Louis C. Bender's research while affiliated with New Mexico State University and other places

Publications (96)

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Protected areas are frequently established to prevent declines in biodiversity, but their effectiveness in preserving biodiversity can depend on how land outside their borders is managed. We evaluated how land use changes from 1989 to 2016 in the Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Abra Tanchipa (RBSAT) landscape might affect the role of the RBSAT fo...
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Predation by jaguars (𝘗𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘢 𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘢) on livestock can foster human intolerance and drive human–jaguar conflicts. Understanding distributional patterns that characterize depredation can help guide strategies to ameliorate these interactions, which is important because human conflicts are the main threat to the endangered jaguar in Mexico. We used cl...
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Desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus eremicus) populations throughout the arid Southwestern USA and Mexico have declined; hence, it is important to identify habitats that provide for their requirements to inform habitat management. We used resource-area-dependence analysis (RADA), which relates home range size to composition of home ranges, to det...
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The population status of the IUCN vulnerable Nubian Ibex Capra nubiana is largely unknown in the Middle East because of difficulties conducting intensive surveys. We tested the utility of camera-trapping at permanent water sites to estimate demographics and population trend of the species in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan. We also studied the r...
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Body condition integrates the effects of habitat on individuals and consequently population performance of cervids. However, most condition data is likely to come from harvested males, which may not reflect absolute condition of, or habitat quality for, adult females because of basic ecological differences. To test whether condition of males reflec...
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Documenting patterns of horn growth and horn-age relationships of Nubian ibex ( Capra nubiana ) can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of their natural history, horn development in ibex in general, and future conservation of the species. Our specific objectives included (1) documenting age-horn growth patterns; (2) contrasting horn gr...
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Precipitation affects large herbivore performance, but data is often available from only a limited number of weather stations that may not correspond with home ranges. Remotely-sensed estimates could potentially address this by providing estimates of precipitation at any point on the landscape. We tested whether 4-km resolution precipitation estima...
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We documented a 23 kg bezoar that filled >60% of the rumen of an adult oryx (Oryx gazella gazella) harvested in New Mexico, USA. The nidus of the bezoar was comprised of nylon cords and parachute cloth, constituents of parachutes. Although slightly thin, the oryx was otherwise healthy at harvest.
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Persistence and recovery of rare species in developing regions with limited protected areas depends upon their adaptability to human-altered habitats. The jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi) is classed as threatened in Mexico, and knowledge of its distribution and environmental correlates is necessary for informed recovery efforts. However, littl...
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Introductions of exotic species can benefit certain publics but can also have many unanticipated consequences. South African oryx (Oryx gazella gazella) were introduced into the Chihuahuan Desert on White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico, USA to alleviate a perceived lack of large mammal hunting opportunities. Because of conflicts with oryx a...
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Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a contagious neurodegenerative disease of cervids, is becoming increasingly prevalent in the arid Southwest including the Chihuahuan Desert ecoregion. Population effects of CWD are uncertain, particularly in arid environments, as previous work has been on relatively high density deer populations in semi-arid or temper...
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Successful production of calves is necessary for growth of North American elk ( Cervus elaphus Linnaeus 1758) populations, but few studies have evaluated age-related effects on both the conception and survival of a calf to weaning in multiple free-ranging populations. Conception and survival of calves to weaning were both affected by maternal age,...
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The effect of predation on ungulate populations remains contentious, despite a lack of evidence showing impacts in arid Southwestern USA populations where low precipitation and frequent drought limit ungulate nutritional condition. These conditions can increase predisposition of prey to mortality, which is prerequisite for predation to be compensat...
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Success of recent introductions of elk (Cervus elaphus Linnaeus, 1758) in Mexico partly depends upon elk-livestock interactions and conflicts. Disease can impact reproduction of elk and cattle, but is seldom considered in wild ruminants when reproductive output declines. We surveyed serological exposure of elk to causative agents in a bovine aborti...
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Nutritional condition drives large herbivore population performance and is related to precipitation and forage quality in the arid Southwest. Because precipitation is difficult to measure at home-range scales, we tested whether satellite-derived vegetation indices of landscape greenness (i.e., indices of vegetation phenology or photosynthetic activ...
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We compared indices of nutritional condition and size between lactating and dry ≥2.5-year-old mule deer Odocoileus hemionus from three free-ranging populations in the Southwestern USA to quantify the energetic costs of lactation on endogenous energy reserves, determine whether differences persisted over winter, and assess carryover effects on futur...
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We investigated factors facilitating coexistence of pumas (Puma concolor), coyotes (Canis latrans), and bobcats (Lynx rufus) in the arid San Andres Mountains of south-central New Mexico, during the season (winter and spring, prior to the annual monsoon) of greatest resource stress. We established a camera-trapping grid in the San Andres, 2007–2011,...
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Mule deer Odocoileus hemionus (Rafinesque 1817) populations in southern New Mexico have declined significantly since the 1980s, similar to trends across the arid Southwestern USA. Because production of fawns is critical to population growth, we evaluated factors influencing fecundity in two mule deer populations in southern New Mexico. Conception,...
Article
Pumas (Puma concolor) are the primary predator of adult mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) throughout most of arid New Mexico, and predation by pumas is popularly believed to limit mule deer populations. Predation can limit population size of prey if it is primarily additive or acts in addition to other mortality factors. Thus, clarifying the impact o...
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Background Wildlife and livestock grazing are important products of forest ecosystems, but can be controversial. Herbivory by North American elk and domestic cattle is a contentious management issue throughout western North America, often driving management proposals to decrease cattle and elk numbers based on perceived overutilization of forages....
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We evaluated Cervus elaphus herbivory and trampling impacts on plants and soils on Chaco Culture National Historical Park (Chaco), a desert grass/shrubland in northwestern New Mexico, USA, most (63%) of which has been protected from grazing by domestic livestock since 1948. We conducted grazing, browse, and water infiltration surveys in areas which...
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Many factors are known or are thought to increase vulnerability to capture-related mortality in ungulates. I compared body condition of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelson), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) to assess whether those that survived capture differed from those that did not. Fate of ungulates w...
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INTRODUCTION: The jaguar (Panthera onca) is an apex carnivore that is vulnerable to habitat fragmentation, and some of its populations are believed to be isolated in México where it is classed as endangered. The main the objective of our study was to evaluate connectivity of available jaguar habitat from the Sierra Madre Oriental of México (SMO) to...
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There is little information on the population status of the ocelot Leopardus pardalis in Mexico. In the Sierra Abra-Tanchipa Biosphere Reserve, in San Luis Potosí, ocelots are affected by habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of increased agricultural development. We used photographic identification in camera-trapping capture–recapture surveys...
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To investigate dietary differences in two coexisting competing predators, we determined prey consumed by bobcats (Lynx rufus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) from scats in the Izta-Popo National Park, central Mexico. Use of prey by bobcats and coyotes showed a Pianka's index of overlap of 0.94, much higher than in other studies of the diet of these two...
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Javelinas (Pecari tajacu) are expanding their range northward in the southwestern United States, but little is known of habitat relationships in northern populations. We used occupancy modeling and maximum entropy modeling of data collected from a camera-trapping grid to investigate javelina occupancy and identify habitat correlates associated with...
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Recovery efforts for the endangered ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) would be aided by knowledge of its feeding ecology in the affected region. We analyzed scat of ocelots and bobcats (Lynx rufus) from southern Texas. As has been found for most other populations of ocelots, rodents were the primary prey, but the principal species of rodent, the Mexican...
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Pronghorns (Antilocapra americana) are an important source of revenue and recreation for property managers throughout New Mexico, but have been declining in number. We documented body condition, survival, production of fawns, and trends in population size of pronghorns on the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC), a working research ra...
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Wildlife enterprises are increasingly important to ranch income in the western United States. Habitat management practices that facilitate wildlife are needed for optimal management of multiple-use ranches, particularly for economically important species, such as mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), that are declining throughout much of their range. We...
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Resumen Documentamos las características del hábitat y sus relaciones a las necesidades del forrajeo del venado bura (Odocoileus hemionus) en las montañas San Andrés en los condados de Doña Ana, Sierra y Socorro en Nuevo México. La cobertura por herbáceas se relacionó positivamente con la lluvia durante la temporada de crecimiento principal en los...
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Resumen Estudiamos las relaciones del hábitat del alce (Cervus elaphus) a las escalas de paisaje, ámbito hogareño y sitio en el Chaco Culture National Historical Park y sus cercanías en los condados de San Juan y McKinley en Nuevo México. A través de las escalas, el uso de hábitats fue dirigido por necesidades de cobertura. Áreas de piñón–junípero...
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Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is home to a low-density black bear (Ursus americanus) population that exists at >2,400 m with a very limited growing season. A previous study (1984–1991) found bear densities among the lowest reported (1.37–1.52 bears/100 km2). Because of concerns of viability of this small population, we assessed population siz...
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Jaguars are endangered in Mexico and the United States, necessitating careful monitoring of population status. We determined minimum numbers of jaguars and sympatric pumas in a small population in northern Sonora, Mexico, the nearest known breeding population to the United States, by photographic captures supplemented by idiosyncratic features of t...
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Jaguars are endangered in Mexico and the United States, necessitating careful monitoring of population status. We determined minimum numbers of jaguars and sympatric pumas in a small population in northern Sonora, Mexico, the nearest known breeding population to the United States, by photographic captures supplemented by idiosyncratic features of t...
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Mule deer numbers have declined precipitously in the San Andres Mountains of southcentral New Mexico. To assess reasons for population declines, we monitored condition, survival, and causes of mortality for a range of 37 to 64 radio-collared, >1.5-year-old female mule deer annually, and a range of 14 to 31 radio-collared, >1.5-year-old male mule de...
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Perceptions of cattle distribution and resource conflicts are often based upon qualitative observations of cattle by managers or the general public. Such information on cattle presence and inferred habitat preferences may not reflect true habitat correlates of cattle because observations do not include any sampling design. We documented cattle pres...
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We radiotracked 23–63 adult female elk (Cervus elaphus) during 2003–2007 to determine whether condition (amount of body fat), survival of adults, or production and survival of juveniles was being impacted by habitat or other influences. Lactating females accrued relatively high levels of body fat (8.9–11.4%). Rates of survival of adult females were...
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We documented habitat associations of elk (Genius elaphus) in spring, summer, and autumn, and identified features of habitats that were most closely related to nutritional condition. We tracked 23-56 radiocollared females, modeled is condition as a function of vegetative relationships, and identified variables influencing distribution using presenc...
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Because of significant declines in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations across New Mexico, USA, we investigated survival of fawns in north-central New Mexico, USA. We captured 19 fawns, 34 fawns, and 47 fawns in 2002, 2003, and 2004, respectively, and used fawn morphological measurements, habitat characteristics, and adult female (hereafter...
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Elk Cervus elaphus are rare in Southwestern desert grassland and desert-scrub habitats, and these habitats are anecdotally considered unsuitable for elk. We studied a colonizing herd in a Southwestern desert grassland-scrubland in northwestern New Mexico to determine the condition and population dynamics of elk in this habitat type. We radiotracked...
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La distribución geográfica del jaguar (Panthera onca) en México ha disminuido debido a la cacería furtiva, la disminución de sus presas y la pérdida de hábitat. En el estado de San Luis Potosí no se han realizado muestreos recientes desde el 1953, a pesar de que existe hábitat adecuado en la sierra Madre Oriental. Durante mayo 2006-marzo 2008, real...
Chapter
GIS and remote sensing are essential tools in evaluating wildlife habitat quality. Ultimately, habitat evaluations should relate quality measures to population dynamics particularly when habitat conditions are changing. Following the 1980 eruption, populations of Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) (hereafter BTD) increase...
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Predation on cattle by the endangered jaguar (Panthera onca) can be a serious ecological and economic conflict. We investigated habitat characteristics of kill sites of cattle in Sonora, Mexico, from 1999 to 2004 to see whether habitat management or cattle distribution could be used as effective nonlethal methods to limit predation. Kill-sites were...
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Introduced oryx (Oryx gazella gazella) have expanded into the San Andres Mountains of south-central New Mexico, but little is known of concurrent habitat used by oryx and desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki); the latter in New Mexico is a species of special concern that has declined signifi cantly since the introduction of oryx. We used fe...
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We used scat analysis to determine diets and relative nutritional values of diets for black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, from 2003 to 2006, and compared foods consumed and nutritional components to identify important sources of fecal gross energy (GE), crude fat (CF), and fecal nitrogen (FN) in an...
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Historically, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) has supported a small black bear (Ursus americanus) population of low productivity. Increased visitor use of the park and development around its periphery could lead to a reduction in population viability of RMNP's bear population or could increase the potential for human-bear conflict. Therefore, w...
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Uncertainty exists as to which factors are most closely related to probability of pregnancy in Elk (Cervus elaphus), which thresholds are key for managers who want to assess the potential productivity of free-ranging Elk herds, and whether these thresholds vary among populations. We examined relationships among pregnancy, age, and mass for 513 harv...
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The criticisms of Rominger et al. (2008) of our retrospective analysis of desert bighorn sheep (DBS; Ovis canadensis mexicana) dynamics in the San Andres Mountains of south-central New Mexico, USA, contained many biological errors and analytical oversights. Herein, we show that Rominger et al. (2008) 1) overstated both magnitude and potential effec...
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Lactation call have significant costs to individual and population-level productivity because of the high energetic demands it places on dams. Because the difference in condition between lactating and dry Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) cows tends to disappear as nutritional quality rises, the magnitude of that difference Could be used...
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Wildlife managers commonly collect sex and age ratios to manage ungulate populations. This information typically is used to assess trends in population goals (e.g., bull elk [Cervus elaphus] escapement). Many managers may be unaware or underestimate the amount of information that can be derived from these commonly collected ratios. Herein, I review...
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We related annual and seasonal survival of four populations of elk Cervus elaphus in the Pacific Northwest, USA, to measures and indices of individual nutritional condition. Among populations, for all mortality (human and non-human causes) sources inclusive, annual survival of adult females was correlated with a rump body condition score (rs = 0.62...
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We determined production and survival of elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) calves in Michigan using a variety of methods to index herd productivity. Calf production in Michigan was comparable with the highest rates ever recorded for North American elk. Calf survival averaged 0.90 (sd = 0.05), 0.97 (sd = 0.04) and 0.87 (sd = 0.05) for summer, winter and...
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We documented mean and maximum body mass, mass accretion patterns and antler development patterns of Rocky Mountain elk in Michigan. Mean body mass of bulls averaged 9–11% heavier, and maximum body mass 23–27% heavier, in Michigan than in other Rocky Mountain elk populations. Mean live body mass of cows averaged 11% heavier in Michigan, but mean ev...
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We investigated the annual pattern of elk (Cervus elaphus) social group sizes and associations in Michigan's nonmigratory herd. Group observations were used to determine social group sizes and patterns throughout the year. Social group associations of individual elk were determined from 31 cow and 20 bull elk equipped with radio-collars. Bull and c...
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We compared historic (1985–1992) and contemporary (2003–2006) black bear (Ursus americanus) den locations in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado, USA, for habitat and physiographic attributes of den sites and used maximum entropy modeling to determine which factors were most influential in predicting den-site locations. We observed variab...
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Predation by jaguars (Panthera onca) and pumas (Puma concolor) is often a Source of conflict with cattle ranching in northeastern Sonora, Mexico. Because jaguars are endangered in Mexico, Such conflicts have biological, social, and economic consequences. We documented the extent of predation by jaguars and pumas on cattle in 1999-2004 in northeaste...
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A clear understanding of habitat associations of martens (Martes americana) is necessary to effectively manage and monitor populations. However, this information was lacking for martens in most of their southern range, particularly during the summer season. We studied the distribution and habitat correlates of martens from 2004 to 2006 in Rocky Mou...
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Identification of wildlife species from indirect evidence can be an important part of wildlife management, and conventional methods can be expensive or have high error rates. We used chemical characterization of the volatile organic constituents (VOCs) in scat as a method to identify 5 species of North American canids from multiple individuals. We...
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We investigated factors affecting sightability of oryx (Oryx gazella gazella) during fixed-wing aerial surveys in desert grass-shrubland habitat types to develop a sightability-adjusted population estimator to aid in precise population management. Sightability of oryx was affected by group size, activity, and vegetation type. We used logistic regre...
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ABSTRACT  Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) use of Sheep Lakes mineral site, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA, has decreased since 1996. Officials were concerned that human disturbance may have been contributing to this decline in use. We evaluated effects of vehicular traffic and other road-related disturbance on bighorn use of Sheep Lake...
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From December 2001 to December 2004 we monitored 30–44 adult female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) annually to assess the factors affecting survival and cause-specific mortality. We found adult female survival of 0.63 (SE = 0.08), 0.90 (SE = 0.05), and 0.91 (SE = 0.04), 2002–2004, respectively. Starvation was the most common cause of mortality, ac...
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Productivity of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus Raf.) populations is closely linked to individual nutritional condition. We modeled body fat of individual does as a function of vegetation cover, composition, and water characteristics of their annual, summer, and winter home ranges in north-central New Mexico. We also modeled home range size as a fun...
Conference Paper
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THE STORY IN BRIEF: A study was conducted to determine if prescribed cattle grazing could be used to improve pronghorn habitat without fencing. Seven of 87 cows were tracked with global positioning system (GPS) collars for 6 weeks in the summer of 2006. These cows were herded to 20-ha (50-acre) target areas that were at least 2.2 km (1.4 miles) fro...
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Augmentation is a viable method of increasing the size of small populations if habitat quality is adequate. We examined a hierarchy of demographic responses to habitat quality, including individual nutritional condition, juvenile survival, adult fecundity, and adult survival to determine if the habitat of the Nooksack elk herd, a remnant elk popula...
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Understanding the determinants of population size and performance for desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) is critical to develop effective recovery and management strategies. In arid environments, plant communities and consequently herbivore populations are strongly dependent upon precipitation, which is highly variable seasonally and a...
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We tested the hypothesis that elk in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) were at ecological carrying capacity by determining herd-specific levels of nutritional condition and fecundity. Ingesta-free body fat levels in adult cows that were lactating were 10.6% (s = 1.7; range = 6.2-15.4) and 7.7% (s = 0.5; range = 5.9-10.1) in November 2001 for the...
Article
An eviscerated hunter-harvested female black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) was submitted to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The deer was emaciated, devoid of adipose tissue, and the parietal surface of the thoracic cavity contained multiple granulomas. Acid-fast bacteria were detected histologically from the granulom...
Article
Mortality from cerebrospinal parelaphostrongylosis caused by the meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) has been hypothesized to limit elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) populations in areas where elk are conspecific with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Elk were reintroduced into Michigan (USA) in the early 1900s and subsequently greatly...
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We determined survival rates, causes of mortality, and documented impacts of harvest on greater than or equal to1.5-year-old male Columbian black-tailed deer in 2 Washington game management units (Skookumchuck and Snoqualmie) characterized by different hunting-season structures. We monitored 66 males (n = 28 and 38 annually) in Skookumchuck and 58...
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Little is known of the population ecology of black-tailed deer in urban environments. We investigated blacktail survival, productivity, and population rate-of-increase in urban Vancouver, Washington, from 1999 to 2001. We captured and radio-tagged 19 deer and located radio-tagged deer 1 to 4 times per week. Average annual survival pooled over 2 y w...
Article
Overwinter fawn mortality associated with hair loss syndrome (HLS) is anecdotally thought to be important in declines of Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) populations in Washington and Oregon (USA). We determined prevalence of HLS in black-tailed deer, September and April fawn:doe ratios, and minimum overwinter survival...
Article
Since 1997, numerous Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) in western Washington (USA) have developed a hair loss syndrome that often preceded emaciation, debilitation, pneumonia, and death. To study this syndrome, eight affected free-ranging Columbian black-tailed deer fawns were captured from western Washington in February...
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We investigated habitat use of Columbian black-tailed deer in urban Vancouver, Clark County, Washington, at 3 spatial scales: (1) placement of the annual home range within the landscape mosaic, (2) annual and seasonal locations of deer within the annual home range, and (3) short-term use of critical habitats (fawning areas) within seasonal ranges....
Article
Six members of the malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) virus group of ruminant rhadinoviruses have been identified to date. Four of these viruses are clearly associated with clinical disease: alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) carried by wildebeest (Connochaetes spp.); ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), ubiquitous in domestic sheep; caprine herpesvirus 2 (C...
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Exotic wildlife can introduce new diseases or act as reservoirs of endemic diseases. On White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (USA), significant declines in populations of native ungulates generally correspond to increases in range and population density of the exotic gemsbok (Oryx gazella gazella), introduced beginning in 1969. We surveyed gemsbok...
Article
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Both ground and helicopter surveys are commonly used to collect sex and age composition data for ungulates. Little attention has been paid, however, to whether data collected by each technique are similar. We compared helicopter and ground composition data for both elk Cervus elaphus and mule deer Odocoileus hemionus across a variety of habitats in...
Article
It is questionable whether food-habits studies of pumas conducted in the southwestern United States can be extrapolated to northwestern Mexico, because of differences in management, distribution, and abundance of wildlife. We determined food habits of pumas (Puma concolor) in the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Sonora, Mexico. Based on studies in th...
Article
Washington Fish and Wildlife implemented an open-entry spike-bull, limited-entry branched-bull elk harvest stratugy in the Blue Mountains (1989), Yakima (1994), and Colockum (1994) herd areas of Washington state with goals of increasing numbers of adult bulls to increase breeding efficiency and possibly calf recruitment. Numbers of total bulls/100...