Big Game Capture Wyoming 2015
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The Missing Piece: Mapping the Migrations of Wiggins Fork Elk
March 2nd-4th, Dubois
Elk migrations into and out of Yellowstone National Park have been a topic of interest for decades, and new GPS radio collar technology has advanced the mapping of these routes. The Wiggins Fork herd near Dubois, the focus of this capture, is the last gap in a detailed ecosystem-wide map of Yellowstone’s elk migrations.
Nutrition and Behavioral Response of Moose to Beetle-Killed Forest in the Snowy Mountains
March 5th-9th, Centennial & Saratoga
The mountain pine beetle epidemic has transformed forested habitats of the Snowy Mountains, with uncertain consequences for one of Wyoming's newest moose herds. This study will compare current moose movements to those from a pre-beetle kill study conducted in 2004-2005. We will also assess moose nutrition and demography to understand if the moose population is maintaining positive growth.
Nutritional Response of Mule Deer to Energy Development on the Pinedale Anticline
March 10th, Pinedale
The Pinedale Anticline provides critical winter habitat to thousands of mule deer and is also home to one of the largest gas fields in Wyoming. Researchers are evaluating how habitat conditions and human disturbance affect fat levels of wintering deer.
The Wyoming Range Mule Deer Project: Measuring Nutritional Carrying Capacity
The Wyoming Range mule deer herd has struggled to achieve robust numbers observed in the 1980s. This study is taking an in-depth look at the nutritional dynamics of this herd to better understand how many deer the range can support. This capture is also the first step in new work to track mule deer fawns to measure their survival and cause of mortality.
Effects of Drought and Phenology Tracking on Migratory Deer
When mule deer migrate, they track plant phenology - the spring green-up of forbs and grasses - as they move from low elevation winter ranges to mountain summer ranges. This study seeks to understand how drought alters patterns of plant phenology and whether warming influences summer forage quality, and ultimately the survival and reproduction of migrants.
The Red Desert to Hoback Migration: Long-Term Monitoring
Mule deer that winter in the Red Desert north of Rock Springs migrate up to 150 miles to summer ranges in northwest Wyoming, crossing a mix of jurisdictional boundaries and obstacles. Long-term monitoring of this population will advance our understanding of the benefits of migration and help guide management and conservation efforts of this spectacular deer migration.
The Effect of Beetle-Killed Forest on Elk and Elk Hunters in the Sierra Madre Mountains
Most trees in the Sierra Madre Mountains are infected by mountain pine beetle but it is unclear how hunters and elk will change their use of the forest as trees die and begin to fall. This study will provide an assessment of elk movement and forest use prior to, during, and after massive tree fall.
Exploring the Interaction of Nutrition and Disease in Bighorn Sheep
Pneumonia in bighorn sheep continues to drive their population dynamics, and yet, the factors that contribute to epizootic die-offs remain poorly understood. This study will explore another potential piece of the puzzle by investigating how nutrition interacts with disease to influence the population dynamics of three bighorn sheep herds in northwestern Wyoming