Skip to main content

Michael Lavelle

 Mike Lavelle, Wildlife Biologist, works on damage management strategies for deer, elk, and feral swine. His primary focus has been on evaluating the efficacy of various non-lethal methods and the development of novel ideas for reducing potential for disease transmission through the fence between domestic (captive) and free-ranging wildlife. He has also evaluated the response of feral swine and white-tailed deer to rapid containment simulating disease-outbreak management actions. Most recently, his focus has included examining intra- and inter-species interactions amongst wildlife and livestock. His areas of expertise include the capture and chemical immobilization of elk, white-tailed deer and feral swine, methods for alleviating potential for disease transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface, and non-lethal techniques for reducing damage by ungulates.

NWRC Research Project: Feral Swine and Ungulate Impacts

Current Research

  • Evaluation of wildlife-livestock interactions with potential for disease transmission
  • Feral swine capture and control techniques
  • Use of camera collars for collecting data from white-tailed deer


B.S., Wildlife Management, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Contact Information

  • Address: National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
  • Telephone: 970-266-6129
  • E-mail:

Recent Publications


Lavelle, M.J., N.P. Snow, J.M. Halseth, E.H. VanNatta, H.N. Sanders, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2018. Evaluation of movement behaviors to inform toxic baiting strategies for invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa). Pest Management Science 74(11):2504-2510. doi: 10.1002/ps.4929

Lavelle, M.J., N.P. Snow, J.M. Halseth, J.C. Kinsey, J.A. Foster, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2018. Development and evaluation of a bait station for selectively dispensing bait to invasive wild pigs. Wildlife Society Bulletin 42(1): 102-110. doi: 10.1002/wsb.856


Lavelle, M. J., N. P. Snow, J. W. Fischer, J. M. Halseth, E. H. VanNatta, and K. C. VerCauteren. 2017. Attractants for wild pigs: current use, availability, needs, and future potential. European Journal of Wildlife Research 63:86.

Snow, N.P., K.C. VerCauteren, M.J. Lavelle, M.P. Glow, and R.M. Engeman. 2017. PITUOPHIS CATENIFER SAYI (Bullsnake) and THAMNOPHIS ELEGANS (Western Terrestrial Garter Snake). Diet and predation. Herpetological Review 48(2):458.

Snow, N.P., M.J. Lavelle, J.M. Halseth, C.R. Blass, J.A. Foster, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2017. Strength testing of raccoons and invasive wild pigs for a species-specific bait station. Wildlife Society Bulletin 41(2):264-270.  doi: 10.1002/wsb.756


Lavelle, M.J., S.L. Kay, K.M. Pepin, D.A. Grear, H. Campa III, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2016. Evaluating wildlife-cattle contact rates to improve the understanding of dynamics of bovine tuberculosis transmission in Michigan, USA. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 135:28-36.  doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.10.009

Snow, N.P., J.M. Halseth, M.J. Lavelle, T.E. Hanson, C.R. Blass, J.A. Foster, S.T. Humphrys, L.D. Staples, D.G. Hewitt, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2016. Bait preference of a free-ranging feral swine for delivery of a novel toxicant. PLoS One 11(1):e0146712.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146712  


Lavelle, M.J., C.R. Blass, J.W. Fischer, S.E. Hygnstrom, D.G. Hewitt, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2015. Food habits of adult male white-tailed deer determined by camera collars. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39(3):651-657.  doi: 10.1002/wsb.556

Lavelle, M.J., C.I.I.I. Henry, K. LeDoux, P.J. Ryan, J.W. Fischer, K.M. Pepin, C.R. Blass, M.P. Glow, S.E. Hygnstrom, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2015. Deer response to exclusion from stored cattle feed in Michigan, USA. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 121(1-2):159-164. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.06.015


VerCauteren, K., M. Lavelle, J. Landry, L. Marker, and T.M. Gehring. 2014. Use of dogs in the mediation of conservation conflicts. Proceedings of the 26th Vertebrate Pest Conference 26:411-412.  

VerCauteren, K.C., M. Lavelle, T.M. Gehring, J-M. Landry, and L. Marker. 2014. Dogs as mediators of conservation conflicts. In: M.E. Gompper, ed. Free-Ranging Dogs and Wildlife Conservation. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.  211-238.

Lavelle, M.J., G.E. Phillips, J.W. Fischer, P.W. Burke, N.W. Seward, R.S. Stahl, T.A. Nichols, B.A. Wunder, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2014. Mineral licks: motivational factors for visitation and accompanying disease risk at communal use sites of elk and deer.  Environmental Geochemistry and Health 36(6):1049-1061.   doi:

Lavelle, M.J., J.W. Fischer, G.E. Phillips, A.M. Hildreth, T.A. Campbell, D.G. Hewitt, S.E. Hygnstrom, and K.C. VerCauteren. Assessing risk of disease transmission: Direct implications for an indirect science. Bioscience 64(6):524-530. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu055.


Franklin A.B., K.C. VerCauteren, H. Maguire, M.K. Cichon, J.W. Fischer, M.J. Lavelle, A. Powell, J.J. Root, and E. Scallan. 2013.  Wild ungulates as disseminators of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in urban areas. PLoS ONE 8(12):e81512. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081512.

VerCauteren, K.C., M. Lavelle, and T.W. Seamans. 2013. Excluding mammals from airports. In: T.L. DeVault, B.F. Blackwell, and J.L. Belant, editors. Wildlife in Airport Environments: Preventing Animal-Aircraft Collisions through Science-Based Management. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, in association with The Wildlife Society. 49-59.


Complementary Content