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Jemez Pueblo, NM, United States

Caldwell C.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Jacobi G.Z.,Jacobi and Associates | Anderson M.C.,New Mexico State University | Parmenter R.R.,Valles Caldera National Preserve | And 4 more authors.
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2013

The use of prescription fire has long been recognized as a reliable management tool to suppress vegetative succession processes and to reduce fuel loading to prevent catastrophic wildfires, but very little attention has been paid to the effects on aquatic systems. A late-fall prescribed burn was implemented to characterize effects on an aquatic community within a montane grassland system in north-central New Mexico. The fire treatment was consistent with protocols of a managed burn except that the fire was allowed to burn through the riparian area to the treatment stream to replicate natural fire behavior. In addition to summer and fall preburn assessment of the treatment and reference stream, we characterized immediate postfire effects (within a week for macroinvertebrates and within 6 months for fish) and seasonal effects over a 2-year period. Responses within the treatment stream were compared with an unburned reference stream adjacent to the prescription burn. During the burn, the diel range in air temperature increased by 5°C while diel range in water temperature did not change. Carbon-nitrogen ratios did not differ between treatment and reference streams, indicating the contribution of ash from the surrounding grassland was negligible. Although total taxa and species richness of aquatic macroinvertebrates were not altered, qualitative indices revealed departure from preburn condition due to loss of sensitive taxa (mayflies [order Ephemeroptera] and stoneflies [order Plecoptera]) and an increase in tolerant taxa (midges [order Chironomidae]) following the burn. Within 1 year of the burn, these attributes returned to preburn conditions. The density and recruitment of adult Brown Trout Salmo trutta did not differ between pre- and postburn collections, nor did fish condition differ. Fire is rarely truly replicated within a given study. Although our study represents one replication, the results will inform managers about the importance in timing (seasonality) of prescription burn and anticipated effects on aquatic communities. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Friggens M.M.,Northern Arizona University | Friggens M.M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Parmenter R.R.,Valles Caldera National Preserve | Boyden M.,University of New Mexico | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2010

Plague, a flea-transmitted infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a primary threat to the persistence of prairie dog populations (Cynomys spp.). We conducted a 3-yr survey (2004-2006) of fleas from Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisonl) and their burrows in montane grasslands in Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. Our objectives were to describe flea communities and identify flea and rodent species important to the maintenance of plague. We live-trapped prairie dogs and conducted burrow sweeps at three colonies in spring and summer of each year. One hundred thirty prairie dogs and 51 goldenmantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus lateralis) were captured over 3,640 trap nights and 320 burrows were swabbed for fleas. Five flea species were identified from prairie dogs and ground squirrels and four were identified from burrow samples. Oropsylla hirsuta was the most abundant species found on prairie dogs and in burrows. Oropsylla idahoensis was most common on ground squirrels. Two colonies experienced plague epizootics in fall 2004. Plague-positive fleas were recovered from burrows (O. hirsuta and Oropsylla tuberculata tuberculata) and a prairie dog (O. hirsuta) in spring 2005 and summer 2006. Three prairie dogs collected in summer 2005 and 2006 had plague antibody. We found a significant surge in flea abundance and prevalence, particularly within burrows, following plague exposure. We noted an increased tendency for flea exchange opportunities in the spring before O. hirsuta reached its peak population. We hypothesize that the role of burrows as a site of flea exchange, particularly between prairie dogs and ground squirrels, may be as important as summer conditions that lead to buildup in O. hirsuta populations for determining plague outbreaks. © Wildlife Disease Association 2010.

Deyo N.,Sky Island Alliance | Burke R.,Legacy Land Conservancy | Kelley A.,Summerville High School | Van Der Werff B.,Valles Caldera National Preserve | And 3 more authors.
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2014

This paper investigates the status of trails on American Indian lands in the United States and their contribution to quality of life in Indian Country. Although American Indians have been using trails for centuries and trails have been the subject of considerable scholarly inquiry, very little research explores community trails on American Indian land. However, such research could serve an important purpose: American Indian communities, and reservations in particular, face a suite of social challenges related to land tenure, economic disparity, health epidemics, and transportation safety. Meanwhile, the social benefits of community trails have been well documented. This paper seeks to fill this knowledge gap by describing the current existence and uses of trails on American Indian l∧ the benefits they bring to tribal and non-tribal users; the potential benefits of expanding trails; and potential obstacles to trail development. To develop this understanding, we conducted informational interviews with 21 tribal representatives and resource managers from across the United States. Our results shed light on the important role that trails can play in strengthening American Indian communities. We find that trails (1) help strengthen and preserve cultural identity and natural herita≥ (2) directly address some of the most pervasive social challenges that American Indian communities face; and (3) spur the creation of constructive partnerships with individuals, organizations, and various levels of government. These results provide strong incentive for continued and improved funding and development of trails not only in American Indian communities but also on indigenous lands across the globe. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Gerber B.D.,Colorado State University | Parmenter R.R.,Valles Caldera National Preserve
Ecological Applications | Year: 2015

Abundance and density of wild animals are important ecological metrics. However, estimating either is fraught with challenges; spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models are a relatively new class of models that attempt to ameliorate common challenges, providing a statistically coherent framework to estimate abundance and density. SCR models are increasingly being used in ecological and conservation studies of mammals worldwide, but have received little testing with empirical field data. We use data collected via a web and grid sampling design to evaluate the basic SCR model where small-mammal abundance ( N ) and density ( D) are known (via exhaustive sampling). We fit the basic SCR model with and without a behavioral effect to 11 small-mammal populations for each sampling design using a Bayesian and likelihood SCR modeling approach. We compare SCR and ad hoc density estimators using frequentist performance measures. We found Bayesian and likelihood SCR estimates of density (D) and abundance (N) to be similar. We also found SCR models to have moderately poor frequentist coverage of D and N (45-73%), high deviation from truth (i.e., accuracy; D, 17-29%; N, 16-29%), and consistent negative bias across inferential paradigms, sampling designs, and models. With the trapping grid data, the basic SCR model generally performed more poorly than the best ad hoc estimator (behavior CR super-population estimate divided by the full mean maximum distance moved estimate of the effective trapping area), whereas with the trapping web data, the best-performing SCR model (null) was comparable to the best distance model. Relatively poor frequentist SCR coverage resulted from higher precision (SCR coefficients of variation [CVs] , ad hoc CVs); however and D were fairly well correlated (r 2 range of 0.77-0.96). SCR's negative relative bias (i.e., average underestimation of the true density) suggests additional heterogeneity in detection and/or that small mammals maintained asymmetric home ranges. We suggest caution in the use of the basic SCR model when trapping animals in a sampling grid and more generally when small sample sizes necessitate the spatial scale parameter (σ) apply to all individuals. When possible, researchers should consider variation in detection and incorporate individual biological and/or ecological variation at the trap level when modeling σ. ©2015 by the Ecological Society of America.

Abramson G.,University of New Mexico | Abramson G.,Bariloche Atomic Center | Giuggioli L.,University of New Mexico | Giuggioli L.,University of Bristol | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Theoretical Biology | Year: 2013

Wave propagation can be clearly discerned in data collected on mouse populations in the Cibola National Forest (New Mexico, USA) related to seasonal changes. During an exploration of the construction of a methodology for investigations of the spread of the Hantavirus epidemic in mice we have built a system of interacting reaction diffusion equations of the Fisher-Kolmogorov-Petrovskii-Piskunov type. Although that approach has met with clear success recently in explaining Hantavirus refugia and other spatiotemporal correlations, we have discovered that certain observed features of the wave propagation observed in the data we mention are impossible to explain unless modifications are made. However, we have found that it is possible to provide a tentative explanation/description of the observations on the basis of an assumed Allee effect proposed to exist in the dynamics. Such incorporation of the Allee effect has been found useful in several of our recent investigations both of population dynamics and pattern formation and appears to be natural to the observed system. We report on our investigation of the observations with our extended theory. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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