Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Population dynamics, modeling, and data quality advancements


July 2016 - June 2017


IDFG uses integrated population models to help inform management decisions for mule deer. These models are implemented in the PopR framework hosted at the University of Montana. PopR is intended to provide a “one-stop-shop” for population analysis and data visualization. We will continue development of PopR for IDFG.
• Improve implementation of sightability models

The current sightability models do not account for all sources of variation. We will expand the current sightability models to more appropriately handle variation from detection, group size and sampling.

• Include predictive fawn survival models

Dr. Hurley developed predictive models for fawn survival. We will implement those models in PopR to allow for widespread application of the models within IDFG.

• Expand and enhance herd composition analyses

Herd composition analyses have traditionally been built off of binomial models or proportions. These estimators lead to unstable properties. We will implement multinomial models for herd composition analysis which will provide a more unified framework for future work.

• Refine elk population models

PopR currently only contains population models for mule deer. We will implement elk models developed by Nowak (2015) and tailor those models to meet the needs of IDFG.

• Implement a harvest data exploration tab

Harvest information is an important component of population management. Easy access to harvest statistics provides managers with detailed information related to harvest by location and year. We will develop an extension to the PopR interface that queries, displays and tabulates harvest statistics based on user specified criteria.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 245

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1948

Presentations: 4246



Funding Agencies

  • Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey