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Wednesday, January 27 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
Analytical Approach For Identifying Environmental Conditions Associated With Resource Selection and Wildlife Disease Data

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AUTHORS: Alexandria Dutcher*, University of Michigan-Flint; Karmen M. Hollis, University of Michigan-Flint; Christopher L. Anchor, Forest Preserve District of Cook County; James E. Chelsvig, Forest Preserve District of Cook County; Richard E. Warner, University of Illinois; Robert A. Montgomery, Michigan State University; J.P. Dubey, U.S. Department of Agriculture

ABSTRACT: Disease transmission and maintenance within a wildlife population includes many risk factors, such as individual movements, home range size, and habitat type. Here we utilize a unique combination of spatial modeling tools for understanding disease ecology in wildlife. Deer were radio-collared and tracked in two distinct suburban forest preserves in Chicago, Illinois, USA. In addition to location data, serostatus for Toxoplasma gondii was recorded. Utilizing both location and serostatus data, population-level utilization distributions were developed to assess resource selection within home ranges. Distributions were overlaid with landscape features to identify potential hotspots of seropositive deer. Based on potential hotspots, models were developed to discern whether resource selection for T. gondii positive deer correlated with environmental conditions related to parasite exposure. Understanding the components of disease ecology, wildlife managers and researchers can better control emerging and reemerging diseases in wildlife populations while protecting human health. 

Wednesday January 27, 2016 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST