Cooperative Research Units
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Influence of Energy Development on Mule Deer Migrations II


August 2013 - December 2017


As habitat loss and fragmentation increase across ungulate ranges, identifying and prioritizing migration routes for land-use planning and conservation has taken on a new urgency. In the earlier stages of this work, we developed a general framework to map ungulate migration routes and identify portions of routes to prioritize for conservation. Additionally, we developed an ecological evaluation of stopover use in migrating mule deer. Currently, there is much conservation attention focused on determining whether continued energy development without consideration for migration routes, will lead to the loss of their ecological function and to population-level declines (including local extirpations) of harvested ungulate populations. Although migrating ungulates are able to navigate through habitats that have some level of development, the levels of development at which ungulate migration routes become compromised is unknown. In particular, we do not know when threshold levels of development are met or exceeded. An understanding of threshold levels of development will allow resource managers to properly manage Wyoming’s ungulate populations while designing for sustainable energy development. A final gap in the application of new migration research is that detailed spatial location data on migratory ungulates are not standardized and readily available to ungulate managers.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 238

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 54

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 673

Scientific Publications: 1905

Presentations: 4235



Funding Agencies

  • U.S. Geological Survey


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey