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Mov Ecol ; 6: 14, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30062012


Background: Characterizing animal space use is critical for understanding ecological relationships. Animal telemetry technology has revolutionized the fields of ecology and conservation biology by providing high quality spatial data on animal movement. Radio-telemetry with very high frequency (VHF) radio signals continues to be a useful technology because of its low cost, miniaturization, and low battery requirements. Despite a number of statistical developments synthetically integrating animal location estimation and uncertainty with spatial process models using satellite telemetry data, we are unaware of similar developments for azimuthal telemetry data. As such, there are few statistical options to handle these unique data and no synthetic framework for modeling animal location uncertainty and accounting for it in ecological models.We developed a hierarchical modeling framework to provide robust animal location estimates from one or more intersecting or non-intersecting azimuths. We used our azimuthal telemetry model (ATM) to account for azimuthal uncertainty with covariates and propagate location uncertainty into spatial ecological models. We evaluate the ATM with commonly used estimators (Lenth (1981) maximum likelihood and M-Estimators) using simulation. We also provide illustrative empirical examples, demonstrating the impact of ignoring location uncertainty within home range and resource selection analyses. We further use simulation to better understand the relationship among location uncertainty, spatial covariate autocorrelation, and resource selection inference. Results: We found the ATM to have good performance in estimating locations and the only model that has appropriate measures of coverage. Ignoring animal location uncertainty when estimating resource selection or home ranges can have pernicious effects on ecological inference. Home range estimates can be overly confident and conservative when ignoring location uncertainty and resource selection coefficients can lead to incorrect inference and over confidence in the magnitude of selection. Furthermore, our simulation study clarified that incorporating location uncertainty helps reduce bias in resource selection coefficients across all levels of covariate spatial autocorrelation. Conclusion: The ATM can accommodate one or more azimuths when estimating animal locations, regardless of how they intersect; this ensures that all data collected are used for ecological inference. Our findings and model development have important implications for interpreting historical analyses using this type of data and the future design of radio-telemetry studies.

PLoS One ; 11(10): e0165399, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27788202


Fragmentation of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem has led to concern about a variety of sagebrush obligates including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Given the increase of energy development within greater sage-grouse habitats, mapping seasonal habitats in pre-development populations is critical. The North Park population in Colorado is one of the largest and most stable in the state and provides a unique case study for investigating resource selection at a relatively low level of energy development compared to other populations both within and outside the state. We used locations from 117 radio-marked female greater sage-grouse in North Park, Colorado to develop seasonal resource selection models. We then added energy development variables to the base models at both a landscape and local scale to determine if energy variables improved the fit of the seasonal models. The base models for breeding and winter resource selection predicted greater use in large expanses of sagebrush whereas the base summer model predicted greater use along the edge of riparian areas. Energy development variables did not improve the winter or the summer models at either scale of analysis, but distance to oil/gas roads slightly improved model fit at both scales in the breeding season, albeit in opposite ways. At the landscape scale, greater sage-grouse were closer to oil/gas roads whereas they were further from oil/gas roads at the local scale during the breeding season. Although we found limited effects from low level energy development in the breeding season, the scale of analysis can influence the interpretation of effects. The lack of strong effects from energy development may be indicative that energy development at current levels are not impacting greater sage-grouse in North Park. Our baseline seasonal resource selection maps can be used for conservation to help identify ways of minimizing the effects of energy development.

Ecossistema , Combustíveis Fósseis , Galliformes , Modelos Teóricos , Estações do Ano , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Feminino
Zoo Biol ; 35(1): 70-5, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26598960


Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) distribution in North America has decreased over historical accounts and has received federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. We investigated captive-breeding of a captive-flock of Gunnison sage-grouse created from individuals reared in captivity from wild-collected eggs we artificially incubated. We also introduced wild-reared individuals into captivity. Our captive-flock successfully bred and produced fertile eggs. We controlled the timing and duration of male-female breeding interactions and facilitated a semi-natural mating regime. Males established a strutting ground in captivity that females attended for mate selection. In 2010, we allowed females to establish eight nests, incubate, and hatch eggs. Females in captivity were more successful incubating nests than raising broods. Although there are many technical, financial, and logistic issues associated with captive-breeding, we recommend that federal biologists and managers work collaboratively with state wildlife agencies and consider developing a captive-flock as part of a comprehensive conservation strategy for a conservation-reliant species like the Gunnison sage-grouse. The progeny produced from a captive-rearing program could assist in the recovery if innovative approaches to translocation are part of a comprehensive proactive conservation program.

Animais Selvagens/fisiologia , Animais de Zoológico/fisiologia , Cruzamento , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Espécies em Perigo de Extinção , Galliformes/fisiologia , Animais , Cruzamento/economia , Feminino , Masculino
Zoo Biol ; 34(5): 438-52, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26105557


Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) are distributed across southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, United States. Their distribution has decreased over the past century and the species has been listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Reduced genetic diversity, small population size, and isolation may affect Gunnison sage-grouse population persistence. Population augmentation can be used to counteract or mitigate these issues, but traditional translocation efforts have yielded mixed, and mostly unsuccessful, results. Captive-rearing is a viable, although much debated, conservation approach to bolster wild conservation-reliant species. Although there have been captive-rearing efforts with greater sage-grouse (C. urophasianus), to date, no information exists about captive-rearing methods for Gunnison sage-grouse. Therefore, we investigated techniques for egg collection, artificial incubation, hatch, and captive-rearing of chicks, juveniles, subadults, and adults for Gunnison sage-grouse. In 2009 we established a captive flock that produced viable eggs. From 2009-2011, we collected and artificially incubated 206 Gunnison sage-grouse eggs from 23 wild and 14 captive females. Our hatchability was 90%. Wild-produced eggs were heavier than captive-produced eggs and lost mass similarly during incubation. We produced 148 chicks in captivity and fed them a variety of food sources (e.g. invertebrates to commercial chow). Bacterial infections were the primary cause of chick mortality, but we successfully reduced the overall mortality rate during the course of our study. Conservationists and managers should consider the utility in developing a captive-rearing program or creating a captive population as part of a proactive conservation effort for the conservation-reliant Gunnison sage-grouse.

Criação de Animais Domésticos/métodos , Animais Selvagens , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Galliformes/fisiologia , Reprodução/fisiologia , Animais , Doenças das Aves/microbiologia , Cruzamento , Dieta , Feminino , Galliformes/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Galliformes/microbiologia , Masculino , Óvulo