Wildlife Program
Related Links
Contact Information

Program Manager
Rocky Mountain Research Station - Flagstaff
Southwest Forest Science Complex
2500 S. Pine Knoll Rd.
Flagstaff, Arizona USA 86001
(928) 556-2001

Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems Program

News and Events

We have made significant updates and additions to these parts of the Program web site

as well as many additions to our publication database and host of minor changes. Contact us if you have feedback!

Program scientist Kevin McKelvey has developed a free software tool to assist in building kernel files for buffer analysis in ArcGIS. Learn more about KERNEL and download the software.

Screen shot from KERNEL software

Program Scientist Jose Iñiguez and others are interviewed in this March 2013 Scientific American article - U.S. Starts Massive Forest-Thinning Project.

charred ponderosa pine forest

Contact Jose to learn more about this work.

Read about Program Scientist John Squires' lynx research in this March 2013 Summit County Citizen's Voice article. Colorado: Lynx study expanded to Loveland Pass.

lynx in snowy forest

Contact John to learn more about this work.

A novel project of Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems Deputy Program Manager Dean Pearson is featured in an October 23, 2012 article in The Missoulian: Researchers experiment with hot pepper to deter rodents from eating grass seeds.

Workers prepare plots to test effectiveness of a hot pepper in protecting seed from mouse consumption

Contact Dean to learn more about this work.

Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems Program scientist Dean Pearson was interviewed by Ari Shapiro for Living on Earth and the spot The Tangled Web of Montana Spiders aired on National Public Radio September 2011.

Dictyna webs by the hundreds on spotted knapweed.

Dictyna webs by the hundreds on spotted knapweed.

To learn more about Dean's research visit the Invasive Species website.

The Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems Program is pleased to welcome two new Research Biologists!
Post-doctoral Fellow Jamie Sanderlin


and Post-doctoral Ecologist Quresh Latif


Please visit their web pages to learn more about their research.

RMRS Wildlife Program Invasive Species Team Leader Dean Pearson was interviewed by Ari Daniel Shapiro for an August 11, 2011 Encyclopedia of Life Podcast.

Read/Listen to the story: Branch-Tip Spiders - Dictyna.
Learn more about the Ecology and Management of Invasive Species Team
RMRS Wildlife Program Birds and Burns Network Leader Vicki Saab was interviewed for a story in Audubon Magazine July 29, 2011.

Read the story: Wildfire Benefits Many Bird Species.
Learn more about the Birds and Burns Network
RMRS Wildlife Program Genetics Lab Supervisor Kristy Pilgrim was interviewed by NPR's Robert Siegel on All Things Considered, July 27, 2011

Read/Listen to the story: Connecticut Mountain Lion Likely Came From The Black Hills

Learn more about the Wildlife Genetics Lab
RMRS Wildlife Program Bill Block was quoted in a June, 24 2011 article in the New York Times.

Read the story: Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Plan Calls for Expanded Thinning to Restore Habitat, Reduce Severe Fire Risk
RMRS Wildlife Program Northern Goshawk Team Leader Richard Reynolds' work was highlighted in a High Country News article, May 30, 2011.

Read the story: Richard Reynolds, raptor man
Learn more about Richard's research here.
RMRS Wildlife Program Lynx Research Team Leader John Squires' work was highlighted in a Smithsonian Magazine article, February 2011.

Read the story: Tracking the Elusive Lynx

Learn more about our Canada Lynx Research

Wildlife Staff- Contact us to submit a news item

The Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems Program aligns well with the national Wildlife and Fish SPA activities. Progress towards these activities represents contributions from all station science programs, and not just Wildlife and Terrestrial Habitats. Brief descriptions of the program by SPA activities are provided below.

Sustaining Species and Ecosystems of Concern- More ecosystems occur within RMRS boundaries than any other station, spanning prairie, temperate and tropical steppe, desert, coniferous and riparian forests, and tundra. This diversity of ecosystems translates into a diversity of plants and animals with the RMRS region supporting >16,800 plants and animals. More than 3,800 species are of conservation concern, and 217 are formally listed as threatened or endangered. Because more than 90 percent of the appeals and litigation of land management decisions are based on wildlife and fish concerns, studies that provide credible scientific information are critical for meeting legal obligations and sustaining threatened, endangered and sensitive species and their associated ecosystems. Multi-scale studies identify a variety of factors that affect the persistence of species, communities, and ecosystems of concern, such as northern goshawks in southwestern ponderosa pine forests and forest carnivores in the Northern Rockies. The context for most studies includes ecological interactions within and between plant, aquatic, and terrestrial animal communities in a wide variety of ecosystems throughout the Intermountain West and beyond.

Understand Public Use Effects- Research informs federal, state, tribal, and local resource agencies on interactions between people and fish/wildlife. It provides better understanding of public-use effects such that they can be mitigated by appropriate management actions. Although much of the research focuses on recreation effects (OHVs, hikers, birdwatchers, heli-skiing), similar lines of research evaluate effects of transmission corridors and indirect effects of noise resulting from landmanagement activities. Numerous studies are underway to elucidate social and economic values associated with consumptive and non-consumptive uses of fish/wildlife. Predictive habitat models provide a range of management alternatives for simultaneously enhancing commodity and non-commodity uses of fish/wildlife.

Manage for Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitats- Most of the remaining habitats for many species of concern are now found on National Forests and Grasslands. RMRS scientists answer questions about the amount, kind, distribution, and connectivity of habitat critical to the persistence and abundance of these species. These researchers also devise robust techniques for monitoring changes in species and habitats and for recognizing habitats most sensitive to management or essential to species persistence. Scientists also investigate the spatial and temporal aspects of processes that create and maintain habitats crucial for sustaining biodiversity, including the role of fire.

Evaluate Outcomes of Land/Water Uses and Natural Disturbances- A wide array of anthropogenic and natural disturbances affects our grasslands, forests, and waterways. Natural and prescribed fires, silvicultural prescriptions, livestock grazing, spread and control of invasive species, drought, global climate change, insect and disease outbreaks and fragmentation all affect, and potentially threaten wildlife habitats. Researchers are determining immediate, long-term, and cumulative effects of disturbances on species of concern and interest in the Intermountain West.