California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wildlife Investigations Lab - Scientific Development

An important service provided by the Wildlife Investigations Lab is the support of scientific development within CDFW. Personnel at the lab offer expertise in statistical, quantitative and spatial analysis, and project design and have contributed to numerous projects throughout CDFW and the scientific community.

The Wildlife Investigations Lab has been instrumental in the initiation and facilitation of CDFW's Large Mammal Advisory Committee (LMAC). LMAC had been established within CDFW to improve scientific processes in large mammal management, conservation and resource assessment programs. "Large mammals" considered by this committee include deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, bear, mountain lion and wild pig. LMAC serves as an advisory group that will provide review and recommendations to CDFW leadership.

LMAC responsibilities are:

  1. Assist large mammal programs by reviewing resource assessment activities to ensure that adequate scientific approaches are used to meet project objectives;
  2. Facilitate the development of standardized and statistically valid survey protocols for large mammal management, conservation and resource assessment projects statewide;
  3. on an annual cycle receive prioritized project concepts from species program coordinators working in cooperation with regional staff;
  4. Provide prioritized project recommendations to Department leadership for approval;
  5. Maintain an updated inventory of active large mammal projects;
  6. Review and recommend safety and training standards and requirements for large mammal management projects statewide.

Scientific Collaboration and Research

  • Endangered species recovery teams
    • Peninsular & Sierra Bighorn Sheep
    • Channel Island Fox
  • Interdisciplinary interagency coordination
  • Collaborating with the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab in the statewide assessment of micronutrients (selenium, copper) in mule deer and the investigation of factors involved in Deer Hair Loss Syndrome and louse infestation.
  • Collaborating with the University of California at Davis and Washington State University to study (Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae) as a cause of respiratory disease in bighorn sheep.
  • Collaborating with California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab in Davis in the development of an &in situ& PCR for the identification of deer adenovirus and the testing of >1,100 retropharyngeal lymph nodes collected from California deer to determine the status of deer as a natural carrier.

Please see Wildlife Investigations Lab Peer Reviewed Publications 2009 - 2013 (PDF) for more information on contributions to projects.