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Peter Gogan's Research Projects

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Yellowstone Bison

I became involved in studies of the demographics of Yellowstone bison relative to management issues in 1997 in collaboration with biologists from Yellowstone National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Montana Department of Livestock. My particular focus was assessing Yellowstone bison population dynamics via sampling animals slaughtered as they moved beyond the park boundaries. Apart of the sampling protocol included collecting samples for genetic analysis. I also directed a radio-telemetry study of movements of Yellowstone bison within the park and coordinated a number of other studies of Yellowstone bison by university researchers.

Other Bison Populations

My work with Yellowstone bison expanded to include coordinating a study of the conservation genetics of US federal bison herds in collaboration with geneticists at Texas A&M University, and managers of National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service herds. This work led to involvement with plains and wood bison herds throughout North America in cooperation with federal and state agencies, and non-government organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society and some North American Indian tribes. I am currently co-editing and writing portions of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for North America bison. In 2006, I traveled to Poland and Russia to assess restoration efforts for European bison in collaboration with members of the IUCN/SSC for European bison. Read more.

Tule Elk at Point Reyes

I have maintained an interest in the tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore since their reintroduction in 1978. I am currently a co-investigator of the status of the population in collaboration with M. Cobb, a Ph. D. candidate at UC, Berkeley, his major professor, and the Seashore’s natural resources specialist. The current studies build on my intensive study of the newly reintroduced population from 1979 to 1981 and subsequent monitoring of the population through 1987.

Non-native Ungulates

I have participated in studies of the demographics of non-native deer relative to management actions at Point Reyes National Seashore since 1980. I am currently collaborating with the Seashore’s natural resources management specialist to analyze the results of a POBS study of the abundance and demographics of fallow deer at the Seashore relative to proposed management actions. In 2006, the natural resources management specialist at Channel Islands National Park requested my assistance in estimating the abundance of non-native elk and mule deer on the park’s Santa Rosa Island. These estimates relate to a proposed elimination of both species from the island by 2011. Read more.