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Evaluating Alternative Wolf Monitoring Techniques in Wisconsin

Evaluating Alternative Wolf Monitoring Techniques in Wisconsin

Authors: Shawn Crimmins, Timothy Van Deelen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nathan Roberts, David MacFarland, Liza Walleser of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Presented at the 2015 Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference at Northland College. April 2015

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  1. Shawn Crimmins Timothy Van Deelen University of Wisconsin Nathan Roberts

    David MacFarland Liza Walleser Wisconsin DNR
  2. • De-listing removes ESA funds for monitoring • Financial need

    for evaluation (i.e. can WI afford it?) • Lack of statistical rigor • Largely based on expert opinion • No measure of uncertainty • Transparency • Difficult to replicate/explain expert decisions • Statistical models can lend credibility State management authority = State monitoring authority
  3. • Territory mapping variant • Telemetry + Track surveys +

    Howl surveys • Evolved from early survey efforts at low population size • Similar to other programs • Deemed most effective method • Did not evaluate many current techniques • Authors now exploring NGS in Idaho and POM in MT
  4. • Draw-backs • Flight costs • Progressively more difficult •

    Labor intensive • Benefits • Demographics • Habitat use
  5. • Draw-backs • Condition dependent • Hidden bias? • Dwindling

    participation? • Labor intensive • Varying effort • Benefits • Public participation • Spatial coverage
  6. • Draw-backs • Accuracy? • Minimal coverage • Utility •

    Benefits • Demographics • Identify un-collared packs
  7. • Variation of existing protocol • Can we get by

    with a little less? • Hunter surveys • Currently used in MT • Occupancy models • Snow-track surveys alone? • Non-invasive genetics • Idaho and Alberta • Remote cameras • Snapshot Wisconsin + SIPM
  8. • Progressively eliminate historical data • without howling surveys •

    with 50% reduction in snow-tracking • Cost-saving projections with GPS collars • Does greater collar cost offset reduced flights? • How many are needed? Proceeding
  9. • Currently used in MT to estimate total area occupied

    • Assumes constant territory size • Still requires estimates of pack size • Large effort to coordinate surveys • Spatial accuracy of surveys • Feasible in WI? • Lower visibility relative to MT • Species misidentification Not proceeding
  10. • Snow track surveys • Survey block specific population size

    • Autoregressive models • Varying sampling effort • Development of new modeling approach? • Feasible in WI? • Long-term dataset likely to continue • without telemetry • Effects of static sampling blocks? Proceeding
  11. • Den/rendezvous site visits • Small scale estimates in Idaho

    • Accurate at small scale (e.g. GMU) • Feasible in WI? • Massive field effort required for statewide approach • Knowledge of den/rendezvous site locations • Useful for targeted area? Proceeding
  12. • Statewide scat sampling • Collected during snow track surveys

    • Limited additional effort • Spring collection? • Feasible in WI? • Sample size requirements • Costs and time to process Proceeding – pilot study Proceeding – Pilot Scale
  13. • Occupancy vs abundance • Abundance estimated with mark-resight models

    • Insufficient number of collared individuals • Feasible in WI? • Large remote camera program initiated (Snapshot) • Individual detection rates needed • Spatially-explicit integrated population model • Basic IPM already developed
  14. • Deer Trustee Report • Increase citizen science • Assess

    distribution of carnivores • Develop new methods for monitoring deer • Move DNR into cutting edge research
  15. • Approach • Citizens sign up for survey block •

    DNR issues encrypted camera • Citizens deploy cameras and monitor • Images are uploaded to crowd-sourcing site • Public classifies images • Classified images returned to DNR • Animal occurrence linked to habitat features and vegetation structure • POM to estimate distribution, relative abundance, ecological relationships, etc.
  16. None
  17. • Goal of one camera per 9 mi2 • 500

    cameras currently ordered • Hope to fully implement in this FY • 3,000 cameras this year • ~ 5,000 total • Pilot work in 2014 Proceeding
  18. • Individual detection rates • Elk translocation – 200 remote

    camera grid • Wolf collars with proximity sensors Proceeding • Affix ID tags to cameras • Model whether or not wolf was photographed
  19. • GPS collar deployment at BRSF • Remote camera deployment

    at BRSF • Scat collection at den/rendezvous sites • Update of Kunkel et al. (2005) • Camera and collar deployment at Clam Lake?
  20. • Evaluations of alternative approaches needed • Not all approaches

    are equally feasible • Coordination with MN and MI beneficial • Approach should be transparent and robust • Feedback welcomed!!!
  21. None