United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Washington, DC, United States

United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Washington, DC, United States
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Carleton M.D.,National Museum of Natural History | Gardner A.L.,United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center | Pavlinov I.Y.,Moscow State University | Musser G.G.,American Museum of Natural History
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2014

In view of contradictions in the recent literature, the valid genus-group name to be applied to northern red-backed voles-Myodes Pallas, 1811, or Clethrionomys Tilesius, 1850-is reviewed. To develop the thesis that Myodes (type species, Mus rutilus Pallas, 1779) is the correct name, our discussion explores the 19th-century taxonomic works that bear on the relevant taxa, the transition in zoological codes apropos the identification of type species, and past nomenclatural habits in cases where no type species was originally indicated. We conclude that Myodes is the senior name to use for the genus-group taxon that includes the Holarctic species rutilus and frame this conclusion within a synonymy of the genus. © 2014 American Society of Mammalogists.

Klimstra R.L.,North Carolina State University | Moorman C.E.,North Carolina State University | Converse S.J.,United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center | Royle J.A.,United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center | Harper C.A.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2015

Recent emphasis has been put on establishing native warm-season grasses for forage production because it is thought native warm-season grasses provide higher quality wildlife habitat than do non-native cool-season grasses. However, it is not clear whether native warm-season grass fields provide better resources for small mammals than currently are available in non-native cool-season grass forage production fields. We developed a hierarchical spatially explicit capture-recapture model to compare abundance of hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), and house mice (Mus musculus) among 4 hayed non-native cool-season grass fields, 4 hayed native warm-season grass fields, and 4 native warm-season grass-forb ("wildlife") fields managed for wildlife during 2 summer trapping periods in 2009 and 2010 of the western piedmont of North Carolina, USA. Cotton rat abundance estimates were greater in wildlife fields than in native warm-season grass and non-native cool-season grass fields and greater in native warm-season grass fields than in non-native cool-season grass fields. Abundances of white-footed mouse and house mouse populations were lower in wildlife fields than in native warm-season grass and non-native cool-season grass fields, but the abundances were not different between the native warm-season grass and non-native cool-season grass fields. Lack of cover following haying in non-native cool-season grass and native warm-season grass fields likely was the key factor limiting small mammal abundance, especially cotton rats, in forage fields. Retention of vegetation structure in managed forage production systems, either by alternately resting cool-season and warm-season grass forage fields or by leaving unharvested field borders, should provide refugia for small mammals during haying events. © The Wildlife Society, 2014.

Smith D.H.V.,Center for Conservation Research | Smith D.H.V.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Moehrenschlager A.,Center for Conservation Research | Christensen N.,Advanced Telemetry | And 3 more authors.
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2012

Worldwide, approximately 168 bird species are captive-bred for reintroduction into the wild. Programs tend to be initiated for species with a high level of endangerment. Depressed hatching success can be a problem for such programs and has been linked to artificial incubation. The need for artificial incubation is driven by the practice of multiclutching to increase egg production or by uncertainty over the incubation abilities of captive birds. There has been little attempt to determine how artificial incubation differs from bird-contact incubation. We describe a novel archive (data-logger) egg and use it to compare temperature, humidity, and egg-turning in 5 whooping crane (Grus americana) nests, 4 sandhill crane (G. canadensis) nests, and 3 models of artificial incubator; each of which are used to incubate eggs in whooping crane captivebreeding programs. Mean incubation temperature was 31.78 °C for whooping cranes and 32.838 °C for sandhill cranes. This is well below that of the artificial incubators (which were set based on a protocol of 37.68 °C). Humidity in crane nests varied considerably, but median humidity in all 3 artificial incubators was substantially different from that in the crane nests. Two artificial incubators failed to turn the eggs in a way that mimicked crane egg-turning. Archive eggs are an effective tool for guiding the management of avian conservation breeding programs, and can be custom-made for other species. They also have potential to be applied to research on wild populations. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.

Mackenzie D.I.,Proteus Wildlife Research Consultants | Bailey L.L.,Colorado State University | Hines J.E.,United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center | Nichols J.D.,United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Methods in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2011

1. Relationships between animal populations and their habitats are well known and commonly acknowledged to be important by animal ecologists, conservation biologists and wildlife managers. Such relationships are most commonly viewed as static, such that habitat at time t is viewed as a determinant of animals present at that same time, t, or sometimes as a determinant of animal population or occurrence dynamics (e.g. between t and t+1). 2.Here, we motivate interest in simultaneous dynamics of both habitat and occupancy state (e.g. species presence or absence) and develop models to estimate parameters that describe the dynamics of such systems. 3.The models permit inference about transition probabilities for both habitat and focal species occupancy, such that habitat transitions may influence focal species transitions and vice versa. 4.Example analyses using data from salamanders in the eastern United States are presented for (i) the special case in which habitat is characterized as either suitable or unsuitable and (ii) the more general case in which different habitat states are expected to influence occupancy dynamics in a less extreme manner (occupancy is possible in the various habitat states). 5.We believe that the integrated inference methods presented here will be useful for a variety of ecological and conservation investigations and attain special relevance in the face of habitat dynamics driven by such factors as active management, land use changes and climate change. © 2011 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution © 2011 British Ecological Society.

Hahn D.C.,United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center | Summers S.G.,Nature Conservancy | Genovese K.J.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center | He H.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center | Kogut M.H.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center
Avian Diseases | Year: 2013

We examined the relative effectiveness of two innate immune responses in two species of New World blackbirds (Passeriformes, Icteridae) that differ in resistance to West Nile virus (WNV). We measured degranulation and oxidative burst, two fundamental components of phagocytosis, and we predicted that the functional effectiveness of these innate immune responses would correspond to the species' relative resistance to WNV. The brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), an obligate brood parasite, had previously shown greater resistance to infection with WNV, lower viremia and faster recovery when infected, and lower subsequent antibody titers than the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), a close relative that is not a brood parasite. We found that cowbird leukocytes were significantly more functionally efficient than those of the blackbird leukocytes and 50% more effective at killing the challenge bacteria. These results suggest that further examination of innate immunity in the cowbird may provide insight into adaptations that underlie its greater resistance to WNV. These results support an eco-immunological interpretation that species like the cowbird, which inhabit ecological niches with heightened exposure to parasites, experience evolutionary selection for more effective immune responses. © American Association of Avian Pathologists.

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