Kevin R. Crooks's research while affiliated with Colorado State University and other places

Publications (272)

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Reintroducing native carnivores risks creating conflict with people and consequently reducing support for coexistence and conservation efforts. Determining the interface between areas of ecological suitability and conflict risk can help enhance success of carnivore restoration, but this is often difficult because accurate data on risks and toleranc...
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To inform conservation policy, we solicited scientist perspectives on a controversial conservation issue-the US Fish and Wildlife Service status review to relist gray wolves in the western United States on the Endangered Species Act. Our survey of authors of recent scientific publications on US wolves (n = 84; 26% response rate) indicated that abou...
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Carnivore populations globally have largely declined, and coexistence, where humans and carnivores share landscapes, plays a crucial role in carnivore conservation. However, the term “coexistence” is often used in scientific and popular literature without being clearly defined. Herein, we provide a global perspective on what coexistence is and how...
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Rapid, widespread changes in public perceptions and behaviors have the potential to influence conservation outcomes. However, few studies have documented whether and how such shifts occur throughout the span of a conservation initiative. We examined the 2020 ballot initiative to reintroduce wolves into Colorado, which passed with less support than...
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Hunting can fundamentally alter wildlife population dynamics but the consequences of hunting on pathogen transmission and evolution remain poorly understood. Here, we present a study that leverages a unique landscape-scale quasi-experiment coupled with pathogen-transmission tracing, network simulation and phylodynamics to provide insights into how...
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Understanding factors that influence real-world public conservation behaviors is critical for developing successful conservation policies and management actions. Citizens of Colorado, USA recently passed a ballot initiative to restore the gray wolf to its former range within the state. The >3 million votes offer an unprecedented opportunity to test...
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Most extinctions worldwide have occurred on islands, primarily due to interactions with exotic species, but rarely due to interactions among endemic species. This potential exists on two of the California Channel Islands, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, as endemic island spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis amphiala) appear to have rapidly declined to rar...
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A growing body of literature has highlighted the value of social science for conservation, yet the diverse approaches of the social sciences are still inconsistently incorporated in conservation initiatives. Building greater capacity for social science integration in conservation requires frameworks and case studies that provide concrete guidance a...
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Environmental education researchers and policy makers acknowledge the need to act responsibly toward the environment. Yet, teachers do not always know how to help students translate environmental knowledge into sustainable action. This study examines the implementation of locally developed place-based education (PBE) curriculum for middle school sc...
Preprint
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Hunting can fundamentally alter wildlife population dynamics, but the consequences of hunting on pathogen transmission and evolution remain poorly understood. Here we present a study that leverages a unique landscape-scale experiment coupled with pathogen transmission tracing, network simulation and phylodynamics to provide insights into how huntin...
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Scientists are increasingly charged with solving complex societal, health, and environmental problems. These systemic problems require teams of expert scientists to tackle research questions through collaboration, coordination, creation of shared terminology, and complex social and intellectual processes. Despite the essential need for such interdi...
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Human activity affects plant and animal populations across local to global scales, and the management of recreation areas often aims to reduce such impacts. Specifically, by understanding patterns of human activity and its influence on animal populations, parks and recreation areas can be managed to provide spatial and temporal refuge to wildlife m...
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Human activity and land use change impact every landscape on Earth, driving declines in many animal species while benefiting others. Species ecological and life history traits may predict success in human-dominated landscapes such that only species with "winning" combinations of traits will persist in disturbed environments. However, this link betw...
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Parasite success is typically dependent upon a close relationship with one or more hosts; therefore, attributes of parasitic infection have the potential to provide indirect details of host natural history and are biologically relevant to animal conservation. Characterization of parasite infections has been useful in delineating host populations an...
Preprint
Identifying drivers of transmission prior to an epidemic - especially of an emerging pathogen - is a formidable challenge for proactive disease management efforts. We tested a novel approach in the Florida panther, hypothesizing that apathogenic feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) transmission could predict transmission dynamics for pathogenic feli...
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Urban expansion can fundamentally alter wildlife movement and gene flow, but how urbanization alters pathogen spread is poorly understood. Here, we combine high resolution host and viral genomic data with landscape variables to examine the context of viral spread in puma ( Puma concolor ) from two contrasting regions: one bounded by the wildland ur...
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1. Anthropogenic noise is a complex disturbance known to elicit a variety of responses in wild animals. Most studies examining the effects of noise on wildlife focus on vocal species, although theory suggests that the acoustic environment influences non‐vocal species as well. 2. Common mammalian prey species, like mule deer and hares and rabbits (m...
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Conflicts between people and wild animals are increasing globally, often with serious consequences for both. Local regulations or ordinances are frequently used to promote human behaviors that minimize these conflicts (risk-reducing behaviors), but compliance with ordinances can be highly variable. While efforts to increase compliance could be impr...
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Recreational use of public land is high and rising. Thus, it is critical to understand the dynamics of land use at the wildland–urban interface so managers can simultaneously meet varying human needs while mitigating environmental impacts caused by recreationists and their canine companions. Using motion-activated camera surveys along official trai...
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Urban development has major impacts on connectivity among wildlife populations and is thus likely an important factor shaping pathogen transmission in wildlife. However, most investigations of wildlife diseases in urban areas focus on prevalence and infection risk rather than potential effects of urbanisation on transmission itself. Feline immunode...
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Founder of conservation biology, expansive thinker and inspiring mentor.
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ContextNatural sound and light regulate fundamental biological processes and are central to visitor experience in protected areas. As such, anthropogenic light and noise have negative effects on both wildlife and humans. While prior studies have examined the distribution and levels of light or noise, joint analyses are rarely undertaken despite the...
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In the state of Colorado, a citizen ballot initiative to reintroduce gray wolves (Canis Lupus) is eliciting polarization and conflict among multiple stakeholder and interest groups. Given this complex social landscape, we examined the social context surrounding wolf reintroduction in Colorado as of 2019. We used an online survey of 734 Coloradans r...
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Island spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis amphiala) are endemic to 2 of the California Channel Islands (CA, USA)—Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa. The status of skunks is uncertain, although incidental captures in traps set for island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) suggest that skunks have declined to low numbers. We superimposed wildlife cameras at fox traps...
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ContextIn human-dominated landscapes, habitat fragmentation and barriers to movement can interrupt gene flow. While often considered at a local extent, regional analyses are also needed to reveal broader landscape-mediated population processes.Objectives To explore the relationship between patterns of gene flow and fragmentation resulting from urba...
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Feline foamy virus (FFV) is a contact-dependent retrovirus forming chronic, largely apathogenic, infections in domestic and wild felid populations worldwide. Given there is no current ‘gold standard’ diagnostic test for FFV, efforts to elucidate the ecology and epidemiology of the virus may be complicated by unknown sensitivity and specificity of d...
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Increasing anthropogenic noise is having a global impact on wildlife, particularly due to the masking of crucial acoustical communication. However, there have been few studies examining the impacts of noise exposure on communication in free-ranging terrestrial mammals. We studied alarm calls of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) acros...
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Emerging viral outbreaks resulting from host switching is an area of continued scientific interest. Such events can result in disease epidemics or in some cases, clinically silent outcomes. These occurrences are likely relatively common and can serve as tools to better understand disease dynamics, and may result in changes in behavior, fecundity, a...
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Carrying behavior is exhibited for myriad purposes by a variety of animals, including mammalian carni-vores, but it has been poorly studied. We used wildlife camera data to document and describe carrying behavior in a suite of native and domestic mammalian carnivores in Colorado, USA. Our objectives were to estimate the carrying rate for each carni...
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Roads are a pervasive feature across the U.S., and traffic and its associated noise has significant impacts on wildlife. However, we know little about the effect of motorcycle traffic and the potential for prolonged response of animals to loud and periodic traffic disturbances. We studied the behavioral response of multiple species in Devils Tower...
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Wildlife translocations are a commonly used strategy in endangered species recovery programmes. Although translocations require detailed assessment of risk, their impact on parasite distribution has not been thoroughly assessed. This is despite the observation that actions that alter host-parasite distributions can drive evolution or introduce new...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urban expansion can fundamentally alter wildlife movement and gene flow, but how urbanization alters pathogen spread is poorly understood. Here we combine high resolution host and viral genomic data with landscape variables to examine the context of viral spread in puma from two contrasting regions: one bounded by the wildland urban interface (WUI)...
Article
Apex predators are important indicators of intact natural ecosystems. They are also sensitive to urbanization because they require broad home ranges and extensive contiguous habitat to support their prey base. Pumas (Puma concolor) can persist near human developed areas, but urbanization may be detrimental to their movement ecology, population stru...
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In an era of unprecedented environmental change, US national parks are refuges of natural ecosystems and facilitate connections between humans and nature. However, anthropogenic noise is an increasingly pervasive threat in these parks. To diagnose noise levels and sources, we analyzed thousands of hours of acoustic recordings collected across park...
Article
Urbanization is a major factor driving habitat fragmentation and connectivity loss in wildlife. However, the impacts of urbanization on connectivity can vary among species and even populations due to differences in local landscape characteristics, and our ability to detect these relationships may depend on the spatial scale at which they are measur...
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Determining parameters that govern pathogen transmission (such as the force of infection, FOI), and pathogen impacts on morbidity and mortality, is exceptionally challenging for wildlife. Vital parameters can vary, for example across host populations, between sexes and within an individual's lifetime. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentiv...
Article
on the landscape, yet the relative importance of factors affecting tolerance is not fully understood. Further, the impact of management efforts to alter tolerance has not been adequately assessed. We developed a model containing a comprehensive set of predictors drawn from prior studies and tested it through a longitudinal survey measuring toleranc...
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Most protected areas globally have a dual mission to conserve natural resources and provide access for outdoor recreation or ecotourism, yet questions remain about the ecological effects of recreation. We conducted a global meta‐analysis of the effects of recreation on vertebrate richness and abundance. We estimated that vertebrate richness (n = 15...
Preprint
Full-text available
Apex predators are important indicators of intact natural ecosystems. They are also sensitive to urbanization because they require broad home ranges and extensive contiguous habitat to support their prey base. Pumas (Puma concolor) can persist near human developed areas, but urbanization may be detrimental to their movement ecology, population stru...
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Full-text available
Feline foamy virus (FFV) is a retrovirus that has been detected in multiple feline species, including domestic cats (Felis catus) and pumas (Puma concolor). FFV results in persistent infection but is generally thought to be apathogenic. Sero-prevalence in domestic cat populations has been documented in several countries, but the extent of viral inf...
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Over the past two decades, the use of camera traps and acoustic monitoring in the investigation of animal ecology have grown rapidly, with each technique enhancing broad-scale wildlife surveying. Camera traps are a cost-effective, noninvasive means of sampling communities of mid-to large-terrestrial species, and acoustic recording devices capture h...
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Many pathogens infect multiple hosts, and spillover from domestic to wild species poses a significant risk of spread of diseases that threaten wildlife and humans. Documentation of cross‐species transmission, and unraveling the mechanisms that drive it, remains a challenge. Focusing on co‐occurring domestic and wild felids, we evaluate possible tra...
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There is growing recognition that interdisciplinary approaches that account for both ecological and social processes are necessary to successfully address human-wildlife interactions. However, such approaches are hindered by challenges in aligning data types, communicating across disciplines, and applying social science information to conservation...
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Landscape genetics has provided many insights into how heterogeneous landscape features drive processes influencing spatial genetic variation in free‐living organisms. This rapidly developing field has focused heavily on vertebrates, and expansion of this scope to the study of infectious diseases holds great potential for landscape geneticists and...
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Camera trapping surveys frequently capture individuals whose identity is only known from a single flank. The most widely used methods for incorporating these partial identity individuals into density analyses discard some of the partial identity capture histories, reducing precision, and while not previously recognized, introducing bias. Here, we p...
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Purpose Human-mediated landscape changes alter habitat configuration, which strongly structures animal distributions and interspecific interactions. The effects of anthropogenic disturbance on predator–prey relationships are fundamental to ecology, yet less well understood. We determined where predation events occurred for fawn and adult female mul...
Data
Model results for Bartonella in bobcats on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Model results for Bartonella in pumas on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Model results for FIV in pumas on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Model results for Calicivirus in bobcats on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Model results for Calicivirus in pumas on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Data used to evaluate Calicivirus seroprevalence in bobcats on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Model results for Bartonella in bobcats on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Model results for Toxoplasma in bobcats on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Data used to evaluate FIV seroprevalence in pumas on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Model results for Toxoplasma in pumas on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Model results for Calicivirus in pumas on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (DOC)
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Data used to evaluate FIV seroprevalence in bobcats on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate Toxoplasma seroprevalence in bobcats on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate Toxoplasma seroprevalence in pumas on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate Toxoplasma seroprevalence in pumas on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate Bartonella seroprevalence in bobcats on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate Calicivirus seroprevalence in pumas on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate FIV seroprevalence in bobcats on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate Bartonella seroprevalence in pumas on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Data used to evaluate Calicivirus seroprevalence in pumas on the Front Range of Colorado, USA. (TXT)
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Model results for Toxoplasma in bobcats on the Western Slope of Colorado, USA. (DOC)