The use of scent for communication is widespread in mammals, yet the role of scent-marking in the social system of many species is poorly understood. Nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) are native to India, Nepal, and Pakistan. They were introduced to Texas rangelands in the United States during the 1920s to 1940s, and have since expanded into much of coastal South Texas and northern Mexico. The nilgai social system includes the use of latrines or repeated defecation at a localized site. We quantified and described physical and behavioral characteristics of nilgai latrine ecology to investigate drivers of latrine use at three sites in South Texas, during April 2018 to March 2019.
The East Foundation is pleased to announce Dr. Jason Sawyer as the organization’s new Chief Science Officer, effective June 1, 2022. In his new role, Sawyer will lead the Foundation’s Science Team as well as advise staff on cattle operations and other programs. Sawyer has over 20 years of experience in applied research and management, where he has led and coordinated applied research in livestock production systems in both intensive and extensive settings.
Baseline biodiversity surveys are necessary to assess organismal diversity across spatial and temporal
scales. These surveys can be particularly useful for monitoring changes in organismal diversity and pathogen spread in response to climate change. Arthropod vectors such as ticks are susceptible to geographic range shifts with a warming climate, potentially resulting in the expansion of risk areas for vector-borne disease. Biodiversity data are deficient from South Texas, which is particularly concerning given the abundance of wildlife and livestock that may be important in perpetuating tick and pathogen populations. We performed a baseline biodiversity assessment of small mammals, ticks, and tick-borne pathogens in South Texas using a combination of fieldwork, collections-based research, and molecular approaches.