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USGS - science for a changing world

F. Messier

Researchers and wildlife managers increasingly find themselves in situations where they must deal with infectious wildlife diseases such as chronic wasting disease, brucellosis, tuberculosis, and West Nile virus. Managers are often charged with designing and implementing control strategies, and researchers often seek to determine factors that influence and control the disease process. All of these activities require the ability to measure some indication of a disease's foothold in a population and evaluate factors affecting that foothold. The most common type of data available to managers and researchers is apparent prevalence data. Apparent disease prevalence, the proportion of animals in a sample that are positive...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
We studied genetic structure in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations by typing a sample of 473 individuals spanning the species distribution at 16 highly variable microsatellite loci. No genetic discontinuities were found that would be consistent with evolutionarily significant periods of isolation between groups. Direct comparison of movement data and genetic data from the Canadian Arctic revealed a highly significant correlation. Genetic data generally supported existing population (management unit) designations, although there were two cases where genetic data failed to differentiate between pairs of populations previously resolved by movement data. A sharp contrast was found between the minimal genetic structure...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Molecular Ecology
We fitted 173 satellite radio collars (platform transmitter terminals) to 121 adult female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and relocated the bears 44 736 times between 1985 and 1995. We regularly resighted many instrumented bears so that we could ascertain whether changes in movements or distribution were related to reproductive status. Mean short-term movement rates were less than 2 km/h for all classes of bears. Maximum movement rates occurred in winter and early summer. In the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS), net geographic movements from the beginning to the end of each month were smaller for females with cubs of the year than for solitary females, and larger in November than in April, May, or July. In May, June,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Canadian Journal of Zoology
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