 42.4% of summer cougar diets but only 7.2% of winter diets. Males and females, however, selected different proportions of different prey; male cougars selected more elk (Cervus elaphus and moose (Alces alces than females, while females killed greater proportions of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis, pronghorn (Antilocapra americana, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus and small prey than males. Kill rates did not vary by season or between males and females. In winter, cougars were more likely to kill prey on the landscape as: 1 elevation decreased, 2 distance to edge habitat decreased, 3 distance to large bodies of water decreased, and 4 steepness increased, whereas in summer, cougars were more likely to kill in areas as: 1 elevation decreased, 2 distance to edge habitat decreased, and 3 distance from large bodies of water increased. Our work highlighted that seasonal prey selection exhibited by stationary carnivores in systems with migratory prey is not only driven by changing prey vulnerability, but also by changing prey abundances. Elk and deer migrations may also be sustaining stationary cougar populations and creating apparent competition scenarios that result in higher predation rates on migratory bighorn sheep in winter and pronghorn in summer. Nevertheless, cougar predation on rare ungulates also appeared to be influenced by individual prey selection.

  16. Migrating mule deer: effects of anthropogenically altered landscapes.

    Patrick E Lendrum

    Full Text Available Migration is an adaptive strategy that enables animals to enhance resource availability and reduce risk of predation at a broad geographic scale. Ungulate migrations generally occur along traditional routes, many of which have been disrupted by anthropogenic disturbances. Spring migration in ungulates is of particular importance for conservation planning, because it is closely coupled with timing of parturition. The degree to which oil and gas development affects migratory patterns, and whether ungulate migration is sufficiently plastic to compensate for such changes, warrants additional study to better understand this critical conservation issue.We studied timing and synchrony of departure from winter range and arrival to summer range of female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus in northwestern Colorado, USA, which has one of the largest natural-gas reserves currently under development in North America. We hypothesized that in addition to local weather, plant phenology, and individual life-history characteristics, patterns of spring migration would be modified by disturbances associated with natural-gas extraction. We captured 205 adult female mule deer, equipped them with GPS collars, and observed patterns of spring migration during 2008-2010.Timing of spring migration was related to winter weather (particularly snow depth and access to emerging vegetation, which varied among years, but was highly synchronous across study areas within years. Additionally, timing of migration was influenced by the collective effects of anthropogenic disturbance, rate of travel, distance traveled, and body condition of adult females. Rates of travel were more rapid over shorter migration distances in areas of high natural-gas development resulting in the delayed departure, but early arrival for females migrating in areas with high development compared with less-developed areas. Such shifts in behavior could have consequences for timing of arrival on birthing areas

  17. Ungulate Reproductive Parameters Track Satellite Observations of Plant Phenology across Latitude and Climatological Regimes.

    David C Stoner

    Full Text Available The effect of climatically-driven plant phenology on mammalian reproduction is one key to predicting species-specific demographic responses to climate change. Large ungulates face their greatest energetic demands from the later stages of pregnancy through weaning, and so in seasonal environments parturition dates should match periods of high primary productivity. Interannual variation in weather influences the quality and timing of forage availability, which can influence neonatal survival. Here, we evaluated macro-scale patterns in reproductive performance of a widely distributed ungulate (mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus across contrasting climatological regimes using satellite-derived indices of primary productivity and plant phenology over eight degrees of latitude (890 km in the American Southwest. The dataset comprised > 180,000 animal observations taken from 54 populations over eight years (2004-2011. Regionally, both the start and peak of growing season ("Start" and "Peak", respectively are negatively and significantly correlated with latitude, an unusual pattern stemming from a change in the dominance of spring snowmelt in the north to the influence of the North American Monsoon in the south. Corresponding to the timing and variation in both the Start and Peak, mule deer reproduction was latest, lowest, and most variable at lower latitudes where plant phenology is timed to the onset of monsoonal moisture. Parturition dates closely tracked the growing season across space, lagging behind the Start and preceding the Peak by 27 and 23 days, respectively. Mean juvenile production increased, and variation decreased, with increasing latitude. Temporally, juvenile production was best predicted by primary productivity during summer, which encompassed late pregnancy, parturition, and early lactation. Our findings offer a parsimonious explanation of two key reproductive parameters in ungulate demography, timing of parturition and mean annual

  18. Association analysis of PRNP gene region with chronic wasting disease in Rocky Mountain elk

    Spraker Terry R

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chronic wasting disease (CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE of cervids including white-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni, and moose (Alces alces. A leucine variant at position 132 (132L in prion protein of Rocky Mountain elk confers a long incubation time with CWD, but not complete resistance. However, variants in regulatory regions outside the open reading frame of PRNP have been associated with varying degrees of susceptibility to prion disease in other species, and some variants have been observed in similar regions of Rocky Mountain elk PRNP. Thus, additional genetic variants might provide increased protection, either alone or in combination with 132L. Findings This study provided genomic sequence of all exons for PRNP of Rocky Mountain elk. Many functional sites in and around the PRNP gene region were sequenced, and this report approximately doubled (to 75 the number of known variants in this region. A haplotype-tagging approach was used to reduce the number of genetic variants required to survey this variation in the PRNP gene region of 559 Rocky Mountain elk. Eight haplotypes were observed with frequencies over 1.0%, and one haplotype was present at 71.2% frequency, reflecting limited genetic diversity in the PRNP gene region. Conclusions The presence of 132L cut odds of CWD by more than half (Odds Ratio = 0.43; P = 0.0031, which was similar to a previous report. However after accounting for 132L, no association with CWD was found for any additional variants in the PRNP region (P > 0.05.

  19. Individual and Population Level Resource Selection Patterns of Mountain Lions Preying on Mule Deer along an Urban-Wildland Gradient.

    John F Benson

    Full Text Available Understanding population and individual-level behavioral responses of large carnivores to human disturbance is important for conserving top predators in fragmented landscapes. However, previous research has not investigated resource selection at predation sites of mountain lions in highly urbanized areas. We quantified selection of natural and anthropogenic landscape features by mountain lions at sites where they consumed their primary prey, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, in and adjacent to urban, suburban, and rural areas in greater Los Angeles. We documented intersexual and individual-level variation in the environmental conditions present at mule deer feeding sites relative to their availability across home ranges. Males selected riparian woodlands and areas closer to water more than females, whereas females selected developed areas marginally more than males. Females fed on mule deer closer to developed areas and farther from riparian woodlands than expected based on the availability of these features across their home ranges. We suggest that mortality risk for females and their offspring associated with encounters with males may have influenced the different resource selection patterns between sexes. Males appeared to select mule deer feeding sites mainly in response to natural landscape features, while females may have made kills closer to developed areas in part because these are alternative sites where deer are abundant. Individual mountain lions of both sexes selected developed areas more strongly within home ranges where development occurred less frequently. Thus, areas near development may represent a trade-off for mountain lions such that they may benefit from foraging near development because of abundant prey, but as the landscape becomes highly urbanized these benefits may be outweighed by human disturbance.

  20. Efficacy of GPS cluster analysis for predicting carnivory sites of a wide-ranging omnivore: the American black bear

    Kindschuh, Sarah R.; Cain, James W.; Daniel, David; Peyton, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity to describe and quantify predation by large carnivores expanded considerably with the advent of GPS technology. Analyzing clusters of GPS locations formed by carnivores facilitates the detection of predation events by identifying characteristics which distinguish predation sites. We present a performance assessment of GPS cluster analysis as applied to the predation and scavenging of an omnivore, the American black bear (Ursus americanus), on ungulate prey and carrion. Through field investigations of 6854 GPS locations from 24 individual bears, we identified 54 sites where black bears formed a cluster of locations while predating or scavenging elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), or cattle (Bos spp.). We developed models for three data sets to predict whether a GPS cluster was formed at a carnivory site vs. a non-carnivory site (e.g., bed sites or non-ungulate foraging sites). Two full-season data sets contained GPS locations logged at either 3-h or 30-min intervals from April to November, and a third data set contained 30-min interval data from April through July corresponding to the calving period for elk. Longer fix intervals resulted in the detection of fewer carnivory sites. Clusters were more likely to be carnivory sites if they occurred in open or edge habitats, if they occurred in the early season, if the mean distance between all pairs of GPS locations within the cluster was less, and if the cluster endured for a longer period of time. Clusters were less likely to be carnivory sites if they were initiated in the morning or night compared to the day. The top models for each data set performed well and successfully predicted 71–96% of field-verified carnivory events, 55–75% of non–carnivory events, and 58–76% of clusters overall. Refinement of this method will benefit from further application across species and ecological systems.

  1. Elk and deer studies related to the Basalt Waste Isolation Project

    Eberhardt, L.E.; McCorquodale, S.M.; Sargeant, G.A.

    1989-03-01

    A study of elk (Cervus elaphus) and deer (Odocoileus hemionus) was conducted in the vicinity of planned site characterization activities for the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP). Both species are known to be sensitive to disturbance and are considered important species because they are recreationally and/or commercially valuable. The principal objectives of the study were to (1) estimate pre-activity (site characterization) recruitment of deer and elk, (2) characterize deer and elk use of limited habitats critical to their survival (e.g., riparian areas), (3) describe preferential habitat use by deer and elk during critical seasons (i.e., winter and summer), and (4) document pre-activity distributions of seasonal home range centers of deer and elk. Early termination of BWIP prevented some of the objectives from being fully addressed. Fifteen adult elk (11 females and 4 males) and 19 female deer equipped with radio transmitters were studied on the Arid Lands Ecology (ALE) Reserve from February through December 1987. More than 1800 relocations of the marked elk and deer were made during aerial and ground tracking sessions. Deer confined their activities to within 2 km of water sources. In contrast, elk used 6-12 times the average area used by deer. As with deer, female elk were closely associated with available water sources during the summer and fall, presumably because of the physiological demands of lactation. However, during the winter, female elk showed no preference for areas near water, as did male elk throughout the study. Riparian areas, which are scarce on the arid Hanford Site, are particularly valuable habitat to both elk and deer because they provide drinking water and succulent forage during the dry summer and early fall months

  2. Stochastic modelling of shifts in allele frequencies reveals a strongly polygynous mating system in the re-introduced Asiatic wild ass.

    Renan, Sharon; Greenbaum, Gili; Shahar, Naama; Templeton, Alan R; Bouskila, Amos; Bar-David, Shirli

    2015-04-01

    Small populations are prone to loss of genetic variation and hence to a reduction in their evolutionary potential. Therefore, studying the mating system of small populations and its potential effects on genetic drift and genetic diversity is of high importance for their viability assessments. The traditional method for studying genetic mating systems is paternity analysis. Yet, as small populations are often rare and elusive, the genetic data required for paternity analysis are frequently unavailable. The endangered Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus), like all equids, displays a behaviourally polygynous mating system; however, the level of polygyny has never been measured genetically in wild equids. Combining noninvasive genetic data with stochastic modelling of shifts in allele frequencies, we developed an alternative approach to paternity analysis for studying the genetic mating system of the re-introduced Asiatic wild ass in the Negev Desert, Israel. We compared the shifts in allele frequencies (as a measure of genetic drift) that have occurred in the wild ass population since re-introduction onset to simulated scenarios under different proportions of mating males. We revealed a strongly polygynous mating system in which less than 25% of all males participate in the mating process each generation. This strongly polygynous mating system and its potential effect on the re-introduced population's genetic diversity could have significant consequences for the long-term persistence of the population in the Negev. The stochastic modelling approach and the use of allele-frequency shifts can be further applied to systems that are affected by genetic drift and for which genetic data are limited. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Connectivity of the Asiatic wild ass population in the Mongolian Gobi.

    Kaczensky, Petra; Kuehn, Ralph; Lhagvasuren, Badamjav; Pietsch, Stephanie; Yang, Weikang; Walzer, Chris

    2011-02-01

    Long-distance migrations of wildlife have been identified as important biological phenomena, but their conservation remains a major challenge. The Mongolian Gobi is one of the last refuges for the Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) and other threatened migratory mammals. Using historic and current distribution ranges, population genetics, and telemetry data we assessed the connectivity of the wild ass population in the context of natural and anthropogenic landscape features and the existing network of protected areas. In the Mongolian Gobi mean biomass production is highly correlated with human and livestock density and seems to predict wild ass occurrence at the upper level. The current wild ass distribution range largely falls into areas below the 250 gC/m(2)/year productivity isoline, suggesting that under the present land use more productive areas have become unavailable for wild asses. Population genetics results identified two subpopulations and delineated a genetic boundary between the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi for which the most likely explanation are the mountain ranges separating the two areas. Home ranges and locations of 19 radiomarked wild asses support the assumed restricting effects of more productive habitats and mountain ranges and additionally point towards a barrier effect of fences. Furthermore, telemetry data shows that in the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi individual wild ass rarely ventured outside of the protected areas, whereas in the southeast Gobi asses only spend a small fraction of their time within the protected area network. Conserving the continuity of the wild ass population will need a landscape level approach, also including multi-use landscapes outside of protected areas, particularly in the southeast Gobi. In the southwest Gobi, allowing for openings in the border fence to China and managing the border area as an ecological corridor would connect three large protected areas together covering over 70,000 km(2) of wild ass

  4. Polymorphic integrations of an endogenous gammaretrovirus in the mule deer genome.

    Elleder, Daniel; Kim, Oekyung; Padhi, Abinash; Bankert, Jason G; Simeonov, Ivan; Schuster, Stephan C; Wittekindt, Nicola E; Motameny, Susanne; Poss, Mary

    2012-03-01

    Endogenous retroviruses constitute a significant genomic fraction in all mammalian species. Typically they are evolutionarily old and fixed in the host species population. Here we report on a novel endogenous gammaretrovirus (CrERVγ; for cervid endogenous gammaretrovirus) in the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) that is insertionally polymorphic among individuals from the same geographical location, suggesting that it has a more recent evolutionary origin. Using PCR-based methods, we identified seven CrERVγ proviruses and demonstrated that they show various levels of insertional polymorphism in mule deer individuals. One CrERVγ provirus was detected in all mule deer sampled but was absent from white-tailed deer, indicating that this virus originally integrated after the split of the two species, which occurred approximately one million years ago. There are, on average, 100 CrERVγ copies in the mule deer genome based on quantitative PCR analysis. A CrERVγ provirus was sequenced and contained intact open reading frames (ORFs) for three virus genes. Transcripts were identified covering the entire provirus. CrERVγ forms a distinct branch of the gammaretrovirus phylogeny, with the closest relatives of CrERVγ being endogenous gammaretroviruses from sheep and pig. We demonstrated that white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and elk (Cervus canadensis) DNA contain proviruses that are closely related to mule deer CrERVγ in a conserved region of pol; more distantly related sequences can be identified in the genome of another member of the Cervidae, the muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak). The discovery of a novel transcriptionally active and insertionally polymorphic retrovirus in mammals could provide a useful model system to study the dynamic interaction between the host genome and an invading retrovirus.

  5. Behavioral response races, predator-prey shell games, ecology of fear, and patch use of pumas and their ungulate prey.

    Laundré, John W

    2010-10-01

    The predator-prey shell game predicts random movement of prey across the landscape, whereas the behavioral response race and landscape of fear models predict that there should be a negative relationship between the spatial distribution of a predator and its behaviorally active prey. Additionally, prey have imperfect information on the whereabouts of their predator, which the predator should incorporate in its patch use strategy. I used a one-predator-one-prey system, puma (Puma concolor)-mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) to test the following predictions regarding predator-prey distribution and patch use by the predator. (1) Pumas will spend more time in high prey risk/low prey use habitat types, while deer will spend their time in low-risk habitats. Pumas should (2) select large forage patches more often, (3) remain in large patches longer, and (4) revisit individual large patches more often than individual smaller ones. I tested these predictions with an extensive telemetry data set collected over 16 years in a study area of patchy forested habitat. When active, pumas spent significantly less time in open areas of low intrinsic predation risk than did deer. Pumas used large patches more than expected, revisited individual large patches significantly more often than smaller ones, and stayed significantly longer in larger patches than in smaller ones. The results supported the prediction of a negative relationship in the spatial distribution of a predator and its prey and indicated that the predator is incorporating the prey's imperfect information about its presence. These results indicate a behavioral complexity on the landscape scale that can have far-reaching impacts on predator-prey interactions.

  6. Spatial processes decouple management from objectives in a heterogeneous landscape: predator control as a case study.

    Mahoney, Peter J; Young, Julie K; Hersey, Kent R; Larsen, Randy T; McMillan, Brock R; Stoner, David C

    2018-04-01

    Predator control is often implemented with the intent of disrupting top-down regulation in sensitive prey populations. However, ambiguity surrounding the efficacy of predator management, as well as the strength of top-down effects of predators in general, is often exacerbated by the spatially implicit analytical approaches used in assessing data with explicit spatial structure. Here, we highlight the importance of considering spatial context in the case of a predator control study in south-central Utah. We assessed the spatial match between aerial removal risk in coyotes (Canis latrans) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) resource selection during parturition using a spatially explicit, multi-level Bayesian model. With our model, we were able to evaluate spatial congruence between management action (i.e., coyote removal) and objective (i.e., parturient deer site selection) at two distinct scales: the level of the management unit and the individual coyote removal. In the case of the former, our results indicated substantial spatial heterogeneity in expected congruence between removal risk and parturient deer site selection across large areas, and is a reflection of logistical constraints acting on the management strategy and differences in space use between the two species. At the level of the individual removal, we demonstrated that the potential management benefits of a removed coyote were highly variable across all individuals removed and in many cases, spatially distinct from parturient deer resource selection. Our methods and results provide a means of evaluating where we might anticipate an impact of predator control, while emphasizing the need to weight individual removals based on spatial proximity to management objectives in any assessment of large-scale predator control. Although we highlight the importance of spatial context in assessments of predator control strategy, we believe our methods are readily generalizable in any management or large

  7. Oil and gas development influences big-game hunting in Wyoming

    Dorning, Monica; Garman, Steven L.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.

    2017-01-01

    Development from extracting oil and gas resources can have unintended effects on multiple ecosystem functions, with cascading effects on wildlife, ecosystem services, and local economies. Big-game hunting opportunities may be closely related to these effects, but empirical analyses of impacts of energy development on hunting are limited. We examined the influence of oil and gas development density on harvest efficiency, or harvest per unit of hunter effort, within all hunt areas in Wyoming, USA, from 2008 to 2014 for 3 big-game species: elk (Cervus canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana). Using harvest/hunter day as the response variable, we compared linear mixed-effects models for each species that included total well density (i.e., all wells constructed up to the year of record), active well density (i.e., only those wells currently producing oil or gas in that year), or neither as a predictor variable. We used well densities as indicators of development in the absence of data specifying the locations of other oil and gas infrastructure (e.g., roads, well pads). Models also accounted for the fixed effects of road density, hunter density, proportion of the area that is public land with unrestricted hunter access, proportion of the area that is forested, year of observation, and random effects of variation among hunt areas nested within associated game herd units. Presence of oil and gas wells had a positive influence on harvest efficiency for elk and mule deer. Although there was no overall effect to pronghorn, there was a negative influence of wells on juvenile pronghorn harvest efficiency. Changes in harvest efficiency due to expanding oil and gas development could alter the time spent hunting by hunters and their chances of harvesting an animal. This could have subsequent impacts on hunter satisfaction, game populations, and economic revenue generated from recreational hunters.

  8. Movement reveals scale dependence in habitat selection of a large ungulate

    Northrup, Joseph; Anderson, Charles R.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Wittemyer, George

    2016-01-01

    Ecological processes operate across temporal and spatial scales. Anthropogenic disturbances impact these processes, but examinations of scale dependence in impacts are infrequent. Such examinations can provide important insight to wildlife–human interactions and guide management efforts to reduce impacts. We assessed spatiotemporal scale dependence in habitat selection of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the Piceance Basin of Colorado, USA, an area of ongoing natural gas development. We employed a newly developed animal movement method to assess habitat selection across scales defined using animal-centric spatiotemporal definitions ranging from the local (defined from five hour movements) to the broad (defined from weekly movements). We extended our analysis to examine variation in scale dependence between night and day and assess functional responses in habitat selection patterns relative to the density of anthropogenic features. Mule deer displayed scale invariance in the direction of their response to energy development features, avoiding well pads and the areas closest to roads at all scales, though with increasing strength of avoidance at coarser scales. Deer displayed scale-dependent responses to most other habitat features, including land cover type and habitat edges. Selection differed between night and day at the finest scales, but homogenized as scale increased. Deer displayed functional responses to development, with deer inhabiting the least developed ranges more strongly avoiding development relative to those with more development in their ranges. Energy development was a primary driver of habitat selection patterns in mule deer, structuring their behaviors across all scales examined. Stronger avoidance at coarser scales suggests that deer behaviorally mediated their interaction with development, but only to a degree. At higher development densities than seen in this area, such mediation may not be possible and thus maintenance of sufficient

  9. Applying network theory to animal movements to identify properties of landscape space use.

    Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Blake, Stephen; Northrup, Joseph M; Wittemyer, George

    2018-04-01

    Network (graph) theory is a popular analytical framework to characterize the structure and dynamics among discrete objects and is particularly effective at identifying critical hubs and patterns of connectivity. The identification of such attributes is a fundamental objective of animal movement research, yet network theory has rarely been applied directly to animal relocation data. We develop an approach that allows the analysis of movement data using network theory by defining occupied pixels as nodes and connection among these pixels as edges. We first quantify node-level (local) metrics and graph-level (system) metrics on simulated movement trajectories to assess the ability of these metrics to pull out known properties in movement paths. We then apply our framework to empirical data from African elephants (Loxodonta africana), giant Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.), and mule deer (Odocoileous hemionus). Our results indicate that certain node-level metrics, namely degree, weight, and betweenness, perform well in capturing local patterns of space use, such as the definition of core areas and paths used for inter-patch movement. These metrics were generally applicable across data sets, indicating their robustness to assumptions structuring analysis or strategies of movement. Other metrics capture local patterns effectively, but were sensitive to specified graph properties, indicating case specific applications. Our analysis indicates that graph-level metrics are unlikely to outperform other approaches for the categorization of general movement strategies (central place foraging, migration, nomadism). By identifying critical nodes, our approach provides a robust quantitative framework to identify local properties of space use that can be used to evaluate the effect of the loss of specific nodes on range wide connectivity. Our network approach is intuitive, and can be implemented across imperfectly sampled or large-scale data sets efficiently, providing a

  10. Select tissue mineral concentrations and chronic wasting disease status in mule deer from North-central Colorado.

    Wolfe, Lisa L; Conner, Mary M; Bedwell, Cathy L; Lukacs, Paul M; Miller, Michael W

    2010-07-01

    Trace mineral imbalances have been suggested as having a causative or contributory role in chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease of several North American cervid species. To begin exploring relationships between tissue mineral concentrations and CWD in natural systems, we measured liver tissue concentrations of copper, manganese, and molybdenum in samples from 447 apparently healthy, adult (> or = 2 yr old) mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) culled or vehicle killed from free-ranging populations in north-central Colorado, United States, where CWD occurs naturally; we also measured copper concentrations in brain-stem (medulla oblongata at the obex) tissue from 181 of these deer. Analyses revealed a wide range of concentrations of all three minerals among sampled deer (copper: 5.6-331 ppm in liver, 1.5-31.9 ppm in obex; manganese: 0.1-21.4 ppm in liver; molybdenum: 0.5-4.0 ppm in liver). Bayesian multiple regression analysis revealed a negative association between obex copper (-0.097; 95% credible interval -0.192 to -0.006) and the probability of sampled deer also being infected with CWD, as well as a positive association between liver manganese (0.158; 95% credible interval 0.066 to 0.253) and probability of infection. We could not discern whether the tendencies toward lower brain-stem copper concentrations or higher systemic manganese concentrations in infected deer preceded prion infection or rather were the result of infection and its subsequent effects, although the distribution of trace mineral concentrations in infected deer seemed more suggestive of the latter.

  11. Herbivore body condition response in altered environments: mule deer and habitat management.

    Eric J Bergman

    Full Text Available The relationships between habitat, body condition, life history characteristics, and fitness components of ungulates are interwoven and of interest to researchers as they strive to understand the impacts of a changing environment. With the increased availability of portable ultrasound machines and the refinement of hormonal assays, assessment of ungulate body condition has become an accessible monitoring strategy. We employed body condition scoring, estimation of % ingesta-free body fat (%IFBF, assessment of free thyroid hormones (FT4 and FT3, and assessment of pregnancy, as metrics to determine if landscape-level habitat treatments affected body condition of adult (≥ 1.5 years old female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus. All body condition related metrics were measured on 2 neighboring study areas--a reference area that had received no habitat treatments and a treatment study area that had received mechanical removal of pinyon pine (Pinyus edulis--Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma forest, chemical control of weeds, and reseeding with preferred mule deer browse species. A consistent trend of higher %IFBF was observed in the treatment study area [Formula: see text] than in the reference study area [Formula: see text], although variation of estimates was larger than hypothesized. A similar pattern was observed with higher thyroid hormones concentrations being observed in the treatment study area, but large amounts of variation within concentration estimates were also observed. The consistent pattern of higher body condition related estimates in our treatment study area provides evidence that large mammalian species are sensitive to landscape change, although variation within estimates underlie the challenge in detecting population level impacts stemming from environmental change.

  12. A framework for understanding semi-permeable barrier effects on migratory ungulates

    Sawyer, Hall; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Middleton, Arthur D.; Morrison, Thomas A.; Nielson, Ryan M.; Wyckoff, Teal B.

    2013-01-01

    1. Impermeable barriers to migration can greatly constrain the set of possible routes and ranges used by migrating animals. For ungulates, however, many forms of development are semi-permeable, and making informed management decisions about their potential impacts to the persistence of migration routes is difficult because our knowledge of how semi-permeable barriers affect migratory behaviour and function is limited. 2. Here, we propose a general framework to advance the understanding of barrier effects on ungulate migration by emphasizing the need to (i) quantify potential barriers in terms that allow behavioural thresholds to be considered, (ii) identify and measure behavioural responses to semi-permeable barriers and (iii) consider the functional attributes of the migratory landscape (e.g. stopovers) and how the benefits of migration might be reduced by behavioural changes. 3. We used global position system (GPS) data collected from two subpopulations of mule deer Odocoileus hemionus to evaluate how different levels of gas development influenced migratory behaviour, including movement rates and stopover use at the individual level, and intensity of use and width of migration route at the population level. We then characterized the functional landscape of migration routes as either stopover habitat or movement corridors and examined how the observed behavioural changes affected the functionality of the migration route in terms of stopover use. 4. We found migratory behaviour to vary with development intensity. Our results suggest that mule deer can migrate through moderate levels of development without any noticeable effects on migratory behaviour. However, in areas with more intensive development, animals often detoured from established routes, increased their rate of movement and reduced stopover use, while the overall use and width of migration routes decreased. 5. Synthesis and applications. In contrast to impermeable barriers that impede animal movement

  13. Elk and Deer Study, Material Disposal Area G, Technical Area 54: Source document

    J. K. Ferenbaugh; P. R. Fresquez; M. H. Ebinger; G. J. Gonzales; P. A. Jordan

    1999-09-01

    As nuclear research has become more prevalent, environmental contamination from the disposal of radioactive waste has become a prominent issue. At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in northern New Mexico, radioactive contamination from disposal operations has raised some very specific concerns. Material Disposal Area G (Area G) is the primary low-level radioactive waste disposal site at LANL and occupies an area adjacent to land belonging to the Native American community of the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. Analyses of soil and vegetation collected from the perimeter of Area G have shown concentrations of radionuclides greater than background concentrations established for northern New Mexico. As a result, Pueblo residents had become concerned that contaminants from Area G could enter tribal lands through various ecological pathways. The residents specifically questioned the safety of consuming meat from elk and deer that forage near Area G and then migrate onto tribal lands. Consequently, this study addresses the uptake of {sup 3}H, {sup 90}Sr, {sup tot}U, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239}Pu, {sup 241}Am, and {sup 137}Cs by elk (Cervus elaphus) and deer (Odocoileus hemionus) that forage around the perimeter of Area G and the associated doses to the animals and to humans who consume these animals. Radionuclide uptake by and internal dose to animals was estimated using equations modified from National Council on Radiological Protection Report 76. The Residual Radiation computer code was used to estimate the external dose to animals and the dose to humans consuming meat. Soil and water concentrations from the perimeter of Area G and from background regions in northern New Mexico were averaged over 4 years (1993--1996) and used as input data for the models. Concentration estimates generated by the model correspond to the concentration range measured in actual tissue samples from elk and deer collected at LANL. The highest dose estimates for both animals (0.028 mrad/d) and humans

  14. Re-evaluating neonatal-age models for ungulates: does model choice affect survival estimates?

    Troy W Grovenburg

    Full Text Available New-hoof growth is regarded as the most reliable metric for predicting age of newborn ungulates, but variation in estimated age among hoof-growth equations that have been developed may affect estimates of survival in staggered-entry models. We used known-age newborns to evaluate variation in age estimates among existing hoof-growth equations and to determine the consequences of that variation on survival estimates. During 2001-2009, we captured and radiocollared 174 newborn (≤24-hrs old ungulates: 76 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus in Minnesota and South Dakota, 61 mule deer (O. hemionus in California, and 37 pronghorn (Antilocapra americana in South Dakota. Estimated age of known-age newborns differed among hoof-growth models and varied by >15 days for white-tailed deer, >20 days for mule deer, and >10 days for pronghorn. Accuracy (i.e., the proportion of neonates assigned to the correct age in aging newborns using published equations ranged from 0.0% to 39.4% in white-tailed deer, 0.0% to 3.3% in mule deer, and was 0.0% for pronghorns. Results of survival modeling indicated that variability in estimates of age-at-capture affected short-term estimates of survival (i.e., 30 days for white-tailed deer and mule deer, and survival estimates over a longer time frame (i.e., 120 days for mule deer. Conversely, survival estimates for pronghorn were not affected by estimates of age. Our analyses indicate that modeling survival in daily intervals is too fine a temporal scale when age-at-capture is unknown given the potential inaccuracies among equations used to estimate age of neonates. Instead, weekly survival intervals are more appropriate because most models accurately predicted ages within 1 week of the known age. Variation among results of neonatal-age models on short- and long-term estimates of survival for known-age young emphasizes the importance of selecting an appropriate hoof-growth equation and appropriately defining intervals (i

  15. Stable isotopes suggest differences in diet between historic and reintroduced Przewalskís horses in the Gobi desert

    Burnik Šturm, Martina; Spasskaya, Natalia N.; Sablin, Mikhail V.; Voigt, Christian C.; Kaczensky, Petra

    2016-04-01

    In historic times, two wild equid species, the Przewalski᾽s horse (PH; Equus ferus przewalskii) and the Asiatic wild ass (khulan, KH; Equus hemionus), roamed the Eurasian steppes. By the end of the 1960s, PHs had been driven to extinction in the wild and the range of KHs became severely restricted to the least productive habitats. However, PHs survived in captivity and reintroductions since the 1990s have brought the species back to parts of its native range in Mongolia and northern China where they again overlap with KHs. Ecological research on PHs and KHs has increased in recent years, but very little information is available on the ecology of the original PHs prior to extinction in the wild. We applied stable isotope analysis (13C, 15N, and 2H) of segmentally cut tail hair of PHs and KHs, collected during expeditions in NW China and SW Mongolia in 1889-1899, to draw inferences about the species feeding ecology. We compared tail hair isotope patterns of historic individuals to those of their extant counterparts from the Mongolian Gobi. A previous study of isotopic tail hair signatures of extant PHs (N=6) and KHs (N=6) suggested species specific differences in diet, with PHs being year-round grazers, but KHs switching between being grazers in summer and mixed feeders in winter (Burnik Šturm et al., in prep.). The comparison of isotope patterns of extant with historic samples confirms diet seasonality in historic KHs (N=3), but detects the same seasonality in five out of six PHs, suggesting that historic PHs had a different isotopic dietary niche than extant PHs. While we are still unable to fully understand the underlying reasons for this change in PHs, our results clearly suggest that the isotopic dietary niche of PHs was wider in the past, suggesting a higher diet flexibility, and overlapped with that of KHs, suggesting a high competition potential over Gobi pastures between the two equid species in historic times. Reference: Burnik Šturm, M., Ganbaatar, O

  16. Revisions of rump fat and body scoring indices for deer, elk, and moose

    Cook, Rachel C.; Cook, John G.; Stephenson, Thomas R.; Myers, Woodrow L.; Mccorquodale, Scott M.; Vales, David J.; Irwin, Larry L.; Hall, P. Briggs; Spencer, Rocky D.; Murphie, Shannon L.; Schoenecker, Kathryn A.; Miller, Patrick J.

    2010-01-01

    Because they do not require sacrificing animals, body condition scores (BCS), thickness of rump fat (MAXFAT), and other similar predictors of body fat have advanced estimating nutritional condition of ungulates and their use has proliferated in North America in the last decade. However, initial testing of these predictors was too limited to assess their reliability among diverse habitats, ecotypes, subspecies, and populations across the continent. With data collected from mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), elk (Cervus elaphus), and moose (Alces alces) during initial model development and data collected subsequently from free-ranging mule deer and elk herds across much of the western United States, we evaluated reliability across a broader range of conditions than were initially available. First, to more rigorously test reliability of the MAXFAT index, we evaluated its robustness across the 3 species, using an allometric scaling function to adjust for differences in animal size. We then evaluated MAXFAT, rump body condition score (rBCS), rLIVINDEX (an arithmetic combination of MAXFAT and rBCS), and our new allometrically scaled rump-fat thickness index using data from 815 free-ranging female Roosevelt and Rocky Mountain elk (C. e. roosevelti and C. e. nelsoni) from 19 populations encompassing 4 geographic regions and 250 free-ranging female mule deer from 7 populations and 2 regions. We tested for effects of subspecies, geographic region, and captive versus free-ranging existence. Rump-fat thickness, when scaled allometrically with body mass, was related to ingesta-free body fat over a 38–522-kg range of body mass (r2 = 0.87; P 12% body fat. This bias translated into a difference between subspecies, because Rocky Mountain elk tended to be fatter than Roosevelt elk in our sample. Effects of observer error with the rBCS also existed for mule deer with moderate to high levels of body fat, and deer body size significantly affected accuracy of the MAXFAT predictor

  17. Comparative analyses of tooth wear in free-ranging and captive wild equids.

    Taylor, L A; Müller, D W H; Schwitzer, C; Kaiser, T M; Castell, J C; Clauss, M; Schulz-Kornas, E

    2016-03-01

    Captive breeding has played a crucial role in the conservation of threatened equid species. Grazing ruminants and rhinoceros in captivity have less abrasion-dominated tooth wear than their free-ranging conspecifics, with potential negative consequences for their health. However, a similar study on wild equids in captivity is missing. The aim was to establish if different tooth wear patterns are exhibited by free-ranging and captive equids. Cross-sectional study of museum specimens comparing free-ranging and captive equids. Dental casts of maxillary cheek teeth of 228 museum specimens (122 from free-ranging and 106 from captive individuals) of 7 wild equid species were analysed using the extended mesowear method. Although teeth showing specific abnormalities were not scored, the presence of focal overgrowths (hooks) of the rostral premolars (106, 206) was recorded. Captive Equus ferus przewalskii, E. grevyi, E. hemionus, E. quagga boehmi and E. zebra hartmannae have less abrasion-dominated tooth wear on their premolars than their free-ranging conspecifics (P<0.001). Fewer differences were exhibited between populations in the molars. No differences were exhibited in the distal cusp of the molars (110, 210) between populations, except in a small sample of E. kiang. Captive equids exhibited more homogeneous wear along the tooth row whereas free-ranging equids exhibited a tooth wear gradient, with more abrasion on premolars than molars. There were more rostral hooks on the premolars (106, 206) in the captive than the free-ranging population (P = 0.02). Captive equids did experience less abrasion-dominated tooth wear than their free-ranging conspecifics, but the differences in tooth wear were less pronounced than those between captive and free-ranging wild ruminant and rhinoceros species. This indicates that feeding regimes for captive equids deviate less from natural diets than those for captive ruminants and rhinoceros but that factors leading to hook

  18. Spawning salmon disrupt trophic coupling between wolves and ungulate prey in coastal British Columbia

    Darimont Chris T

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As a cross-boundary resource subsidy, spawning salmon can strongly affect consumer and ecosystem ecology. Here we examine whether this marine resource can influence a terrestrial wolf-deer (Canis lupus-Odocoileus hemionus predator-prey system in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Data on resource availability and resource use among eight wolf groups for three seasons over four years allow us to evaluate competing hypotheses that describe salmon as either an alternate resource, consumed in areas where deer are scarce, or as a targeted resource, consumed as a positive function of its availability. Faecal (n = 2203 wolf scats and isotopic analyses (n = 60 wolf hair samples provide independent data sets, also allowing us to examine how consistent these common techniques are in estimating foraging behaviour. Results At the population level during spring and summer, deer remains occurred in roughly 90 and 95% of faeces respectively. When salmon become available in autumn, however, the population showed a pronounced dietary shift in which deer consumption among groups was negatively correlated (r = -0.77, P 13C isotopic signatures (r = 0.78; P = 0.008, which were calculated by intra-hair comparisons between segments grown during summer and fall. The magnitude of this seasonal isotopic shift, our proxy for salmon use, was related primarily to estimates of salmon availability, not deer availability, among wolf groups. Conclusion Concordance of faecal and isotopic data suggests our intra-hair isotopic methodology provides an accurate proxy for salmon consumption, and might reliably track seasonal dietary shifts in other consumer-resource systems. Use of salmon by wolves as a function of its abundance and the adaptive explanations we provide suggest a long-term and widespread association between wolves and salmon. Seasonally, this system departs from the common wolf-ungulate model. Broad ecological implications include the potential

  19. Timing of seasonal migration in mule deer: effects of climate, plant phenology, and life-history characteristics

    Monteith, Kevin L.; Bleich, Vernon C.; Stephenson, Thomas R.; Pierce, Beck M.; Conner, Mary M.; Klaver, Robert W.; Bowyer, R. Terry

    2011-01-01

    Phenological events of plants and animals are sensitive to climatic processes. Migration is a life-history event exhibited by most large herbivores living in seasonal environments, and is thought to occur in response to dynamics of forage and weather. Decisions regarding when to migrate, however, may be affected by differences in life-history characteristics of individuals. Long-term and intensive study of a population of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA, allowed us to document patterns of migration during 11 years that encompassed a wide array of environmental conditions. We used two new techniques to properly account for interval-censored data and disentangle effects of broad-scale climate, local weather patterns, and plant phenology on seasonal patterns of migration, while incorporating effects of individual life-history characteristics. Timing of autumn migration varied substantially among individual deer, but was associated with the severity of winter weather, and in particular, snow depth and cold temperatures. Migratory responses to winter weather, however, were affected by age, nutritional condition, and summer residency of individual females. Old females and those in good nutritional condition risked encountering severe weather by delaying autumn migration, and were thus risk-prone with respect to the potential loss of foraging opportunities in deep snow compared with young females and those in poor nutritional condition. Females that summered on the west side of the crest of the Sierra Nevada delayed autumn migration relative to east-side females, which supports the influence of the local environment on timing of migration. In contrast, timing of spring migration was unrelated to individual life-history characteristics, was nearly twice as synchronous as autumn migration, differed among years, was related to the southern oscillation index, and was influenced by absolute snow depth and advancing phenology of plants

  20. Life in the Fast Lane: Road Crossing Behavior of Mule Deer in a Wildland-Urban Interface

    Hansen, Leslie A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Biggs, James [Northern New Mexico College; Bennett, Kathryn D. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bare, Carey [Bare and Associates, LLC; Sherwood, Sherri R. [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-04-04

    In 2009, approximately 260,000 animal-vehicle collisions were reported in the United States, resulting in 12,000 human injuries and 173 human fatalities. Research has focused on identifying factors associated with high densities of animal-vehicle collisions, including variables such as traffic speed and volume, road design, topographic features, vegetative cover, and local deer or elk (Cervus elaphus) abundance. The purposes of this study were to document how often and where mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) crossed roads in a western United States wildland-urban interface area, and to relate deer road-crossing behavior to deer-vehicle collision locations. Seven adult mule deer (four males [M] and three females [F]) were captured and collared with GPS-enabled collars during December 2001 and January 2002. Five of the seven deployed collars were recovered. None of the roads in the study area appeared to act as a substantial barrier to deer passage. Deer home ranges straddled highways and primary, secondary, and tertiary arterial roads. Deer crossed all types of roads. The average number of times deer crossed road during 24 hours of monitoring ranged from 2.1 to 7.0. Deer in the Los Alamos townsite avoided crossing roads during day and before sunset. Deer-vehicle accidents occurred at 350 percent of the level expected after sunset. All other time periods had fewer accidents than expected. The distribution of accidents across time periods was not similar to the distribution of road crossings across time periods for any deer. Within Los Alamos County there was a clear trend for deer-vehicle collisions to occur on roads with speed limits > 35 mph. Deer in the townsite frequently crossed roads with lower speed limits; therefore, the reason for the paucity of accidents along these roads was evidently the ability of drivers to detect deer (or the ability of deer to detect vehicles) and respond before an accident occurred. There was a significant but not strong correlation

  1. Elk and Deer Study, Material Disposal Area G, Technical Area 54: Source document

    Ferenbaugh, J.K.; Fresquez, P.R.; Ebinger, M.H.; Gonzales, G.J.; Jordan, P.A.

    1999-01-01

    As nuclear research has become more prevalent, environmental contamination from the disposal of radioactive waste has become a prominent issue. At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in northern New Mexico, radioactive contamination from disposal operations has raised some very specific concerns. Material Disposal Area G (Area G) is the primary low-level radioactive waste disposal site at LANL and occupies an area adjacent to land belonging to the Native American community of the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. Analyses of soil and vegetation collected from the perimeter of Area G have shown concentrations of radionuclides greater than background concentrations established for northern New Mexico. As a result, Pueblo residents had become concerned that contaminants from Area G could enter tribal lands through various ecological pathways. The residents specifically questioned the safety of consuming meat from elk and deer that forage near Area G and then migrate onto tribal lands. Consequently, this study addresses the uptake of 3 H, 90 Sr, tot U, 238 Pu, 239 Pu, 241 Am, and 137 Cs by elk (Cervus elaphus) and deer (Odocoileus hemionus) that forage around the perimeter of Area G and the associated doses to the animals and to humans who consume these animals. Radionuclide uptake by and internal dose to animals was estimated using equations modified from National Council on Radiological Protection Report 76. The Residual Radiation computer code was used to estimate the external dose to animals and the dose to humans consuming meat. Soil and water concentrations from the perimeter of Area G and from background regions in northern New Mexico were averaged over 4 years (1993--1996) and used as input data for the models. Concentration estimates generated by the model correspond to the concentration range measured in actual tissue samples from elk and deer collected at LANL. The highest dose estimates for both animals (0.028 mrad/d) and humans (0.072 mrem/y) were well below

  2. DETOMIDINE AND BUTORPHANOL FOR STANDING SEDATION IN A RANGE OF ZOO-KEPT UNGULATE SPECIES.

    Bouts, Tim; Dodds, Joanne; Berry, Karla; Arif, Abdi; Taylor, Polly; Routh, Andrew; Gasthuys, Frank

    2017-09-01

    General anesthesia poses risks for larger zoo species, like cardiorespiratory depression, myopathy, and hyperthermia. In ruminants, ruminal bloat and regurgitation of rumen contents with potential aspiration pneumonia are added risks. Thus, the use of sedation to perform minor procedures is justified in zoo animals. A combination of detomidine and butorphanol has been routinely used in domestic animals. This drug combination, administered by remote intramuscular injection, can also be applied for standing sedation in a range of zoo animals, allowing a number of minor procedures. The combination was successfully administered in five species of nondomesticated equids (Przewalski horse [ Equus ferus przewalskii; n = 1], onager [ Equus hemionus onager; n = 4], kiang [ Equus kiang ; n = 3], Grevy's zebra [ Equus grevyi ; n = 4], and Somali wild ass [ Equus africanus somaliensis; n = 7]), with a mean dose range of 0.10-0.17 mg/kg detomidine and 0.07-0.13 mg/kg butorphanol; the white ( Ceratotherium simum simum; n = 12) and greater one-horned rhinoceros ( Rhinoceros unicornis ; n = 4), with a mean dose of 0.015 mg/kg of both detomidine and butorphanol; and Asiatic elephant bulls ( Elephas maximus ; n = 2), with a mean dose of 0.018 mg/kg of both detomidine and butorphanol. In addition, the combination was successfully used for standing sedation in six species of artiodactylids: giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata; n = 3), western bongo ( Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus; n = 2), wisent ( Bison bonasus ; n = 5), yak ( Bos grunniens ; n = 1), water buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis ; n = 4) and Bactrian camel ( Camelus bactrianus ; n = 5). The mean dose range for artiodactylid species except bongo was 0.04-0.06 mg/kg detomidine and 0.03-0.06 mg/kg butorphanol. The dose in bongo, 0.15-0.20 mg/kg detomidine and 0.13-0.15 mg/kg butorphanol, was considerably higher. Times to first effect, approach, and recovery after antidote were short. The use of detomidine and butorphanol has

  3. Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

    Jacobi, James D.; Stock, Jonathan

    2017-12-14

    The Hawaiian Islands are well known for their unique ecosystem assemblages that have a high proportion of endemic flora and fauna. However, since human colonization of this archipelago—starting with the arrival of Polynesian sailors approximately 1,200 years ago, and particularly following western contact in 1778—thousands of non-native species have been introduced to the Islands and many of these alien species have had severe impacts on the native ecosystems. Particularly damaging to these ecosystems are large mammals, including goats (Capra hircus), pigs (Sus scrofa), cattle (Bos taurus), deer (Axis axis and Odocoileus hemionus), and sheep (Ovis spp.), which are collectively referred to here as ungulates; they cause extensive damage to the native vegetation by their browsing, grazing, and trampling. Similar impacts have been documented elsewhere, including New Zealand and many other island ecosystems.Previous studies in Hawai‘i have utilized fenced exclosures to assess the impacts of feral or wild ungulates on vegetation and the recovery potential for the native plant communities by comparing plant community composition, structure, and cover inside the fenced area (without ungulates) over time to the vegetation condition outside of the protection of the fence. In some cases, the native vegetation recovered once the animals were removed. However, in other situations alien plants were more competitive and dominated the revegetation process after the impacts of ungulates had been reduced or eliminated.This report describes the response of a highly degraded lowland dry habitat plant community located on the south slope of east Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i, to reduction of browsing and grazing impacts caused by feral goats. For this study, vegetation response inside a fenced exclosure was compared to vegetation change in the area outside of the fence that was still accessible to goats. This study is part of the larger U.S. Geological Survey Ridge-to-Reef (USGS-R2R

  4. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report : Hellsgate Project, 1999-2000 Technical Report.

    Berger, Matthew

    2000-05-01

    A Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) study was conducted on lands acquired and/or managed (4,568 acres total) by the Hellsgate Big Game Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project (Hellsgate project) to mitigate some of the losses associated with the original construction and operation of Grand Coulee Dam and inundation of habitats behind the dams. Three separate properties, totaling 2,224 acres were purchased in 1998. One property composed of two separate parcels, mostly grassland lies southeast of the town of Nespelem in Okanogan County (770 acres) and was formerly called the Hinman property. The former Hinman property lies within an area the Tribes have set aside for the protection and preservation of the sharp-tailed grouse (Agency Butte unit). This special management area minus the Hinman acquisition contains 2,388 acres in a long-term lease with the Tribes. The second property lies just south of the Silver Creek turnoff (Ferry County) and is bisected by the Hellsgate Road (part of the Friedlander unit). This parcel contains 60 acres of riparian and conifer forest cover. The third property (now named the Sand Hills unit) acquired for mitigation (1,394 acres) lies within the Hellsgate Reserve in Ferry County. This new acquisition links two existing mitigation parcels (the old Sand Hills parcels and the Lundstrum Flat parcel, all former Kuehne purchases) together forming one large unit. HEP team members included individuals from the Colville Confederated Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department (CTCR), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The HEP team conducted a baseline habitat survey using the following HEP species models: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), mink (Mustela vison), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), bobcat (Lynx rufus), yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), and sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus). HEP analysis and results are discussed within the body of the text. The cover types

  5. Testing for thresholds in a semiarid grassland: The influence of prairie dogs and plague

    State and transition models for semiarid grasslands in the Great Plains of North America suggest that the presence of herbivorous black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on a site (1) creates a vegetation state characterized by increased dominance of annual forbs and unpalatable bunchgrasse...

  6. 36 CFR 242.25 - Subsistence taking of fish, wildlife, and shellfish: general regulations.

    2010-07-01

    ... the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Airborne means transported by aircraft. Aircraft means any... grizzly bear. Big game means black bear, brown bear, bison, caribou, Sitka black-tailed deer, elk... gillnet that has not been intentionally staked, anchored, or otherwise fixed in one place. Edible meat...

  7. 75 FR 66095 - Pesticide Products; Registration Applications

    2010-10-27

    ... manufacturer. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to: Crop production (NAICS code... ingredients: Warfarin and Imidacloprid. Proposed use(s): Rangeland and non-crop areas to control black-tailed.... Proposed use(s): Bacterial disease control by suppression of citrus canker. Contact: Rita Kumar, (703) 308...

  8. Welcome (Bienvenida)

    Mac Donaldson

    2006-01-01

    On behalf of the Audubon Research Ranch, welcome to this conference concerning the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog. This conference, a continuation of the Grasslands Ecosystem Session in Tucson, Arizona, in 1996 is to further the knowledge and understanding of these grasslands that we live in, and an effort to share these unique biotic communities with others.

  9. Population status of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the San Pedro River Basin, Sonora

    Efren Moreno-Arzate; Carlos A. Lopez Gonzalez; Gerardo Carreon Arroyo

    2013-01-01

    The black tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a species of conservation concern for Mexico, the United States and Canada. Populations in Mexico (including those in Sonora), which are considered endangered by the Mexican authority, require additional conservation efforts to maintain them on the long term. Our objective was to determine population size and...

  10. 77 FR 35541 - Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program and Interstate Movement of Farmed or Captive...

    2012-06-13

    ... ``wasting'' syndrome in 1967, the disease is typified by chronic weight loss leading to death. Species... deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, sika deer, and moose. In the United States, as of March... population has been documented to be low risk for CWD based on a surveillance program. The part also allows...

  11. A novel approach for assessing density and range-wide abundance of prairie dogs

    Aaron N. Facka; Paulette L. Ford; Gary W. Roemer

    2008-01-01

    Habitat loss, introduced disease, and government-sponsored eradication programs have caused population declines in all 5 species of prairie dogs. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) currently occupy only about 2% of an extensive geographic range (160 million hectares) and were recently considered for listing under the United States...

  12. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  13. Adverse effects of agricultural intensification and climate change on breeding habitat quality of Blacktailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa in the Netherlands

    Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Van Kats, R.J.M.; Melman, D.; Teunissen, W.A.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the

  14. Adverse effectsof agricultaral intensification and climate change on breeding habitat quality of Blacktailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa in the Netherlands

    Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Kats, van R.J.M.; Melman, T.C.P.; Teunissen, W.A.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the

  15. Installation Restoration of Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Pilot Containment Operations, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Part 1.

    1977-02-01

    proceeding with chronic tests. The metabolism of the contaminant in question will be investigated, where appropriate, with emphasis on isolation and...from mammalian and avian species which represent various taxa, habitats, positions in the food chain, body sizes/ metabolic rates, migratory/sedentary...prairie and meadow voles, and ord’s kangaroo rats. The larger, more conspicuous rodents include the black-tailed prairie dog, thirteen- lined ground

  16. Litigation Technical Support and Services, Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Biota Remedial Investigation, Version 3.2. Volume 1

    1989-05-01

    significantly. while isodrin is an analog of endrtr and is converted metabolically to that compound. Analyses were also performed for I *l.-dichloro-2,2-bis...abundant are the deer mouse, prairie and meadow voles, and Ord’s kangaroo rat. Larger, more conspicuous rodents include the black-tailed prairie dog...meadow vole, Ord’s kangaroo rat, hispid pocket mouse, and silky pocket mouse(MKE, 1988). Tall weedy forb$, yucca, sand sagebrush, and cattails are

  17. A Prairie Dog Abatement Program in San Juan County, Utah

    Messmer, Terry A.; Keyes, Jim; McDonald, Roy

    1993-01-01

    Four species of prairie dogs are native to the plains and plateaus of the western United States. The most abundant and widely distributed of these is the blacktailed prairie dog, (Cynomys ludovicianus). This species has been a frequent topic of discussion at previous Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control workshops. Black-tailed prairie dog ecology and management was the topic of a panel discussion held at the Fifth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop, in Lincoln, Nebraska (Timm and J...

  18. Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program. Sanitized Version. Appendices

    1991-09-19

    Kinglet Regulus calendula Blue Gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea Black Tailed Gnatcatcher Polioptila melanusa West=rn Bluebird Sialia mexicana...Salpinctes obsoletus Golden-Crowned Kinglet Regulus woat Ruby Crowned Kiniglet Regulus calendula Mountain Bluebird Siaia CUMnODA~’S Townsend’s...06/0/71 Oil and Hazadous Substanc Pollutioa Prvcthm and Contingcy Program (U) 5030.45(D) 11/29/83 DOD "esnmtatioa on Fedral Eme-gency Management

  19. Detections of Yersinia pestis East of the Known Distribution of Active Plague in the United States.

    Mize, Erica L; Britten, Hugh B

    2016-02-01

    We examined fleas collected from black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) burrows from 2009 through 2011 in five national park units east of the known distribution of active plague across the northern Great Plains for the presence of Yersinia pestis. Across all national park units, Oropsylla tuberculata and Oropsylla hirsuta were the most common fleas collected from prairie dog burrows, 42.4% and 56.9%, respectively, of the 3964 fleas collected from burrow swabbing. Using a nested PCR assay, we detected 200 Y. pestis-positive fleas from 3117 assays. In total, 6.4% of assayed fleas were Y. pestis positive and 13.9% of prairie dog burrows swabbed contained Y. pestis-positive fleas. Evidence of the presence of Y. pestis was observed at all national park units except Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. We detected the presence of Y. pestis without large die-offs, i.e., enzootic sylvatic plague, east of the known distribution of active plague and near the eastern edge of the present distribution of black-tailed prairie dogs. This study, in combination with previous work suggests that sylvatic plague likely occurs across the range of black-tailed prairie dogs and should now be treated as endemic across this range.

  20. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    Cully, J.F.; Williams, E.S.

    2001-01-01

    Of the 3 major factors (habitat loss, poisoning, and disease) that limit abundance of prairie dogs today, sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis is the 1 factor that is beyond human control. Plague epizootics frequently kill >99% of prairie dogs in infected colonies. Although epizootics of sylvatic plague occur throughout most of the range of prairie dogs in the United States and are well described, long-term maintenance of plague in enzootic rodent species is not well documented or understood. We review dynamics of plague in white-tailed (Cynomys leucurus), Gunnison's (C. gunnisoni), and black-tailed (C. ludovicianus) prairie dogs, and their rodent and flea associates. We use epidemiologic concepts to support an enzootic hypothesis in which the disease is maintained in a dynamic state, which requires transmission of Y. pestis to be slower than recruitment of new susceptible mammal hosts. Major effects of plague are to reduce colony size of black-tailed prairie dogs and increase intercolony distances within colony complexes. In the presence of plague, black-tailed prairie dogs will probably survive in complexes of small colonies that are usually >3 km from their nearest neighbor colonies.

  1. Ontogenetic behavior, migration, and social behavior of pallid sturgeon, Scaphirhynchus albus, and shovelnose sturgeon, S. platorynchus, with notes on the adaptive significance of body color

    Kynard, B.; Henyey, E.; Horgan, M.

    2002-01-01

    We conducted laboratory studies on the ontogenetic behavior of free embryos (first life interval after hatching) and larvae (first feeding interval) of pallid and shovelnose sturgeon. Migration styles of both species were similar for timing of migration (initiation by embryos on day 0 after hatching and cessation by larvae on days 12-13 at 236-243 cumulative temperature degree units), migration distance (about 13 km), life interval when most distance was moved (embryo), and diel behavior of embryos (diurnal). However, the species differed for two behaviors: movement characteristics of embryos (peak movement rate of pallid sturgeon was only one-half the peak rate of shovelnose sturgeon, but pallid sturgeon continued the lower rate for twice as long) and diel behavior of larvae (pallid sturgeon were diurnal and shovelnose sturgeon were nocturnal). Thus, the species used different methods to move the same distance. Migrating as poorly developed embryos suggests a migration style to avoid predation at the spawning site, but moving from spawning habitat to rearing habitat before first feeding could also be important. Migrants of both species preferred bright habitat (high illumination intensity and white substrate), a behavioral preference that may characterize the migrants of many species of sturgeon. Both species were remarkably similar for swimming height above the bottom by age, and day 7 and older migrants may swim far above the bottom and move far downstream. A migration of 12 or 13 days will probably not distribute larvae throughout the population's range, so an older life interval likely initiates a second longer downstream migration (2-step migration). By day 2, individuals of both species were a black-tail phenotype (light grey body with a black-tail that moved conspicuously during swimming). Aggregation behavior suggests that black-tail is a visual signal used for group cohesion.

  2. Ecosystem engineering varies spatially: a test of the vegetation modification paradigm for prairie dogs

    Baker, Bruce W.; Augustine, David J.; Sedgwick, James A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2013-01-01

    Colonial, burrowing herbivores can be engineers of grassland and shrubland ecosystems worldwide. Spatial variation in landscapes suggests caution when extrapolating single-place studies of single species, but lack of data and the need to generalize often leads to ‘model system’ thinking and application of results beyond appropriate statistical inference. Generalizations about the engineering effects of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) developed largely from intensive study at a single complex of black-tailed prairie dogs C. ludovicianus in northern mixed prairie, but have been extrapolated to other ecoregions and prairie dog species in North America, and other colonial, burrowing herbivores. We tested the paradigm that prairie dogs decrease vegetation volume and the cover of grasses and tall shrubs, and increase bare ground and forb cover. We sampled vegetation on and off 279 colonies at 13 complexes of 3 prairie dog species widely distributed across 5 ecoregions in North America. The paradigm was generally supported at 7 black-tailed prairie dog complexes in northern mixed prairie, where vegetation volume, grass cover, and tall shrub cover were lower, and bare ground and forb cover were higher, on colonies than at paired off-colony sites. Outside the northern mixed prairie, all 3 prairie dog species consistently reduced vegetation volume, but their effects on cover of plant functional groups varied with prairie dog species and the grazing tolerance of dominant perennial grasses. White-tailed prairie dogs C. leucurus in sagebrush steppe did not reduce shrub cover, whereas black-tailed prairie dogs suppressed shrub cover at all complexes with tall shrubs in the surrounding habitat matrix. Black-tailed prairie dogs in shortgrass steppe and Gunnison's prairie dogs C. gunnisoni in Colorado Plateau grassland both had relatively minor effects on grass cover, which may reflect the dominance of grazing-tolerant shortgrasses at both complexes. Variation in modification of

  3. Forage preferences in two species of prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens and Cynomus ludovicianus): Implications for hibernation and facultative heterothermy

    Lehmer, E.M.; Biggins, D.E.; Antolin, M.F.

    2006-01-01

    Several laboratory studies have shown that the ingestion of dietary linoleic (18:2 ??6) acid before winter can promote deep and continuous torpor, whereas excess consumption of ??-linolenic acid (18:3 ??3) can interfere with an animal's ability to reach and maintain low body temperatures during torpor. As mammalian heterotherms obtain linoleic and ??-linolenic acid strictly from the diet, diet selection has been proposed as a mechanism that allows hibernators to ingest levels of linoleic and ??-linolenic acid that promote favorable torpor patterns. Here diet, dietary nutrient content and patterns of forage preference of a representative hibernator, the Utah prairie dog Cynomys parvidens, and a facultative heterotherm, the black-tailed prairie dog Cynomys ludovicianus, were examined under natural field conditions. Diets of black-tailed (BTPD) and Utah prairie dogs (UTPD) differed across seasons (BTPD F26,108=9.59, Pplant species relative to their abundance on colonies in any season. Black-tailed prairie dogs did not consume or avoid consumption of plant species based on levels of total lipids, linoleic acid, ??-linolenic acid or nitrogen. Considering only the plants consumed, black-tailed prairie dogs appeared to prefer plants with low levels of ??-linolenic acid (F1,19=5.81, P=0.03), but there were no detectable relationships between preference and other nutrients. Utah prairie dogs consumed plants higher in ??-linolenic acid (t=1.98, P=0.05) and avoided plants high in linoleic acid (t=-2.02, P=0.04), but consumption-avoidance decisions did not appear to be related to nitrogen or total lipids. Of the plants consumed, Utah prairie dogs again preferred plants high in ??-linolenic acid (F1,17=4.62, P=0.05). Levels of linoleic and ??-linolenic acid were positively correlated in plants consumed by prairie dogs (BTPD Pearson r=0.66, P<0.01; UTPD Pearson r=0.79, P<0.01), reducing the opportunity for independent selection of either lipid. ?? 2006 The Authors.

  4. Draft Final Risk Assessment Lime Settling Basins. Version 2.1

    1990-10-25

    the top carnivores on RMA is the black-tailed prairie dog . The nearest active prairie dog colony to the IRA implementation area is approximately 800 to...ppm in the diet during days 6-15 of gestation (Hart, 1980). DCPD had oral LD.,’s of 520 and 378 mg/kg in male and female rats and 190 and 250 mg/kg in...floodplains. The prairie , steppe, and savannah communities characteristic of the Great Plains region and existing on RMA support a variety of terrestrial

  5. Environmental Impact Analysis Process. Deployment Area Selection and Land Withdrawal/Acquisition DEIS. Chapter III. Part I. Affected Environment.

    1980-12-01

    oodrat x Yeootos ;epxda K Porcupine £retizon dorsatux RABITS Black-tailed Jackrabbit x x Lepus californicu$ Desert Cottontail a x x Slv ilaqu...Neocoma sucropus X K White-throated Woodrat .V. uIb~qula K K X 1orway Bt RCtus no*#eqieoa K K 4UMOUS oiS -Nba ms~gc-1.8 x Porcupine tre Chison Soreatum K...and 200 in Potter counties (Travis, 1980). An annual aerial census of pronghorn shows that the bulk of the antelope herd is found in the northern

  6. Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2014 Report

    Hall, Derek B. [National Security Technologies, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada (United States); Anderson, David C. [National Security Technologies, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada (United States); Greger, Paul D. [National Security Technologies, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada (United States); Ostler, W. Kent [National Security Technologies, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada (United States)

    2015-05-12

    statewide database. No field surveys were conducted this year for sensitive plants on the NNSS due to poor growing conditions. Surveys of sensitive and protected/regulated animals during 2014 focused on winter raptors, bats, wild horses (Equus caballus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), desert bighorn sheep (Ovis Canadensis nelsoni), and mountain lions (Puma concolor). Two permanent, long-term winter raptor survey routes were established and sampled in January and February. A total of 27 raptors representing 4 species were observed. The wild horse population increased from 30 to 41, with several yearlings recruiting into the population, possibly due to the death of a mountain lion known to prey on horse foals. Mule deer abundance and density measured with standardized deer surveys was similar to 2013 and appears to be stable. Desert bighorn sheep, including rams, ewes, and lambs, were detected using motion-activated cameras at four water sources. There are plans to conduct helicopter surveys to census the population during September 2015 and then capture and radio-collar up to 20 sheep during November 2015. Over 150 sheep scat samples have been collected for genetic analysis to try to determine how sheep on the NNSS are related to surrounding sheep populations. Information is presented about bird mortalities, Migratory Bird Treaty Act compliance, and a summary of nuisance animals and their control on the NNSS. A total of 93 mountain lion images (i.e., photographs or video clips) were taken during 220,379 camera hours at 16 of 32 sites sampled and another 11,946 images of at least 29 species other than mountain lions were taken as well. A mountain lion telemetry study continued in 2014. NNSS7 was tracked from January 1 to November 15 using a global positioning system satellite transmitter. He consumed 21 mule deer, 17 desert bighorn sheep, 1 juvenile bobcat, and 3 coyotes. Mule deer were primarily taken in the summer and fall. No new mountain lions were captured. A minimum

  7. Resource selection models are useful in predicting fine-scale distributions of black-footed ferrets in prairie dog colonies

    Eads, David A.; Jachowski, David S.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Matchett, Marc R.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife-habitat relationships are often conceptualized as resource selection functions (RSFs)—models increasingly used to estimate species distributions and prioritize habitat conservation. We evaluated the predictive capabilities of 2 black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) RSFs developed on a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the Conata Basin, South Dakota. We used the RSFs to project the relative probability of occurrence of ferrets throughout an adjacent 227-ha colony. We evaluated performance of the RSFs using ferret space use data collected via postbreeding spotlight surveys June–October 2005–2006. In home ranges and core areas, ferrets selected the predicted "very high" and "high" occurrence categories of both RSFs. Count metrics also suggested selection of these categories; for each model in each year, approximately 81% of ferret locations occurred in areas of very high or high predicted occurrence. These results suggest usefulness of the RSFs in estimating the distribution of ferrets throughout a black-tailed prairie dog colony. The RSFs provide a fine-scale habitat assessment for ferrets that can be used to prioritize releases of ferrets and habitat restoration for prairie dogs and ferrets. A method to quickly inventory the distribution of prairie dog burrow openings would greatly facilitate application of the RSFs.

  8. Ontogenetic behavior and dispersal of Sacramento River white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, with a note on body color

    Kynard, B.; Parker, E.

    2005-01-01

    We studied Sacramento River white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, in the laboratory to develop a conceptual model of ontogenetic behavior and provide insight into probable behavior of wild sturgeon. After hatching, free embryos initiated a low intensity, brief downstream dispersal during which fish swam near the bottom and were photonegative. The weak, short dispersal style and behavior of white sturgeon free embryos contrasts greatly with the intense, long dispersal style and behavior (photopositive and swimming far above the bottom) of dispersing free embryos of other sturgeon species. If spawned eggs are concentrated within a few kilometers downstream of a spawning site, the adaptive significance of the free embryo dispersal is likely to move fish away from the egg deposition site to avoid predation and reduce fish density prior to feeding. Larvae foraged on the open bottom, swam innate fish dispersal and post-dispersal rearing habitat, which is now highly altered by damming and reservoirs. Sacramento River white sturgeon has a two-step downstream dispersal by the free embryo and juvenile life intervals. Diel activity of all life intervals peaked at night, whether fish were dispersing or foraging. Nocturnal behavior is likely a response to predation, which occurs during both activities. An intense black-tail body color was present on foraging larvae, but was weak or absent on the two life intervals that disperse. Black-tail color may be an adaptation for avoiding predation, signaling among aggregated larvae, or both, but not for dispersal. ?? Springer 2005.

  9. Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the United States

    McDonald, Lyman L.; Stanley, Thomas R.; Otis, David L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Stevens, Patricia D.; Koprowski, John L.; Ballard, Warren

    2011-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges for conserving grassland, prairie scrub, and shrub-steppe ecosystems is maintaining prairie dog populations across the landscape. Of the four species of prairie dogs found in the United States, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened, the Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) is a candidate for listing in a portion of its range, and the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) have each been petitioned for listing at least once in recent history. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined listing is not warranted for either the black-tailed prairie dog or white-tailed prairie dog, the petitions and associated reviews demonstrated the need for the States to monitor and manage for self-sustaining populations. In response to these findings, a multi-State conservation effort was initiated for the nonlisted species which included the following proposed actions: (1) completing an assessment of each prairie dog species in each State, (2) developing a range-wide monitoring protocol for each species using a statistically valid sampling procedure that would allow comparable analyses across States, and (3) monitoring prairie dog status every 3-5 years depending upon the species. To date, each State has completed an assessment and currently is monitoring prairie dog status; however, for some species, the inconsistency in survey methodology has made it difficult to compare data year-to-year or State-to-State. At the Prairie Dog Conservation Team meeting held in November 2008, there was discussion regarding the use of different methods to survey prairie dogs. A recommendation from this meeting was to convene a panel in a workshop-type forum and have the panel review the different methods being used and provide recommendations for range-wide monitoring protocols for each species of prairie dog. Consequently, the Western

  10. Historical wildlife dynamics on Dugway Proving Ground: population and disease trends in jack rabbits over two decades. [Lepus californicus

    Eberhardt, L.E.; Van Voris, P.

    1986-08-01

    In an effort to determine whether US Army activities on the Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) have had an impact on resident wildlife, intensive studies have been conducted on the biology and ecology of the black-tailed jack rabbit (Lepus californicus) since 1965. in addition, the incidence of endemic diseases in several species of resident wildlife on the DPG have been studied from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s. The objectives of this report are to: (1) compile and summarize the jack rabbit data and some of the disease information that is presently contained only in annual reports; (2) compare the DPG jack rabbit data to data available on other jack rabbit populations; and (3) analyze the data for unusual or unexplained fluctuations in population densities or in incidence of disease.

  11. Revegetation of a waste disposal site in the 200 areas of the Hanford Reservation

    Cline, J.F.; Uresk, V.A.

    1977-11-01

    The purpose of the experiment was to test and compare the efficacy of various soil amendments in establishing a self-sustaining vegetative cover on soil fill overlying a portion of a former radioactive waste pond. Data are presented for content of 90 Sr, 106 Ru, 137 Cs, U, and Pu in the pond, percent frequency of occurrence of cheatgrass, rye, Russian thistle, bursage, and tansy mustard for three growing seasons; biomass summary by species from the treatments of straw, clay, and control; chemical analysis of young leaf tissue of cheatgrass; length, width, height, and volume measurements of mature Russian thistle plants; 90 Sr content of Russian thistle plants; and vegetative composition of black-tailed hare fecal pellets

  12. Testing the generality of a trophic-cascade model for plague

    Collinge, S.K.; Johnson, W.C.; Ray, C.; Matchett, R.; Grensten, J.; Cully, J.F.; Gage, K.L.; Kosoy, M.Y.; Loye, J.E.; Martin, A.P.

    2005-01-01

    Climate may affect the dynamics of infectious diseases by shifting pathogen, vector, or host species abundance, population dynamics, or community interactions. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are highly susceptible to plague, yet little is known about factors that influence the dynamics of plague epizootics in prairie dogs. We investigated temporal patterns of plague occurrence in black-tailed prairie dogs to assess the generality of links between climate and plague occurrence found in previous analyses of human plague cases. We examined long-term data on climate and plague occurrence in prairie dog colonies within two study areas. Multiple regression analyses revealed that plague occurrence in prairie dogs was not associated with climatic variables in our Colorado study area. In contrast, plague occurrence was strongly associated with climatic variables in our Montana study area. The models with most support included a positive association with precipitation in April-July of the previous year, in addition to a positive association with the number of "warm" days and a negative association with the number of "hot" days in the same year as reported plague events. We conclude that the timing and magnitude of precipitation and temperature may affect plague occurrence in some geographic areas. The best climatic predictors of plague occurrence in prairie dogs within our Montana study area are quite similar to the best climatic predictors of human plague cases in the southwestern United States. This correspondence across regions and species suggests support for a (temperature-modulated) trophic-cascade model for plague, including climatic effects on rodent abundance, flea abundance, and pathogen transmission, at least in regions that experience strong climatic signals. ?? 2005 EcoHealth Journal Consortium.

  13. Drought-caused delay in nesting of Sonoran Desert birds and its facilitation of parasite- and predator-mediated variation in reproductive success

    McCreedy, Chris; van Riper, Charles

    2015-01-01

    As our understanding of climate change has increased, so has our awareness of the impacts of these changes on biotic systems. Climate models are nearly unanimous in their predictions for increased drought frequency in southwestern North America, and delays in nest initiation due to drought may influence nesting success and productivity for many Sonoran Desert bird species. In southeastern California and western Arizona in 2004–2009, we found negative correlations for 13 of 13 species between nest initiation date and rainfall accumulation during the preceding 4-month winter rainy season. Nesting was delayed more than 3 weeks for some species during extreme droughts in 2006 and 2007. During 2004–2009, we found a significant negative effect of nest initiation date on nest survival probability (β̂ = −0.031 ± 0.005 SE, P nesting delay in nesting success and productivity, in 2010 we conducted a manipulative experiment with Black-tailed Gnatcatchers (Polioptila melanura; BTGN) and Verdins (Auriparus flaviceps; VERD). Following a wet winter, we delayed clutch initiation dates for treatment pairs to match first-egg dates that we observed during droughts in 2006 and 2007. Nest initiation date had a significant negative effect on nest survival of both species (BTGN: β̂ = −1.18 ± 0.27 SE, P nest predation and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were the most common causes of nest failure, we conclude that the impacts of climate change–caused drought on annual reproductive output in the Sonoran Desert will be further compounded by parasitism and predation for Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and by predation for Verdins.

  14. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

    Augustine, David J.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of recently declining mountain plover populations, but these management approaches can be controversial. We estimated habitat-specific mountain plover densities and nest survival rates on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and burns in the shortgrass steppe of northeastern Colorado. Mountain plover densities were similar on prairie dog colonies (5.9 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.7–7.4) and sites burned during the preceding dormant season (6.7 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.6–9.6), whereas the 29-day nest survival rate was greater on prairie dog colonies (0.81 in 2011 and 0.39 in 2012) compared to the burned sites (0.64 in 2011 and 0.17 in 2012). Reduced nest survival in 2012 compared to 2011 was associated with higher maximum daily temperatures in 2012, consistent with a previous weather-based model of mountain plover nest survival in the southern Great Plains. Measurements of mountain plover density relative to time since disturbance showed that removal of prairie dog disturbance by sylvatic plague reduced mountain plover density by 70% relative to active prairie dog colonies after 1 year. Plover densities declined at a similar rate (by 78%) at burned sites between the first and second post-burn growing season. Results indicate that black-tailed prairie dog colonies are a particularly important nesting habitat for mountain plovers in the southern Great Plains. In addition, findings suggest that prescribed burning can be a valuable means to create nesting habitat in landscapes where other types of disturbances (such as prairie dog colonies) are limited in distribution and size. 

  15. Geoarchaeologic and paleopedologic evidences for the holocene paleoenvironmental evolution of the Crisuri plain (Western Romania

    Nicolae Josan

    2007-12-01

     : Bos primigenius Boj (fréquent, Equus hemionus, Equus cabalus et Otis tarda. Ces espèces témoignent, pour la deuxième partie de la période Atlantique et bien sûr pour le Sub-boréal, d'un environnement aux aspects évidents d'aridité. La persistance de bonnes conditions paléoenvironnementales ressort cependant du grand nombre de sites présentant des niveaux de culture successifs depuis les anciens sites du Néolithique jusqu'à ceux de l'Âge du Bronze inférieur. Mais le fait qu'un grand nombre de sites se trouvent à l'ouest de la ligne Girişu de Criş-Cefa-Inand, dans un secteur où le niveau des nappes phréatique est actuellement situé à seulement 1-2 m de profondeur, est important à cet égard. Le niveau Coţofeni a été recouvert par les dépôts générés par l'accroissement de l'intensité du régime alluvial au début du Subatlantique (jusqu'à 1400-1000 avant J.C. environ. Ensuite, le climat a été de nouveau relativement sec, ce qui a entraîné l'extension vers l'est de la steppe. Ces conditions ont conduit à une deuxième période très active d'occupation humaine, qui est attestée par le nombre considérable de sites hallstattiens, auxquels se rattachent les artefacts de la culture Basarabi découverts dans l'horizon supérieur humique du site archéologique Girişu de Criş. Leur présence indique une nouvelle phase de relative stabilité environnementale correspondant à la première moitié du dernier millénaire avant J.C..Le site de Râpa est situé en rive droite de la rivière Crişul Negru, non loin de la localité de Tinca, dans le secteur de transition entre les terrasses et les glacis. Le lit de la rivière Crişul Negru se trouve au niveau de dépôts alluviaux, formés par des sables, des argiles et des graviers grossiers (Fig. 4, qui contiennent de nombreux troncs d'arbres de diverses dimensions. Ce niveau alluvial est le résultat d'une crise climatique qui pourrait correspondre à celle qui a fossilisé l'horizon BFS

  16. Unique Strain of Rickettsia parkeri Associated with the Hard Tick Dermacentor parumapertus Neumann in the Western United States.

    Paddock, Christopher D; Allerdice, Michelle E J; Karpathy, Sandor E; Nicholson, William L; Levin, Michael L; Smith, Travis C; Becker, Tom; Delph, Robert J; Knight, Robert N; Ritter, Jana M; Sanders, Jeanine H; Goddard, Jerome

    2017-05-01

    In 1953, investigators at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT, described the isolation of a spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) species from Dermacentor parumapertus ticks collected from black-tailed jackrabbits ( Lepus californicus ) in northern Nevada. Several decades later, investigators characterized this SFGR (designated the parumapertus agent) by using mouse serotyping methods and determined that it represented a distinct rickettsial serotype closely related to Rickettsia parkeri ; nonetheless, the parumapertus agent was not further characterized or studied. To our knowledge, no isolates of the parumapertus agent remain in any rickettsial culture collection, which precludes contemporary phylogenetic placement of this enigmatic SFGR. To rediscover the parumapertus agent, adult-stage D. parumapertus ticks were collected from black-tailed jackrabbits shot or encountered as roadkills in Arizona, Utah, or Texas from 2011 to 2016. A total of 339 ticks were collected and evaluated for infection with Rickettsia species. Of 112 D. parumapertus ticks collected in south Texas, 16 (14.3%) contained partial ompA sequences with the closest identity (99.6%) to Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest Aa46, an SFGR that is closely related or identical to an SFGR species that causes a mild rickettsiosis in several states of Brazil. A pure isolate, designated strain Black Gap, was cultivated in Vero E6 cells, and sequence analysis of the rrs , gltA , sca0 , sca5 , and sca4 genes also revealed the closest genetic identity to Rickettsia sp. Atlantic rainforest Aa46. Phylogenetic analysis of the five concatenated rickettsial genes place Rickettsia sp. strain Black Gap and Rickettsia sp. Atlantic rainforest Aa46 with R. parkeri in a distinct and well-supported clade. IMPORTANCE We suggest that Rickettsia sp. Black Gap and Rickettsia sp. Atlantic rainforest Aa46 represent nearly identical strains of R. parkeri and that Rickettsia sp. Black Gap or a very similar

  17. Limitations to mapping habitat-use areas in changing landscapes using the Mahalanobis distance statistic

    Knick, Steven T.; Rotenberry, J.T.

    1998-01-01

    We tested the potential of a GIS mapping technique, using a resource selection model developed for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and based on the Mahalanobis distance statistic, to track changes in shrubsteppe habitats in southwestern Idaho. If successful, the technique could be used to predict animal use areas, or those undergoing change, in different regions from the same selection function and variables without additional sampling. We determined the multivariate mean vector of 7 GIS variables that described habitats used by jackrabbits. We then ranked the similarity of all cells in the GIS coverage from their Mahalanobis distance to the mean habitat vector. The resulting map accurately depicted areas where we sighted jackrabbits on verification surveys. We then simulated an increase in shrublands (which are important habitats). Contrary to expectation, the new configurations were classified as lower similarity relative to the original mean habitat vector. Because the selection function is based on a unimodal mean, any deviation, even if biologically positive, creates larger Malanobis distances and lower similarity values. We recommend the Mahalanobis distance technique for mapping animal use areas when animals are distributed optimally, the landscape is well-sampled to determine the mean habitat vector, and distributions of the habitat variables does not change.

  18. Evaluation of monkeypox virus infection of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) using in vivo bioluminescent imaging

    Falendysz, Elizabeth A.; Londoño-Navas, Angela M.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Pussini, Nicola; Lopera, Juan G.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2014-01-01

    Monkeypox (MPX) is a re-emerging zoonotic disease that is endemic in Central and West Africa, where it can cause a smallpox-like disease in humans. Despite many epidemiologic and field investigations of MPX, no definitive reservoir species has been identified. Using recombinant viruses expressing the firefly luciferase (luc) gene, we previously demonstrated the suitability of in vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI) to study the pathogenesis of MPX in animal models. Here, we evaluated BLI as a novel approach for tracking MPX virus infection in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Prairie dogs were affected during a multistate outbreak of MPX in the US in 2003 and have since been used as an animal model of this disease. Our BLI results were compared with PCR and virus isolation from tissues collected postmortem. Virus was easily detected and quantified in skin and superficial tissues by BLI before and during clinical phases, as well as in subclinical secondary cases, but was not reliably detected in deep tissues such as the lung. Although there are limitations to viral detection in larger wild rodent species, BLI can enhance the use of prairie dogs as an animal model of MPX and can be used for the study of infection, disease progression, and transmission in potential wild rodent reservoirs.

  19. Droughts may increase susceptibility of prairie dogs to fleas: Incongruity with hypothesized mechanisms of plague cycles in rodents

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Long, Dustin H.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Antolin, Michael F.

    2016-01-01

    Plague is a reemerging, rodent-associated zoonosis caused by the flea-borne bacterium Yersinia pestis. As a vector-borne disease, rates of plague transmission may increase when fleas are abundant. Fleas are highly susceptible to desiccation under hot-dry conditions; we posited that their densities decline during droughts. We evaluated this hypothesis with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in New Mexico, June–August 2010–2012. Precipitation was relatively plentiful during 2010 and 2012 but scarce during 2011, the driest spring–summer on record for the northeastern grasslands of New Mexico. Unexpectedly, fleas were 200% more abundant in 2011 than in 2010 and 2012. Prairie dogs were in 27% better condition during 2010 and 2012, and they devoted 287% more time to grooming in 2012 than in 2011. During 2012, prairie dogs provided with supplemental food and water were in 23% better condition and carried 40% fewer fleas. Collectively, these results suggest that during dry years, prairie dogs are limited by food and water, and they exhibit weakened defenses against fleas. Long-term data are needed to evaluate the generality of whether droughts increase flea densities and how changes in flea abundance during sequences of dry and wet years might affect plague cycles in mammalian hosts.

  20. Effects on wildlife of ethyl and methyl parathion applied to California rice fields

    Custer, T.W.; Hill, E.F.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1985-01-01

    Selected rice fields on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex were aerially sprayed one time during May or June 1982 with either ethyl (0.11 kg Al/ha) or methyl (0.84 kg AI/ha) parathion for control of tadpole shrimp, Triops longicaudatus. No sick or dead vertebrate wildlife were found or adjacent to the treated rice fields after spraying. Specimens of the following birds and mammals were assayed for brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity to determine exposure to either form of parathion; house mouse, Mus musculus; black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; American coot, Fulica americana; and red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus. Both mice and pheasants from methyl parathion-treated fields had overall mean ChE activities that were significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited compared with controls, and 7, 40, 54 and 57% of individual blackbirds, pheasant, mice, and coots, respectively, had inhibited brain ChE activities (i.e., less than -2 SD of control mean). Although no overall species effect was detected for ethyl parathoid treatment, pheasants (43%), coots (33%), and mice (37%) had significantly inhibited brain ChE activities. Neither of the parathion treatment appeared acutely hazardous to wildlife in or adjacent to rice fields, but sufficient information on potential hazards was obtained to warrant caution in use of these chemicals, especially methyl parathion, in rice fields.

  1. Effects of wildlife of ethyl and methyl parathion applied to California USA rice fields

    Custer, T.W.; Hill, E.F.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1985-01-01

    Selected rice fields on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex were aerially sprayed one time during May or June 1982 with either ethyl (0.11 kg Al/ha) or methyl (0.84 kg AI/ha) parathion for control of tadpole shrimp, Triops longicaudatus. No sick or dead vertebrate wildlife were found or adjacent to the treated rice fields after spraying. Specimens of the following birds and mammals were assayed for brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity to determine exposure to either form of parathion; house mouse, Mus musculus; black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; American coot, Fulica americana; and red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus. Both mice and pheasants from methyl parathion-treated fields had overall mean ChE activities that were significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited compared with controls, and 7, 40, 54 and 57% of individual blackbirds, pheasant, mice, and coots, respectively, had inhibited brain ChE activities (i.e., less than -2 SD of control mean). Although no overall species effect was detected for ethyl parathoid treatment, pheasants (43%), coots (33%), and mice (37%) had significantly inhibited brain ChE activities. Neither of the parathion treatment appeared acutely hazardous to wildlife in or adjacent to rice fields, but sufficient information on potential hazards was obtained to warrant caution in use of these chemicals, especially methyl parathion, in rice fields.

  2. Levels and profiles of persistent organic pollutants in resident and migratory birds from an urbanized coastal region of South Korea.

    Hong, Sang Hee; Shim, Won Joon; Han, Gi Myung; Ha, Sung Yong; Jang, Mi; Rani, Manviri; Hong, Sunwook; Yeo, Gwang Yeong

    2014-02-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) levels in resident and migratory birds collected from an urbanized coastal region of South Korea were investigated. As target species, resident birds that reside in different habitats-such as inland and coastal regions-were selected and their POP contamination status and accumulation features evaluated. Additionally, winter and summer migratory species were analysed for comparison with resident birds. Black-tailed gull and domestic pigeon were selected as the coastal and inland resident birds, respectively, and pacific loon and heron/egret were selected as the winter and summer migratory birds, respectively. The overall POP concentrations (unit: ng/g lipid) in resident birds were 14-131,000 (median: 13,400) for PCBs, 40-284,000 (11,200) for DDTs, urban resident bird such as pigeon, an intentional intake of dust or soils during feeding is likely to be an additional route of exposure to POPs. Resident birds generally accumulated higher POPs concentrations than migratory birds, the exceptions being relatively volatile compounds such as HCB, PeCB and HCHs. © 2013.

  3. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis transmission pathways for sylvatic plague in prairie dog populations in the western U.S.

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Bron, Gebbiena; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2016-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  4. Fine-scale habitat use of reintroduced black-footed ferrets on prairie dog colonies in New Mexico

    Chipault, Jennifer G.; Biggins, Dean E.; Detling, James K.; Long, Dustin H.; Reich, Robin M.

    2012-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are among the most endangered animals in North America. Reintroductions of captive-born ferrets onto prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are crucial to the conservation of the species. In September 2007, captive-born ferrets were released on a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony at the Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico. Ferret kits experimentally released in areas of comparatively low and high prairie dog burrow densities were located via spotlight surveys. Some maturing ferret kits were subsequently translocated to areas of low and high burrow densities on nearby prairie dog colonies. For 2 months, fine-scale habitat use was quantified by mapping all burrow openings within a 30-m radius of each ferret location. Spatial statistics accounted for autocorrelation in the burrow densities in areas used by ferrets. It was hypothesized that ferrets would select areas of high burrow densities within colonies; however, burrow densities in areas used by ferrets were generally similar to the available burrow densities. Because ferrets used areas with burrow densities similar to densities available at the colony level and because of the potential energetic benefits for ferrets using areas with high burrow densities, releasing ferrets on colonies with high burrow densities might increase reintroduction success.

  5. Factors influencing uptake of sylvatic plague vaccine baits by prairie dogs

    Abbott, Rachel C.; Russell, Robin E.; Richgels, Katherine; Tripp, Daniel W.; Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2017-01-01

    Sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) is a virally vectored bait-delivered vaccine expressing Yersinia pestis antigens that can protect prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) from plague and has potential utility as a management tool. In a large-scale 3-year field trial, SPV-laden baits containing the biomarker rhodamine B (used to determine bait consumption) were distributed annually at a rate of approximately 100–125 baits/hectare along transects at 58 plots encompassing the geographic ranges of four species of prairie dogs. We assessed site- and individual-level factors related to bait uptake in prairie dogs to determine which were associated with bait uptake rates. Overall bait uptake for 7820 prairie dogs sampled was 70% (95% C.I. 69.9–72.0). Factors influencing bait uptake rates by prairie dogs varied by species, however, in general, heavier animals had greater bait uptake rates. Vegetation quality and day of baiting influenced this relationship for black-tailed, Gunnison’s, and Utah prairie dogs. For these species, baiting later in the season, when normalized difference vegetation indices (a measure of green vegetation density) are lower, improves bait uptake by smaller animals. Consideration of these factors can aid in the development of species-specific SPV baiting strategies that maximize bait uptake and subsequent immunization of prairie dogs against plague.

  6. Self-organization theories and environmental management: The case of South Moresby, Canada

    Grzybowski, Alex G. S.; Slocombe, D. Scott

    1988-07-01

    This article presents a new approach to the analysis and management of large-scale societal problems with complex ecological, economic, and social dimensions. The approach is based on the theory of self-organizing systems—complex, open, far-from-equilibrium systems with nonlinear dynamics. A brief overview and comparison of different self-organization theories (synergetics, self-organization theory, hypercycles, and autopoiesis) is presented in order to isolate the key characteristics of such systems. The approach is used to develop an analysis of the landuse controversy in the South Moresby area of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada. Critical variables are identified for each subsystem and classified by spatial and temporal scale, and discussed in terms of information content and internal/external origin. Eradication of sea otters, introduction of black-tailed deer, impacts of large-scale clearcut logging, sustainability of the coastal forest industry, and changing relations between native peoples and governments are discussed in detail to illustrate the system dynamics of the South Moresby “sociobiophysical” system. Finally, implications of the self-organizing sociobiophysical system view for regional analysis and management are identified.

  7. Influence of free water availability on a desert carnivore and herbivore.

    Kluever, Bryan M; Gese, Eric M; Dempsey, Steven J

    2017-04-01

    Anthropogenic manipulation of finite resources on the landscape to benefit individual species or communities is commonly employed by conservation and management agencies. One such action in arid regions is the construction and maintenance of water developments (i.e., wildlife guzzlers) adding free water on the landscape to buttress local populations, influence animal movements, or affect distributions of certain species of interest. Despite their prevalence, the utility of wildlife guzzlers remains largely untested. We employed a before-after control-impact (BACI) design over a 4-year period on the US Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, USA, to determine whether water availability at wildlife guzzlers influenced relative abundance of black-tailed jackrabbits Lepus californicus and relative use of areas near that resource by coyotes Canis latrans , and whether coyote visitations to guzzlers would decrease following elimination of water. Eliminating water availability at guzzlers did not influence jackrabbit relative abundance. Coyote relative use was impacted by water availability, with elimination of water reducing use in areas associated with our treatment, but not with areas associated with our control. Visitations of radio-collared coyotes to guzzlers declined nearly 3-fold following elimination of water. Our study provides the first evidence of a potential direct effect of water sources on a mammalian carnivore in an arid environment, but the ecological relevance of our finding is debatable. Future investigations aimed at determining water effects on terrestrial mammals could expand on our findings by incorporating manipulations of water availability, obtaining absolute estimates of population parameters and vital rates and incorporating fine-scale spatiotemporal data.

  8. Using occupancy models to investigate the prevalence of ectoparasitic vectors on hosts: an example with fleas on prairie dogs

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Doherty, Paul F.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Long, Dustin H.; Antolin, Michael F.

    2013-01-01

    Ectoparasites are often difficult to detect in the field. We developed a method that can be used with occupancy models to estimate the prevalence of ectoparasites on hosts, and to investigate factors that influence rates of ectoparasite occupancy while accounting for imperfect detection. We describe the approach using a study of fleas (Siphonaptera) on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). During each primary occasion (monthly trapping events), we combed a prairie dog three consecutive times to detect fleas (15 s/combing). We used robust design occupancy modeling to evaluate hypotheses for factors that might correlate with the occurrence of fleas on prairie dogs, and factors that might influence the rate at which prairie dogs are colonized by fleas. Our combing method was highly effective; dislodged fleas fell into a tub of water and could not escape, and there was an estimated 99.3% probability of detecting a flea on an occupied host when using three combings. While overall detection was high, the probability of detection was always dogs, flea occupancy was heightened in old/natural colonies of prairie dogs, and on hosts that were in poor condition. Occupancy was initially low in plots with high densities of prairie dogs, but, as the study progressed, the rate of flea colonization increased in plots with high densities of prairie dogs in particular. Our methodology can be used to improve studies of ectoparasites, especially when the probability of detection is low. Moreover, the method can be modified to investigate the co-occurrence of ectoparasite species, and community level factors such as species richness and interspecific interactions.

  9. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs

    Busch, Joseph D.; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E.; Cobble, Kacy R.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William E.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Wagner, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  10. Precipitation, Climate Change, and Parasitism of Prairie Dogs by Fleas that Transmit Plague.

    Eads, David A; Hoogland, John L

    2017-08-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that can reduce the fitness of vertebrate hosts. Laboratory populations of fleas decline under dry conditions, implying that populations of fleas will also decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. If precipitation and hence vegetative production are reduced, however, then herbivorous hosts might suffer declines in body condition and have weakened defenses against fleas, so that fleas will increase in abundance. We tested these competing hypotheses using information from 23 yr of research on 3 species of colonial prairie dogs in the western United States: Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni, 1989-1994), Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens, 1996-2005), and white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus, 2006-2012). For all 3 species, flea-counts per individual varied inversely with the number of days in the prior growing season with >10 mm of precipitation, an index of the number of precipitation events that might have caused a substantial, prolonged increase in soil moisture and vegetative production. Flea-counts per Utah prairie dog also varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the prior growing season. Furthermore, flea-counts per Gunnison's and white-tailed prairie dog varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the just-completed January and February. These results complement research on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) and might have important ramifications for plague, a bacterial disease transmitted by fleas that devastates populations of prairie dogs. In particular, our results might help to explain why, at some colonies, epizootics of plague, which can kill >95% of prairie dogs, are more likely to occur during or shortly after periods of reduced precipitation. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of droughts in the grasslands of western North America. If so, then climate change might affect the occurrence of plague epizootics

  11. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Spatial and temporal use of a prairie dog colony by coyotes and rabbits: potential indirect effects on endangered black-footed ferrets

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.

    2015-01-01

    In western North America, endangered black-footed ferrets Mustela nigripes are conserved via reintroduction to colonies of prairie dogs Cynomys spp., their primary prey. Predation is an important source of mortality; coyotes Canis latrans appear to be the most problematic predator, accounting for 67% of known predation events on radio-tagged ferrets. Little is known about what factors affect spatial use of prairie dog colonies by coyotes, or how other animals might affect interactions between coyotes and ferrets. During June–October 2007–2008, we used spotlight surveys to monitor coyotes and ferrets (both years) and rabbits Sylvilagus spp. (first year) on a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus in the Conata Basin, South Dakota. Coyotes appeared to select areas of the colony used by rabbits, suggesting coyotes hunted rabbits, a common item in their diet. Between midnight and sunrise, ferrets were most commonly observed during early morning (01:00–03:00 h), whereas coyotes were observed mostly during dawn (04:00 h – sunrise) when ferrets were rarely seen. These temporal differences in the timing of observations suggest ferrets tend to remain underground in burrows when coyotes are most active. Coyotes appeared to be attracted to rabbits in both space and time, suggesting the risk of predation for ferrets might relate to the abundance and locations of rabbits in prairie dog colonies.

  13. Mortality of Siberian polecats and black-footed ferrets released onto prairie dog colonies

    Biggins, D.E.; Miller, B.J.; Hanebury, L.R.; Powell, R.A.

    2011-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) likely were extirpated from the wild in 19851986, and their repatriation depends on captive breeding and reintroduction. Postrelease survival of animals can be affected by behavioral changes induced by captivity. We released neutered Siberian polecats (M. eversmanii), close relatives of ferrets, in 19891990 on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in Colorado and Wyoming initially to test rearing and reintroduction techniques. Captive-born polecats were reared in cages or cages plus outdoor pens, released from elevated cages or into burrows, and supplementally fed or not fed. We also translocated wild-born polecats from China in 1990 and released captive-born, cage-reared black-footed ferrets in 1991, the 1st such reintroduction of black-footed ferrets. We documented mortality for 55 of 92 radiotagged animals in these studies, mostly due to predation (46 cases). Coyotes (Canis latrans) killed 31 ferrets and polecats. Supplementally fed polecats survived longer than nonprovisioned polecats. With a model based on deaths per distance moved, survival was highest for wild-born polecats, followed by pen-experienced, then cage-reared groups. Indexes of abundance (from spotlight surveys) for several predators were correlated with mortality rates of polecats and ferrets due to those predators. Released black-footed ferrets had lower survival rates than their ancestral population in Wyoming, and lower survival than wild-born and translocated polecats, emphasizing the influence of captivity. Captive-born polecats lost body mass more rapidly postrelease than did captive-born ferrets. Differences in hunting efficiency and prey selection provide further evidence that these polecats and ferrets are not ecological equivalents in the strict sense. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  14. Postbreeding resource selection by adult black-footed ferrets in the Conata Basin, South Dakota

    Eads, D.A.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Biggins, D.E.; Livieri, T.M.; Jachowski, D.S.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated postbreeding resource selection by adult black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) on a 452-ha black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony in the Conata Basin of South Dakota during 20072008. We used resource selection functions (RSFs) to evaluate relationships between numbers of ferret locations and numbers of prairie dog burrow openings (total or active), distances to colony edges, and connectivity of patches of burrow openings. In both years ferrets selected areas near edges of the prairie dog colony where active burrow openings were abundant. In the interior of the colony ferrets selected areas with low abundance of active burrow openings. At times, prairie dog productivity (i.e., pup abundance) might be greatest at colony edges often characterized by grasses; ferrets are likely to select areas where refuge and vulnerable prey are abundant. Ferrets could have used interior areas with few active burrow openings as corridors between edge areas with many active burrow openings. Also, in areas with few active burrow openings ferrets spend more time aboveground during movements and, thus, are likely to be more easily detected. These results complement previous studies demonstrating importance of refuge and prey in fine-scale resource selection by ferrets and provide insight into factors that might influence edge effects on ferret space use. Conservation and restoration of colonies with areas with high densities of burrow openings and prairie dogs, and corridors between such areas, are needed for continued recovery of the black-footed ferret. RSFs could complement coarse-scale habitat evaluations by providing finer-scale assessments of habitat for the black-footed ferret. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  15. Filtration of Oil-furnace Carbon Black Dust Particles from the Tail Gases by Filter Bags With PTFE Membrane

    Čuzela, D.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available During the industrial production of oil furnace carbon black, tail gases containing oil-furnace carbon black dust particles are emitted to the atmosphere. In the carbon black plant, Petrokemija d. d., there are six exhaust stacks for tail gases. Each of them has installed process equipment for cleaning tail gases. Efficiency of cleaning mainly depends on equipment construction and cleaning technology. The vicinity of the town, quality of the air in the region of Kutina, regarding floating particles PM10, and corporate responsibility for further enviromental improvement, imposes development of new methods that will decrease the emmision of oil-furnace carbon black dust particles in the air. Combining centrifugal percipitator and filter, special construction of cyclofilter for filtration of oil-furnace carbon black dust particles from tail gases by using PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene membrane filter bags, was designed. Developed filtration technique provides η = 99.9 % efficiency of filtration. Construction part of the filter contains the newest generation of PTFE membrane filter bags with the ability of jet pulse cleaning. Using the PTFE membrane filter bags technology, filtration efficiency for oil-furnace carbon black dust particles in tail gases of maximum γ=5mgm-3can be achieved. The filtration efficiency was monitored continuously measuring the concentration of the oil-furnace carbon black dust particles in the tail gases with the help of in situ electronic probe. The accomplished filtration technology is the base for the installation of the PTFE membrane filter bags in the main operation filters which will provide better protection of the air in the town of Kutina against floating particles PM10.

  16. Estimates of soil ingestion by wildlife

    Beyer, W.N.; Connor, E.E.; Gerould, S.

    1994-01-01

    Many wildlife species ingest soil while feeding, but ingestion rates are known for only a few species. Knowing ingestion rates may be important for studies of environmental contaminants. Wildlife may ingest soil deliberately, or incidentally, when they ingest soil-laden forage or animals that contain soil. We fed white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) diets containing 0-15% soil to relate the dietary soil content to the acid-insoluble ash content of scat collected from the mice. The relation was described by an equation that required estimates of the percent acid-insoluble ash content of the diet, digestibility of the diet, and mineral content of soil. We collected scat from 28 wildlife species by capturing animals, searching appropriate habitats for scat, or removing material from the intestines of animals collected for other purposes. We measured the acid-insoluble ash content of the scat and estimated the soil content of the diets by using the soil-ingestion equation. Soil ingestion estimates should be considered only approximate because they depend on estimated rather than measured digestibility values and because animals collected from local populations at one time of the year may not represent the species as a whole. Sandpipers (Calidris spp.), which probe or peck for invertebrates in mud or shallow water, consumed sediments at a rate of 7-30% of their diets. Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus, soil = 17% of diet), American woodcock (Scolopax minor, 10%), and raccoon (Procyon lotor, 9%) had high rates of soil ingestion, presumably because they ate soil organisms. Bison (Bison bison, 7%), black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus, 8%), and Canada geese (Branta canadensis, 8%) consumed soil at the highest rates among the herbivores studied, and various browsers studied consumed little soil. Box turtle (Terrapene carolina, 4%), opossum (Didelphis virginiana, 5%), red fox (Vulpes vulpes, 3%), and wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo, 9%) consumed soil

  17. Genetic variation at the MHC DRB1 locus is similar across Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni) colonies regardless of plague history

    Cobble, Kacy R.; Califf, Katy J.; Stone, Nathan E.; Shuey, Megan M.; Birdsell, Dawn; Colman, Rebecca E.; Schupp, James M.; Aziz, Maliha; Van Andel, Roger; Rocke, Tonie E.; Wagner, David M.; Busch, Joseph D.

    2016-01-01

    Yersinia pestis was introduced to North America around 1900 and leads to nearly 100% mortality in prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies during epizootic events, which suggests this pathogen may exert a strong selective force. We characterized genetic diversity at an MHC class II locus (DRB1) in Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) and quantified population genetic structure at the DRB1versus 12 microsatellite loci in three large Arizona colonies. Two colonies, Seligman (SE) and Espee Ranch (ES), have experienced multiple plague-related die-offs in recent years, whereas plague has never been documented at Aubrey Valley (AV). We found fairly low allelic diversity at the DRB1 locus, with one allele (DRB1*01) at high frequency (0.67–0.87) in all colonies. Two otherDRB1 alleles appear to be trans-species polymorphisms shared with the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus), indicating that these alleles have been maintained across evolutionary time frames. Estimates of genetic differentiation were generally lower at the MHC locus (FST = 0.033) than at microsatellite markers (FST = 0.098). The reduced differentiation at DRB1 may indicate that selection has been important for shaping variation at MHC loci, regardless of the presence or absence of plague in recent decades. However, genetic drift has probably also influenced theDRB1 locus because its level of differentiation was not different from that of microsatellites in anFST outlier analysis. We then compared specific MHC alleles to plague survivorship in 60C. gunnisoni that had been experimentally infected with Y. pestis. We found that survival was greater in individuals that carried at least one copy of the most common allele (DRB1*01) compared to those that did not (60% vs. 20%). Although the sample sizes of these two groups were unbalanced, this result suggests the possibility that this MHC class II locus, or a nearby linked gene, could play a role in plague survival.

  18. Paltry past-precipitation: Predisposing prairie dogs to plague?

    Eads, David; Biggins, Dean E.

    2017-01-01

    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 dogs are malnourished and have weakened defenses against fleas. Epizootics of plague have erupted frequently in prairie dogs during years in which precipitation was plentiful, and the accompanying cool temperatures might have facilitated the rate at which fleas transmitted Y. pestis. Together these observations evoke the hypothesis that transitions from dry-to-wet years provide conditions for plague epizootics in prairie dogs. Using generalized linear models, we analyzed a 24-year dataset on the occurrence of plague epizootics in 42 colonies of prairie dogs from Colorado, USA, 1982–2005. Of the 33 epizootics observed, 52% erupted during years with increased precipitation in summer. For the years with increased summer precipitation, if precipitation in the prior growing season declined from the maximum of 502 mm to the minimum of 200 mm, the prevalence of plague epizootics was predicted to increase 3-fold. Thus, reduced precipitation may have predisposed prairie dogs to plague epizootics when moisture returned. Biologists sometimes assume dry conditions are detrimental for plague. However, 48% of epizootics occurred during years in which precipitation was scarce in summer. In some cases, an increased abundance of fleas during dry years might

  19. Abdominally implanted satellite transmitters affect reproduction and survival rather than migration of large shorebirds

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Gill, Robert E.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Kentie, Rosemarie; Gerritsen, Gerrit J.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Tijssen, David C.; Harwood, Christopher M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Satellite telemetry has become a common technique to investigate avian life-histories, but whether such tagging will affect fitness is a critical unknown. In this study, we evaluate multi-year effects of implanted transmitters on migratory timing and reproductive performance in shorebirds. Shorebirds increasingly are recognized as good models in ecology and evolution. That many of them are of conservation concern adds to the research responsibilities. In May 2009, we captured 56 female Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during late incubation in The Netherlands. Of these, 15 birds were equipped with 26-g satellite transmitters with a percutaneous antenna (7.8 % ± 0.2 SD of body mass), surgically implanted in the coelom. We compared immediate nest survival, timing of migration, subsequent nest site fidelity and reproductive behaviour including egg laying with those of the remaining birds, a comparison group of 41 females. We found no effects on immediate nest survival. Fledging success and subsequent southward and northward migration patterns of the implanted birds conformed to the expectations, and arrival time on the breeding grounds in 2010–2012 did not differ from the comparison group. Compared with the comparison group, in the year after implantation, implanted birds were equally faithful to the nest site and showed equal territorial behaviour, but a paucity of behaviours indicating nests or clutches. In the 3 years after implantation, the yearly apparent survival of implanted birds was 16 % points lower. Despite intense searching, we found only three eggs of two implanted birds; all were deformed. A similarly deformed egg was reported in a similarly implanted Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus returning to breed in central Alaska. The presence in the body cavity of an object slightly smaller than a normal egg may thus lead to egg malformation and, likely, reduced egg viability. That the use of implanted satellite transmitters in these large shorebirds

  20. Competition and facilitation between a native and a domestic herbivore: trade-offs between forage quantity and quality.

    Augustine, David J; Springer, Tim L

    2013-06-01

    Potential competition between native and domestic herbivores is a major consideration influencing the management and conservation of native herbivores in rangeland ecosystems. In grasslands of the North American Great Plains, black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are widely viewed as competitors with cattle but are also important for biodiversity conservation due to their role in creating habitat for other native species. We examined spatiotemporal variation in prairie dog effects on growing-season forage quality and quantity using measurements from three colony complexes in Colorado and South Dakota and from a previous study of a fourth complex in Montana. At two complexes experiencing below-average precipitation, forage availability both on and off colonies was so low (12-54 g/m2) that daily forage intake rates of cattle were likely constrained by instantaneous intake rates and daily foraging time. Under these dry conditions, prairie dogs (1) substantially reduced forage availability, thus further limiting cattle daily intake rates, and (2) had either no or a small positive effect on forage digestibility. Under such conditions, prairie dogs are likely to compete with cattle in direct proportion to their abundance. For two complexes experiencing above-average precipitation, forage quantity on and off colonies (77-208 g/m2) was sufficient for daily forage intake of cattle to be limited by digestion rather than instantaneous forage intake. At one complex where prairie dogs enhanced forage digestibility and [N] while having no effect on forage quantity, prairie dogs are predicted to facilitate cattle mass gains regardless of prairie dog abundance. At the second complex where prairie dogs enhanced digestibility and [N] but reduced forage quantity, effects on cattle can vary from competition to facilitation depending on prairie dog abundance. Our findings show that the high spatiotemporal variation in vegetation dynamics characteristic of semiarid grasslands

  1. Review of anthraquinone applications for pest management and agricultural crop protection.

    DeLiberto, Shelagh T; Werner, Scott J

    2016-10-01

    We have reviewed published anthraquinone applications for international pest management and agricultural crop protection from 1943 to 2016. Anthraquinone (AQ) is commonly found in dyes, pigments and many plants and organisms. Avian repellent research with AQ began in the 1940s. In the context of pest management, AQ is currently used as a chemical repellent, perch deterrent, insecticide and feeding deterrent in many wild birds, and in some mammals, insects and fishes. Criteria for evaluation of effective chemical repellents include efficacy, potential for wildlife hazards, phytotoxicity and environmental persistence. As a biopesticide, AQ often meets these criteria of efficacy for the non-lethal management of agricultural depredation caused by wildlife. We summarize published applications of AQ for the protection of newly planted and maturing crops from pest birds. Conventional applications of AQ-based repellents include preplant seed treatments [e.g. corn (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), wheat (Triticum spp.), millet (Panicum spp.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), pelletized feed and forest tree species] and foliar applications for rice, sunflower, lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), turf, sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.), soybean (Glycine max L.), sweet corn and nursery, fruit and nut crops. In addition to agricultural repellent applications, AQ has also been used to treat toxicants for the protection of non-target birds. Few studies have demonstrated AQ repellency in mammals, including wild boar (Sus scrofa, L.), thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, Mitchill), black-tailed prairie dogs (Cyomys ludovicainus, Ord.), common voles (Microtus arvalis, Pallas), house mice (Mus musculus, L.), Tristram's jirds (Meriones tristrami, Thomas) and black rats (Rattus rattus L.). Natural sources of AQ and its derivatives have also been identified as insecticides and insect repellents. As a natural or synthetic biopesticide, AQ

  2. The Flight of Birds and Other Animals

    Colin J. Pennycuick

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Methods of observing birds in flight now include training them to fly under known conditions in wind tunnels, and fitting free-flying birds with data loggers, that are either retrieved or read remotely via satellite links. The performance that comes to light depends on the known limitations of the materials from which they are made, and the conditions in which the birds live. Bird glide polars can be obtained by training birds to glide in a tilting wind tunnel. Translating these curves to power required from the flight muscles in level flight requires drag coefficients to be measured, which unfortunately does not work with bird bodies, because the flow is always fully detached. The drag of bodies in level flight can be determined by observing wingbeat frequency, and shows CD values around 0.08 in small birds, down to 0.06 in small waders specialised for efficient migration. Lift coefficients are up to 1.6 in gliding, or 1.8 for short, temporary glides. In-flight measurements can be used to calculate power curves for birds in level flight, and this has been applied to migrating geese in detail. These typically achieve lift:drag ratios around 15, including allowances for stops, as against 19 for continuous powered flight. The same calculations, applied to Pacific Black-tailed Godwits which start with fat fractions up to 0.55 at departure, show that such birds not only cross the Pacific to New Zealand, but have enough fuel in hand to reach the South Pole if that were necessary. This performance depends on the “dual fuel” arrangements of these migrants, whereby they use fat as their main fuel, and supplement this by extra fuel from burning the engine (flight muscles, as less power is needed later in the flight. The accuracy of these power curves has never been checked, although provision for stopping the bird, and making these checks at regular intervals during a simulated flight was built into the original design of the Lund wind tunnel. The