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Mammalian Ecology and Management in Protected Areas

National parks and other protected areas are key components of the wildlife conservation landscape. The goal of wildlife managers in national parks is to preserve the ecological integrity and authenticity of natural systems for future generations. Wildlife populations of national parks, however, are in continuous flux as a result of changing land uses outside their boundaries, climate variability, human visitation, or dynamic ecosystem processes within their boundaries. Although the general practice has been to let natural processes operate within national parks to the extent possible, management may be required to adapt to changing environmental conditions, protect special-status wildlife populations, control unwanted exotic species, and restore altered wildlife communities, ecosystem processes, or extirpated species. Our work, conducted in close cooperation with the National Park Service, universities and Tribal scientists, aims to increase understanding of mammalian ecology in and around national parks in the Pacific Northwest to help inform wildlife management decisions. Examples of recent and ongoing research projects, each related to a specific wildlife management question in national parks, include the following:

  • Influences of changing land uses on Roosevelt elk populations in and adjacent to Mount Rainier National Park
  • Population declines of caribou in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
  • Effects of proposed wolf reintroduction on Roosevelt elk in Olympic National Park
  • Long-term effects of dam removal and salmon restoration on black bears, mid-sized carnivores, small mammals, and amphibians in the Elwha Valley, Olympic National Park
  • Fisher restoration in Olympic National Park
  • Influences of fire fuels management on the western Gray Squirrel in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
  • Population trends of non-native mountain goats following management reductions
  • Spatial-use patterns of food-conditioned Cascades Red Foxes in Mount Rainier National Park

Olympic Field Station


Primary Investigator

Jenkins, Kurt J. - View Profile

Related Publications

East, A.E., Jenkins, K.J., Happe, P.J., Bountry, J.A., Beechie, T.J., Randle, T.J., 2017, Channel-planform evolution in four rivers of Olympic National Park, Washington, U.S.A.- The roles of hydrology, sediment supply, and trophic cascade: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 42, p. 1011-1032, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4048[Details]

Facka, A.N., Lewis, J.C., Happe, P.J., Jenkins, K.J., Callas, R., Powell, R.A., 2016, Timing of translocation influences birth rate and population dynamics in a forest carnivore: Ecosphere, v. 7, no. 1, p. e01223, https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1223[Details]

Lewis, J.C., Jenkins, K.J., Happe, P.J., Manson, D.J., McCalmon, M., 2016, Landscape-scale habitat selection by fishers translocated to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 396, p. 170-183, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.02.032[Details]

Jenkins, K.J., Chelgren, N.D., Sager-Fradkin, K.A., Happe, P.J., Adams, M.J., 2015, Occupancy patterns of mammals and lentic amphibians in the Elwha River riparian zone before dam removal: River Research and Applications, v. 31, p. 193-206, https://doi.org/10.1002/rra.2723[Details]

Happe, P.J., Jenkins, K.J., Kay, T.J., Pilgrim, K., Schwartz, M.K., Lewis, J.C., Aubry, K.B., 2015, Evaluation of Fisher Restoration in Olympic National Park and the Olympic Recovery Area- 2014 Annual Progress Report: Natural Resource Data Series NPS/OLYM/NRDS—2015/804, p. 44. [Details]

Happe, P.J., Jenkins, K.J., Schwartz, S.S., Lewis, J.C., Aubry, K.B., 2014, Evaluation of Fisher Restoration in Olympic National Park and the Olympic Recovery Area- 2013 Annual Progress Report: U.S. Geological Survey Administrative Report, p. 45. [Details]

Jenkins, K.J., Happe, P.J., Beirne, K.F., Hoffman, R.A., Griffin, P.C., Baccus, W.T., Fieberg, J.R., 2012, Recent population trends of mountain goats in the Olympic Mountains, Washington: Northwest Science, v. 86, no. 4, p. 264-275. [Details]

Sager-Fradkin, K.A., Jenkins, K.J., Happe, P.J., Beecham, J.J., Wright, R.G., Hoffman, R.A., 2008, Space and habitat use by black bears in the Elwha Valley prior to dam removal: Northwest Science, v. 82, no. Special Issue, p. 164-178. [Details]

Fieberg, J.R., Jenkins, K.J., 2005, Assessing uncertainty in ecological systems using global sensitivity analyses- a case example of simulated wolf reintroduction effects on elk: Ecological Modelling, v. 187, p. 259-280. [Details]

Jenkins, K.J., Barten, N.L., 2005, Demography and decline of the Mentasta Caribou Herd in Alaska: Canadian Journal of Zoology, v. 83, p. 1174-1188. [Details]

Jenkins, K.J., Starkey, E.E., 1996, Simulating secondary succession of elk forage values in a managed forest landscape, western Washington: Environmental Management, v. 20, no. 5, p. 715-724. [Details]



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