Kyran E. Kunkel

Kyran E. Kunkel
Conservation Science Collaborative; University of Montana; Smithsonian Institution

Doctor of Philosophy

About

60
Publications
23,536
Reads
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2,400
Citations
Citations since 2017
9 Research Items
981 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Across much of the Western United States, recovery of large carnivore populations is creating new challenges for livestock producers. Reducing the risks of sharing the landscape with recovering wildlife populations is critical to private working lands, which play an vital role in securing future energy, water, food, and fiber for an ever-expanding...
Article
Full-text available
Context People and wildlife are coming into greater contact worldwide because of the increasing human footprint. Although some species tolerate certain levels of human activities, others are vulnerable to human disturbance, potentially altering their spatial or temporal patterns of activity in response to disturbance by humans. Aims We evaluated th...
Article
Full-text available
Future climate projections of warming, drying, and increased weather variability indicate that conventional agricultural and production practices within the Northern Great Plains (NGP) will become less sustainable, both ecologically and economically. As a result, the livelihoods of people that rely on these lands will be adversely impacted. This is...
Article
Full-text available
Temperate grassland biomes are globally imperiled, and grassland birds are in precipitous decline as a result. The majority of North America's grassland birds breed on rangelands occupied by domestic cattle, but reintroductions of bison to restore evolutionary grazing patterns are increasingly common. Grassland landscapes in western North America h...
Article
Full-text available
We studied the habitat selection of pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana ) during seasonal migration; an important period in an animal’s annual cycle associated with broad-scale movements. We further decompose our understanding of migration habitat itself as the product of both broad- and fine-scale behavioral decisions and take a multi-scale approach...
Article
Maximizing rangeland health has become a popular theme in North American grassland management. Quantifying rangeland health is particularly important when attempting to compare different management strategies ongoing in priority conservation areas, such as those within the Northern Great Plains (NGP). We investigated the response of five vegetative...
Article
Keystone species restoration, or the restoration of species whose effect on an ecosystem is much greater than their abundance, is a central justification for many wildlife reintroduction projects globally. Following restoration, plains bison (Bison bison L.) have been identified as a keystone species in the tallgrass prairie ecoregion, but we know...
Article
Migration functions as an adaptive strategy to improve fitness by allowing individuals to exploit spatiotemporal gradients of resources. Yet migration, especially among large ungulates, is increasingly threatened by human activities, making it necessary to understand variation in migratory behavior. We identified different movement strategies for p...
Chapter
Full-text available
A primary threat to snow leopards is retaliatory killing by people whose livestock are depredated and who subsequently view the cats as an economic threat. The structure, implementation challenges and opportunities, and economic, social, and conservation impacts of three community-based conservation programs are explored in India, Mongolia, Pakista...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Feral swine are a serious management issue for natural resource managers, farmers, ranchers, and increasingly even suburban, private property owners. The 270,000-acre privately-owned Tejon Ranch in the Tehachapi Mountains of California, the subject of an historic conservation and land use agreement that conserved 90% of the property, supports a pop...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Wild pigs cause extensive damage to ecological resources, agricultural lands, and private property, and carry diseases that may pose a health risk to livestock and humans. At the Tejon Ranch in the Tehachapi Mountains of California, a population of wild pigs produce extensive ecological and economic damages, and share rangelands with cattle. Via th...
Article
Wolf (Canis lupus) predation on livestock and management methods used to mitigate conflicts are highly controversial and scrutinized especially where wolf populations are recovering. Wolves are commonly removed from a local area in attempts to reduce further depredations, but the effectiveness of such management actions is poorly understood. We com...
Article
Full-text available
Reintroductions have increasingly become effective at restoring populations of imperiled native wildlife. How animals are reintroduced into unfamiliar environments may have pronounced impacts on behavior, survival, and reproduction. We evaluated the influence of four release methods on survival rates of translocated swift foxes at Bad River Ranches...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The intention of this document is to provide Glacier National Park (GLAC) a watershed-scale prioritization tool to assist with finer scale monitoring or management decisions. This document relies on existing data to provide a comprehensive overview of the ecosystem condition of GLAC’s watersheds. The models within this document may be used to asses...
Article
Full-text available
Management for biodiversity and other ecosystem services from North America's rangelands has received increasing attention as recognition of the societal value of those services and payment mechanisms for them have grown. This, combined with adverse effects of livestock management on North American rangeland biodiversity and predictions of a warmer...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, the plains bison (Bison bison Linnaeus) was the most numerous and influential grazer on the Great Plains. Today 500 000 bison occupy North America among more than 100 000 000 cattle. In an attempt to restore their historical ecological role, bison are translocated onto landscapes previously manipulated for cattle use through water and...
Article
Large carnivores have been posited as potential conservation surrogates to inform the design and prioritization of conservation planning. We show that wolves Canis lupus and cougars Puma concolor may have potential to serve as a surrogate suite for conserving landscape heterogeneity, hypothesized to be a determinant of biodiversity in some landscap...
Chapter
Full-text available
The pronghorn Antilocapra americana is a grassland and shrub-steppe obligate unique to North America. The species was driven to low abundance during agricultural settlement in the West. Extensive conversion of grasslands to crop production early in the twentieth century severely reduced the availability of native habitat. Populations have partially...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The conservation of the plains bison (Bison bison) is considered one of the greatest conservation success stories in North America. Although the historic distribution of bison (plains and wood bison [B.b. athabascae]) was larger than any other indigenous large herbivore in North America, market hunting and competition with the livestock industry re...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the reliability and predictive capabilities of the activity meter in the new Wildlink Data Acquisition and Recapture System by comparing activity counts with concurrent observations of captive wolf (Canis lupus) and free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) activity. The Wildlink system stores activity data in a computer wit...
Article
Full-text available
Loss of livestock to snow leopards Panthera uncia is one of the primary concerns of subsistence herders’ communities and one of the primary threats to conservation of this endangered species throughout the alpine regions of the central Asia. Unless the relationship between snow leopards and humans is better understood and appropriate strategies are...
Article
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The importance of species diversity for ecosystem function has emerged as a key question for conservation biology. Recently, there has been a shift from examining the role of species richness in isolation towards understanding how species interact to effect ecosystem function. Here, we briefly review theoretical predictions regarding species contri...
Article
Full-text available
The absence of top-level predators in many natural areas in North America has resulted in overabundant ungulate populations, cascading negative impacts on plant communities, and the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Meanwhile, distinct population segments of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) have been removed from the list of endangered and t...
Article
We examined prey selection, search distance (measured as km traveled/kill), and spatial use of recolonizing wolves (Canis lupus) in a multi-prey system in northwestern Montana, USA, and southeastern British Columbia, Canada, from 1986 to 1996. Our objective was to explore factors affecting these parameters to better understand wolf–prey relationshi...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory caribou herds are an important component of the North American tundra. We investigated the wolverine (Gulo gulo) diet in the migratory range of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd in north-western Alaska. Within this area, caribou are absent or occur at low densities for large parts of the year, and thus show a strong seasonality in abundance...
Article
Minimizing risk of predation from multiple predators can be difficult, particularly when the risk effects of one predator species may influence vulnerability to a second predator species. We decomposed spatial risk of predation in a 2-predator, 2-prey system into relative risk of encounter and, given an encounter, conditional relative risk of being...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of carnivore diets is essential to understand how carnivore populations respond demographically to variations in prey abundance. Analysis of stable isotopes is a useful complement to traditional methods of analyzing carnivore diets. We used data on d13C and d15N in wolverine tissues to investigate patterns of seasonal and annual diet vari...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity in southern Africa is globally extraordinary but threatened by human activities. Although there are considerable biodiversity conservation initiatives within the region, no one has yet assessed the potential use of large carnivores in such actions. Surrogate approaches have often been suggested as one such way of capitalizing on large...
Article
Full-text available
Large carnivores are important ecosystem components but are extinction prone due to small populations, slow growth rates and large area requirements. Consequently, there has been a surge of carnivore conservation efforts. Such efforts typically target local populations, with limited attention to the effects on the ecosystem function of predator gui...
Article
Population viability analysis (PVA) is a common tool to evaluate population vulnerability. However, most techniques require reliable estimates of underlying population parameters, which are often difficult to obtain and PVA are, therefore, best used in a qualitative context. Logistic regression is a powerful alternative to traditional PVA methods b...
Article
Full-text available
Many wide-ranging mammal species have experienced significant declines over the last 200 years; restoring these species will require long-term, large-scale recovery efforts. We highlight 5 attributes of a recent range-wide vision-setting exercise for ecological recovery of the North American bison (Bison bison) that are broadly applicable to other...
Article
Numerous studies have documented how prey may use antipredator strategies to reduce the risk of predation from a single predator. However, when a recolonizing predator enters an already complex predator—prey system, specific antipredator behaviors may conflict and avoidance of one predator may enhance vulnerability to another. We studied the patter...
Article
Full-text available
Dispersal of individuals can be defined as movement and settling outside the natal home range. Such dispersal is often sex-biased among vertebrates, and is generally expected to be male-biased in polygynous mammals. We used microsatellite markers scored on harvested wolverines (Gulo gulo) to test the prediction of male-biased dispersal in a populat...
Article
Full-text available
Before European settlement the plains bison (Bison bison bison) numbered in the tens of millions across most of the temperate region of North America. Within the span of a few decades during the mid- to late-1800s its numbers were reduced by hunting and other factors to a few hundred. The plight of the plains bison led to one of the first major mov...
Article
Full-text available
Canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), and canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) are pathogens that are typically associated with canids but may cause serious disease in a wide range of other carnivores. From 1998 to 2002, serum samples from 64 wolverines (Gulo gulo) from the Brooks Range, Alaska, were tested for antibodies to C...
Article
Successful nonlethal management of livestock predation is important for conserving rare or endangered carnivores. In the northwestern United States, wolves (Canis lupus) have been translocated away from livestock to mitigate conflicts while promoting wolf restoration. We assessed predation on livestock, pack establishment, survival, and homing beha...
Article
Mexican desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) populations have declined since the 1980s, and restoration efforts are necessary to establish viable populations. Mexican desert bighorn sheep were translocated to the Fra Cristobal Mountains of south-central New Mexico in 1995. We described seasonal habitats used by female desert bighorn shee...
Chapter
Conservation of mammals in the coniferous forests of western North America has shifted in recent years from species-based strategies to community- and ecosystem-based strategies, resulting in an increase in the available information on mammalian communities and their management. This book provides a synthesis of the published literature on the role...
Article
Chemical immobilization of wildlife from a helicopter requires use of a drug dose that is adequate to sufficiently anesthetize an animal for handling, and a potent but safe drug is preferred. We assessed effectiveness of Telazol® to immobilize free-ranging wolverines (Gulo gulo) by darting them with a standard dose of 175 mg from a helicopter in Al...
Article
Wolves (Canis lupus) will become an important mortality factor on ungulate populations as they recolonize the western United States. Innovative means of altering the wolf-ungulate dynamic to enhance either prey security or the predator population may be necessary to meet management objectives. From 1990 to 1996, we examined multiscale factors affec...
Article
Prior to their demise in the late 1800s, bison coexisted with and helped sustain a diverse and spectacular assemblage of animals and plant communities on the Great Plains. Bison, in concert with fire, exerted strong control on the structure of the vegetation by grazing, trampling, and wallowing. The changes in the vegetation induced changes in many...
Article
We compared habitat features at sites where wolves (Canis lupus) lolled moose (Alces alces), sites 500 in from kills, telemetry locations of moose, and random sites, to examine the influence of logging and other landscape features on the vulnerability of moose to predation by wolves in southeastern British Columbia during the winters of 1984-1985 t...
Article
In response to the natural experiment created by gray wolf (Canis lupus) recolonization of the Glacier National Park area, from 1990 to 1996 we examined population trends and female survival rates of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), elk (Cervus elaphus), and moose (Alccs alccs) preyed upon by wolves, cougars (Puma concolor), bears (Ursus...
Article
Expansion by wolf (Canis lupus) populations in the western United States creates new opportunities and challenges for researching and managing large mammal predator-prey systems. Therefore, we compared patterns of prey selection between wolves and cougars (Puma concolor) to ascertain the effects of multiple predators on prey and on each other. Beca...
Article
Breeding populations of wolves (Canis lupus) were absent from the western United States for about 50 years following their extirpation by humans in the 1930s. Here we describe the recolonization by wolves of northwestern Montana and southeastern British Columbia, from the initial production of a litter by a pair of wolves in 1982 through the mid-19...
Article
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawn mortality was studied during the summers of 1989 and 1990 in northeastern Minnesota. Estimated pooled mortality rates for 21 radio-tagged fawns were 0.44 for the May-June, 0.13 for the July-October, and 0.51 for the May-October intervals. Predation accounted for all mortalities, with wolves (Canis lup...
Article
Full-text available
Weights, hematology, and serum profiles of white-tailed does in the central Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota were examined year-around to determine seasonal patterns of nutritional condition and metabolism. Deer were initially captured by Clover trap or rocket net. Between 15 February 1989 and 23 January 1990, we recaptured 12 adu...
Article
We conducted 31 tests of commercially manufactured capture collars on female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the Superior National Forest, Minnesota, under temperatures from -37 to 22 C. Deer were recaptured in 28 of the 31 tests; in the 3 failures, we remotely released the collars from the deer. Communication with the collars was ach...
Article
We compared the effect of 3 capture methods for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on blood indicators of acute excitement and stress from 1 February to 20 April 1989. Eleven adult females were captured by Clover trap or cannon net between 1 February and 9 April 1989 in northeastern Minnesota. These deer were fitted with radio-controlled ca...

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