316 16th Street

Lewiston, ID, United States

316 16th Street

Lewiston, ID, United States
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White C.G.,101 S Powerline Road | Zager P.,316 16th Street | Gratson M.W.,316 16th Street
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

We evaluated survival of elk (Cervus elaphus) calves on 2 contrasting study areas in north-central Idaho, USA, from 1997 to 2004. Recruitment was modest (>30 calves:100 F calves of either sex:F elk ≥1 yr old) and stable on the South Fork study area and low (<20 calves:100 F) and declining on the Lochsa study area. The primary proximate cause of calf mortality on both study areas was predation by black bears (Ursus americanus) and mountain lions (Puma concolor). We experimentally manipulated populations of black bears and mountain lions on a portion of each study area. Black bear harvest (harvest density/600km2) initially doubled on the Lochsa treatment after manipulating season bag limits. Mountain lion harvest also increased by 60 but varied widely during the manipulation period. Harvest seasons were closed for black bears and mountain lions on the treatment portion of the South Fork study area. Using the AndersenGill formulation (AG) of the Cox proportional hazards model, we examined effects of landscape structure, predator harvest levels, and biological factors on summer calf survival. We used Akaike's Information Criterion (AICc) and multimodel inference to assess some potentially useful predictive factors relative to calf survival. We generated risk ratios for both the best models and for model-averaged coefficients. Our models predicted that calf survival was influenced by biological factors, landscape surrounding calf locations, and predator harvest levels. The model that best explained mortality risk to calves on the Lochsa included black bear harvest (harvest density/600 km2), estimated birth mass of calves, and percentage of shrub cover surrounding calf locations. Incorporating a shrub × time interaction allowed us to correct for nonproportionality and detect that effect of shrub cover was only influential during the first 14 days of a calf's life. Model-averaging indicated that estimated birth mass of calves and black bear harvest were twice as important as the next variables, but age of calves at capture was also influential in calf survival. The model that best explained mortality risk to calves on the South Fork included black bear harvest, age of calves at capture, and gender of calves. Model-averaging indicated that age at capture and black bear harvest were twice as important as the next variable, forest with 3366 canopy cover (Canopy 3366). Risk to calves decreased when calves occupied areas with more of this forest cover type. Model-averaging also indicated that increased mountain lion harvest lowered calf mortality risk 4 for every 1-unit increase in lion harvest (harvest density/600 km2) but was lower (<25) in importance compared to age at capture and black bear harvest. Our results suggest that levels of predator harvest, and presumably predator density, resource limitations expressed through calf birth mass, and habitat structure had substantial effects on calf survival. Our results can be generalized to other areas where managers are dealing with low calf elk recruitment. However, because factors vary spatially, a single management strategy applied in different areas will probably not have the same effect on calf survival. © The Wildlife Society.

Ausband D.E.,University of Montana | Mitchell M.S.,University of Montana | Doherty K.,University of Montana | Zager P.,316 16th Street | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

We used rendezvous site locations of wolf (Canis lupus) packs recorded during 19962006 to build a predictive model of gray wolf rendezvous site habitat in Idaho, USA. Variables in our best model included green leaf biomass (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), surface roughness, and profile curvature, indicating that wolves consistently used wet meadow complexes for rendezvous sites. We then used this predictive model to stratify habitat and guide survey efforts designed to document wolf pack distribution and fecundity in 4 study areas in Idaho. We detected all 15 wolf packs (32 wolf pack-yr) and 20 out of 27 (74) litters of pups by surveying <11 of the total study area. In addition, we were able to obtain detailed observations on wolf packs (e.g., hair and scat samples) once we located their rendezvous sites. Given an expected decrease in the ability of managers to maintain radiocollar contact with all of the wolf packs in the northern Rocky Mountains, rendezvous sites predicted by our model can be the starting point and foundation for targeted sampling and future wolf population monitoring surveys. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.

Balkenhol N.,University of Gottingen | Balkenhol N.,University of Idaho | Holbrook J.D.,University of Idaho | Onorato D.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission | And 2 more authors.
Ecography | Year: 2014

Genetic data are increasingly used to describe the structure of wildlife populations and to infer landscape influences on functional connectivity. To accomplish this, genetic structure can be described with a multitude of methods that vary in their assumptions, advantages and limitations. While some methods discriminate distinct subpopulations separated by sharp genetic boundaries (i.e. barrier detection or clustering methods), other methods estimate gradient genetic structures using individual-based genetic distances. We present an analytical framework based on individual ancestry values that combines these different approaches and can be used to a) test for local barriers to gene flow and b) evaluate effects of landscape gradients through individual-based genetic distances that account for hierarchical genetic structure. We illustrate the approach with a data set of 371 cougars Puma concolor from a 217 000 km2 study area in Idaho and western Montana (USA) that were genotyped at 12 microsatellite loci. Results suggest that cougars in the region show a complex, hierarchical genetic structure that is influenced by a local barrier to gene flow (an urban population cluster connected by high traffic volumes), different landscape features (the Snake River Plain, forested habitat), and geographic distance. Our novel approach helped to elucidate the relative influence of these factors on different hierarchical levels of population structure, which was not possible when using either clustering methods or standard genetic distances. Results obtained with our analytical framework highlight the need for multi-scale management of cougars in the region and show that landscape heterogeneity can create complex genetic structures, even in generalist species with high dispersal capabilities. © 2014 The Authors.

Stenglein J.L.,University of Idaho | Waits L.P.,University of Idaho | Ausband D.E.,University of Montana | Zager P.,316 16th Street | MacK C.M.,Nez Perce Tribe
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

Traditional methods of monitoring gray wolves (Canis lupus) are expensive and invasive and require extensive efforts to capture individual animals. Noninvasive genetic sampling (NGS) is an alternative method that can provide data to answer management questions and complement already-existing methods. In a 2-year study, we tested this approach for Idaho gray wolves in areas of known high and low wolf density. To focus sampling efforts across a large study area and increase our chances of detecting reproductive packs, we visited 964 areas with landscape characteristics similar to known wolf rendezvous sites. We collected scat or hair samples from 20 of sites and identified 122 wolves, using 8-9 microsatellite loci. We used the minimum count of wolves to accurately detect known differences in wolf density. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian single-session population estimators performed similarly and accurately estimated the population size, compared with a radiotelemetry population estimate, in both years, and an average of 1.7 captures per individual were necessary for achieving accurate population estimates. Subsampling scenarios revealed that both scat and hair samples were important for achieving accurate population estimates, but visiting 75 and 50 of the sites still gave reasonable estimates and reduced costs. Our research provides managers with an efficient and accurate method for monitoring high-density and low-density wolf populations in remote areas. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.

Stenglein J.L.,University of Idaho | Waits L.P.,University of Idaho | Ausband D.E.,University of Montana | Zager P.,316 16th Street | MacK C.M.,Nez Perce Tribe
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2011

Studying the ecology and behavior of pack animals often requires that most, or all, of the pack members are sampled. A unique opportunity to sample all gray wolf (Canis lupus) pack members arises during the summer months when reproductive packs localize in rendezvous sites. We collected 155296 scat and hair samples from each of 5 wolf rendezvous sites in central Idaho to evaluate intrapack relationships and determine the efficacy of noninvasive genetic sampling (NGS) for estimating pack size and family relationships. We detected 65 wolves (520 wolves per pack) with NGS, and the pack counts from NGS were the same or higher for adults and the same or slightly lower for pups compared with the counts from observation and telemetry. The wolves in each pack were closely related to one another, and all packs included at least 2 years of offspring from the current breeding pair. Three of the packs had additional breeding adults present. In 1 pack pups were produced by a parentoffspring pair and a pair of their inbred full siblings, indicating multiple cases of inbreeding. This targeted NGS approach shows great promise for studying pack size and wolf social structure without the use of radiotelemetry or direct observations. © 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

Hurley M.A.,9 Highway 93 N | Zager P.,316 16th Street | Hebblewhite M.,University of Montana | Garton E.O.,University of Idaho | And 3 more authors.
Wildlife Monographs | Year: 2011

Manipulating predator populations is often posed as a solution to depressed ungulate populations. However, predator-prey dynamics are complex and the effect on prey populations is often an interaction of predator life history, climate, prey density, and habitat quality. The effect of predator removal on ungulate and, more specifically, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations has not been adequately investigated at a management scale. We tested the efficacy of removing coyotes (Canis latrans) and mountain lions (Puma concolor) for increasing survival and population growth rate of mule deer in southeastern Idaho, USA, during 1997-2003. We assigned 8 game management units (GMUs) to treatments under a 2 × 2 factorial design (treatments of coyote removal and lion removal) with 2 replicates of each treatment or reference area combination. We used methods typically available to wildlife managers to achieve predator removals and a combination of extensive and intensive monitoring in these 8 GMUs to test the hypothesis that predator removal increased vital rates and population growth rate of mule deer. We determined effects of predator removal on survival and causes of mortality in 2 intensive study sites, one with coyote and mountain lion removal and one without. We also considered the effects of other variables on survival including lagomorph abundance and climatic conditions. In these 2 intensive study areas, we monitored with radiotelemetry 250 neonates, 284 6-month-old fawns, and 521 adult females. At the extensive scale, we monitored mule deer population trend and December fawn ratios with helicopter surveys. Coyote removal decreased neonate mortality only when deer were apparently needed as alternate prey, thus removal was more effective when lagomorph populations were reduced. The best mortality model of mule deer captured at 6 months of age included summer precipitation, winter precipitation, fawn mass, and mountain lion removal. Over-winter mortality of adult female mule deer decreased with removal of mountain lions. Precipitation variables were included in most competing mortality models for all age classes of mule deer. Mountain lion removal increased fawn ratios and our models predicted fawn ratios would increase 6% at average removal rates (3.53/1,000 km 2) and 27% at maximum removal rates (14.18/1,000 km 2). Across our extensive set of 8 GMUs, coyote removal had no effect on December fawn ratios. We also detected no strong effect of coyote or mountain lion removal alone on mule deer population trend; the best population-growth-rate model included previous year's mountain lion removal and winter severity, yet explained only 27% of the variance in population growth rate. Winter severity in the current and previous winter was the most important influence on mule deer population growth. The lack of response in fawn ratio or mule deer abundance to coyote reduction at this extensive (landscape) scale suggests that decreased neonate mortality due to coyote removal is partially compensatory. Annual removal of coyotes was not an effectivemethod to increase mule deer populations in Idaho because coyote removal increased radiocollared neonate fawn survival only under particular combinations of prey densities and weather conditions, and the increase did not result in population growth. Coyote-removal programs targeted in areas where mortality of mule deer fawns is known to be additive and coyote-removal conditions are successful may influence mule deer population vital rates but likely will not change direction of population trend. Although mountain lion removal increased mule-deer survival and fawn ratios, we were unable to demonstrate significant changes in population trend with mountain lion removal. In conclusion, benefits of predator removal appear to be marginal and short term in southeastern Idaho and likely will not appreciably change long-term dynamics of mule deer populations in the intermountain west. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Olson L.E.,Rocky Research | Sauder J.D.,316 16th Street | Albrecht N.M.,Wildlife Program | Vinkey R.S.,Montana Fish | And 2 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

Climate change impacts many species through shifts in habitat. The intensity of this impact will depend on the dispersal rates of the species, the patchiness of the environment, and the velocity of habitat change. Here we examine how dispersal affects projected future habitat availability for a threatened carnivore, the fisher (Pekania [. Martes] pennanti). We used non-invasive genetic sampling to detect fisher across their historical distribution in Montana and Idaho. This survey included 4846 non-invasive hair snares, of which 288 identified fishers through mitochondrial DNA analysis. We modeled the distribution of fisher across western Montana and northern Idaho using a suite of vegetative, topographic, and climatic variables. We modeled future distribution using a global climate model and two climate change scenarios (high emissions [A2] or reduced emissions [B2]) and three time steps (2030, 2060, and 2090). We incorporated the effects of dispersal ability and habitat patch size into our model by varying the distance and enforcing a minimum patch size at which newly created habitat could be colonized. We found that the probability of current fisher occurrence was highest given the presence of mesic forest types with tall trees, high annual precipitation, and mid-range winter temperatures. Future predictions show an increase in area of high-probability habitat under most dispersal assumptions. Interestingly, we found a large contrast in results when minimum patch size and species dispersal capabilities were considered. Our distribution model with full dispersal and no limits on patch size predicted a 24.5% increase in fisher habitat by 2090, whereas a dispersal limit of 1. km through non-habitat (agricultural fields and urban zones) and a minimum patch size yielded a loss of 25.8% of fisher habitat under this same scenario. Varying dispersal appears to limit habitat availability more than minimum patch size under most scenarios. © 2013.

Sauder J.D.,316 16th Street | Sauder J.D.,University of Idaho | Rachlow J.L.,University of Idaho
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

Habitat selection by animals occurs across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Information about habitat requirements across scales is needed to develop effective habitat management strategies that promote wildlife conservation. The fisher (. Pekania pennanti) is a wide ranging mesocarnivore that occurs at low population densities, uses large tracts of forested land, and has been repeatedly petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act, primarily due to habitat loss. Although habitat selection by fishers at fine and broad spatial scales has been studied, selection at scales between these extremes is poorly reported in the literature. We used data from 18 fishers fitted with Argos satellite telemetry collars to evaluate two competing hypotheses about habitat selection by fishers within home ranges: fishers select core use areas based on (1) abundant and contiguous mature forest, or (2) heterogeneity and diversity of habitats. We identified core and peripheral use areas within home ranges using an optimal isopleth analysis, and we evaluated a suite of a priori models that described how forest composition and configuration might influence habitat selection within home ranges. Results indicated that core use areas were composed of intermediate amounts of both landscape edge and high canopy cover forest. Such selection potentially facilitates access to a diverse array of resources. Overall, our results supported the hypothesis that fishers select core use areas within home ranges based on habitat heterogeneity and diversity. Because most forest management occurs at a scale similar to our analysis, these results contribute to a better understanding about how forest management strategies can facilitate persistence of fishers in managed forest landscapes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Weiser G.C.,University of Idaho | Drew M.L.,6569 South 10th Avenue | Frances Cassirer E.,316 16th Street | Ward A.C.S.,University of Idaho
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2012

Mycoplasma species are of interest as possible primary pathogens in the pneumonia complex of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Previous investigations have not commonly detected low frequencies of Mycoplasma spp. from free-ranging bighorn sheep, possibly due to the fastidious and slow growth of these organisms. We developed a culture protocol that employed an average initial 3-day enrichment culture in liquid Hayflick broth in a CO 2- enhanced atmosphere. The broth was plated to solid Hayflick medium and the cultures observed for growth for up to 30 days. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on DNA isolated from the enrichment broth and on isolates obtained from culture using Mycoplasma genus-specific PCR assays and speciesspecific PCR assays for M. arginini and M. ovipneumoniae. Some cultures that grew on Hayflick plates were picked as single colonies but were mixed because two organisms may grow together and appear as a single colony. Culture and PCR tests produced similar results for M. arginini, but for M. ovipneumoniae, culture alone was less accurate than PCR. Use of genus-specific primers also may allow detection of other species in samples negative for M. arginini and M. ovipneumoniae. Two methods of transport from field to laboratory (Port-a-Cul™ tubes, cryoprotectant in liquid N 2 and Fisher Transport System) gave similar results under our study conditions. © Wildlife Disease Association 2012.

Cossel Jr. J.O.,Northwest Nazarene University | Gaige M.G.,316 16th Street | Sauder J.D.,Northwest Nazarene University
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2012

Electroshocking has long been employed as a survey technique for fish, but has not been directly tested against rock rolling as a survey methodology for stream-dwelling amphibians. Electroshocking has the potential to reduce habitat disturbances that result from surveys, improve abundance estimates, and reduce injuries and effort in collecting data. Furthermore, accurately quantifying species and survey techniquespecific estimates of detection probabilities is critical for appropriately interpreting survey results and employing occupancy analyses. We tested the efficiency and sensitivity of rock rolling and electroshocking in detecting Idaho giant salamanders (Dicamptodon aterrimus) in a small stream in northern Idaho, USA, by sampling short (25 m) segments of a stream using both survey techniques. We also conducted multi-pass surveys of 400-m stream segments to estimate detection probabilities for D. aterrimus and Rocky Mountain tailed frog (Ascaphus montanus). Using electroshocking, we detected D. aterrimus 40% more often than by rock rolling and detected 3.5 times as many individuals, with substantially reduced effort. Using electroshocking, detection probabilities were 1.0 for D. aterrimus and 0.79 (95% CI = 0.63-0.88) for A. montanus. Our results show electroshocking to be a much more sensitive and efficient method of detecting streamdwelling amphibians than the traditional technique of rock rolling. Electroshocking can serve as an important survey technique for secretive stream-dwelling amphibians, allowing managers to quickly and safely acquire valuable data of better quality. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.

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