Each year the NWRC examines the publications of its scientists and recognizes those papers that are rigorous treatments of topics that addressed important program mission areas and have application to managers and applied science. Because of the nature of delays in the publication process, the awards reflect those papers published during the previous calendar year.
2018 Publication awards:
Best methods/data publication:
Davis, A.J., B. Leland, M. Bodenchuk, K.C. VerCauteren, K.M. Pepin. 2018. Costs and effectiveness of damage management of an overabundant species (Sus scrofa) using aerial gunning. Wildlife Research 45:696-705. doi: 10.1071/WR17170
This work was acknowledged because of the quantitative rigor, the collaboration between research and operations, and the potential of this methodology to be applied to many aspects of the WS program to improve operational efficiency. This paper evaluated strategies of aerial gunning pigs (i.e., single pass in an area vs. multiple passes over a short duration) and determined that gunning an area for pigs 3 consecutive times could result in 60% reduction in damage in the area, as compared to a 2% reduction when gunning was conducted just once. This research was made possible through a productive relationship between NWRC and operations and offers an example of the importance of monitoring for evaluating effectiveness of operational activity.
Best synthesis/review publication:
VerCauteren, K.C., M.J. Lavelle, and H. Campa. 2018. Persistent Spillback of Bovine Tuberculosis From White-Tailed Deer to Cattle in Michigan, USA: Status, Strategies, and Needs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 5: 301. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00301
NWRC and Operations have been working on the issue of bTB in deer being spilled back to cattle in Michigan for nearly 20 years. Over this course in time, many methods have been developed by NWRC to reduce deer contact with cattle including strategies related to fencing, use of dogs, and feeding and watering cattle. NWRC has also conducted basic research to better understand disease transmission and prevention that points the way forward for ridding deer and cattle of the disease. This paper synthesizes this work and highlights how this collective work is being incorporated into mitigation at the farm level and influencing management and policy at the state and federal level.
Special Recognition: Edited book
W.C. Pitt, J.C. Beasley, and G.W Witmer, editors. Ecology and Management of terrestrial vertebrate invasive species in the United States. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 403 pp.