11 Works

Multi-scale habitat assessment of pronghorn migration routes

Andrew Jakes, Nicholas DeCesare, Paul Jones, C Cormack Gates, Scott Story, Sarah Olimb, Kyran Kunkel & Mark Hebblewhite
We studied the habitat selection of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) during seasonal migration; an important period in an animal’s annual cycle associated with broad-scale movements. We further decompose our understanding of migration habitat itself as the product of both broad- and fine-scale behavioral decisions and take a multi-scale approach to assess pronghorn spring and fall migration across the transboundary Northern Sagebrush Steppe region. We used a hierarchical habitat selection framework to assess a suite of natural...

Modeling management strategies for chronic disease in wildlife: predictions for the control of respiratory disease in bighorn sheep

Kezia Manlove, Emily Almberg, E. Frances Cassirer, Jennifer Ramsey, Keri Carson, Justin Gude & Raina Plowright
1. Controlling persistent infectious disease in wildlife populations is an on-going challenge for wildlife managers and conservationists worldwide. 2. Here, we develop a dynamic pathogen transmission model capturing key features of M. ovipneumoniae infection, a major cause of population declines in North American bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). We explore the effects of model assumptions and parameter values on disease dynamics, including density versus frequency dependent transmission, the inclusion of a carrier class versus a longer...

Lake food webs: Species invasion progressively disrupts the trophic structure of native food webs

Charles Wainright, Clint Muhlfeld, James Elser, Samuel Bourret & Shawn Devlin
Species invasions can have substantial impacts on native species and ecosystems, with important consequences for biodiversity. How these disturbances drive changes in the trophic structure of native food webs through time is poorly understood. Here, we quantify trophic disruption in freshwater food webs to invasion by an apex fish predator, lake trout, using an extensive stable isotope dataset across a natural gradient of uninvaded and invaded lakes in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Lake trout...

Data from: Invasive hybridization has variable effects on survival among salmonid populations

Jeffrey Strait, Ryan Kovach, Lisa Eby, Clint Muhlfeld, Matthew Boyer, Stephen Amish, Paul Lukacs, Winsor Lowe & Gordon Luikart
Human-mediated hybridization threatens global biodiversity, but the fitness consequences of hybridization are poorly understood, especially in vertebrates. We used capture-recapture data from 5,249 individuals in three hybridizing populations of invasive rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and native cutthroat trout (O. clarkii) to quantify the effects of rainbow trout genetic admixture and environmental conditions on survival. Seasonal variation in environmental conditions interacted with individual admixture to influence seasonal survival. Overall, annual survival declined with admixture at the...

Data from: Hybridization alters growth and migratory life history expression of native trout

Jeffrey T. Strait, Lisa A. Eby, Ryan P. Kovach, Clint C. Muhlfeld, Matthew C. Boyer, Stephen J. Amish, Seth Smith, Winsor H. Lowe & Gordon Luikart
Human-mediated hybridization threatens many native species, but the effects of introgressive hybridization on life history expression are rarely quantified, especially in vertebrates. We quantified the effects of non-native rainbow trout admixture on important life history traits including growth and partial migration behavior in three populations of westslope cutthroat trout over five years. Rainbow trout admixture was associated with increased summer growth rates in all populations, and decreased spring growth rates in two populations with cooler...

Data from: Elk migration influences the risk of disease spillover in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Nathaniel Rayl, Jerod Merkle, Kelly Proffitt, Emily Almberg, Jennifer Jones, Justin Gude & Paul Cross
Wildlife migrations provide important ecosystem services, but they are declining. Within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) some elk (Cervus canadensis) herds are losing migratory tendencies, which may increase spatiotemporal overlap between elk and livestock (domestic bison [Bison bison] and cattle [Bos taurus]), potentially exacerbating pathogen transmission risk. We combined disease, movement, demographic, and environmental data from eight elk herds in the GYE to examine the differential risk of brucellosis transmission (through aborted fetuses) from migrant...

Wildfire extends the shelf-life of elk nutritional resources regardless of fire severity

Lauren Snobl, Kelly Proffitt & Joshua Millspaugh
Large-scale, high severity wildfires are increasingly frequent across the western United States. Fire severity affects the amount of vegetation removed and helps dictate what, where, and how many plants regenerate postfire, potentially altering the available habitat and nutritional landscape for wildlife. To evaluate the effects of fire severity on summer nutritional resources for elk (Cervus canadensis), we collected field data and remotely sensed information in years two and three after a large-scale wildfire to compare...

Locations of GPS-collared moose and geographic correlates, as well as for random points within study area

Richard Harris, Braden Burkholder, Nicholas DeCesare, Vanna Boccardori & Robert Garrott
Moose are among the many species that are vulnerable to both direcdt and indirect effects of climate change. Habitat selection is one framework to assist investigators in disentangling the various factors (including weather) that ultimately dictate how animals respond to their environment. We investigated patterns of winter habitat selecdtion by adult female moose in southerwestern MOntana, USA, during 2007-2010, and how that selection was affected by snow (quantified by snow water equivalent) and winter temperatures....

Resource allocation effects on the timing of reproduction in an avian habitat specialist

Kyle Cutting, Jay Rotella, James Waxe, Aaron O' Harra, Sean Schroff, Lorelle Berkeley, Mark Szczypinski, Andrea Litt & Bok Sowell
Variation in nutrient allocation can influence the timing of breeding and ultimately reproductive output. Time and space constraints might exist, however, if fewer food resources are available to meet the costs of reproduction early during the reproductive season. Here, for the first time, we test whether nutrient allocation strategies for reproduction in a shrub-dependent avian species differs with timing of breeding in different ecoregions: a high-elevation landscape, containing spatially complex vegetation (Rocky Mountains) versus a...

Non-invasive monitoring of multiple wildlife health factors by fecal microbiome analysis

Samuel Pannoni, William Holben & Kelly Proffitt
Fecal microbial biomarkers represent a less invasive alternative for acquiring information on wildlife populations than many traditional sampling methodologies. Our goal was to evaluate linkages between fecal microbiome communities in Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus canadensis) and four host factors including sex, age, population, and physical condition (body-fat). We paired a feature-selection algorithm with an LDA-classifier trained on elk differential bacterial abundance (16S-rRNA amplicon survey) to predict host health factors from 104 elk microbiomes across four...

Summer elk habitat selection in southwest Montana

Dustin Ranglack, Kelly Proffitt, Jodie Canfield, Justin Gude, Jay Rotella & Robert Garrott
Data used in Ranglack et al. (in review), Modeling broad-scale patterns of elk summer resource selection in Montana using regional and population-specific models. Understanding animal distribution is important for the management of populations and their habitats. Across the western United States, elk (Cervus canadensis) provide important ecological, cultural, and economic benefits and the sound management of their habitats is of vital importance. In western Montana, National Forest lands are managed in part to provide and...

Registration Year

  • 2022
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  • 2021
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  • 2020
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Resource Types

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Affiliations

  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
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  • University of Montana
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  • Montana State University
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  • United States Geological Survey
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  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game
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  • Utah State University
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  • University of Wyoming
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