Carisa Stansbury, M.Sc.
Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences
My research focuses on evaluating noninvasive genetic sampling as a monitoring tool for conservation and management of gray wolves. Noninvasive genetic sampling offers an efficient alternative approach to detecting and monitoring elusive carnivores without capturing or handling animals. Focusing on wolf packs in Idaho, I use an alternative approach that combines predictive habitat modeling of wolf rendezvous sites with genetic analysis of scat and hair samples collected at these sites. The use of rendezvous sites is useful because they are one of few places a wolf pack will congregate and their presence can be predicted and detected. Because packs occupy these sites for extended periods of time there is potential to obtain genetic samples from all members of a pack. This method enables identification of active rendezvous sites as well as recently used rendezvous sites. Using DNA extraction, PCR and microsatellite fragment analysis I am able to identify individuals, estimate pack metrics such as pack size, evaluate methods to estimate populations size, perform pack affiliation assignments for individuals without knowledge from telemetry and re-create pack pedigrees. This method may be useful to managers that need to implement a high resolution monitoring method for gray wolves.
Thesis: "Monitoring gray wolves (Canis lupus) using noninvasive genetic sampling at rendezvous sites." 2012. University of Idaho, Moscow, ID.
Pennell, M.W., C.R. Stansbury, L.P. Waits, and C.R. Miller. In Press. Capwire: a R package for estimating population census size from non-invasive genetic sampling. Molecular Ecology Resources.
Stansbury, C.R., L.P. Waits, D. Ausband, P. Zager, C. Mack, and M. Mitchell. Submitted. Noninvasive genetic sampling of rendezvous sites and population estimation of gray wolves in Idaho, USA. Biological Conservation.
Stansbury, C.R., L.P. Waits, D. Ausband, C. Mack, P. Zager, and M. Mitchell. In prep. A novel approach for identifying gray wolf (Canis lupus) packs and dispersers using noninvasive genetic sampling at rendezvous sites. Journal of Wildlife Management.