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Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) have caused considerable damage where they have been introduced around the world. At Pinnacles National Monument, California, USA, managers were concerned that feral pigs were damaging wetland habitats, reducing oak regeneration, competing with native wildlife, and dispersing nonnative plant species through soil disturbance. To address these threats the National Park Service constructed an exclosure around 57 km2 of monument land and through cooperation with the Institute for Wildlife Studies eradicated all feral pigs within the area. Trapping, ground-hunting, hunting dogs, and Judas techniques were used to remove feral pigs. Trapping techniques removed most pigs, but a combination of techniques was required to cause eradication. A series of bait sites and transects across the monument helped focus removal efforts and facilitated detection of the last remaining feral pigs in the exclosure. Consistent funding and cooperation from the National Park Service allowed for a seamless and comprehensive program that provided intensive removal of feral pigs. The successful eradication of feral pigs at Pinnacles National Monument should encourage managers in other areas to implement future control or eradication programs.
Dispersal distances and their distribution pattern are important to understanding such phenomena as disease spread and gene flow, but oftentimes dispersal characteristics are modeled as a fixed trait for a given species. We found that dispersal distributions differ for spring and autumn dispersals of yearling male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) but that combined data can be adequately modeled based on a log-normal distribution. We modeled distribution of dispersal distances from 3 distinct populations in Pennsylvania and Maryland, USA, based on the relationship between percent forest cover and mean dispersal distance and the relationship between mean and variance of dispersal distances. Our results suggest distributions of distances for dispersing yearling male white-tailed deer can be modeled by simply measuring a readily obtained landscape metric, percent forest cover, which could be used to create generalized spatially explicit disease or gene flow models.
Factors influencing patterns of space use by pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are poorly understood. We studied diurnal space use by adult pygmy rabbits during multiple breeding and nonbreeding seasons at 3 sites in the Lemhi Valley, Idaho, USA, during 2004–2005. Pygmy rabbits used larger areas than predicted by allometric models and documented by some previous investigations. Sex and season strongly influenced space use by rabbits. Males used larger home ranges and core areas, more burrow systems, and more widely dispersed burrow systems than did female rabbits. We also documented significant differences among study sites in many movement parameters, which suggested that local resource distribution also might influence how pygmy rabbits use space. Our results indicated that pygmy rabbits use large areas and exhibit seasonal, sex, and site-specific variation in patterns of movement and space use. Therefore, larger areas of habitat may be needed to conserve pygmy rabbits to accommodate seasonal, regional, and potentially annual variation in resource availability and to maintain linkages among populations.
Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a species of concern and accurate estimates of occupied area are required to assess their status. We conducted aerial line-intercept surveys to estimate colony areas in Colorado, USA, 2006–2007. Optimal allocation based on results from a previous (2002) survey was used to distribute flight time to sample 28 counties. Uncorrected estimates of active and inactive colony areas from the aerial surveys were 329,529 (SE = 16,841) ha and 18,292 (SE = 2,366) ha, respectively. We attempted to ground-truth a randomly selected sample of 186 colony intercepts but gained complete access to only 150. Ground-truthing demonstrated that aerial surveys estimated only 96% of the true lengths of colony intercepts but overestimated the proportion of active colonies. Corrected estimates of active and inactive colony areas are 319,165 (SE = 20,105) ha and 42,422 (SE = 11,485) ha, respectively. Because ground-truthing was not conducted in the original 2002 survey, uncorrected estimates from this survey are the appropriate metric to be used for comparison to the 2002 data. Our estimates demonstrated a 29% increase (SE = 6.3) in area occupied since surveys were conducted in 2002. These results are useful to state and federal agencies and other conservation partners in determining the condition of the species when conducting status reviews.
We quantified indirect effects of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on ground-dwelling herpetofauna and invertebrates in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, USA. We placed cover boards at 12 sites, each consisting of a 10 × 10-m fenced (exclosure) plot and an unfenced (control) plot. Periodically, during May–December 2004 and May–September 2005, we counted salamanders, snakes, and a variety of invertebrate taxa. Salamander, snake, and gastropod abundance as well as invertebrate richness (no. of species or higher level taxa) were higher in control than exclosure plots. Our findings suggest that management actions taken to regulate deer densities could have the unintended effect of reducing local animal diversity.
Habitat Conservation Plans are a widely used strategy to balance development and preservation of species of concern and have been used in southern California, USA, to protect the coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica). Few data exist on gnatcatcher abundance and distribution, and existing data have problems with issues of closure (i.e., sampling occurs in a short enough time period such that abundance or distribution are not changing), detectability, and proper attention to probability-based sampling schemes. Thus, a habitat model has been relied upon in reserve design. California gnatcatchers are the flagship and umbrella species of many plans and we provide the first estimates that incorporate probabilistic sampling and test predictions from the habitat model. Probability of occurrence was 26% (SÊ = 0.06); however, occupancy varied by modeled habitat quality with slopes <40%, warm, and wet sagebrush habitat having higher occupancy probabilities. Interpreting abundance and occupancy probabilities by vegetation type was complicated by error detected in Geographic Information System vegetation metadata files. The slope (1.08, SÊ = 0.66), temperature (0.79, SÊ = 0.70), and precipitation (−2.62, SÊ = 1.21) variables associated with habitat models were stronger influences on occupancy than was patch size (0.48, SÊ =0.66). Previous models weight patch size equal to slope and climate. Our work demonstrates that probabilistic sampling can be carried out on a large scale and the results provide better information for managers to make decisions about their reserves.
The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is the most harvested duck in North America. A topic of debate among hunters, especially those in Arkansas, USA, is whether wintering distributions of mallards have changed in recent years. We examined distributions of mallards in the Mississippi (MF) and Central Flyways during hunting seasons 1980–2003 to determine if and why harvest distributions changed. We used Geographic Information Systems to analyze spatial distributions of band recoveries and harvest estimated using data from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Parts Collection Survey. Mean latitudes of band recoveries and harvest estimates showed no significant trends across the study period. Despite slight increases in band recoveries and harvest on the peripheries of kernel density estimates, most harvest occurred in eastern Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi, USA, in all years. We found no evidence for changes in the harvest distributions of mallards. We believe that the late 1990s were years of exceptionally high harvest in the lower MF and that slight shifts northward since 2000 reflect a return to harvest distributions similar to those of the early 1980s. Our results provide biologists with possible explanations to hunter concerns of fewer mallards available for harvest.
The greatest concentration of Chinese Galliformes occurs in the Trans-Himalayas. We selected 4 northwestern Yunnan counties (Lijiang, Shangri-la, Deqin, and Weixi) in the Trans-Himalayas to assess the conservation status of 9 gallinaceous forest birds. We developed maps depicting recent forest cover and modeled habitat availability of each gallinaceous forest bird based on 3 factors that restrict its distribution: geographic location, elevation range, and forest coverage. The conservation status of 4 species was inadequate, because <10% of their respective potential habitats were within existing nature reserves. To predict the historic habitats of the species we studied, we also delineated a forest map from the late 1950s. We calculated the loss and fragmentation of potential habitats within the past 40 years as degree of habitat degradation. Our results showed that all 9 species became reduced and fragmented of their potential habitats from the late 1950s to 2002. Assessing habitat degradation and conservation status of wild species could help identify the threatened species with poor protection and degraded habitats, thereby warranting more attention in future conservation strategies. To protect those threatened species, it is urgent that the government should design new nature reserves to fill the conservation gaps, and enlarge and strengthen the management of existing natural reserves to reduce effects of human activities on their habitats.
Estimating total number of birds using a particular staging site during migration is challenging because counts alone do not account for turnover in the local population. Robust statistical methods are needed to more fully assess the conservation value of such sites. We used the multi-strata model in Program MARK to estimate time-dependent transition probabilities between sequential staging sites to estimate lengths of stay for spring-staging Pacific black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) on the Fraser River delta and Parksville-Qualicum areas in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Using resightings of marked individuals in combination with ground counts, we estimated the total number of brant, with associated uncertainties, staging at these sites during the spring migrations of 1999 and 2000. We estimated between 28,927 and 33,181 individual brant transited the Fraser River delta and Parksville-Qualicum sites in 1999 and between 21,621 and 25,405 individuals in 2000. These totals correspond to approximately 18–26% of the entire Pacific Flyway brant population, suggesting the need for continued conservation and management efforts at these sites. Given the importance of staging sites to migratory populations, we believe this method could be applied to other species and locations.
We assessed age-dependent survival, site-fidelity, and, together with data on prey and reproduction, trends in the population of ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis) breeding in western Canada. Our analysis included 7,129 ferruginous hawks banded near Hanna, Alberta, and Kindersley-Alsask, Saskatchewan, from 1972 to 2003. We estimated annual adult survival rate to be 0.708 (SE = 0.024) and first year survival for nestlings was 0.545 (SE = 0.147). Resighting probability was modeled as a constant for nestlings (0.009, SE = 0.010), but it varied among years for adults consistent with our sampling efforts. Band reporting rate was at 0.022 (SE = 0.007) for both nestlings and adults. Fidelity to the study site was 1.00 (SE = 0.000) for adults and 0.035 (SE = 0.014) for nestlings. Nesting density ranged from 3.1 to 14.0 pairs/100 km2 and averaged 9.8 pairs/100 km2. We observed an average clutch size of 3.2 (SE = 0.06) and brood sizes of 2.71 (SE = 0.07) near Hanna and 2.79 (SE = 0.99) at Kindersley-Alsask. Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) made up 95% of ferruginous hawk prey. Prey availability was positively correlated with number of offspring near Hanna and Kindersley-Alsask. We believe the lower than expected adult survival did not result in population decrease; rather, declines in reproduction resulting from declines in the abundance of ground squirrels better explain an observed 4.5-fold decline in nesting densities during the study. The results suggest that ferruginous hawk management should address prey in addition to habitat management, and that management needs are regional in scope with particular emphasis on the breeding range within the northern Great Plains.
Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations have experienced severe declines for several decades, and declines have been particularly precipitous in the southern United States. These declines are partially attributable to large-scale conversions of potential habitat to short-rotation pine (Pinus spp.) forests managed for wood fiber production and fire exclusion in pine-dominated landscapes. We used standard arthropod sampling techniques, human-imprinted bobwhite chicks, and vegetation response to evaluate effects of different understory vegetation management practices on brood habitat quality within a commercially managed pine forest in Louisiana, USA, during 2002–2005. Specifically, we evaluated effects of mowing, prescribed fire during the growing season, prescribed fire in combination with imazapyr application, and no vegetation management on arthropod abundance and diversity, vegetation response, and the probability of bobwhite chicks successfully capturing an arthropod. Bobwhite chicks were more successful at capturing arthropods, and arthropod abundance and diversity were greatest, in plant communities managed using prescribed fire and imazapyr. Forest stands managed using a combination of fire and imazapyr were managed primarily to benefit the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis; RCW). Our findings suggest that management directed toward improving forest condition for RCWs improves habitat quality for brooding bobwhites. However, bobwhite chicks in our study area were less successful at capturing arthropods than were chicks in other studies in the southeastern United States. Brood-rearing habitat in pine forests similar to those we studied may be of generally poor quality, and could be related to precipitous declines of bobwhites in the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Managers should recognize that creating high-quality brood habitat in forests similar to those we studied will require more intensive management of understory vegetation than we studied.
Harvest of upland game birds in concert with sampling of age ratios from wings can yield important biological information about populations. Although estimates of productivity are commonly produced, they are often not accompanied by a measure of variance. Thus, we developed standard error estimates for sample productivity ratios, compared 4 methods for creating confidence intervals for population productivity ratios, and developed a test and the corresponding sample size requirements for comparing 2 population productivity ratios. We applied these techniques to greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) wing-data collected in Oregon, USA (1993–2005). Computer simulations indicated that backtransforming the Wilson's score interval on the proportion of immatures in the sample results in the most reliable confidence intervals among the methods considered. We recommend to managers measuring conservation action outcomes with productivity ratios to consider the appropriate sample sizes for the spatial and temporal scale of their monitoring programs.
Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations have declined nationally for at least the past 4 decades. Field borders have been promoted as an important component of conservation plans to reverse this decline. Field border characteristics, such as shape and the landscapes in which the borders are established, have the potential to influence their effectiveness for recovering northern bobwhite populations. We established narrow linear (approx. 3-m-wide) and nonlinear field borders on farms in agriculture-dominated and forest-dominated landscapes in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, USA, after collecting pretreatment data on summer bobwhite abundance. After establishment of field borders, summer bobwhite abundance nearly doubled on farms in agriculture-dominated landscapes and increased approximately 57% on farms with nonlinear field borders. Summer bobwhite abundance did not increase on farms with linear field borders in forest-dominated landscapes. Nonlinear and narrow linear field borders can be used to increase bobwhite numbers on farms in landscapes dominated by agriculture. Less flexibility exists in forest-dominated landscapes, where we found only nonlinear field borders resulted in an increase.
Rice lost before or during harvest operations (hereafter waste rice) provides important food for waterfowl in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, USA, but >70% of waste rice is lost during autumn. We conducted experiments in 19 production rice fields in Arkansas and Mississippi during autumns 2003 and 2004 to evaluate the ability of common postharvest practices (i.e., burn, mow, roll, disk, or standing stubble) to conserve waste rice. We detected a postharvest treatment effect and a positive effect of initial abundance of waste rice on late-autumn abundance of waste rice (P ≤ 0.022). Standing stubble contained the greatest abundance of waste rice followed by burned, mowed, rolled, and disked stubble. We recommend standing stubble or burning to maximize waste rice abundance for wintering waterfowl.
Breeding propensity, the proportion of sexually mature females that initiate egg production, can be an important demographic trait when considering reproductive performance and, subsequently, population dynamics in birds. We measured egg production using yolk precursor (vitellogenin and very-low-density lipoprotein) analyses and we measured nesting using radiotelemetry to quantify breeding propensity of adult female harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) in British Columbia, Canada, in 2003 and 2004. Using both methods combined, and accounting for error rates of each, we estimated that breeding propensity of adult females that migrated to breeding streams was 92%. These data suggest that, despite speculation that harlequin ducks have low breeding propensity, almost all adult females on our study site were not constrained in their ability to produce eggs and that influences on reproductive performance at later stages likely have much stronger effects on population dynamics.
We analyzed 16 years of mark–recapture data to investigate whether a wildfire influenced survival of an arboreal ambush-forager (broad-headed snake [Hoplocephalus bungaroides]) and a terrestrial active forager (small-eyed snake Cryptophis nigrescens). We predicted that wildfire would cause direct mortality and reduce subsequent survival of both snake species. Contrary to this prediction, wildfire did not affect abundance of broad-headed snakes, but abundance of small-eyed snakes decreased by 48% after the wildfire. Estimated annual survival of small-eyed snakes was 37% lower after fire (s = 0.47, SE = 0.07) than before fire (s = 0.74, SE = 0.05). Prescribed burning may be a suitable tool for creating open habitat mosaics for the endangered broad-headed snake.
Data on the behavior of walk-hunters and pointing dogs aids in understanding and managing quail harvest. We collected Global Positioning System track logs and recorded behaviors of hunters and dogs on northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) hunts in Oklahoma (n = 43), Texas (n = 43), and Missouri (n = 7), USA, during the 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 hunting seasons. Hunter velocity averaged 0.8 ± 0.03 (SE) m/second both seasons (n = 85) and pooled (95% CL overlap) velocity of bird dogs was 2.5 ± 0.07 (SE) m/second (n = 154). Hunters spent 60.5 ± 2.4% (SE) of their time walking in 2005–2006 (n = 45) versus 75.2 ± 3.5% (SE) in 2006–2007 (n = 48); respective figures for ranging by dogs were 50.2 ± 2.2% (n = 57) versus 82.0 ± 1.3% (SE; n = 97). Mean duration of a hunt declined from 82.3 ± 8.16 (SE) minutes (n = 45) to 50.2 ± 5.1 (SE) minutes (n = 48) between seasons. Variation in bobwhite abundance was the primary cause of seasonal variation in hunter and dog behaviors because covey-associated activities declined as quail abundance declined. With our results and those of previous workers, managers have first-generation estimates of all variables in hunter–covey interface models for managing bobwhite harvest on discrete areas.
Direct studies of mammalian carnivores are challenging due to the animals' secretive nature and the high costs associated with their capture and handling. Use of noninvasive hair sampling to survey these reclusive species has great potential as an alternative, with wide applicability in ecology and conservation. Hair-trapping has been extensively used for focal studies of temperate mammals, but its use and applicability as a means to survey mammals in tropical environs has never been addressed. We evaluated the effectiveness of 2 hair-trap types and 2 scents along an elevational gradient within El Cielo Biosphere Reserve (ECBR, Mexico) to detect presence of carnivores. Hair-traps that used roofing nails as a hair-collecting surface collected more hairs and detected a greater number of species than did hair-traps that used velcro strips. Different scent treatments (commercial fragrance and catnip oil) did not differ for these same variables. Of successful nail hair-traps, 60% collected ≥20 hairs (max. = 439), providing enough material for DNA analyses. Hair-trap surveys detected 74% of the potential target mammal species at ECBR with only 19 days of field effort. Developing countries have limited budgets for biodiversity monitoring and hair-traps compare favorably with other methods with a high cost–benefit ratio. Hair-traps are inexpensive, portable, can be made with over-the-counter materials, and can be successfully used to collect data applicable to population and genetic studies of tropical carnivores.
Researchers have successfully designed aerial surveys that provided precise estimates of wintering populations of ducks over large physiographic regions, yet few conservation agencies have adopted these probability-based sampling designs for their surveys. We designed and evaluated an aerial survey to estimate abundance of wintering mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), dabbling ducks (tribe Anatini) other than mallards, diving ducks (tribes Aythini, Mergini, and Oxyurini), and total ducks in western Mississippi, USA. We used design-based sampling of fixed width transects to estimate population indices (Î), and we used model-based methods to correct population indices for visibility bias and estimate population abundance (N̂) for 14 surveys during winters 2002–2004. Correcting for bias increased estimates of mallards, other dabbling ducks, and diving ducks by an average of 40–48% among all surveys and contributed 48–61% of the estimated variance of N̂. However, mean-squared errors were consistently less for N̂ than Î. Estimates of N̂ met our goals for precision (CV ≤ 15%) in 7 of 14 surveys for mallards, 5 surveys for other dabbling ducks, no surveys for diving ducks, and 10 surveys for total ducks. Generally, we estimated more mallards and other dabbling ducks in mid- and late winter (Jan–Feb) than early winter (Nov–Dec) and determined that population indices from the late 1980s were nearly 3 times greater than those from our study. We developed a method to display relative densities of ducks spatially as an additional application of survey data. Our study advanced methods of estimating abundance of wintering waterfowl, and we recommend this design for continued monitoring of wintering ducks in western Mississippi and similar physiographic regions.
Fecal nitrogen (FN) has been applied widely as an index of dietary quality in studies of nutritional ecology of free-ranging and captive vertebrate herbivores, particularly ruminants. Three related articles in the Journal of Wildlife Management (JWM; Leslie and Starkey 1985, 1987; Hobbs 1987) have been cited (n = 150) in 87 publications and 39 peer-reviewed journals. The critique by Hobbs (1987) and the reply by Leslie and Starkey (1987) on limitations and appropriate applications of FN have been used to justify use of FN or negate its value as a nutritional proxy. We undertook a retrospective analysis of FN applications since 1985, largely because we sensed that methodological cautions noted in the 3 JWM publications were not being followed, leading to faulty conclusions and management applications, and that application protocols needed updating. From January 1986 through July 2007, the 107 species-by-continent applications of FN, citing the 3 JWM publications singly or in any combination, were diverse; FN was used in various ways on 5 continents and for 50 wild and domestic species. Cumulative rates of departure from recommended FN applications increased in recent years, largely in studies that compare different species while failing to fully acknowledge that differences likely reflected digestive capabilities rather than differences in some aspect of dietary intake. Post-1985 research on plant secondary compounds (e.g., tannins) has refined limitations to the application of FN, permitting more straightforward protocols than were possible in 1985. Although use does not necessarily reflect value, the number of published applications during the past 22 years indicates that peer reviewers from a variety of scientific disciplines view FN as a suitable proxy for nutritional status, which can be used to contrast study units when carefully defined by the study design. Any index can have shortcomings, and there are still circumstances when application of FN is problematic. Precise prediction of intake with FN under field conditions is still hampered by inherent variability, but contrasts of comparable study units and species can be appropriate. Published protocols for FN, as amended herein, should be adhered to, and conclusions are strengthened by the use of multiple nutritional indices.
Frequent checks of live traps require enormous amounts of labor and add human scents associated with repeated monitoring, which may reduce capture efficiency. To reduce efforts and increase efficiency, we developed a trap-signaling device with long-distance reception, durability in adverse weather, and ease of transport, deployment, and use. Modifications from previous designs include a normally open magnetic switch and a mounting configuration to maximize reception. The system weighed <225 g, was effective ≤17.1 km, and failed in <1% of trap-nights. Employing this system, researchers and wildlife managers may reduce the amount of effort checking traps while improving the welfare of trapped animals.
We compared the time-of-detection and logistic regression methods of estimating probability of detection for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) coveys. Both methods are unusual in that they allow estimation of the total probability of detection (i.e., the product of the probability that a covey is available for detection [i.e., that a covey vocalizes] and detection given availability). The logistic regression method produced an average detection probability of 0.596 (SE = 0.020) and the time-of-detection method produced a detection probability estimate of 0.540 (SE = 0.086), and the 2 estimates were not significantly different. This is the first evaluation of the time-of-detection method with empirical field data. Although the time-of-detection and logistic regression method each have advantages, both can be used under appropriate conditions to improve estimates of bobwhite abundance by allowing for the estimation of detection probabilities. Improved estimates of bobwhite abundance will allow land managers to make more informed management decisions.
Disease transmission between wildlife and livestock is a worldwide issue. Society needs better methods to prevent interspecies transmission to reduce disease risks. Producers have successfully used livestock protection dogs (LPDs) for thousands of years to reduce predation. We theorized that LPDs raised and bonded with cattle could be used to also reduce risk of bovine tuberculosis (Myobacterium bovis; TB) transmission between white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and cattle by minimizing contact between the 2 species and use of cattle feed by deer. We evaluated 4 LPDs over 5 months, utilizing 2 data collection methods (direct observation and motion-activated video) on deer farms that supported higher densities than wild populations. Dogs were highly effective in preventing deer from using concentrated cattle feed (hay bales), likely the greatest risk factor of TB transmission on farms. Dogs also prevented deer from approaching cattle in core areas of pastures (near hay bales) and were very effective throughout pastures. Our research supports the theory that LPDs, specifically trained to remain with cattle, may be a practical tool to minimize potential for livestock to contract TB from infected deer in small-scale cattle operations. Where disease is present in deer, it may be possible to reduce the potential for disease transmission by employing LPDs.
Throughout the United States, managers lack safe, effective methods to control expanding populations of the invasive monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). Because the reproductive inhibitor diazacon (20,25 diazacholesterol) has been used effectively in captive monk parakeets, we provided diazacon-treated sunflower seeds to birds at electric utility substations inhabited by parakeets in south Florida, USA. Nest productivity (nestlings plus eggs with embryos) averaged 1.31 (SE = 0.45, n = 100 nests) at 6 treated sites compared to 4.15 (SE = 0.68, n = 50 nests) at 4 untreated sites, a 68.4% reduction. Exposure of native bird species to treated bait was infrequent. Diazacon is an effective means to reduce reproductive success of monk parakeets, and development of methods to limit exposure of nontarget birds will enable more widespread use of this useful population management technique.
In the 2007 Journal of Wildlife Management article “Dinosaur Ramblings,” Scalet described a shift in university and agency programs away from applied management research toward basic ecological research. We interpret Scalet's commentary as primarily synonymizing applied management research to game management and basic ecological research to nongame management and theoretical research. Although we agree with Scalet that a change in management practices has occurred, we believe that change is more an integration of applied and basic research as opposed to a shift away from management. We provide a hierarchical framework to alternatively explain Scalet's perceived shift in which we place applied management and basic theoretical research under the science of ecology. We believe integration of basic and applied research has been driven by the evolving structure of society and the public's changing view of natural resources. The integration of basic and applied research is necessary for informed and, thence, better management practices.