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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing Spatial Associations between Rocky Mountain Elk and Cattle for Disease Transmission Potential
by Cuzzocreo, Matthew R., M.A., University of Wyoming, 2017, 80; 10608086
Abstract (Summary)

Disease transmission between livestock and wildlife is a concern for wildlife managers, stock growers associations and range management agencies alike. Based solely on the basis that pathogens are passed between the species, it is understood that Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus) and cattle spatially associate. It is not well understood where or why these associations happen. This research uses GPS collar data from both collared elk and cattle at the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range in northeastern Oregon to establish a spatial definition of association, estimate habitat parameters at points of interspecies association, and analyze association networks to infer differences in sociality of elk at Starkey. I found that habitat models offer poor insight into drivers of association. Negative binomial resource use models fit the data poorly, while logistic models showed that nearly 75% of the Starkey main study area consisted of habitat conducive to interspecies association. Network analysis showed that elk are more social with other elk than with cattle, but that the most social elk are those most likely to associate with cattle. These results indicate that it could be difficult to contain a wildlife–livestock pathogen should one become established in this system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Albeke, Shannon
Commitee: Peck, Dannele, Schumaker, Brant, Xu, Chen
School: University of Wyoming
Department: Geography & Recreation
School Location: United States -- Wyoming
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Wildlife Management, Geography, Animal Diseases
Keywords: Cattle, Disease, Elk, GLM, Habitat model, Social network
Publication Number: 10608086
ISBN: 978-0-355-53730-7
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