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USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

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Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Burmese Pythons In Florida: A Synthesis Of Biology, Impacts, And Management Tools, Jacquelyn C. Guzy, Bryan G. Falk, Brian J. Smith, Johnd David Willson, Robert N. Reed, Nicholas G. Aumen, Michael L. Avery, Ian A. Bartoszek, Earl Campbell, Michael S. Cherkiss, Natalie M. Claunch, Andrea F. Currylow, Tylan Dean, Jeremy Dixon, Richard Engeman, Sarah Funck, Rebekah Gibble, Kodiak C. Hengstebeck, John S. Humphrey, Margaret E. Hunter, Jillian M. Josimovich, Jennifer Ketterlin, Michael Kirkland, Frank J. Mazzotti, Robert Mccleery, Melissa A. Miller, Matthew Mccollister, M. Rockwell Parker, Shannon E. Pittman, Michael Rochford, Christina Romagosa, Art Roybal, Ray W. Snow, Mckayla M. Spencer, J. Hardin Waddle, Any A. Yackel Adams, Kristen M. Hart Jan 2023

Burmese Pythons In Florida: A Synthesis Of Biology, Impacts, And Management Tools, Jacquelyn C. Guzy, Bryan G. Falk, Brian J. Smith, Johnd David Willson, Robert N. Reed, Nicholas G. Aumen, Michael L. Avery, Ian A. Bartoszek, Earl Campbell, Michael S. Cherkiss, Natalie M. Claunch, Andrea F. Currylow, Tylan Dean, Jeremy Dixon, Richard Engeman, Sarah Funck, Rebekah Gibble, Kodiak C. Hengstebeck, John S. Humphrey, Margaret E. Hunter, Jillian M. Josimovich, Jennifer Ketterlin, Michael Kirkland, Frank J. Mazzotti, Robert Mccleery, Melissa A. Miller, Matthew Mccollister, M. Rockwell Parker, Shannon E. Pittman, Michael Rochford, Christina Romagosa, Art Roybal, Ray W. Snow, Mckayla M. Spencer, J. Hardin Waddle, Any A. Yackel Adams, Kristen M. Hart

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) are native to southeastern Asia, however, there is an established invasive population inhabiting much of southern Florida throughout the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Pythons have severely impacted native species and ecosystems in Florida and represent one of the most intractable invasive-species management issues across the globe. The difficulty stems from a unique combination of inaccessible habitat and the cryptic and resilient nature of pythons that thrive in the subtropical environment of southern Florida, rendering them extremely challenging to detect. Here we provide a comprehensive review and synthesis of the science relevant to managing invasive …


Range-Wide Sources Of Variation In Reproductive Rates Of Northern Spotted Owls, Jeremy T. Rockweit, Julianna M. Jenkins, James E. Hines, James D. Nichols, Katie M. Dugger, Alan B. Franklin, Peter C. Carlson, William L. Kendall, Damon B. Lesmeister, Christopher Mccafferty, Steven H. Ackers, L. Steven Andrews, Larissa L. Bailey, Jesse Burgher, Kenneth P. Burnham, Tara Chestnut, Mary M. Conner, Raymond J. Davis, Krista E. Dilione, Eric D. Forsman, Elizabeth M. Glenn, Scott A. Gremel, Keith A. Hamm, Dale R. Herter, J. Mark Higley, Rob B. Horn, David W. Lamphear, Trent L. Mcdonald, Janice A. Reid, Carl J. Schwarz, David C. Simon, Stan G. Sovern, James K. Swingle, J. David Wiens, Heather Wise, Charles B. Yackulic Jan 2023

Range-Wide Sources Of Variation In Reproductive Rates Of Northern Spotted Owls, Jeremy T. Rockweit, Julianna M. Jenkins, James E. Hines, James D. Nichols, Katie M. Dugger, Alan B. Franklin, Peter C. Carlson, William L. Kendall, Damon B. Lesmeister, Christopher Mccafferty, Steven H. Ackers, L. Steven Andrews, Larissa L. Bailey, Jesse Burgher, Kenneth P. Burnham, Tara Chestnut, Mary M. Conner, Raymond J. Davis, Krista E. Dilione, Eric D. Forsman, Elizabeth M. Glenn, Scott A. Gremel, Keith A. Hamm, Dale R. Herter, J. Mark Higley, Rob B. Horn, David W. Lamphear, Trent L. Mcdonald, Janice A. Reid, Carl J. Schwarz, David C. Simon, Stan G. Sovern, James K. Swingle, J. David Wiens, Heather Wise, Charles B. Yackulic

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

We conducted a range-wide investigation of the dynamics of site-level reproductive rate of northern spotted owls using survey data from 11 study areas across the subspecies geographic range collected during 1993–2018. Our analytical approach accounted for imperfect detection of owl pairs and misclassification of successful reproduction (i.e., at least one young fledged) and contributed further insights into northern spotted owl population ecology and dynamics. Both nondetection and state misclassification were important, especially because factors affecting these sources of error also affected focal ecological parameters. Annual probabilities of site occupancy were greatest at sites with successful reproduction in the previous year …


Movements And Resource Selection Of Wild Pigs Associated With Growth Stages Of Corn, Bethany A. Friesenhahn, Randall W. Deyoung, Michael J. Cherry, Humberto L. Perotto-Baldivieso, Kurt C. Vercauteren, Nathan P. Snow Jan 2023

Movements And Resource Selection Of Wild Pigs Associated With Growth Stages Of Corn, Bethany A. Friesenhahn, Randall W. Deyoung, Michael J. Cherry, Humberto L. Perotto-Baldivieso, Kurt C. Vercauteren, Nathan P. Snow

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are one of the most successful invasive species globally and are often implicated in agricultural damage. This damage is expected to increase as ranges of wild pigs expand, impacting the human food supply and increasing costs of food production. Our objective was to evaluate movement behaviors of wild pigs relative to resource availability and landscape features in an agriculture-dominated landscape, with a goal of informing management practices for reducing damage to corn. We monitored hourly movements of adult wild pigs relative to corn crops using GPS collars during the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons (Feb–Sept) in …


Exposure Of Egyptian Rousette Bats (Rousettus Aegyptiacus) And A Little Free-Tailed Bat (Chaerephon Pumilus) To Alphaviruses In Uganda, Rebekah C. Kading, Erin M. Borland, Eric C. Mossel, Teddy Nakayiki, Betty Nalikka, Jeremy P. Ledermann, Mary B. Crabtree, Nicholas A. Panella, Luke Nyakarahuka, Amy T. Gilbert, Julian C. Kerbis-Peterhans, Jonathan S. Towner, Brian R. Amman, Tara K. Sealy, Barry R. Miller, Julius J. Lutwama, Robert M. Kityo, Ann M. Powers Dec 2022

Exposure Of Egyptian Rousette Bats (Rousettus Aegyptiacus) And A Little Free-Tailed Bat (Chaerephon Pumilus) To Alphaviruses In Uganda, Rebekah C. Kading, Erin M. Borland, Eric C. Mossel, Teddy Nakayiki, Betty Nalikka, Jeremy P. Ledermann, Mary B. Crabtree, Nicholas A. Panella, Luke Nyakarahuka, Amy T. Gilbert, Julian C. Kerbis-Peterhans, Jonathan S. Towner, Brian R. Amman, Tara K. Sealy, Barry R. Miller, Julius J. Lutwama, Robert M. Kityo, Ann M. Powers

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

The reservoir for zoonotic o’nyong-nyong virus (ONNV) has remained unknown since this virus was first recognized in Uganda in 1959. Building on existing evidence for mosquito bloodfeeding on various frugivorous bat species in Uganda, and seroprevalence for arboviruses among bats in Uganda, we sought to assess if serum samples collected from bats in Uganda demonstrated evidence of exposure to ONNV or the closely related zoonotic chikungunya virus (CHIKV). In total, 652 serum samples collected from six bat species were tested by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for neutralizing antibodies against ONNV and CHIKV. Forty out of 303 (13.2%) Egyptian rousettes …


Divergent Serpentoviruses In Free-Ranging Invasive Pythons And Native Colubrids In Southern Florida, United States, Steven B. Tillis, Jillian M. Josimovich, Melissa A. Miller, Laura L. Hoon-Hanks, Arik M. Hartmann, Natalie M. Claunch, Marley E. Iredale, Tracey D. Logan, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Ian A. Bartoszek, John S. Humphrey, Bryan M. Kluever, Mark D. Stenglein, Robert N. Reed, Christina M. Romagosa, James F.X. Wellehan, Robert J. Ossiboff Dec 2022

Divergent Serpentoviruses In Free-Ranging Invasive Pythons And Native Colubrids In Southern Florida, United States, Steven B. Tillis, Jillian M. Josimovich, Melissa A. Miller, Laura L. Hoon-Hanks, Arik M. Hartmann, Natalie M. Claunch, Marley E. Iredale, Tracey D. Logan, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Ian A. Bartoszek, John S. Humphrey, Bryan M. Kluever, Mark D. Stenglein, Robert N. Reed, Christina M. Romagosa, James F.X. Wellehan, Robert J. Ossiboff

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Burmese python (Python bivittatus) is an invasive snake that has significantly affected ecosystems in southern Florida, United States. Aside from direct predation and competition, invasive species can also introduce nonnative pathogens that can adversely affect native species. The subfamily Serpentovirinae (order Nidovirales) is composed of positive-sense RNA viruses primarily found in reptiles. Some serpentoviruses, such as shingleback nidovirus, are associated with mortalities in wild populations, while others, including ball python nidovirus and green tree python nidovirus can be a major cause of disease and mortality in captive animals. To determine if serpentoviruses were present in invasive Burmese …


A Novel Vaccine Candidate Against Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (Rhdv2) Confers Protection In Domestic Rabbits, Angela M. Bosco-Lauth, Bethany Cominsky, Stephanie Porter, J. Jeffrey Root, Amber Schueler, Gary Anderson, Sara Vanderwal, Andy Benson Nov 2022

A Novel Vaccine Candidate Against Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (Rhdv2) Confers Protection In Domestic Rabbits, Angela M. Bosco-Lauth, Bethany Cominsky, Stephanie Porter, J. Jeffrey Root, Amber Schueler, Gary Anderson, Sara Vanderwal, Andy Benson

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

OBJECTIVE To evaluate efficacy of a novel vaccine against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits.

ANIMALS 40 New Zealand White rabbits obtained from a commercial breeder.

PROCEDURES Rabbits were vaccinated and held at the production facility for the duration of the vaccination phase and transferred to Colorado State University for challenge with RHDV2. Rabbits were challenged with oral suspensions containing infectious virus and monitored for clinical disease for up to 10 days. Rabbits that died or were euthanized following infection were necropsied, and livers were evaluated for viral RNA via RT-PCR.

RESULTS None of the vaccinated animals …


Seasonal Habitat Selection By American White Pelicans, Frederick L. Cunningham, Guiming Wang, D. Tommy King Sep 2022

Seasonal Habitat Selection By American White Pelicans, Frederick L. Cunningham, Guiming Wang, D. Tommy King

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Resource utilization strategies of avian migrants are a major concern for conservation and management. Understanding seasonal habitat selection by migratory birds helps us explain the ongoing continental declines of migratory bird populations. Our objective was to compare the secondorder and third-order habitat selection by the American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos; hereafter pelican) between the breeding and non-breeding grounds. We tested the Lack hypothesis that habitat selection by migratory birds is stronger on the breeding grounds than on the nonbreeding grounds. We used random-effect Dirichlet-multinomial models to estimate the second-order habitat selection between the seasons with the GPS locations …


Effects Of Early‑Life Experience On Innovation And Problem‑Solving In Captive Coyotes, Andrew C. Garcia, Mitchell A. Parsons, Julie K. Young Sep 2022

Effects Of Early‑Life Experience On Innovation And Problem‑Solving In Captive Coyotes, Andrew C. Garcia, Mitchell A. Parsons, Julie K. Young

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Early-life experience often shapes behaviors like innovation and exploration. These behaviors are important to animals encountering novel food resources in diverse habitats, such as mesocarnivores in urban areas. To understand if early-life experiences impact later-life behavior, we examined how coyotes (Canis latrans) responded to a multi-access puzzle box at two life stages: pup (~ 7 weeks) and dispersal (~ 10 months). We first exposed pups, still living with their parents and littermates, to a baited puzzle box. At dispersal age, we again tested both these pups and an age-matched control group that was not exposed to the puzzle …


Divergent Neural And Endocrine Responses In Wild-Caught And Laboratory-Bred Rattus Norvegicus, Joanna Jacob, Sally Watanabe, Jonathan Richardson, Nick Gonzales, Emily Ploppert, Garet Lahvis, Aaron Shiels, Sadie Wenger, Kelly Saverino, Janhavi Bhalerao, Brendan Crockett, Erin Burns, Olivia Harding, Krista Fischer-Stenger, Kelly Lambert Aug 2022

Divergent Neural And Endocrine Responses In Wild-Caught And Laboratory-Bred Rattus Norvegicus, Joanna Jacob, Sally Watanabe, Jonathan Richardson, Nick Gonzales, Emily Ploppert, Garet Lahvis, Aaron Shiels, Sadie Wenger, Kelly Saverino, Janhavi Bhalerao, Brendan Crockett, Erin Burns, Olivia Harding, Krista Fischer-Stenger, Kelly Lambert

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Although rodents have represented the most intensely studied animals in neurobiological investigations for more than a century, few studies have systematically compared neural and endocrine differences between wild rodents in their natural habitats and laboratory strains raised in traditional laboratory environments. In the current study, male and female Rattus norvegicus rats were trapped in an urban setting and compared to weight-and sex-matched conspecifics living in standard laboratory housing conditions. Brains were extracted for neural assessments and fecal boli were collected for endocrine [corticosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)] assays. Additionally, given their role in immune and stress functions, spleen and adrenal weights …


Experimental Infection Of Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats (Tadarida Brasiliensis) With Two Strains Of Sars-Cov-2, Angela M. Bosco-Lauth, Stephanie M. Porter, Karen A. Fox, Mary E. Wood, Daniel Neubaum, Marissa Quilici Aug 2022

Experimental Infection Of Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats (Tadarida Brasiliensis) With Two Strains Of Sars-Cov-2, Angela M. Bosco-Lauth, Stephanie M. Porter, Karen A. Fox, Mary E. Wood, Daniel Neubaum, Marissa Quilici

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is presumed to have originated from wildlife and shares homology with other bat coronaviruses. Determining the susceptibility of North American bat species to SARS-CoV-2 is of utmost importance for making decisions regarding wildlife management, public health, and conservation. In this study, Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) were experimentally infected with two strains of SARS-CoV-2 (parental WA01 and Delta variant), evaluated for clinical disease, sampled for viral shedding and antibody production, and analyzed for pathology. None of the bats (n = 18) developed clinical disease associated with infection, shed infectious virus, or …


Long-Term Effect Of A Gnrh-Based Immunocontraceptive On Feral Cattle In Hong Kong, Rebecca Pinkham, Ka-Kei Koon, Jason To, Jason Chan, Flavie Vial, Matt Gomm, Douglas C. Eckery, Giovanna Massei Aug 2022

Long-Term Effect Of A Gnrh-Based Immunocontraceptive On Feral Cattle In Hong Kong, Rebecca Pinkham, Ka-Kei Koon, Jason To, Jason Chan, Flavie Vial, Matt Gomm, Douglas C. Eckery, Giovanna Massei

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Increasing human-wildlife conflicts worldwide are driving the need for multiple solutions to reducing “problem” wildlife and their impacts. Fertility control is advocated as a non-lethal tool to manage free-living wildlife and in particular to control iconic species. Injectable immunocontraceptives, such as GonaCon, stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which in turn affects the release of reproductive hormones in mammals. Feral cattle (Bos indicus or Bos taurus) in Hong Kong are an iconic species whose numbers and impacts on human activities have increased over the last decade. Previous studies have proven that a …


Long-Term Effect Of A Gnrh-Based Immunocontraceptive On Feral Cattle In Hong Kong, Rebecca Pinkham, Ka-Kei Koon, Jason To, Jason Chan, Flavie Vial, Matt Gomm, Douglas C. Eckery, Giovanna Massei Aug 2022

Long-Term Effect Of A Gnrh-Based Immunocontraceptive On Feral Cattle In Hong Kong, Rebecca Pinkham, Ka-Kei Koon, Jason To, Jason Chan, Flavie Vial, Matt Gomm, Douglas C. Eckery, Giovanna Massei

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Increasing human-wildlife conflicts worldwide are driving the need for multiple solutions to reducing “problem” wildlife and their impacts. Fertility control is advocated as a non-lethal tool to manage free-living wildlife and in particular to control iconic species. Injectable immunocontraceptives, such as GonaCon, stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which in turn affects the release of reproductive hormones in mammals. Feral cattle (Bos indicus or Bos taurus) in Hong Kong are an iconic species whose numbers and impacts on human activities have increased over the last decade. Previous studies have proven that a …


In Vivo Efficacy Of Pyrantel Pamoate As A Post-Exposure Prophylactic For Rat Lungworm (Angiostrongylus Cantonensis), John Jacob, Argon Steel, Lisa Kaluna, Steven Hess, Israel Leinbach, Carmen Antaky, Robert Sugihara, Lindsey Hamilton, Peter Follett, Kathleen Howe, Steven Jacquier, Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, Susan Jarvi Aug 2022

In Vivo Efficacy Of Pyrantel Pamoate As A Post-Exposure Prophylactic For Rat Lungworm (Angiostrongylus Cantonensis), John Jacob, Argon Steel, Lisa Kaluna, Steven Hess, Israel Leinbach, Carmen Antaky, Robert Sugihara, Lindsey Hamilton, Peter Follett, Kathleen Howe, Steven Jacquier, Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, Susan Jarvi

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) is a neurotropic nematode, and the leading cause of eosinophilic meningitis worldwide. The parasite is usually contracted through ingestion of infected gastropods, often hidden in raw or partially cooked produce. Pharmaceutical grade pyrantel pamoate was evaluated as a post-exposure prophylactic against A. cantonensis. Pyrantel pamoate is readily available over-the-counter in most pharmacies in the USA and possesses anthelmintic activity exclusive to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Administering pyrantel pamoate immediately after exposure should theoretically paralyze the larvae in the GIT, causing the larvae to be expelled via peristalsis without entering the systemic circulation. In this study, pyrantel …


Current Ecotoxicity Testing Needs Among Selected U.S. Federal Agencies, Patricia Ceger, Natalia Garcia-Reyero Vinas, David Allen, Elyssa Arnold, Raanan Bloom, Jennifer C. Brennan, Carol Clarke, Karen Eisenreich, Kellie Fay, Jonathan Hamm, Paula F.P. Henry, Katherine E. Horak, Wesley Hunter, Donna Judkins, Patrice Klein, Nicole Kleinstreuer, Kara Koehrn, Carlie A. Lalone, James P. Laurenson, Jessica K. Leet, Anna Lowit, Scott G. Lynn, Teresa Norberg-King, Edward J. Perkins, Elijah J. Petersen, Barnett A. Rattner, Catherine S. Sprankle, Thomas Steeger, Jim E. Warren, Sarah Winfield, Edward Odenkirchen Aug 2022

Current Ecotoxicity Testing Needs Among Selected U.S. Federal Agencies, Patricia Ceger, Natalia Garcia-Reyero Vinas, David Allen, Elyssa Arnold, Raanan Bloom, Jennifer C. Brennan, Carol Clarke, Karen Eisenreich, Kellie Fay, Jonathan Hamm, Paula F.P. Henry, Katherine E. Horak, Wesley Hunter, Donna Judkins, Patrice Klein, Nicole Kleinstreuer, Kara Koehrn, Carlie A. Lalone, James P. Laurenson, Jessica K. Leet, Anna Lowit, Scott G. Lynn, Teresa Norberg-King, Edward J. Perkins, Elijah J. Petersen, Barnett A. Rattner, Catherine S. Sprankle, Thomas Steeger, Jim E. Warren, Sarah Winfield, Edward Odenkirchen

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

U.S. regulatory and research agencies use ecotoxicity test data to assess the hazards associated with substances that may be released into the environment, including but not limited to industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, food additives, and color additives. These data are used to conduct hazard assessments and evaluate potential risks to aquatic life (e.g., invertebrates, fish), birds, wildlife species, or the environment. To identify opportunities for regulatory uses of non-animal replacements for ecotoxicity tests, the needs and uses for data from tests utilizing animals must first be clarified. Accordingly, the objective of this review was to identify the ecotoxicity test data …


Defining An Epidemiological Landscape That Connects Movement Ecology To Pathogen Transmission And Pace-Of-Life, Kezia Manlove, Mark Wilber, Lauren White, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, Anni Yang, Marie L.J. Gilbertson, Meggan E. Craft, Paul C. Cross, George Wittemyer, Kim M. Pepin Aug 2022

Defining An Epidemiological Landscape That Connects Movement Ecology To Pathogen Transmission And Pace-Of-Life, Kezia Manlove, Mark Wilber, Lauren White, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, Anni Yang, Marie L.J. Gilbertson, Meggan E. Craft, Paul C. Cross, George Wittemyer, Kim M. Pepin

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Pathogen transmission depends on host density, mobility and contact. These components emerge from host and pathogen movements that themselves arise through interactions with the surrounding environment. The environment, the emergent host and pathogen movements, and the subsequent patterns of density, mobility and contact form an ‘epidemiological landscape’ connecting the environment to specific locations where transmissions occur. Conventionally, the epidemiological landscape has been described in terms of the geographical coordinates where hosts or pathogens are located. We advocate for an alternative approach that relates those locations to attributes of the local environment. Environmental descriptions can strengthen epidemiological forecasts by allowing for …


Optimising Response To An Introduction Of African Swine Fever In Wild Pigs, Kim M. Pepin, Vienna R. Brown, Anni Yang, James C. Beasley, Raoul Boughton, Kurt C. Vercauteren, Ryan S. Miller, Sarah N. Bevins Jul 2022

Optimising Response To An Introduction Of African Swine Fever In Wild Pigs, Kim M. Pepin, Vienna R. Brown, Anni Yang, James C. Beasley, Raoul Boughton, Kurt C. Vercauteren, Ryan S. Miller, Sarah N. Bevins

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

African swine fever virus (ASFv) is a virulent pathogen that threatens domestic swine industries globally and persists in wild boar populations in some countries. Persistence in wild boar can challenge elimination and prevent disease-free status, making it necessary to address wild swine in proactive response plans. In the United States, invasive wild pigs are abundant and found across a wide range of ecological conditions that could drive different epidemiological dynamics among populations. Information on the size of the control areas required to rapidly eliminate the ASFv in wild pigs and how this area should change with management constraints and local …


Amplification Of Black Vulture (Coragyps Atratus) Dna From Regurgitated Food Pellets, Daniel R. Taylor, Bryan M. Kluever, John S. Humphrey, Iona M. Hennessy, Amber Sutton, William E. Bruce, Antoinette J. Piaggio Jul 2022

Amplification Of Black Vulture (Coragyps Atratus) Dna From Regurgitated Food Pellets, Daniel R. Taylor, Bryan M. Kluever, John S. Humphrey, Iona M. Hennessy, Amber Sutton, William E. Bruce, Antoinette J. Piaggio

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Studies that rely on noninvasive collection of DNA for birds often use feces or feathers. Some birds, such as vultures, regurgitate undigested matter in the form of pellets that are commonly found under roost sites. Our research demonstrates that regurgitated pellets are a viable, noninvasive source of DNA for molecular ecology studies of vultures. Our objectives were to amplify 5 microsatellite loci designed for distinguishing Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) and Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) in a single, multiplexed PCR, and to determine how long the target nuclear DNA persists after a vulture pellet is regurgitated and …


Seasonal Climatic Niche And Migration Movements Of Double-Crested Cormorants, D. Tommy King, Guiming Wang, Fred L. Cunningham Jul 2022

Seasonal Climatic Niche And Migration Movements Of Double-Crested Cormorants, D. Tommy King, Guiming Wang, Fred L. Cunningham

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Avian migrants are challenged by seasonal adverse climatic conditions and energetic costs of long-distance flying. Migratory birds may track or switch seasonal climatic niche between the breeding and non-breeding grounds. Satellite tracking enables avian ecologists to investigate seasonal climatic niche and circannual movement patterns of migratory birds. The Double-crested Cormorant (Nannopterum auritum, hereafter cormorant) wintering in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) migrates to the Northern Great Plains and Great Lakes and is of economic importance because of its impacts on aquaculture. We tested the climatic niche switching hypothesis that cormorants would switch climatic niche between summer and winter …


Solar Radiation And Soil Moisture Drive Tropical Forest Understory Responses To Experimental And Natural Hurricanes, J. Aaron Hogan, Joanne M. Sharpe, Ashley Van Beusekom, Sarah Stankavich, Samuel Matta Carmona, John E. Bithorn, Jamarys Torres-Díaz, Grizelle González, Jess K. Zimmerman, Aaron B. Shiels Jul 2022

Solar Radiation And Soil Moisture Drive Tropical Forest Understory Responses To Experimental And Natural Hurricanes, J. Aaron Hogan, Joanne M. Sharpe, Ashley Van Beusekom, Sarah Stankavich, Samuel Matta Carmona, John E. Bithorn, Jamarys Torres-Díaz, Grizelle González, Jess K. Zimmerman, Aaron B. Shiels

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Tropical forest understory regeneration occurs rapidly after disturbance with compositional trajectories that depend on species availability and environmental conditions. To predict future tropical forest regeneration dynamics, we need a deeper understanding of how pulse disturbance events, like hurricanes, interact with environmental variability to affect understory demography and composition. We examined fern and sapling mortality, recruitment, and community composition in relation to solar radiation and soil moisture using 17 years of forest dynamics data (2003–2019) from the Canopy Trimming Experiment in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. Solar radiation increased 150% and soil moisture increased 40% following canopy trimming of experimental …


Comparative Susceptibility Of Eastern Cottontails And New Zealand White Rabbits To Classical Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (Rhdv) And Rhdv2, Fawzi Mohamed, Thomas Gidlewski, Mary L. Berninger, Heather M. Petrowski, Alexa J. Bracht, Carla Bravo De Rueda, Roger W. Barrette, Meredith Grady, Emily S. O'Hearn, Charles E. Lewis, Karen E. Moran, Tracy L. Sturgill, Lorenzo Capucci, J. Jeffrey Root Jul 2022

Comparative Susceptibility Of Eastern Cottontails And New Zealand White Rabbits To Classical Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (Rhdv) And Rhdv2, Fawzi Mohamed, Thomas Gidlewski, Mary L. Berninger, Heather M. Petrowski, Alexa J. Bracht, Carla Bravo De Rueda, Roger W. Barrette, Meredith Grady, Emily S. O'Hearn, Charles E. Lewis, Karen E. Moran, Tracy L. Sturgill, Lorenzo Capucci, J. Jeffrey Root

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). In 2010, a genetically distinct RHDV named RHDV2 emerged in Europe and spread to many other regions, including North America in 2016. Prior to this study it was unknown if eastern cottontails (ECT(s); Sylvilagus floridanus), one of the most common wild lagomorphs in the United States, were susceptible to RHDV2. In this study, 10 wild-caught ECTs and 10 New Zealand white rabbits (NZWR(s); O. cuniculus) were each inoculated orally with either RHDV (RHDVa/GI.1a; n = 5 per species) or RHDV2 (a recombinant …


Genomic Tools Reveal Complex Social Organization Of An Invasive Large Mammal (Sus Scrofa), Chelsea L. Titus, Courtney F. Bowden, Timothy J. Smyser, Stephen L. Webb, James C. Beasley Jun 2022

Genomic Tools Reveal Complex Social Organization Of An Invasive Large Mammal (Sus Scrofa), Chelsea L. Titus, Courtney F. Bowden, Timothy J. Smyser, Stephen L. Webb, James C. Beasley

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

A comprehensive understanding of sociality in wildlife is vital to optimizing conservation and management efforts. However, sociality is complicated, especially for widely distributed species that exhibit substantive behavioral plasticity. Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa), often representing hybrids of European wild boar and domestic pigs, are among the most adaptable and widely distributed large mammals. The social structure of wild pigs is believed to be similar to European wild boar, consisting of matriarchal groups (sounders) and solitary males. However, wild pig social structure is understudied and largely limited to visual observations. Using a hierarchical approach, we incorporated genomic tools …


Seasonal Variation And Tracking Of Climate Niche Of A Migratory Bird, Javier Gutiérrez Illán, Guiming Wang, D. Tommy King, Fred L. Cunningham May 2022

Seasonal Variation And Tracking Of Climate Niche Of A Migratory Bird, Javier Gutiérrez Illán, Guiming Wang, D. Tommy King, Fred L. Cunningham

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Migratory birds inhabit different areas during breeding and non-breeding seasons. Depending on the time of the year, they may utilize different resources available in seasonal habitats, but also are subjected to changing climate regimes during their annual life cycle. Migratory birds may adopt ecological niche tracking to cope with different environmental conditions between breeding and non-breeding grounds. The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, hereafter ‘AWPE’) is a short-distance migrant between the Gulf of Mexico coastal regions (nonbreeding grounds) and the Northern Great Plains (breeding grounds) of Canada and the US. The American White Pelican is a piscivore, feeding …


Relative Palatability And Efficacy Of Brodifacoum-25d Conservation Rodenticide Pellets For Mouse Eradication On Midway Atoll, Peter J. Kappes, Shane R. Siers, Israel L. Leinbach, Robert T. Sugihara, Wesley J. Jolley, Jonathan H. Plissner, Elizabeth N. Flint, Kelly L. Goodale, Gregg R. Howald May 2022

Relative Palatability And Efficacy Of Brodifacoum-25d Conservation Rodenticide Pellets For Mouse Eradication On Midway Atoll, Peter J. Kappes, Shane R. Siers, Israel L. Leinbach, Robert T. Sugihara, Wesley J. Jolley, Jonathan H. Plissner, Elizabeth N. Flint, Kelly L. Goodale, Gregg R. Howald

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Invasive mice (Mus spp.) can negatively impact island species and ecosystems. Because fewer island rodent eradications have been attempted for mice compared to rats (Rattus spp.), less is known about efficacy and palatability of rodenticide baits for mouse eradications. We performed a series of bait acceptance and efficacy cage trials using a standard formulation of brodifacoum-based rodenticide on wild-caught mice from Sand Island, Midway Atoll, to help inform a proposed eradication there. Mice were offered ad libitum brodifacoum pellets along with various alternative food sources, and a “no choice” treatment group received only bait pellets. Mortality in the no choice …


Intercontinental Movement Of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5n1) Clade 2.3.4.4 Virus To The United States, 2021, Sarah N. Bevins, Susan A. Shriner, James C. Cumbee Jr., Krista E. Dilione, Kelly E. Douglass, Jeremy W. Ellis, Mary Lea Killian, Mia K. Torchetti, Julianna B. Lenoch May 2022

Intercontinental Movement Of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5n1) Clade 2.3.4.4 Virus To The United States, 2021, Sarah N. Bevins, Susan A. Shriner, James C. Cumbee Jr., Krista E. Dilione, Kelly E. Douglass, Jeremy W. Ellis, Mary Lea Killian, Mia K. Torchetti, Julianna B. Lenoch

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

We detected Eurasian-origin highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus belonging to the Gs/GD lineage, clade 2.3.4.4b, in wild waterfowl in 2 Atlantic coastal states in the United States. Bird banding data showed widespread movement of waterfowl within the Atlantic Flyway and between neighboring flyways and northern breeding grounds.


Individual Trophic Niche Specialization In American Beaver (Castor Canadensis), Jimmy Taylor, Robert Francis, Scott Rush, Bronson Strickland, Guiming Wang Apr 2022

Individual Trophic Niche Specialization In American Beaver (Castor Canadensis), Jimmy Taylor, Robert Francis, Scott Rush, Bronson Strickland, Guiming Wang

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

The American beaver (Castor canadensis) has been described as a choosy generalist at the species/population scale, yet observational studies have shown little variation in diet among individuals. We compared isotopic values of δ13C or δ15N taken from hair of 32 beaver, representing seven colonies in northern Alabama, USA to determine 1) if colonies of beaver show overlap in isotopic niche width as a result of the similar use of food resources and 2) if individual trophic niche specialization occurs within colonies. Total Trophic Niche Width varied across the wetland with the widest being twice …


Editorial: Special Issue “Innovative Techniques And Approaches In The Control And Prevention Of Rabies Virus”, Amy T. Gilbert, Ryan M. Wallace, Charles E. Rupprecht Apr 2022

Editorial: Special Issue “Innovative Techniques And Approaches In The Control And Prevention Of Rabies Virus”, Amy T. Gilbert, Ryan M. Wallace, Charles E. Rupprecht

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Rabies is an ancient lethal scourge that has plagued humankind for centuries. Globally, 60,000 human deaths are estimated to occur each year from rabies virus (RABV) transmission in domestic dogs, mostly affecting children. While rabies is recognized as a neglected disease, there is cause for optimism in the context of growing global recognition, collaboration and commitment to advance a tripartite agenda to eliminate human deaths transmitted from rabid dogs by 2030, also known as “Zero By Thirty” (ZBT). Nevertheless, the ZBT goal must also confront competing challenge(s) of tracking and mitigating human morbidity and mortality during a global pandemic caused …


Can We Use Antipredator Behavior Theory To Predict Wildlife Responses To High-Speed Vehicles?, Ryan B. Lunn, Bradley Blackwell, Travis L. Devault, Esteban Fernández-Juricic Apr 2022

Can We Use Antipredator Behavior Theory To Predict Wildlife Responses To High-Speed Vehicles?, Ryan B. Lunn, Bradley Blackwell, Travis L. Devault, Esteban Fernández-Juricic

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Animals seem to rely on antipredator behavior to avoid vehicle collisions. There is an extensive body of antipredator behavior theory that have been used to predict the distance/time animals should escape from predators. These models have also been used to guide empirical research on escape behavior from vehicles. However, little is known as to whether antipredator behavior models are appropriate to apply to an approaching high-speed vehicle scenario. We addressed this gap by (a) providing an overview of the main hypotheses and predictions of different antipredator behavior models via a literature review, (b) exploring whether these models can generate quantitative …


Economic Consequences Of The Wolf Comeback In The Western United States, Dana Hoag, Stewart W. Breck, Kevin Crooks, Becky Niemiec Apr 2022

Economic Consequences Of The Wolf Comeback In The Western United States, Dana Hoag, Stewart W. Breck, Kevin Crooks, Becky Niemiec

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Gray wolves were eradicated from most of the United States in the 1940’s but have made a comeback in parts of their historic range over the last two decades. First reintroduced into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and central Idaho in the mid-1990’s, wolves have subsequently dispersed into at least 7 western states. Coloradoans became the latest state to take interest in bolstering wolf populations, as residents passed a ballot initiative in November 2020 to reintroduce a self-sustaining population of gray wolves by the end of 2023. Conflicts between people in rural areas that might incur costs (such as livestock loss) …


Understanding Continent-Wide Variation In Vulture Ranging Behavior To Assess Feasibility Of Vulture Safe Zones In Africa: Challenges And Possibilities, Adam Kane, Ara Monadjem, H. K.Ortwin Aschenborn, Keith Bildstein, André Botha, Claire Bracebridge, Evan R. Buechley, Ralph Buij, John P. Davies, Maria Diekmann, Colleen T. Downs, Nina Farwig, Toby Galligan, Gregory Kaltenecker, Chris Kelly, Ryno Kemp, Holger Kolberg, Monique L. Mackenzie, John Mendelsohn, Msafiri Mgumba, Ran Nathan, Aaron Nicholas, Darcy Ogada, Morgan Pfeiffer, W. Louis Phipps, Matteuns D. Pretorius, Sascha Rösner, Dana G. Schabo, Gabriel Lita Shatumbu, Orr Spiegel, Lindy J. Thompson, Jan A. Venter, Munir Virani, Kerri Wolter, Corinne J. Kendall Apr 2022

Understanding Continent-Wide Variation In Vulture Ranging Behavior To Assess Feasibility Of Vulture Safe Zones In Africa: Challenges And Possibilities, Adam Kane, Ara Monadjem, H. K.Ortwin Aschenborn, Keith Bildstein, André Botha, Claire Bracebridge, Evan R. Buechley, Ralph Buij, John P. Davies, Maria Diekmann, Colleen T. Downs, Nina Farwig, Toby Galligan, Gregory Kaltenecker, Chris Kelly, Ryno Kemp, Holger Kolberg, Monique L. Mackenzie, John Mendelsohn, Msafiri Mgumba, Ran Nathan, Aaron Nicholas, Darcy Ogada, Morgan Pfeiffer, W. Louis Phipps, Matteuns D. Pretorius, Sascha Rösner, Dana G. Schabo, Gabriel Lita Shatumbu, Orr Spiegel, Lindy J. Thompson, Jan A. Venter, Munir Virani, Kerri Wolter, Corinne J. Kendall

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

Protected areas are intended as tools in reducing threats to wildlife and preserving habitat for their long-term population persistence. Studies on ranging behavior provide insight into the utility of protected areas. Vultures are one of the fastest declining groups of birds globally and are popular subjects for telemetry studies, but continent-wide studies are lacking. To address how vultures use space and identify the areas and location of possible vulture safe zones, we assess home range size and their overlap with protected areas by species, age, breeding status, season, and region using a large continent-wide telemetry datasets that includes 163 individuals …


A Review Of The Impacts Of Invasive Wild Pigs On Native Vertebrates, Matthew T. Mcdonough, Stephen S. Ditchkoff, Mark D. Smith, Kurt C. Vercauteren Feb 2022

A Review Of The Impacts Of Invasive Wild Pigs On Native Vertebrates, Matthew T. Mcdonough, Stephen S. Ditchkoff, Mark D. Smith, Kurt C. Vercauteren

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

The wild pig (Sus scrofa) is a successful invasive species that has become well established outside of its native range in Eurasia. The invasive wild pig is the result of released or escaped domesticated livestock becoming feral, or Eurasian boar introduced for hunting purposes. The global spread of wild pigs has recently been exacerbated in some areas, such as the USA, by anthropogenically assisted dispersal. Once established in novel ecosystems, wild pigs have the potential to have significant negative impacts on the ecosystem, and the scientific literature is replete with examples. It is generally accepted that wild pigs …