NWRC Annual Publications Awards
Articles are available in PDF format.
Each year the NWRC examines the publications of its scientists and recognizes those papers that are rigorous treatments of topics that addressed important program missions areas and have application to managers and basic science. Because of the nature of delays in the publication process, the awards reflect those papers published during the previous calendar year, but recognized in the current year. All NWRC publications are reviewed by an independent ad hoc committee of peers.
Breck, S. W., B. M. Kluever, M. Panasci, J. Oakleaf, T. Johnson, W. Ballard, L. Howery, and D. L. Bergman. 2011. Domestic calf mortality and producer detection rates in the Mexican wolf recovery area: Implications for livestock management and carnivore compensation schemes. Biological Conservation 144:930-936.
This study addresses factors underlying conflict between carnivore conservation and livestock depredation and poses evidence-based management solutions to reduce this conflict. Specifically, the authors radio-tagged calves on two sites within a Mexican wolf recovery area to investigate factors that influence calf mortality and producer depredation detection rates. Results from nearly 1000 tagged calves and 3.5 years of effort indicate that year-round calving was associated with higher depredation rates, likely due to longer exposures to predation risk. Consequently, the authors recommend that ranchers use seasonal calving to reduce depredation. The authors also found that production detection rates can be highly variable such that producer reporting may be unreliable and verification compensation programs may be unfair if producer monitoring efforts are not considered. The authors recommend a performance-payment scheme for operator compensation based on conservation outcomes and expected carnivore damage. This publication was recognized for its creative and rigorous approach to an important management question, the strong collaborative effort representing a number of diverse institutions, and its publication in a high quality scientific journal.
Carlson, J. C., A. B. Franklin, D. R. Hyatt, S. E. Petitit, and G. M. Linz. 2011. The role of starlings in the spread of Salmonella within concentrated animal feeding operations. Journal of Applied Ecology 48:479-486.
In this study, Carlson et al. characterized and provided management recommendations for mitigating the disease risks associated with wildlife use of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The authors combined both field evaluations and sampling with laboratory analysis to evaluate the prevalence of S. enterica in European Starlings using CAFOs, and the relationship between starling numbers and S. enterica contamination in cattle feed and water and infections in cattle. The authors found that the numbers of starlings better explained S. enterica contamination of cattle feed and water than other variables including cattle stocking, facility management and environmental variables and that starlings were a source S. enterica contamination in CAFOs. Their findings provide important support for starling management tools to reduce the amplification and spread of disease within livestock production systems. This publication was recognized for the significant contribution by NWRC scientists, the synergistic combination of large-scale field study and laboratory analyses, its high technical and literary quality, the comprehensiveness of its design, and its value to the field of wildlife damage management.
Atwood, T. C., and E. M. Gese. 2010. Importance of resource selection and social behavior to partitioning of hostile space by sympatric canids. Journal of Mammalogy 91:490-499.
In this study, Atwood and Gese determined spatial overlap of coyotes and wolves in southwestern Montana using radio-collared coyotes and snow-track indices. Resource selection models were constructed from categorical habitat and continuous spatial variables. They concluded that coyotes did not segregate spatially from wolves but rather traded risk for scavenging benefits. Numeric superiority of coyotes may have reduced the potential for negative interactions with wolves. These results indicate that coyotes altered their behaviors in subtle ways to avoid spatial interaction with wolves in conspicuous ways so as to limit temporal interactions.
Da Silva, A. G., J. R. Eberhard, T. F. Wright, M. L. Avery, and M. A. Russello. 2010. Genetic evidence for high propagule pressure and long-distance dispersal in monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) invasive populations. Molecular Ecology 19:3336-3350.
The authors of this study tested a variety of hypotheses with regard to success of invasion using sophisticated genetic techniques and field data from several sites. They demonstrated that individuals invading a new location can vary in many attributes from those of the native, source population. This plasticity in population attributes has strong implications in that we should not assume the certain characteristics of a source population render individuals from that population a low probability of establishment in a new, invaded location. This paper suggests that multiple releases, as might result from pet industry sources, can result in populations becoming established versus single introductions that have a higher probability for population extinction.
Bradley F. Blackwell, Esteban Fernándex-Juricic, Thomas W. Seamans, and Tracy Dolan. 2009. Avian visual system configuration and behavioural response to object approach. Animal Behavious 77:673-684.
Last Modified: November 27, 2012