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USGS - science for a changing world

Mark S. Udevitz

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Change-in-ratio (CIR) methods are used to estimate parameters for ecological populations subject to differential removals from population subclasses. Subclasses can be defined according to criteria such as sex, age, or size of individuals. Removals are generally in the form of closely monitored sport or commercial harvests. Estimation is based on observed changes in subclass proportions caused by the removals.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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An animal’s energetic costs are dependent on the amount of time it allocates to various behavioral activities. For Arctic pinnipeds, the time allocated to active and resting behaviors could change with future reductions in sea ice cover and longer periods of open water. The Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) is a large Arctic pinniped that rests on sea ice or land between foraging trips to feed on the seafloor. We used behavioral data collected from radiotagged walruses in the Chukchi Sea (2008–2014) in a Bayesian generalized linear mixed effects model to estimate the probability a walrus was in water foraging, in water not foraging, or hauled out, as a function of environmental covariates. The probability...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Mammalogy
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Arctic wildlife species face a dynamic and increasingly novel environment because of climate warming and the associated increase in human activity. Both marine and terrestrial environments are undergoing rapid environmental shifts, including loss of sea ice, permafrost degradation, and altered biogeochemical fluxes. Forecasting wildlife responses to climate change can facilitate proactive decisions that balance stewardship with resource development. In this article, we discuss the primary and secondary responses to physical climate-related drivers in the Arctic, associated wildlife responses, and additional sources of complexity in forecasting wildlife population outcomes. Although the effects of warming on wildlife...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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The accelerating rate of anthropogenic alteration and disturbance of environments has increased the need for forecasting effects of environmental change on fish and wildlife populations. Models linking projections of environmental change with behavioral responses and bioenergetic effects can provide a basis for these forecasts. There is particular interest in forecasting effects of projected reductions in sea ice availability on Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Declining extent of summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has caused Pacific walruses to increase use of coastal haulouts and decrease use of more productive offshore feeding areas. Such climate-induced changes in distribution and behavior could...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere
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Global climate change may fundamentally alter population dynamics of many species for which baseline population parameter estimates are imprecise or lacking. Historically, the Pacific walrus is thought to have been limited by harvest, but it may become limited by global warming-induced reductions in sea ice. Loss of sea ice, on which walruses rest between foraging bouts, may reduce access to food, thus lowering vital rates. Rigorous walrus survival rate estimates do not exist, and other population parameter estimates are out of date or have well-documented bias and imprecision. To provide useful population parameter estimates we developed a Bayesian, hidden process demographic model of walrus population dynamics...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Marine Mammal Science
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