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Filters: Contacts: Trent L. McDonald (X)

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In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark–recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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In September of 1802, Pierre Simon Laplace (1749–1827) used a capture– recapture type of approach to estimate the size of the human population of France (Cochran 1978; Stigler 1986). At that time, live births were recorded for all of France on an annual basis. In the year prior to September 1802, Laplace estimated the number of such births to be approximately X = 1,000,000. These newly born individuals constituted a marked population. Laplace then obtained census and live birth data from several communities “with zealous and intelligent mayors” across all of France. Recognizing some variation in annual birth rates, Laplace summed the number of births reported in these sample communities for the three years leading...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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No abstract available.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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There is concern that caribou (Rangifer tarandus) may avoid roads and facilities (i.e., infrastructure) in the Prudhoe Bay oil field (PBOF) in northern Alaska, and that this avoidance can have negative effects on the animals. We quantified the relationship between caribou distribution and PBOF infrastructure during the post-calving period (mid-June to mid-August) with aerial surveys from 1990 to 1995. We conducted four to eight surveys per year with complete coverage of the PBOF. We identified active oil field infrastructure and used a geographic information system (GIS) to construct ten 1 km wide concentric intervals surrounding the infrastructure. We tested whether caribou distribution is related to distance from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Mark-recapture models are extensively used in quantitative population ecology, providing estimates of population vital rates, such as survival, that are difficult to obtain using other methods. Vital rates are commonly modeled as functions of explanatory covariates, adding considerable flexibility to mark-recapture models, but also increasing the subjectivity and complexity of the modeling process. Consequently, model selection and the evaluation of covariate structure remain critical aspects of mark-recapture modeling. The difficulties involved in model selection are compounded in Cormack-Jolly- Seber models because they are composed of separate sub-models for survival and recapture probabilities, which are conceptualized...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open Journal Of Ecology
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The Southern Hudson Bay (SH) population of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) resides in a seasonal sea ice environment and is the most southerly population in the species’ range. Therefore, SH polar bears may be among the first to show negative effects associated with climate warming and consequent loss of sea ice. Polar bears in the neighboring Western Hudson Bay (WH) population have declined significantly in body condition since the mid-1980s, and a recent study indicated that the size of the WH population declined by about 22% between 1987 and 2004. Similarly, SH bears have shown a significant decline in body condition since the mid-1980s, and an assessment of the current status of the SH population was therefore...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Administrative Report
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The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Federally listed as threatened in 1990 primarily because of habitat loss, the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) has continued to decline despite conservation efforts resulting in forested habitat being reserved throughout its range. Recently, there is growing evidence the congeneric invasive barred owl (Strix varia) may be responsible for the continued decline primarily by excluding spotted owls from their preferred habitat. We used a long-term demographic study for spotted owls in coastal northern California as the basis for a pilot barred owl removal experiment. Our demography study used capture–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected from 1990 to 2013 to evaluate...
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No abstract available.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The polar bear is the apical predator and universal symbol of the Arctic. They occur throughout the Arctic marine environment wherever sea ice is prevalent. In the southern Beaufort Sea, polar bears are most common within the area of the outer continental shelf, where the hunt for seals along persistent leads and openings in the ice. Polar bears are a significant cultural and subsistence component of the lifestyles of indigenous people. They may also be one of the most important indicators of the health of the Arctic marine environment. Polar bears have a late age of maturation, a long inter0brth period, and small liter sizes. These life history features make polar bear populations susceptible to natural and human...
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Around the world, a great deal of effort is expended each year to estimate the sizes of wild animal populations. Unfortunately, population size has proven to be one of the most intractable parameters to estimate. The capture-recapture estimation models most commonly used (of the Jolly-Seber type) are complicated and require numerous, sometimes questionable, assumptions. The derived estimates usually have large variances and lack consistency over time. In capture–recapture studies of long-lived animals, the ages of captured animals can often be determined with great accuracy and relative ease. We show how to incorporate age information into size estimates for open populations, where the size changes through births,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BioScience
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Predictions of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) habitat distribution in the Arctic polar basin during the 21st century were developed to help understand the likely consequences of anticipated sea ice reductions on polar bear populations. We used location data from satellite-collared polar bears and environmental data (e.g., bathymetry, coastlines, and sea ice) collected between 1985–1995 to build habitat use models called Resource Selection Functions (RSF). The RSFs described habitats polar bears preferred in each of four seasons: summer (ice minimum), autumn (growth), winter (ice maximum) and spring (melt). When applied to the model source data and to independent data (1996–2006), the RSFs consistently identified habitats...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Administrative Report