Animal migration amid shifting patterns of phenology and predation: lessons from a Yellowstone elk herd

dc.contributor.author Middleton, Arthur
dc.contributor.author Kauffman, Matthew
dc.contributor.author Klaver, Robert
dc.contributor.author McWhirter, Douglas
dc.contributor.author Cook, John
dc.contributor.author Cook, Rachel
dc.contributor.author Nelson, Abigali
dc.contributor.author Jimenez, Michael
dc.contributor.author Klaver, Robert
dc.contributor.department Natural Resource Ecology and Management
dc.date 2018-02-18T21:34:19.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-30T06:12:23Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-30T06:12:23Z
dc.date.issued 2013-06-01
dc.description.abstract <p>Migration is a striking behavioral strategy by which many animals enhance resource acquisition while reducing predation risk. Historically, the demographic benefits of such movements made migration common, but in many taxa the phenomenon is considered globally threatened. Here we describe a long-term decline in the productivity of elk (<em>Cervus elaphus</em>) that migrate through intact wilderness areas to protected summer ranges inside Yellowstone National Park, USA. We attribute this decline to a long-term reduction in the demographic benefits that ungulates typically gain from migration. Among migratory elk, we observed a 21-year, 70% reduction in recruitment and a 4-year, 19% depression in their pregnancy rate largely caused by infrequent reproduction of females that were young or lactating. In contrast, among resident elk, we have recently observed increasing recruitment and a high rate of pregnancy. Landscape-level changes in habitat quality and predation appear to be responsible for the declining productivity of Yellowstone migrants. From 1989 to 2009, migratory elk experienced an increasing rate and shorter duration of green-up coincident with warmer spring–summer temperatures and reduced spring precipitation, also consistent with observations of an unusually severe drought in the region. Migrants are also now exposed to four times as many grizzly bears (<em>Ursus arctos</em>) and wolves (<em>Canis lupus</em>) as resident elk. Both of these restored predators consume migratory elk calves at high rates in the Yellowstone wilderness but are maintained at low densities via lethal management and human disturbance in the year-round habitats of resident elk. Our findings suggest that large-carnivore recovery and drought, operating simultaneously along an elevation gradient, have disproportionately influenced the demography of migratory elk. Many migratory animals travel large geographic distances between their seasonal ranges. Changes in land use and climate that disparately influence such seasonal ranges may alter the ecological basis of migratory behavior, representing an important challenge for, and a powerful lens into, the ecology and conservation of migratory taxa.</p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is published as Middleton, Arthur D., Matthew J. Kauffman, Douglas E. McWhirter, John G. Cook, Rachel C. Cook, Abigail A. Nelson, Michael D. Jimenez, and Robert W. Klaver. "Animal migration amid shifting patterns of phenology and predation: lessons from a Yellowstone elk herd." <em>Ecology</em> 94, no. 6 (2013): 1245-1256, doi: <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/11-2298.1" target="_blank">10.1890/11-2298.1</a>.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/nrem_pubs/216/
dc.identifier.articleid 1212
dc.identifier.contextkey 10633715
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath nrem_pubs/216
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/56231
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/nrem_pubs/216/2013_Klaver_AnimalMigration.pdf|||Fri Jan 14 22:38:22 UTC 2022
dc.source.uri 10.1890/11-2298.1
dc.subject.disciplines Behavior and Ethology
dc.subject.disciplines Climate
dc.subject.disciplines Natural Resources Management and Policy
dc.subject.disciplines Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
dc.subject.disciplines Zoology
dc.subject.keywords carnivore recovery
dc.subject.keywords Cervus elaphus
dc.subject.keywords drought
dc.subject.keywords elk
dc.subject.keywords grizzly bears
dc.subject.keywords migration
dc.subject.keywords trophic mismatch
dc.subject.keywords vegetation phenology
dc.subject.keywords wolves
dc.subject.keywords Yellowstone
dc.title Animal migration amid shifting patterns of phenology and predation: lessons from a Yellowstone elk herd
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 97b3d6bb-9c90-45cf-a445-9e2d827f3719
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication e87b7b9d-30ea-4978-9fb9-def61b4010ae
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