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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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