M. Colter Chitwood

M. Colter Chitwood
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater | Oklahoma State · Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

Ph.D. Fisheries, Wildlife, and Con Bio

About

54
Publications
14,701
Reads
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751
Citations
Introduction
Broadly, I am interested in population ecology, especially predator-prey relationships with ungulates and their carnivores. I am interested in how we can improve quantitative techniques to better estimate abundance/density for species of management or conservation concern. Also, I am interested in disease ecology and forest habitat management, and how they interact with other population-level processes, such as hunter harvest.
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - present
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2019 - December 2020
University of Montana
Position
  • Researcher
September 2016 - December 2018
University of Montana
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
August 2010 - August 2014
North Carolina State University
Field of study
  • Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
August 2007 - May 2010
North Carolina State University
Field of study
  • Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
August 2001 - May 2005
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Field of study
  • Environmental Sciences

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
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Trophic mismatches are commonly reported across a wide array of taxa and can have important implications for species participating in the interaction. However, to date, examples of trophic mismatch have centrally focused on those induced by shifts in climate. Here we report on the potential for humans to induce trophic mismatch by shifting the phen...
Article
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Because ungulates are important contributors to ecosystem function, understanding the "ecology of fear" could be important to the conservation of ecosystems. Although studying ungulate ecology of fear is common, knowledge from ungulate systems is highly contested among ecologists. Here, we review the available literature on the ecology of fear in u...
Article
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Conservation translocations—the intentional movement of animals to restore populations—have increased over the past 30 years to halt and reverse species declines and losses. However, there are many challenges translocated animals face that should be considered for restoration programs to be successful. Understanding how long it takes for translocat...
Article
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Biologists increasingly use translocation to restore animals to areas where they have been extirpated. However, we know little about how translocation decisions influence translocation-mediated social dynamics. Breeding in polygynous ungulate mating systems is typically dominated by prime age males, but founding males within translocated ungulate p...
Article
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Population restoration is an inherently costly conservation practice typically reliant on animal translocations. There are many approaches to translocation and consideration is paid to understanding how various translocation models influence restoration success. Translocation strategies are often designed to meet site‐specific objectives, minimize...
Article
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Nonconsumptive effects of predators potentially have negative fitness consequences on prey species through changes in prey behavior. Coyotes (Canis latrans) recently expanded into the eastern United States, and raccoons (Procyon lotor) are a common mesocarnivore that potentially serve as competitors and food for coyotes. We used camera traps at bai...
Article
1. Degree of reproductive synchronization in prey is hypothesized as a predator defense strategy reducing prey risk via predator satiation or predator avoidance. Species with precocial young, especially those exposed to specialist predators, should be highly synchronous to satiate predators (predator satiation hypothesis), while prey with nonprecoc...
Article
Restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem is a conservation priority throughout the southeastern United States, but the role of hardwoods in providing food and cover for wildlife within this system is poorly understood. We investigated white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) movement and habitat selection relative to overstory hardwood distribu...
Article
Elk (Cervus canadensis) have been successfully translocated to 11 states in the United States and 1 Canadian province in eastern North America. Availability of suitable habitat is an important factor in determining the success of relocations, but there is limited information on habitat selection of elk in eastern deciduous forests. Our objective wa...
Article
Prescribed fire is used to restore and maintain fire-dependent forest communities. Because fire affects food and cover resources, fire-mediated resource selection has been documented for many wildlife species. The first step in understanding these interactions is to understand resource selection of the predators in a fire-maintained system. We atta...
Article
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Since elk (Cervus elaphus) were extirpated from eastern North America, they have been successfully reintroduced in numerous eastern states and one Canadian province. In forest-dominated areas, reintroductions of large ungulates can create potential for conflict with humans if elk select agriculture or private property to meet nutritional needs. We...
Article
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Night-time roosting in Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey) is a quotidian activity that minimizes vulnerability to predators and weather. Roost-site selection in managed Pinus palustris (Longleaf Pine) communities is poorly documented. We assessed roost-site selection by comparing use and availability of vegetation types at the individual female Wild...
Article
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Camera traps and radiotags commonly are used to estimate animal activity curves. However, little empirical evidence has been provided to validate whether they produce similar results. We compared activity curves from two common camera trapping techniques to those from radiotags with four species that varied substantially in size (~1 kg-~50 kg), die...
Article
Article Link for Free Copy: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1VoMe1L~GwCqhZ. Frequent fire-return intervals (<3-yr) have been suggested to optimize the benefits of prescribed fire in many fire-dominated ecosystems. There are several potential ecological benefits to frequent fires, such as suppression of encroaching fire-intolerant plant species, inc...
Article
Full-text available
The article, “Setting an evolutionary trap: could the hider strategy be maladaptive for white-tailed deer?”, written by M. Colter Chitwood, Marcus A. Lashley, Christopher E. Moorman and Christopher S. DePerno, was originally published Online First without open access. © 2017 Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature
Article
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Seedling survival and growth in eastern white pines (Pinus strobus) may be limited by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) browsing. However, most studies have occurred in areas central to the white pine range, making other factors such as seedling microenvironment unimportant. If microenvironment becomes a concern near the edge of the white...
Article
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Meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) is an important cause of mortality of elk (Cervus canadensis) in populations in the eastern US and has been implicated in the failure of several restoration attempts. From 2011 to 2013, the Missouri Department of Conservation translocated 108 adult and yearling elk from Kentucky (US) to southern Missouri...
Article
Fire is an important disturbance worldwide, and literature supports the use of prescribed fire to restore and maintain fire-dependent ecosystems. However, fire could alter the abundance and persistence of some arthropods, in turn influencing vertebrate taxa that depend on those arthropods as a food source. We used replicated prescribed fire treatme...
Article
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An evolutionary trap occurs when an organism makes a formerly adaptive decision that now results in a maladaptive outcome. Such traps can be induced by anthropogenic environmental changes, with nonnative species introductions being a leading cause. The recent establishment of coyotes (Canis latrans) into the southeastern USA has the potential to ch...
Article
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The float test is the most widely used method to discriminate between viable and nonviable acorns. It provides an objective, simple, rapid, and inexpensive test to inform experiments and management strategies dependent on quantification of viable acorns. However, the accuracy of the float-test method is understudied. To test the accuracy of the flo...
Article
Nearly all species of sexually dimorphic ungulates sexually segregate. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, including the social-factors hypothesis (SFH) and the predation hypothesis (PH). Interestingly, previous studies have accepted and rejected each hypothesis within and across species but few studies have simultaneo...
Article
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Camera surveys commonly are used by managers and hunters to estimate white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus density and demographic rates. Though studies have documented biases and inaccuracies in the camera survey methodology, camera traps remain popular due to ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and ability to survey large areas. Because recruitme...
Article
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A recent study of Sitka black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis demonstrated that opportunistic fawn capture yielded left-truncated data and ultimately resulted in overestimating fawn survival and spurious ecological model inference compared to neonates captured via vaginal implant transmitters (VITs). Given the ecological and economic valu...
Article
Females represent a growing, but largely untapped, demographic among hunters, yet relatively little is known about female hunting recruitment and dedication. We began to address the need for research on the role of gender in hunter recruitment and dedication with a mail survey of Danish Hunters Association members (n = 701). Females were older (x̄...
Article
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Fire is essential to maintain the open forest structure required by the southeastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger niger). In recent decades, managers of the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystem have transitioned from dormant-season to growing-season burns, which more effectively limit midstory hardwood encroachment. Similarly, aggressive hardwo...
Article
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Canis latrans (Coyote) recently expanded into the southeastern United States, creating ecologically novel interactions with other species. However, relatively few studies have examined vital rates of southeastern Coyotes or estimated vital rates where individuals are protected from hunting and trapping. In 2011, we captured and attached GPS radio-c...
Article
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Context Diet selection is studied in herbivores using three predominant methods: (1) microhistological surveys (identification of plants cell walls remaining in gut contents or faecal excretions); (2) direct bite counts (of tame animals); and (3) indirect bite counts (identifying herbivory on damaged plant tissues). Microhistological surveys and di...
Article
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Prescribed fire is commonly used to restore and maintain the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem (LLPE). A key function of the LLPE is the provisioning of food for wildlife. Despite the plethora of literature evaluating the effects of fire season and fire-return interval on plant community dynamics, little attention has been given to th...
Article
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Intensive deer management (IDM) is fundamentally changing how one of the most important game species in North America is being managed, but little is known about how wildlife conservation professionals view these changes. The IDM approach encourages privatization of deer (Odocoileus spp.) through practices including feeding, high fencing, artificia...
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Despite scientific support for the reality of climate change, public opinion remains polarized. Continued skepticism may be partially explained by lack of understanding of climate change science, and worldview and ideology, but factors contributing to risk perceptions also may differ depending on the subject of risk. This article compared how wildl...
Article
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We determined the relationship between fructosamine and serum glucose in free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) harvested during two seasonally stressful periods for deer in coastal North Carolina, US: July 2008 represented the postparturition and lactation period, and March 2009 represented the late winter and pre-green-up period....
Article
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Cervid studies have demonstrated body weight and lactation may be limited in areas with poor-quality soils, with the underlying mechanism often attributed to poor forage quality resulting from poor soil quality. However, if highly nutritious foods are produced but in limited quantities, selective foraging may alleviate nutritional stressors associa...
Article
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Coyotes (Canis latrans) have expanded recently into the eastern US and can serve as a source of pathogens to domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), livestock, and humans. We examined free-ranging coyotes from central North Carolina, USA, for selected parasites and prevalence of antibodies against viral and bacterial agents. We detected ticks on mo...
Article
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Hunting deer with dogs (dog hunting) has a long tradition in the United States but has created conflict among deer hunters. Our objectives were to determine factors predicting support for dog hunting in North Carolina. Using a 2006 survey of North Carolina deer hunters, we evaluated factors that potentially influenced support for dog hunting (e.g.,...
Article
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Coyotes recently expanded into the eastern U.S. and potentially have caused localized white-tailed deer population declines. Research has focused on quantifying coyote predation on neonates, but little research has addressed the potential influence of bedsite characteristics on survival. In 2011 and 2012, we radiocollared 65 neonates, monitored the...
Article
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Recent localized declines in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in the southeastern United States have been linked to increasing predation pressure from coyotes (Canis latrans), a novel predator to the region. Studies have documented coyotes as the leading cause of mortality for neonates, and 1 study documented coyotes as a mort...
Article
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The recent expansion of Canis latrans (Coyote) into the eastern United States has generated interest among wildlife managers because of the potential impacts on Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) populations. Coyotes have been reported as predators of adult and neonate White-tailed Deer in some parts of their range, but recent studies in th...
Article
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Abstract Leptin is a hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake, appetite, and metabolism. In some mammals, leptin has been shown to circulate at levels proportional to body fat, which could make it useful for nonlethal evaluation of body condition. Leptin's usefulness for estimating fat levels (i.e., body condition) of white-tailed...
Article
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Forage collection practices must be consistent among studies for accurate and comparable results. Forage samples should be collected in the context of the feeding habits of the focal species to accurately represent available nutrition, but inconsistent handling and analysis of forages also could bias nutrient reports. Previously described metho...
Article
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We observed loud, frequent vocalizations by 5 Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) neonates that ultimately died of starvation due to abandonment. We did not observe this behavior by other neonates, regardless of survival or cause of mortality. Thus, we believe that neonate vocalization could serve as a useful field indicator of abandonment....
Article
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Fleshy fruit is consumed by many wildlife species and is a critical component of forest ecosystems. Because fruit production may change quickly during forest succession, frequent monitoring of fruit biomass may be needed to better understand shifts in wildlife habitat quality. Yet, designing a fruit sampling protocol that is executable on a frequen...
Article
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Vigilance behavior may directly affect fitness of prey animals, and understanding factors influencing vigilance may provide important insight into predator-prey interactions. We used 40,540 pictures taken withcamera traps in August 2011 and 2012to evaluate factors influencing individual vigilance behavior of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianu...
Article
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Globally, hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. are emerging or re-emerging zoonotic pathogens that affect livestock, wildlife, companion animals, and humans, potentially causing serious and economically important disease problems. Little is known about hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. prevalence, host-specificity, or route of transmission in most species, includin...
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Physiological and morphological indices are useful for determining condi-tion of Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer; hereafter deer) and are important for deer management. However, information about deer condition in nutrient-deficient habitat types is sparse. Pocosins have a low nutritional plane and are characterized by deep, acidic, peat...
Article
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Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii has not been detected previously in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We tested whole blood from 60 white-tailed deer for Bartonella spp. DNA; three (5%) were positive for Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. This is the first detection of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii in white-tailed deer.
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Article
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Sixty adult and yearling female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were collected in July 2008 (n=30) and March 2009 (n=30) from eastern North Carolina as part of a population health assessment. During July 2008, standard serum analyses revealed hyperkalemia in all deer sampled. In March, the effect of processing time as a possible source o...
Article
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As wildlife managers grapple with restrictions or bans on pursuing white-tailed deer and black bear with dogs (i.e., dog hunting), it is crucial that researchers and managers understand how dog hunting contributes to identity in rural communities. We addressed this need with a case study in coastal North Carolina. We conducted 78 informant-directed...

Projects

Project (1)
Archived project
The purpose of this research is to understand the identity of dog hunters in South Carolina, identity being how the sport of dog hunting plays a role in an individual’s life and the role that the sport plays in the community around them. We plan to specifically focus on the minorities associated, including both gender and racial minorities.