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Pinedale, WY, United States

Barbknecht A.E.,Iowa State University | Fairbanks W.S.,Iowa State University | Rogerson J.D.,32 East Mill Street | Maichak E.J.,32 East Mill Street | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2011

Selection of habitat components by ungulates associated with parturition sites varies among and within species depending upon vulnerability to predators, variation in local topography and climate regimes, and the length of time that the maternal-neonatal unit spends at or near the parturition location. We marked 169 parturition locations of elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) in western Wyoming using vaginal implant transmitters and evaluated parturition-specific habitat selection at macro- and microhabitat scales using a resource selection function modeling approach. Elk calved in a variety of habitats, yet demonstrated selection at both spatial scales. We found the strongest support for models that incorporated multiple habitat features and focused on topographical and vegetative cover types that provide physical and thermal cover at the macrohabitat scale and for visual cover models at the microhabitat scale. Models based solely on forage availability or quality were least supported at both scales, which may be indicative of a brief occupation of the parturition location or low heterogeneity in the availability of forage resources on parturition ranges. Results of early elk natural history studies may have represented a bias introduced by variable sightability and accessibility of females with calves and a lack of differentiation between calving and neonatal periods. More clearly defining calving site selection and removing biases toward more open habitats where sightability of neonates is greater may be used by wildlife or land managers to improve or protect calving habitats, which is often a stated objective of management actions. The results of this study suggest that microhabitat is more important to elk and that temporal closures over broad areas versus closures focused on specific macrohabitats may be more effective in protecting calving animals. © 2011 The Wildlife Society. Source

Klein Z.B.,University of Idaho | Quist M.C.,U.S. Geological Survey | Rhea D.T.,32 East Mill Street | Senecal A.C.,51 Astle
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2015

Burbot, Lota lota (Linnaeus), were illegally introduced into the Green River drainage, Wyoming in the 1990s. Burbot could potentially alter the food web in the Green River, thereby negatively influencing socially, economically, and ecologically important fish species. Therefore, managers of the Green River are interested in implementing a suppression program for burbot. Because of the cost associated with the removal of undesirable species, it is critical that suppression programs are as effective as possible. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the habitat use of non-native burbot in lotic systems, severely limiting the effectiveness of any removal effort. We used hurdle models to identify habitat features influencing the presence and relative abundance of burbot. A total of 260 burbot was collected during 207 sampling events in the summer and autumn of 2013. Regardless of the season, large substrate (e.g., cobble, boulder) best predicted the presence and relative abundance of burbot. In addition, our models indicated that the occurrence of burbot was inversely related to mean current velocity. The efficient and effective removal of burbot from the Green River largely relies on an improved understanding of the influence of habitat on their distribution and relative abundance. © 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland (outside the USA) Source

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