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Bozeman, MT, United States

Plowright R.K.,Montana State University | Plowright R.K.,Pennsylvania State University | Eby P.,University of New South Wales | Hudson P.J.,Pennsylvania State University | And 19 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

Viruses that originate in bats may be the most notorious emerging zoonoses that spill over from wildlife into domestic animals and humans. Understanding how these infections filter through ecological systems to cause disease in humans is of profound importance to public health. Transmission of viruses from bats to humans requires a hierarchy of enabling conditions that connect the distribution of reservoir hosts, viral infection within these hosts, and exposure and susceptibility of recipient hosts. For many emerging bat viruses, spillover also requires viral shedding from bats, and survival of the virus in the environment. Focusing on Hendra virus, but also addressing Nipah virus, Ebola virus, Marburg virus and coronaviruses, we delineate this cross-species spillover dynamic from the within-host processes that drive virus excretion to land-use changes that increase interaction among species. We describe how land-use changes may affect co-occurrence and contact between bats and recipient hosts. Two hypotheses may explain temporal and spatial pulses of virus shedding in bat populations: episodic shedding from persistently infected bats or transient epidemics that occur as virus is transmitted among bat populations. Management of livestock also may affect the probability of exposure and disease. Interventions to decrease the probability of virus spillover can be implemented at multiple levels from targeting the reservoir host to managing recipient host exposure and susceptibility. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source


Plowright R.K.,Montana State University | Eby P.,University of New South Wales | Hudson P.J.,Pennsylvania State University | Smith I.L.,CSIRO | And 17 more authors.
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2015

Viruses that originate in bats may be the most notorious emerging zoonoses that spill over from wildlife into domestic animals and humans. Understanding how these infections filter through ecological systems to cause disease in humans is of profound importance to public health. Transmission of viruses from bats to humans requires a hierarchy of enabling conditions that connect the distribution of reservoir hosts, viral infection within these hosts, and exposure and susceptibility of recipient hosts. For many emerging bat viruses, spillover also requires viral shedding from bats, and survival of the virus in the environment. Focusing on Hendra virus, but also addressing Nipah virus, Ebola virus, Marburg virus and coronaviruses, we delineate this cross-species spillover dynamic from the within-host processes that drive virus excretion to land-use changes that increase interaction among species. We describe how land-use changes may affect co-occurrence and contact between bats and recipient hosts. Two hypotheses may explain temporal and spatial pulses of virus shedding in bat populations: episodic shedding from persistently infected bats or transient epidemics that occur as virus is transmitted among bat populations. Management of livestock also may affect the probability of exposure and disease. Interventions to decrease the probability of virus spillover can be implemented at multiple levels from targeting the reservoir host to managing recipient host exposure and susceptibility. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source


Kociolek A.V.,Montana State University | Callahan A.R.,Montana State University | Clevenger A.P.,Center for Large Landscape Conservation
ITE Journal (Institute of Transportation Engineers) | Year: 2015

The article explores the creative, economic, cultural, and operational dimensions of wildlife-highway mitigation and highlights several efforts by the Animal Road Crossings partnership to identify barriers, potential solutions, and collaborative opportunities. Transportation engineering has the distinct and demanding tradition of meeting human mobility and safety needs. These days, however, more and more transportation professionals are expanding their focus to consider the needs of wildlife and their habitats. Cost-benefit analyses suggest there are many road sections in the US and Canada where the benefits of installing wildlife crossings with fencing would exceed the costs associated with collisions between motorists and animals such as deer, elk, and moose. Source


Rudd M.A.,University of York | Beazley K.F.,Dalhousie University | Cooke S.J.,Carleton University | Fleishman E.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 30 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2011

Integrating knowledge from across the natural and social sciences is necessary to effectively address societal tradeoffs between human use of biological diversity and its preservation. Collaborative processes can change the ways decision makers think about scientific evidence, enhance levels of mutual trust and credibility, and advance the conservation policy discourse. Canada has responsibility for a large fraction of some major ecosystems, such as boreal forests, Arctic tundra, wetlands, and temperate and Arctic oceans. Stressors to biological diversity within these ecosystems arise from activities of the country's resource-based economy, as well as external drivers of environmental change. Effective management is complicated by incongruence between ecological and political boundaries and conflicting perspectives on social and economic goals. Many knowledge gaps about stressors and their management might be reduced through targeted, timely research. We identify 40 questions that, if addressed or answered, would advance research that has a high probability of supporting development of effective policies and management strategies for species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in Canada. A total of 396 candidate questions drawn from natural and social science disciplines were contributed by individuals with diverse organizational affiliations. These were collaboratively winnowed to 40 by our team of collaborators. The questions emphasize understanding ecosystems, the effects and mitigation of climate change, coordinating governance and management efforts across multiple jurisdictions, and examining relations between conservation policy and the social and economic well-being of Aboriginal peoples. The questions we identified provide potential links between evidence from the conservation sciences and formulation of policies for conservation and resource management. Our collaborative process of communication and engagement between scientists and decision makers for generating and prioritizing research questions at a national level could be a model for similar efforts beyond Canada.©2010 Society for Conservation Biology. Source


Bixler R.P.,Texas A&M University | Johnson S.,University of Montana | Emerson K.,University of Arizona | Nabatchi T.,Syracuse University | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2016

The objective of large landscape conservation is to mitigate complex ecological problems through interventions at multiple and overlapping scales. Implementation requires coordination among a diverse network of individuals and organizations to integrate local-scale conservation activities with broad-scale goals. This requires an understanding of the governance options and how governance regimes achieve objectives or provide performance evaluation across both space and time. However, empirical assessments measuring network-governance performance in large landscape conservation are limited. We describe a well-established large landscape conservation network in North America, the Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent, to explore the application of a social-ecological performance evaluation framework. Systematic approaches to setting goals, tracking progress, and collecting data for feedback can help guide adaptation. Applying the established framework to our case study provides a means of evaluating the effectiveness of network governance in large landscape conservation. © The Ecological Society of America. Source

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