125 Works

An analysis of avian vocal performance at the note and song levels

David Logue, Jacob Sheppard, Bailey Walton, Benjamin Brinkman & Orlando Medina
Sexual displays that require extreme feats of physiological performance have the potential to reliably indicate the signaller’s skill or motivation. We tested for evidence of performance constraints in Adelaide’s warblers (Setophaga adelaidae) songs. At the note level, we identified three trade-offs with well-defined limits. At the song level, we identified two trade-offs, but their limits were less well-defined than the note-level limits. Trade-offs at both levels suggest that song structure is constrained by limits to...

Data from: Chronology of reproductive investment determines predation risk aversion in a felid-ungulate system

Daniel Crawford, Michael J Cherry, Brian D Kelly, Elina P Garrison, David Shindle, L Mike Conner, Richard B Chandler & Karl V Miller
Fear of predators can behaviorally mediate prey population dynamics, particularly when predation risk influences reproductive investment. However, the costs of reproductive investment may mitigate predation risk aversion relative to periods when the link between reproductive output and prey behavior is weaker. We posit that intensity of reproductive investment in ungulates may predict their response to predation risk such that the sexes increase risk exposure during biological seasons that are pivotal to reproductive success, such as...

Data from: Postwar wildlife recovery in an African savanna: Evaluating patterns and drivers of species occupancy and richness

Kaitlyn Gaynor, Joshua Daskin, Lindsey Rich & Justin Brashares
As local and global disturbances reshape African savannas, an understanding of how animal communities recover and respond to landscape features can inform conservation and restoration. Here, we explored the spatial ecology of a wildlife community in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, where conservation efforts have fostered the recovery of large mammal populations after their near‐extirpation during Mozambique’s civil war. We deployed a grid of 60 camera traps and used a hierarchical, multi‐species occupancy modeling approach to...

Response of lion demography and dynamics to the loss of preferred larger prey

Milan Vinks, Scott Creel, Paul Schuette, Matthew Becker, Elias Rosenblatt, Carolyn Sanguinetti, Kambwiri Banda, Ben Goodheart, Kim Young-Overton, Xia Stevens, Clive Chifunte, Neil Midlane & Chuma Simukonda
Large carnivores are experiencing range contraction and population declines globally. Prey depletion due to illegal offtake is considered a major contributor, but the effects of prey depletion on large carnivore demography are rarely tested. We measured African lion density and tested the factors that affect survival using mark-recapture models fit to six years of data from known individuals in Kafue National Park (KNP), Zambia. KNP is affected by prey depletion, particularly for large herbivores that...

Avian botulism is a primary, year-round threat to adult survival in the endangered Hawaiian Duck (Anas wyvilliana) on Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, USA

Christopher Malachowski, Bruce Dugger, Kimberly Uyehara & Michelle Reynolds
Adult survival is the most important demographic parameter influencing population dynamics for many bird taxa. Thus, understanding how survival probabilities and causes of mortality vary throughout the annual cycle is critical for developing informed and effective management strategies. In this study, we used radio-telemetry data to evaluate the effects of biotic (e.g., sex, peak [September–April] vs. off-peak [May–August] nesting seasons) and abiotic factors (e.g., rainfall, year, bi-monthly interval) on adult survival, estimate annual survival probabilities,...

Thermal ecology and baseline energetic requirements of a large-bodied ectotherm suggest resilience to climate change

Hayley Crowell, Katherine King, James Whelan, Mallory Harmel, Gennesee Garcia, Sebastian Gonzales, Paul Maier, Heather Neldner, Thomas Nhu, John Nolan & Emily Taylor
Most studies on how rising temperatures will impact terrestrial ectotherms have focused on single populations or multiple sympatric species. Addressing the thermal and energetic implications of climatic variation on multiple allopatric populations of a species will help us better elucidate how a species may be impacted by altered climates. We used eight years of thermal and behavioral data collected from four populations of Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) living in climatically distinct habitat types (inland and...

Still time for action: genetic conservation of imperiled South Canadian River fishes, Arkansas River Shiner (Notropis girardi), Peppered Chub (Macrhybopsis tetranema) and Plains Minnow (Hybognathus placitus)

Megan Osborne, Joanna Hatt, Eliza Gilbert & Stephen Davenport
Pelagic broadcast spawning cyprinids have declined throughout the North American Great Plains because of adverse habitat changes caused by river fragmentation and altered flow regimes. Despite losses elsewhere, a 218-river kilometer section of the South Canadian River maintains three of these imperiled species: Arkansas River Shiner, Peppered Chub and Plains Minnow. The objective of this study was to determine if species occupying the same river stretch and hence a shared environment, exhibit the same trajectory...

Black Scoter habitat use along the southeastern coast of the United States

Beth Ross, Hannah Plumpton & Emily Silverman
While the Atlantic Coast of the United States and Canada is a major wintering area for sea ducks, knowledge about their wintering habitat use is relatively limited. Black Scoters have a broad wintering distribution and are the only open water species of sea duck that is abundant along the southeastern coast of the United States. Our study identified variables that affected Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) distribution and abundance in the Atlantic Ocean along the southeastern...

Data from: Cryptic diversity in black rats Rattus rattus of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Sandi Willows-Munro, Robert C. Dowler, Michael R. Jarcho, Reese B. Phillips, Howard L. Snell, Tammy R. Wilbert & Cody W. Edwards
Human activity has facilitated the introduction of a number of alien mammal species to the Galápagos Archipelago. Understanding the phylogeographic history and population genetics of invasive species on the Archipelago is an important step in predicting future spread and designing effective management strategies. In this study, we describe the invasion pathway of Rattus rattus across the Galápagos using microsatellite data, coupled with historical knowledge. Microsatellite genotypes were generated for 581 R. rattus sampled from 15...

Data from: A multi-scale analysis of gene flow for the New England cottontail, an imperiled habitat specialist in a fragmented landscape

Lindsey E. Fenderson, Adrienne I. Kovach, John A. Litvaitis, Kathleen M. O'Brien, Kelly M. Boland & Walter J. Jakubas
Landscape features of anthropogenic or natural origin can influence organisms’ dispersal patterns and the connectivity of populations. Understanding these relationships is of broad interest in ecology and evolutionary biology and provides key insights for habitat conservation planning at the landscape scale. This knowledge is germane to restoration efforts for the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis), an early-successional habitat specialist of conservation concern. We evaluated local population structure and measures of genetic diversity of a geographically...

Data from: Using citizen-science observations to understand long-term trends in common and Pacific loon populations in urbanized Southcentral Alaska

Laura A. McDuffie, Julie C. Hagelin, Marian L. Snively, Grey W. Pendleton & Audrey R. Taylor
For over 30 years, the Alaska Loon Watch (1985−1999) and the Alaska Loon and Grebe Watch (2000−2015) engaged citizen scientist participants to record over 10,000 observations of common Gavia immer and Pacific loons Gavia pacifia at 346 lakes in five sub-regions of Southcentral Alaska. We used generalized linear mixed models to estimate long-term trends in adult loon counts and chick survival and examined environmental variables associated with loon abundance. Adult common loon counts increased in...

Data from: A generalizable energetics-based model of avian migration to facilitate continental-scale waterbird conservation

Eric V. Lonsdorf, Wayne E. Thogmartin, Sarah Jacobi, Kevin Aagaard, Jorge Coppen, Amélie Davis, Timothy Fox, Patricia Heglund, Rex Johnson, Malcolm T. Jones, Kevin Kenow, James E. Lyons, Kirsten Luke, Shannon Still & Brian Tavernia
Conserving migratory birds is made especially difficult because of movement among spatially disparate locations across the annual cycle. In light of challenges presented by the scale and ecology of migratory birds, successful conservation requires integrating objectives, management, and monitoring across scales, from local management units to ecoregional and flyway administrative boundaries. We present an integrated approach using a spatially explicit energetic-based mechanistic bird migration model useful to conservation decision-making across disparate scales and locations. This...

Data from: Using a full annual cycle model to evaluate long-term population viability of the conservation-reliant Kirtland’s warbler after successful recovery

Donald J. Brown, Christine A. Ribic, Deahn M. Donner, Mark D. Nelson, Carol I. Bocetti, Christie M. Deloria-Sheffeld & Christie M. Deloria-Sheffield
Long-term management planning for conservation-reliant migratory songbirds is particularly challenging because habitat quality in different stages and geographic locations of the annual cycle can have direct and carry-over effects that influence the population dynamics. The Neotropical migratory songbird Kirtland's warbler Setophaga kirtlandii (Baird 1852) is listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and Near Threatened under the IUCN Red List. This conservation-reliant species is being considered for U.S. federal delisting because the species...

Data from: A likelihood-based approach for assessment of extra-pair paternity and conspecific brood parasitism in natural populations

Patrick R. Lemons, Tristan C. Marshall, Sarah E. McCloskey, Suresh A. Sethi, Joel A. Schmutz & Jim S. Sedinger
Genotypes are frequently used to assess alternative reproductive strategies such as extra-pair paternity and conspecific brood parasitism in wild populations. However, such analyses are vulnerable to genotyping error or molecular artefacts that can bias results. For example, when using multilocus microsatellite data, a mismatch at a single locus, suggesting the offspring was not directly related to its putative parents, can occur quite commonly even when the offspring is truly related. Some recent studies have advocated...

Data from: Integrated modeling predicts shifts in waterbird population dynamics under climate change

Qing Zhao, G. Scott Boomer & J. Andrew Royle
Climate change has been identified as one of the most important drivers of wildlife population dynamics. The in-depth knowledge of the complex relationships between climate and population sizes through density dependent demographic processes is important for understanding and predicting population shifts under climate change, which requires integrated population models (IPMs) that unify the analyses of demography and abundance data. In this study we developed an IPM based on Gaussian approximation to dynamic N-mixture models for...

Data from: Historical stocking data and 19th century DNA reveal human-induced changes to native diversity and distribution of cutthroat trout

Jessica L. Metcalf, Sierra L. Love Stowell, Christopher M. Kennedy, Kevin B. Rogers, Daniel McDonald, Kyle Keepers, Janet Epp, Alan Cooper, Jeremy J. Austin & Andrew P. Martin
Many species are threatened with extinction and efforts are underway worldwide to restore imperiled species to their native ranges. Restoration requires knowledge of species’ historic diversity and distribution, which may not be available. For some species, many populations were extirpated and humans moved individuals beyond their native range before native diversity and distribution were documented. Moreover, traditional taxonomic assessments often failed to accurately capture phylogenetic diversity. We illustrate a general approach for estimating regional native...

Data from: Diabolical survival in Death Valley: recent pupfish colonization, gene flow, and genetic assimilation in the smallest species range on earth

Christopher Martin, Jacob Crawford, Bruce Turner, Lee Simons, Jacob E. Crawford & Christopher H. Martin
One of the most endangered vertebrates, the Devils Hole pupfish Cyprinodon diabolis, survives in a nearly impossible environment: a narrow subterranean fissure in the hottest desert on earth, Death Valley. This species became a conservation icon after a landmark 1976 U.S. Supreme Court case affirming federal groundwater rights to its unique habitat. However, one outstanding question about this species remains unresolved: how long has diabolis persisted in this hellish environment? We used next-generation sequencing of...

Data from: Multiple stressors and the cause of amphibian abnormalities

Mari K. Reeves, Margaret Perdue, Marcel Holyoak, Birgit Hagedorn, Daniel Rinella, Daniel Bogan, LeeAnn Munk, William Battaglin, Christine L. Dolph & Kimberly A. Trust
The repeated occurrence of abnormal amphibians in nature points to ecological imbalance, yet identifying causes of these abnormalities has proved complex. Multiple studies have linked amphibian abnormalities to chemically contaminated areas, but inference about causal mechanisms is lacking. Here we use a high incidence of abnormalities in Alaskan wood frogs to strengthen inference about the mechanism for these abnormalities. We suggest that limb abnormalities are caused by a combination of multiple stressors. Specifically, toxicants lead...

Data from: Ephemeral stream reaches preserve the evolutionary and distributional history of threespine stickleback in the Santa Clara and Ventura River Watersheds of southern California

Jonathan Q. Richmond, David K. Jacobs, Adam R. Backlin, Camm C. Swift, Chris Dellith & Robert N. Fisher
Much remains to be understood about the evolutionary history and contemporary landscape genetics of unarmored threespine stickleback in southern California, where populations collectively referred to as Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni have severely declined over the past 70+ years and are now endangered. We used mitochondrial sequence and microsatellite data to assess the population genetics and phylogeography of unarmored populations sampled immediately downstream from the type locality of G. a. williamsoni in the upper Santa Clara River,...

Data from: Avian demographic responses to drought and fire: a community-level perspective

James F. Saracco, Stephen M. Fettig, George L. San Miguel, David W. Mehlman, Brent E. Thompson & Steven K. Albert
Drought stress is an important consideration for wildlife in arid and semi-arid regions under climate change. Drought can impact plant and animal populations directly, through effects on their physiology, as well as indirectly through effects on vegetation productivity and resource availability, and by creating conditions conducive to secondary disturbance, such as wildfire. We implemented a novel approach to understanding community-level demographic responses of birds and their habitats to these stressors in the context of climate...

Data from: The time of origin and genetic diversity of three isolated Kokanee populations in southwest Alaska

Jeffrey B. Olsen, John K. Wenburg, Scott A. Pavey, Joe L. Miller & Troy R. Hamon
We examined the time of origin and genetic diversity of native kokanee, the nonanadromous ecotype of Sockeye Salmon Oncorhynchus nerka, from three isolated lakes in the Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwest Alaska. These kokanee evolved independently from Sockeye Salmon when migration barriers arose, blocking ocean access. We used information about the relative age of each barrier to hypothesize the relative time of origin for kokanee in each lake. In addition, we used data...

Data from: Potential of environmental DNA to evaluate Northern pike (Esox lucius) eradication efforts: an experimental test and case study

Kristine J. Dunker, Adam J. Sepulveda, Robert L. Massengill, Jeffrey B. Olsen, Ora L. Russ, John K. Wenburg & Anton Antonovich
Determining the success of invasive species eradication efforts is challenging because populations at very low abundance are difficult to detect. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has recently emerged as a powerful tool for detecting rare aquatic animals; however, detectable fragments of DNA can persist over time despite absence of the targeted taxa and can therefore complicate eDNA sampling after an eradication event. This complication is a large concern for fish eradication efforts in lakes since killed...

Data from: Linking beaver dam affected flow dynamics to upstream passage of Arctic grayling

Kyle A. Cutting, Jake M. Ferguson, Michelle L. Anderson, Kristen Cook, Stacy C. Davis & Rebekah Levine
Beaver reintroductions and beaver dam structures are an increasingly utilized ecological tool for rehabilitating degraded streams, yet beaver dams can potentially impact upstream fish migrations. We collected two years of data on Arctic grayling movement through a series of beaver dams in a low gradient mountain stream, utilizing radio-telemetry techniques, to determine how hydrology, dam characteristics, and fish attributes impeded passage and movement rates of spawning grayling. We compared fish movement between a “normal” flow...

Data from: Feather corticosterone reveals stress associated with dietary changes in a breeding seabird

Alexis P. Will, Yutaka Watanuki, Dale M. Kikuchi, Nobuhiko Sato, Motohiro Ito, Matt Callahan, Katherine Wynne-Edwards, Scott Hatch, Kyle H. Elliott, Leslie Slater, Akinori Takahashi, Alexander S. Kitaysky, Kyle Elliott, Alexis Will & Alexander Kitaysky
Changes in climate and anthropogenic pressures might affect the composition and abundance of forage fish in the world's oceans. The junk-food hypothesis posits that dietary shifts that affect the quality (e.g., energy content) of food available to marine predators may impact their physiological state and consequently affect their fitness. Previously, we experimentally validated that deposition of the adrenocortical hormone, corticosterone, in feathers is a sensitive measure of nutritional stress in seabirds. Here, we use this...

Data from: Persistent reproductive isolation between sympatric lineages of fall Chinook salmon in White Salmon River, Washington

Christian T. Smith & Rod Engle
Populations of fall Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in the Columbia River are divided among two evolutionarily significant units: lower Columbia River fall Chinook salmon (or “tules”) in the lower portion of the river and upriver “brights” (URBs) in the upper portion. The two lineages migrate together through portions of the lower Columbia River but spawn allopatrically. Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery has been releasing URBs adjacent to what was historically exclusively tule spawning habitat...

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