Once feared to be extinct, black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) were rediscovered near Meeteetse, Wyoming, in 1981, resulting in renewed conservation and research efforts for this highly endangered species. A need for information directly useful to recovery has motivated much monitoring of ferrets since that time, but field activities have enabled collection of data relevant to broader biological themes. This special feature is placed in a context of similar books and proceedings devoted to ferret biology and conservation. Articles include general observations on ferrets, modeling of potential impacts of ferrets on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), discussions on relationships of ferrets to prairie dog habitats at several spatial scales (from individual burrows to patches of burrow systems) and a general treatise on the status of black-footed ferret recovery.
Flea and plague ecology in prairie dog colonies: Ages of colonies, means of colony establishment, and soil characteristics
Eads, D.A., D.E. Biggins, M.F. Antolin, D. Long, and K.L. Gage
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The Wildlife Society 19th Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon, 12-18 October, 2012
Plague is an acute and often fatal zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mainly cycles between small mammals and their fleas; however, it has the potential to infect humans and frequently causes fatalities if left untreated. It is often considered a disease of the past; however, since the late 1800s, plague’s geographic range has expanded greatly, posing new threats in previously unaffected regions of the world, including the Western United States. A literature search was conducted using Internet resources and databases. The keywords chosen for the searches included plague, Yersinia pestis, management, control, wildlife, prairie dogs, fleas, North America, and mammals. Keywords were used alone or in combination with the other terms. Although this search pertains mostly to North America, citations were included from the international research community, as well...
A National Park Service Manager's Reference Notebook on Plague (Yersinia pestis)
Castle, K.T., M. Biel, L.E. Ellison, A. Chanlongbutra, M. Chase, D. Licht, M. May, and D.E. Biggins (Compilers)
Questions and problems that emerged during operational conservation of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) have been addressed by a wide variety of studies. Early results from such studies often were communicated orally during meetings of recovery groups and in written form using memoranda, unpublished reports, and theses. Typically, implementation of results preceded their publication in widely distributed journals. Many of these studies eventually were published in journals, and we briefly summarize the contents of 8 volumes and special features of journals that have been dedicated to the biology of ferrets and issues in ferret recovery. This year marks the 30th anniversary of rediscovery of the black-footed ferret, and the 7 papers of the following Special Feature summarize data collected over nearly that span of time.
Symposium on the ecology of plague and its effects on wildlife: A model for translational research
The notions of plague and plagues—recurring morbidity and mortality with slow recovery after catastrophe—are firmly rooted in virtually all cultures across the globe. Historically, humans have suffered three large-scale plague pandemics caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis: Justinian’s plague in the 6th century that devastated northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region, the medieval Black Death that spread westward into Europe in 1347 after emerging in Crimean ports in Asia, and the modern pandemic that stream from China in the late 1800s as it was rapidly transported throughout the globe by modern shipping (Pollitzer 1954)…