32 Mill Street

Pinedale, WY, United States

32 Mill Street

Pinedale, WY, United States

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Peck D.,University of Wyoming | Scurlock B.,32 Mill Street | Logan J.,Wyoming Livestock Board | Robinson T.,University of Wyoming | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2016

Livestock producers and state wildlife agencies have used multiple management strategies to control bovine brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA). However, spillover from elk to domestic bison and cattle herds continues to occur. Although knowledge is increasing about the location and behavior of elk in the SGYA, predicting spatiotemporal overlap between elk and cattle requires locations of livestock operations and observations of elk contact by producers. We queried all producers in a three-county area using a questionnaire designed to determine location of cattle and whether producers saw elk comingle with their animals. This information was used to parameterize a spatially-explicit risk model to estimate the number of elk expected to overlap with cattle during the brucellosis transmission risk period. Elk-cattle overlap was predicted in areas further from roads and forest boundaries in areas with wolf activity, with higher slopes, lower hunter densities, and where the cost-distance to feedgrounds was very low or very high. The model was used to estimate the expected number of years until a cattle reactor will be detected, under alternative management strategies. The model predicted cattle cases every 4.28 years in the highest risk herd unit, a higher prediction than the one case in 26 years we have observed. This difference likely indicates that ongoing management strategies are at least somewhat effective in preventing potential elk-cattle brucellosis transmission in these areas. Using this model, we can infer the expected effectiveness of various management strategies for reducing the risk of brucellosis spillover from elk to cattle. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | 32 Mill Street, University of Wyoming and Wyoming Livestock Board
Type: | Journal: Preventive veterinary medicine | Year: 2016

Livestock producers and state wildlife agencies have used multiple management strategies to control bovine brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA). However, spillover from elk to domestic bison and cattle herds continues to occur. Although knowledge is increasing about the location and behavior of elk in the SGYA, predicting spatiotemporal overlap between elk and cattle requires locations of livestock operations and observations of elk contact by producers. We queried all producers in a three-county area using a questionnaire designed to determine location of cattle and whether producers saw elk comingle with their animals. This information was used to parameterize a spatially-explicit risk model to estimate the number of elk expected to overlap with cattle during the brucellosis transmission risk period. Elk-cattle overlap was predicted in areas further from roads and forest boundaries in areas with wolf activity, with higher slopes, lower hunter densities, and where the cost-distance to feedgrounds was very low or very high. The model was used to estimate the expected number of years until a cattle reactor will be detected, under alternative management strategies. The model predicted cattle cases every 4.28 years in the highest risk herd unit, a higher prediction than the one case in 26 years we have observed. This difference likely indicates that ongoing management strategies are at least somewhat effective in preventing potential elk-cattle brucellosis transmission in these areas. Using this model, we can infer the expected effectiveness of various management strategies for reducing the risk of brucellosis spillover from elk to cattle.


Boroff K.,University of Wyoming | Kauffman M.,Western EcoSystems Technology Inc. | Peck D.,University of Wyoming | Maichak E.,32 Mill Street | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2016

Recent cases of bovine brucellosis (Brucella abortus) in cattle (Bos taurus) and domestic bison (Bison bison) of the southern Greater Yellowstone Area (SGYA) have been traced back to free-ranging elk (Cervus elaphus). Several management activities have been implemented to reduce brucellosis seroprevalence in elk, including test-and-slaughter, low-density feeding at elk winter feedgrounds, and elk vaccination. It is unclear which of these activities are most cost-effective at reducing the risk of elk transmitting brucellosis to cattle. In a companion paper, a stochastic risk model was used to translate a reduction in elk seroprevalence to a reduction in the risk of transmission to cattle. Here, we use those results to estimate the expected economic benefits and costs of reducing seroprevalence in elk using three different management activities: vaccination of elk with Brucella strain 19 (S19), low-density feeding of elk, and elk test-and-slaughter. Results indicate that the three elk management activities yield negative expected net benefits, ranging from −$2983 per year for low-density feeding to −$595,471 per year for test-and-slaughter. Society's risk preferences will determine whether strategies that generate small negative net benefit, such as low-density feeding, are worth implementing. However, activities with large negative net benefits, such as test-and-slaughter and S19 vaccination, are unlikely to be economically worthwhile. Given uncertainty about various model parameters, we identify some circumstances in which individual management activities might generate positive expected net benefit. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | 32 Mill Street, Western EcoSystems Technology Inc. and University of Wyoming
Type: | Journal: Preventive veterinary medicine | Year: 2016

Recent cases of bovine brucellosis (Brucella abortus) in cattle (Bos taurus) and domestic bison (Bison bison) of the southern Greater Yellowstone Area (SGYA) have been traced back to free-ranging elk (Cervus elaphus). Several management activities have been implemented to reduce brucellosis seroprevalence in elk, including test-and-slaughter, low-density feeding at elk winter feedgrounds, and elk vaccination. It is unclear which of these activities are most cost-effective at reducing the risk of elk transmitting brucellosis to cattle. In a companion paper, a stochastic risk model was used to translate a reduction in elk seroprevalence to a reduction in the risk of transmission to cattle. Here, we use those results to estimate the expected economic benefits and costs of reducing seroprevalence in elk using three different management activities: vaccination of elk with Brucella strain 19 (S19), low-density feeding of elk, and elk test-and-slaughter. Results indicate that the three elk management activities yield negative expected net benefits, ranging from -$2983 per year for low-density feeding to -$595,471 per year for test-and-slaughter. Societys risk preferences will determine whether strategies that generate small negative net benefit, such as low-density feeding, are worth implementing. However, activities with large negative net benefits, such as test-and-slaughter and S19 vaccination, are unlikely to be economically worthwhile. Given uncertainty about various model parameters, we identify some circumstances in which individual management activities might generate positive expected net benefit.


Foley A.M.,Montana State University | Cross P.C.,U.S. Geological Survey | Christianson D.A.,University of Arizona | Scurlock B.M.,32 Mill Street | Creel S.,Montana State University
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2015

Several elk herds in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are fed during winter to alleviate interactions with livestock, reduce damage to stored crops, and to manage for high elk numbers. The effects of supplemental feeding on ungulate population dynamics has rarely been examined, despite the fact that supplemental feeding is partially justified as necessary for maintaining or enhancing population growth rates. We used linear regression to assess how the presence of feedgrounds, snowpack, summer rainfall, indices of grizzly bear density and wolves per elk, elk population trend counts, brucellosis seroprevalence, and survey date were correlated with midwinter calf:cow ratios, a metric correlated with population growth, from 1983-2010 from 12 ecologically similar elk herd units (7 fed and 5 unfed) in Wyoming, USA. Our statistical approach allowed for rigorous tests of the hypotheses that supplemental feeding had positive effects on calf:cow ratios and reduced sensitivity of calf:cow ratios to bottom-up limitation relative to top-down limitation from native predators. Calf:cow ratios generally declined across all herd units over the study period and varied widely among units with feedgrounds. We found no evidence that the presence of feedgrounds had positive effects on midwinter calf:cow ratios in Wyoming. Further, fed elk showed stronger correlations with environmental factors, whereas calf:cow ratios for unfed elk showed stronger correlations with predator indices. Although we found no consistent association between winter feeding and higher calf:cow ratios, we did not assess late winter mortality and differences in human offtake between fed and unfed regions, which remain a priority for future research. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. © Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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