Laramie, WY, United States
Laramie, WY, United States

Time filter

Source Type

Breck S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Clark P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Clark P.,Oregon State University | Howery L.,University of Arizona | And 5 more authors.
Rangelands | Year: 2012

The challenges associated with wolf restoration programs vary regionally and depend on a myriad of interacting factors. Actual predation events, as well as social and environmental factors, can influence vigilance rates of prey species that forage in the presence of predators. Moreover, prey response to a particular predator species may vary depending on the environmental and evolutionary history of predator?prey relationships, as well as on the unique hunting strategy of the predator species. A more complicated situation exists on rangelands occupied by livestock, wild ungulates, and wolves. Some recent work has been done in the northern Rocky Mountains, but most of our limited understanding of wolf?livestock interactions is based primarily on older studies from Canada, Europe, and the upper Midwest. The extent and magnitude of wolf reintroduction effects on regional livestock production, however, remain largely unknown. In fact, considerable controversy exists regarding the effect of wolves on livestock-rearing systems.

Webb S.L.,Hayden Wing Associates | Dzialak M.R.,Hayden Wing Associates | Harju S.M.,Hayden Wing Associates | Hayden-Wing L.D.,Hayden Wing Associates | Winstead J.B.,Hayden Wing Associates
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2011

It is important to consider how human activity might influence behavior (e.g., space use and movement) in animals because such influences could have consequences for animal distribution or population performance. We documented and compared annual space use and daily movement patterns (i.e., movement distance and tortuosity) of female elk (Cervus elaphus) relative to human activity associated with development of energy resources in Colorado and New Mexico, USA, from 2006 to 2010. We analyzed data on 145 female elk fitted with global positioning system collars. While controlling for elevation, slope, and distance to anthropogenic features and vegetative cover, we found that proximity to the gas field generally was associated with smaller home ranges, more complex movement paths (i.e., greater tortuosity) and longer distance moved over a 3-hr period (during most seasons). Comparing elk inside of the gas field to those outside of the gas field revealed differences in space use and movement patterns at varying levels of human activity. These differences likely reflected behavior by which elk in industrial areas attempted to minimize contact with sources of human activity; whereas, elk using both industrial and nonindustrial areas exhibited behavior that could be considered escape strategies (i.e., familiarity and use of large spatial extents, increased movement distance, and linear movement paths) in response to seemingly unpredictable levels of human activity due to their use of multiple areas. Understanding such behavioral responses informs efforts to minimize effects of human activity on animal populations. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Harju S.M.,Hayden Wing Associates | Dzialak M.R.,Hayden Wing Associates | Osborn R.G.,Hayden Wing Associates | Hayden-Wing L.D.,Hayden Wing Associates | Winstead J.B.,Hayden Wing Associates
Animal Conservation | Year: 2011

Managing wildlife populations in areas subject to human activity is an increasingly prominent challenge. Estimating resource selection functions for species of conservation concern and developing spatially explicit maps predicting animal use across landscapes is a powerful tool for minimizing negative impacts and enhancing positive influences of human activities. However, if animals modify their selection of resources in response to humans, application of spatially explicit conservation tools based on resource selection among animals exposed to high levels of human activity risks uncertainty in the performance of such tools. This could lead to ineffective conservation action and wasted conservation dollars. To evaluate the magnitude of differences between spatial predictions based on animals exposed to different levels of human activity and develop reliable conservation tools, we used the treatment/control concept and Bayesian hierarchical discrete choice methods to model day time resource selection by female elk in a natural gas field and in areas adjacent to the gas field during winter. We found that female elk showed strong variation in resource selection patterns among years, tended to avoid roads and natural gas wells and consistently showed stronger selection for security cover, steeper slopes and greater distance to edge habitats within the gas field relative to outside of the gas field. Predictive probability of use maps based on 'within gas field' models classified probability of use differently in 10-55% of grid cells relative to outside of the gas field models depending on year. Conservation research and applications should consider that models based on resource selection data collected from animals subjected to human activity may not elucidate innate resource selection patterns and therefore may result in reduced effectiveness of management actions. © 2011 The Authors. Animal Conservation © 2011 The Zoological Society of London.

Loading Hayden Wing Associates collaborators
Loading Hayden Wing Associates collaborators