Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Sean Sultaire

University of Montana – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Project Title: Estimating Abundance of Big Game Species in Northern Nevada

I grew up in NW Connecticut exploring the forests and streams of the area while hiking, hunting, and fishing. I then relocated to study wildlife at the University of Montana, where I developed a great appreciation for the wild landscapes of the western U.S. so different from where I was familiar with in the Northeast. After completing two graduate degrees in the Midwest, I am excited to again be working in the Western U.S., studying large mammal ecology in remote areas of NW Nevada. I am a broadly trained mammal ecologist with interests spanning landscape, population, and community ecology. I am most interested in how theory and techniques from these fields can be applied to conserve wildlife populations in multiple use landscapes.

Estimating Abundance of Big Game Species in Northern Nevada

I am working closely with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, using broad-scale surveys to estimate the population of large mammal species in the NW part of the state, particularly black bear and mule deer. Black bears only occur in the NW part of NV, with the population expanding from nearby California over the past several decades. With this expansion, has come increased incidence of human-black bear conflict. My research evaluates the ability of different survey techniques to estimate black bear abundance in the state, so that this recovering population can be managed sustainably. As in much of the West, mule deer populations in NW Nevada have declined over the last few decades. My research on this species uses a network camera-traps and remote weather stations to estimate the size this mule deer population and identify environmental factors related to their decline such as drought, predation, or competition with introduced ungulates. Results from this research will help apply targeted management efforts that address declines of this population. In addition to research on these focal species, I am also using data collected by cameras on non-target species to increase our understanding of factors driving mammal communities in a semi-arid region and the most effective methods for surveying these communities.


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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt