Western wildlife agencies honor UW’s Monteith for mule deer research | New

21 October 2021

Kevin Monteith, associate professor and Wyoming Excellence Chair at UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, stops to take a photo with two mule deer captured during the ‘a research project in western Wyoming. Monteith received the OC Wallmo Award from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for his outstanding contributions to understanding and improving the management of mule and white-tailed deer. (Photo UW)

A University of Wyoming scientist whose research has provided new and in-depth information on one of the West’s iconic wildlife has been honored by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA).

Kevin Monteith, Associate Professor and Wyoming Excellence Chair at UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, received the WAFWA OC Wallmo Award for his outstanding contributions to knowledge and improvement of the management of mules and black tails. stag.

“This award and the namesake it represents are worthy of a game-changer. I have personally witnessed a changing of the guard as to how research and information gathering through science is received by the work of Dr Monteith and his team. This positive thinking is a direct result of the work Kevin has done and continues to do, ”said Josh Coursey, President and CEO of the Muley Fanatic Foundation. “I can attest unequivocally that Kevin and his ability to gather research, communicate with others, and seek additional support for mule deer conservation efforts is a breath of fresh air to move the needle forward. Monteith certainly deserves this prestigious recognition, and I am delighted to see this honor bestowed upon him. “

Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife biologist Gary Fralick says Monteith’s research is the most relevant mule deer research ever undertaken in Wyoming.

“For the first time in the history of this iconic mule deer population, deer managers will no longer have any reason to offer the once ubiquitous ‘professional opinion’ on the annual demographic dynamics of the Mule deer herd in the Wyoming chain, ”Fralick said. . “We can now provide an ecological rationale … to the public and professional wildlife and habitat managers, and in doing so educate everyone involved.” We are beginning to understand what was once incomprehensible.

“Over the past decade, Kevin’s contributions to mule deer ecology and management are unprecedented,” says Terry Bowyer, senior researcher at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and former Wallmo Prize recipient. “He has established important links in the mechanisms underlying fitness and population dynamics of large mammals, particularly mule deer.”

Prior to coming to UW, Monteith received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife and fisheries science from South Dakota State University, and his doctorate. in Biology from Idaho State University. He has worked with over 30 management agencies and resource groups, obtained over 290 grants and published over 80 journal articles and book chapters, while mentoring 17 graduate students – five doctoral students. and 12 MS recipients.

Monteith and his team focus on solving general problems associated with the management and conservation of large ungulates, often through individual research and intensive field studies to gain a mechanistic understanding of what influences large mammals. and how they cope with a changing world. . Some of their long-term intergenerational work has been a focal point for understanding the effects of human disturbance and changing environmental conditions on various aspects of animal life history, including migration, resource allocation and chronology of reproduction.

“Dr. Monteith’s work has been instrumental in filling the gaps in our knowledge about the mule deer,” said Evie Merrill, professor at the University of Alberta, who nominated Monteith for this honor. because Dr Monteith is driven by an unparalleled passion for his work and the resources he serves. ”

The Wallmo Prize is named in honor of the late OC “Charlie” Wallmo, whose pioneering research in the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Arizona and Texas resulted in many foundational and fundamental concepts of wildlife management. The prize is awarded every two years.

“I have been fortunate to work with many generous and impactful mentors who have provided me with many opportunities and support for my growth and development as a scientist,” said Monteith. “Along the way, I have had the sincere pleasure of working with a group of dedicated and knowledgeable collaborators and graduate students, and receiving support from a wide range of agencies, non-profit organizations , foundations and other partners who ultimately made our work possible. I am incredibly honored to receive this award. I hope our efforts honor and strengthen Charlie Wallmo’s legacy and the understanding and conservation of this much revered species.

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