Skip to main content

Justin Fischer

Justin W. Fischer is a Wildlife Biologist with the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins CO. His area of expertise includes geospatial analysis, spatial modeling, remote sensing, cartography, and GIS and GPS data analysis and management. Recent research activities involve ungulate disease research, testing multiple home range estimators on different animal datasets, examining landscape-level rabies transmission among wildlife, and exploring feral swine damage control strategies.

NWRC Research Project:  Reducing Feral Swine and Ungulate Impacts

Current Research
·         Spatial analysis of wildlife movements and activity patterns
·         Developing ways to reduce disease transmission at the interface between livestock and wild cervids
·         Unmanned aircraft system research

·         M.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Natural Resource Science
·         B.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Natural Resources
Contact information
·         Address: Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Ave, Fort Collins CO 80521
·         Telephone: 970-266-6174
·         Fax: 970-266-6157
·         Email:
Recent Publications

Carrollo, E.M., H.E. Johnson, J.W. Fisher, M. Hammond, P.D. Dorsey, C. Anderson, K.C. Vercauteren, and W.D. Walter. 2017. Influence of precipitation and crop germination on resource selection by mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in Southwest Colorado. Scientific Reports 7(1):15234. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15482-7   

Kay, S.L., J.W. Fischer, A.J. Monaghan, J.C. Beasley, R. Boughton, T.A. Campbell, S.M. Cooper, S.S. Ditchkoff, S.B. Hartley, J.C. Kilgo, S.M. Wisely, A.C. Wyckoff, K.C. VerCauteren, and K.M. Pepin. 2017. Quantifying drivers of wild pig movement across multiple spatial and temporal scales.   Movement Ecology 5(1):14.  doi: 10.1186/s40462-017-0105-1
King, D.T., G. Wang, Z. Yang, and J.W. Fischer. 2017. Advances and environmental conditions of spring migration phenology of American white pelicans. Scientific Reports 7:40339.  doi: 10.1038/srep40339
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.
Pepin, K.M., A.J. Davis, D.G. Strecker, J.W. Fischer, K.C. VerCauteren, and A.T. Gilbert. 2017. Predicting spatial spread of rabies in skunk populations using surveillance data reported by the public. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11(7): e0005822. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005822
Piaggio, A.J., A.L. Russell, I.A. Osorio, A.J. Ramirez, J.W. Fischer, J.L. Neuwald, A.E. Tibbels, L. Lecuona, and G.F. McCracken. 2017. Genetic demography at the leading edge of the distribution of a rabies virus vector. Ecology and Evolution: 1-9.  doi: 10.1002/ece3.3087
King, D.T., J. Fischer, B. Strickland, W.D. Walter, F.L. Cunningham, and G. Wang. 2016. Winter and summer home ranges of American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) captured at loafing sites in the southeastern United States. Waterbirds 39(3):287-294.  doi: 10.1675/063.039.0308

Fischer, J.W., D. McMurtry, C.R. Blass, W.D. Walter, J. Beringer, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2016. Effects of simulated removal activities on movements and space use of feral swine. European Journal of Wildlife Research 62:285.  doi: 10.1007/s10344-016-1000-6      

Engeman, R., R. Cattaruzza, M. Cattaruzza, and J. Fischer. 2016. Photographic estimation of wild boar damage to alpine grazing pastures in the Carpathian Mountains of central Romania. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 23(5):4949-4952.   doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6051-4  
Nichols, T.A., J.W. Fischer, T.R. Spraker, Q. Kong, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2015. CWD prions remain infectious after passage through the digestive system of coyotes (Canis latrans). Prion 9(5):367-375. doi: 10.1080/19336896.2015.1086061  

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

Gilbert, A., D. Kohler, T. Rigg, J. Fischer, T. Spraker, K. Fox, and K. VerCauteren. 2014. A recent epizootic of skunk rabies and associated spillover in northern Colorado, USA. Proceedings of the 26th Vertebrate Pest Conference 26:323-327.
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: 10.1007/s10653-014-9600-0  

Johnson, H.E., J.W. Fischer, M. Hammond, P.D. Dorsey, W.D. Walter, C.A. Anderson, K.C. VerCauteren. 2014.Evaluation of techniques to reduce deer and elk damage to agricultural crops . Wildlife Society Bulletin 38(2):358-365. doi: 10.1002/wsb.408        
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

Walter, W.D., J.W. Fischer, T.J. Frink, S.E. Hygnstrom, J.A. Jenks, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2013. Topographic home range of large mammals: Is planimetric home range still a viable method? The Prairie Naturalist 45(21):21-27.
King, D. T., B. L. Goatcher, J. W. Fischer, J. Stanton, J. M. Lacour, S. C. Lemmons and G. Wang.  2013.  Home ranges and habitat use of Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  Waterbirds 36:494-500. 

Fischer, J.W., T.A. Nichols, G.E. Phillips, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2013.  Procedures for identifying infectious prions after passage through the digestive system of an avian species . Journal of Visualized Experiments 81: e50853, doi:10.3791/50853.

Fischer. J.W., W.D. Walter, and M.L. Avery. 2013.  Brownian bridge movement models to characterize birds' home ranges . The Condor 115(2):298-305. doi: 10.1525/cond.2013.110168.

Fischer, J.W., G.E. Phillips, T.A. Nichols, and K.C. Vercauteren. 2013.  Could avian scavengers translocate infectious prions to disease-free areas initiating new foci of chronic wasting disease?  Prion 7(4): 263-266. doi:10.4161/pri.25621.
Franklin A.B., K.C. VerCauteren, H. Maguire, M.K. Cichon, J.W. Fischer, M.J. Lavelle, A. Powell, J.J. Root, 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.

Ramey, C. A., K. W. Mills, J. W. Fischer, R. G. McLean, K.A. Fagerstone, and R. M. Engeman. 2013. Graphically characterizing the movement of a rabid striped skunk epizootic across the landscape in northwestern Wyoming. EcoHealth 10(3):246-256. doi: 10.1007/s10393-013-0853-3.

Fischer, J.W., W.D. Walter, and M.L. Avery. 2013. Brownian bridge movement models to characterize birds' home ranges. The Condor 115(2):298-305. DOI: 10.1525/cond.2013.110168

Thomas, J.F., R.M. Engeman, E.A. Tillman, J.W. Fischer, S.L. Orzell, D.H. Glueck, R.K. Felix, and M.L. Avery. 2013. Optimizing line intercept sampling and estimation for feral swine damage levels in ecologically sensitive wetland plant communities. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 20:1503-1510. DOI 10.1007/s11356-012-1004-z.

Walter, W.D., J.W. Fischer, C.W. Anderson, D.R. Marks, T. DeLiberto, W. Robbe-Austerman, K.C. VerCauteren. 2013. Surveillance and movements of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in the bovine tuberculosis region of Michigan. Epidemiology and Infection 141: 1498-1503. doi: 10.1017/S0950268813000629.
Complementary Content