Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Odanah, WI, United States

Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Odanah, WI, United States
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McCann N.P.,Purdue University | McCann N.P.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission | Zollner P.A.,Purdue University | Gilbert J.H.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2017

Snow-tracking is important for elucidating patterns of carnivore behavior, but misclassifying tracks reduces the accuracy of snow-tracking studies. Quantitative methods improve accuracy by distinguishing between similar tracks left by different carnivores. American marten (Martes americana) and fisher (Pekania pennanti) tracks are difficult to distinguish. We studied martens and fishers in northern Wisconsin, USA, during winter 2008–2010, to determine whether dimensions of tracks left in snow differed by snow conditions, and if marten and fisher tracks could be accurately classified by analyzing track dimensions that controlled for snow conditions. Snow depth, snow compaction, and crust depth correlated strongly with fisher step depth. Classification trees accurately classified marten and fisher tracks, and were 5–14% more accurate when track dimensions controlled for snow conditions. Species-only classifications were 91–96% accurate. Trees that classified sex and species were 75–89% accurate, indicating that snow-tracking can be used to estimate sex-specific marten and fisher habitat selection, distribution, and abundance. Controlling for snow conditions improves track classification accuracy for martens and fishers, and would likely improve classification accuracy for other carnivores. © 2017 The Wildlife Society. © The Wildlife Society, 2017

Monson B.A.,Minnesota Pollution Control Agency | Bhavsar S.P.,Environment Canada | Holsen T.M.,Clarkson University | Moses S.K.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission | And 3 more authors.
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2011

The risk of mercury (Hg) exposure to humans and wildlife from fish consumption has driven extensive mercury analysis throughout the Great Lakes Region since the 1970s. This study compiled fish-Hg data from multiple sources in the region and assessed spatiotemporal trends of Hg concentrations in two representative top predator fish species. Walleye (Sander vitreus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were chosen for the trend analysis because they had more Hg records (63,872) than other fish species that had been sampled from waters throughout the region. Waterbody types were inland lakes (70%), the Great Lakes, impoundments, and rivers. The compiled datasets were analyzed with a mixed effects statistical model having random effects of station, year, and fish length; and fixed effects of year, tissue type, fish length, habitat, and season. The results showed a generally declining temporal trend in fish-Hg for the region (1970-2009), with spatial trends of increasing Hg concentration from south to north and from west to east across the region. Nonlinearity was evident in the general downward trends of Ontario walleye, with a shift to an upward trend beginning in the 1990s. Only ongoing monitoring can reveal if this upward shift is an oscillation in a long-term decline, a statistical anomaly, or a sustained declining temporal trend in regional fish-Hg concentrations. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

McGrew A.K.,Colorado State University | Ballweber L.R.,Colorado State University | Moses S.K.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Moses S.K.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulates in the tissues of organisms and biomagnifies within food-webs. Gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Alaska primarily acquire Hg through diet; therefore, comparing the extent of Hg exposure in wolves, in conjunction with stable isotopes, from interior and coastal regions of Alaska offers important insight into their feeding ecology. Liver, kidney, and skeletal muscle samples from 162 gray wolves were analyzed for total mercury (THg) concentrations and stable isotopic signatures (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S). Median hepatic THg concentrations were significantly higher in wolves with coastal access compared to wolves from interior Alaska. Stable isotope ratios, in conjunction with THg concentrations, provide strong evidence that coastal wolves are utilizing marine prey representing several trophic levels. The utilization of cross-ecosystem food resources by coastal wolves is clearly contributing to increased THg exposure, and may ultimately have negative health implications for these animals. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

McCann N.P.,Purdue University | McCann N.P.,Apple Inc | Zollner P.A.,Purdue University | Gilbert J.H.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2014

Effective conservation efforts often depend on accurate identification of habitat requirements. Studies that identify habitat requirements for animals typically investigate use of structural habitat (vegetation) instead of functional habitat (conditions for biological fitness). The spatial scale of data could bias the match between functional and structural habitat because broadscale structural habitat maps exclude small habitat patches (inclusions) and broadscale location error can bias estimates of habitat use. To investigate how spatial scale affects the match between functional and structural habitat, we backtracked American marten (Martes americana) and fisher (Pekania formerly Martes pennanti) movement paths during winter and compared results from selection and tortuosity analyses conducted with broadscale (4 ha) and fine-scale (0.02 ha) structural habitat data. Functional habitat (rest sites and prey kill sites) occurred disproportionately in hemlock-cedar. Fine-scale structural habitat data detected greater selection and tortuosity within hemlock-cedar by traveling martens, but broadscale structural habitat data did not, which demonstrates that combining fine-scale location data with fine-scale structural habitat data improves the match between functional and structural habitat and understanding of habitat requirements. Selection and tortuosity indexes were poorly correlated, indicating that factors other than structural habitat influenced movement patterns. Within-stand structural habitat heterogeneity is important to martens and fishers, especially when heterogeneity includes mature conifer inclusions within primarily deciduous forests. Broadscale data may identify structural habitat associated with required types, rather than required habitat itself, when functional habitat corresponds with landscape features such as inclusions. © 2014 American Society of Mammalogists.

Pauli B.P.,Purdue University | McCann N.P.,Purdue University | McCann N.P.,Apple Inc | Zollner P.A.,Purdue University | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Complex decisions dramatically affect animal dispersal and space use. Dispersing individuals respond to a combination of fine-scale environmental stimuli and internal attributes. Individual-based modeling offers a valuable approach for the investigation of such interactions because it combines the heterogeneity of animal behaviors with spatial detail. Most individual-based models (IBMs), however, vastly oversimplify animal behavior and such behavioral minimalism diminishes the value of these models. We present program SEARCH (Spatially Explicit Animal Response to Composition of Habitat), a spatially explicit, individual-based, population model of animal dispersal through realistic landscapes. SEARCH uses values in Geographic Information System (GIS) maps to apply rules that animals follow during dispersal, thus allowing virtual animals to respond to fine-scale features of the landscape and maintain a detailed memory of areas sensed during movement. SEARCH also incorporates temporally dynamic landscapes so that the environment to which virtual animals respond can change during the course of a simulation. Animals in SEARCH are behaviorally dynamic and able to respond to stimuli based upon their individual experiences. Therefore, SEARCH is able to model behavioral traits of dispersing animals at fine scales and with many dynamic aspects. Such added complexity allows investigation of unique ecological questions. To illustrate SEARCH's capabilities, we simulated case studies using three mammals. We examined the impact of seasonally variable food resources on the weight distribution of dispersing raccoons (Procyon lotor), the effect of temporally dynamic mortality pressure in combination with various levels of behavioral responsiveness in eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), and the impact of behavioral plasticity and home range selection on disperser mortality and weight change in virtual American martens (Martes americana). These simulations highlight the relevance of SEARCH for a variety of applications and illustrate benefits it can provide for conservation planning.

Omori K.L.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Hoenig J.M.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Luehring M.A.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission | Baier-Lockhart K.,Center for Marine Resource Studies
Fisheries Research | Year: 2016

Fisheries can be managed based on surplus production models when only catch and effort data are available. However, reported catch and effort may not equal the true values. We studied the effects of jointly underestimated catch and effort on surplus production model parameter estimates (e.g., MSY, Bmsy and Fmsy) as well as estimates of key ratios (e.g., F/Fmsy). We used ASPIC to examine various scenarios of underreporting for three example fisheries, North Atlantic swordfish, northern pike in Minnesota and queen conch in the Turks and Caicos Islands. With constant underestimation of catch and effort throughout time, MSY, Bmsy and Bnext are all underestimated by the same percentage, while Flast and the ratios, F/Fmsy and B/Bmsy, are not affected. As a result, harvest regulations can be set based on fishing mortality and the ratios. That is, when one thinks the harvest is MSY with F = Fmsy, one is achieving MSY and Fmsy even though the catch is actually larger than it is thought to be. However, increasing or decreasing trends in underreporting of catch and effort over time lead to errors in the parameter and ratio estimates whose direction is case-specific and whose magnitude can be high or low. Each fishery model responded differently to the simulated scenarios, which may be a result of different exploitation histories or the quality of the fit of the production model to the data. The wide range of outcomes observed may be due to the fact that underestimation of catch and effort can lead to a gain or reduction in data contrast. Simulations of a variety of possible scenarios similar to the methods in this study should be conducted if catch and effort are believed to be underestimated to determine how the surplus production model responds. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Brost B.M.,Northern Arizona University | Brost B.M.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission | Beier P.,Northern Arizona University
Ecological Applications | Year: 2012

Least-cost modeling for focal species is the most widely used method for designing conservation corridors and linkages. However, these linkages have been based on current species' distributions and land cover, both of which will change with large-scale climate change. One method to develop corridors that facilitate species' shifting distributions is to incorporate climate models into their design. But this approach is enormously complex and prone to error propagation. It also produces outputs at a grain size (km 2) coarser than the grain at which conservation decisions are made. One way to avoid these problems is to design linkages for the continuity and interspersion of land facets, or recurring landscape units of relatively uniform topography and soils. This coarse-filter approach aims to conserve the arenas of biological activity rather than the temporary occupants of those arenas. In this paper, we demonstrate how land facets can be defined in a rule-based and adaptable way, and how they can be used for linkage design in the face of climate change. We used fuzzy c-means cluster analysis to define land facets with respect to four topographic variables (elevation, slope angle, solar insolation, and topographic position), and least-cost analysis to design linkages that include one corridor per land facet. To demonstrate the flexibility of our procedures, we designed linkages using land facets in three topographically diverse landscapes in Arizona, USA. Our procedures can use other variables, including soil variables, to define land facets. We advocate using land facets to complement, rather than replace, existing focal species approaches to linkage design. This approach can be used even in regions lacking land cover maps and is not affected by the bias and patchiness common in species occurrence data. © 2012 by the Ecological Society of America.

McCann N.P.,Purdue University | Zollner P.A.,Purdue University | Gilbert J.H.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

Low adult marten (Martes americana) survival may be one factor limiting their population growth >30 yr after their reintroduction in Wisconsin, USA. We estimated annual adult marten survival at 0.81 in northern Wisconsin, with lower survival during winter (0.87) than summerfall (1.00). Fisher (Martes pennanti) and raptor kills were infrequent, and each reduced marten adult annual survival <10. Annual adult survival was similar to or higher than survival in other areas, suggesting that it was not unusually low and therefore did not limit recovery of marten populations in northern Wisconsin. We captured few juvenile martens, suggesting low reproduction or reduced juvenile survival. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.

Meckley T.D.,Michigan State University | Wagner C.M.,Michigan State University | Luehring M.A.,Michigan State University | Luehring M.A.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Journal of Chemical Ecology | Year: 2012

The sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, is a harmful invader of the Laurentian Great Lakes. The odor emitted by larval lampreys resident to streams attracts migrating adults to high quality spawning habitats. Three components of the larval pheromone have been identified and tested in laboratory settings: petromyzonol sulfate, petromyzosterol disulfate, and petromyzonamine disulfate. Here, we report the first field test of six mixtures of synthetic versions of these pheromone components, and we compare lamprey responses to these with those elicited by the complete larval odor in a natural stream. Exposure to larval odor both increased upstream movement and attracted migrants into the portion of a channel containing the odor. No tested combination of synthetic pheromone components proved similarly attractive. These findings suggest the existence of unknown additional components of the pheromone that await discovery and are likely necessary if the pheromone is to be useful in management of this pest. Further, we hypothesize that the complete pheromone mixture is necessary to attract migrants into spawning habitat at the conclusion of the migration, whereas a partial pheromone may be effective at the transition from lake to stream when natural factors both dilute and alter the ratio of components from that actually emitted by sea lamprey larvae. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

Luehring M.A.,Michigan State University | Luehring M.A.,Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission | Wagner C.M.,Michigan State University | Li W.,Michigan State University
Biological Invasions | Year: 2011

The female sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), a devastating invasive fish of the Laurentian Great Lakes, locates potential mates by tracking a sex pheromone emitted by nesting males. We tested whether combinations of two putative components of the sex pheromone, 3-keto-petromyzonol sulfate (3kPZS) and 3-keto-allocholic acid (3kACA), were sufficiently attractive to function as a trap-bait when placed in direct competition with male odors. Ovulating females successfully located point sources of 3kPZS both in the presence and absence of a competing odor emitted by mature males placed upstream. However, 3kPZS was not able to retain females in the vicinity of a trap longer than two minutes, and retention time was reduced by 57% when competing male odors were present. 3kACA failed to elicit a response on its own and did not improve attraction to, or retention near, a source of 3kPZS. Application of an incomplete pheromone in trapping-for-control scenarios will require devices configured to minimize the effort necessary to enter a trap, features to offset the probable decrease in trap retention, and deployment into favorable habitats where competition with spawning males is minimal. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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