Wildlife Management

Understanding the potential for widespread plague resistance in prairie dogs

Modeling host evolution in a dynamic metapopulation

Kevin Shoemaker

Prairie dogs are keystone species of North America‚Äôs central grasslands, and have experienced dramatic population reductions over the past century due to sylvatic plague, a highly virulent disease introduced to North America ca. 1900. The APE lab is involved in building a novel host-resistance modeling framework to investigate the genetic, demographic and environmental conditions that promote or impede resistance to plague and other similar virulent pathogens in complex and dynamic ecosystems.…

Understanding the broader ecological impacts of PJ removal

Assessing small and large-scale effects on insects, small mammals, herps, birds, and bats

Kevin Shoemaker and Danielle Miles

Thousands of acres of pinyon and juniper woodlands (PJ) will be removed over the next four years to support targeted wildlife populations, notably Greater sage-grouse. We are investigating the effects of PJ removal on insect communities and the bats and reptile species that rely upon them using a rigorous experimental design. Insects can serve as useful indicators of natural disturbances, provide critical pollination services, and represent a major wildlife food resource for many species,…