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Kevin S. McKelvey

Kevin McKelvey

Emeritus Scientist

800 East Beckwith
Missoula, MT 59801
Contact Kevin S. McKelvey

Current Research

email: kmckelvey[at]

The Rangewide Bull Trout eDNA Project

Google Scholar profile

In recent years I have concentrated on developing methods to evaluate status and trends of organisms across broad spatial and temporal domains. For broad-scale evaluation of population description, status, and trends, genetic monitoring techniques hold great promise. Spatially referenced occurrence or abundance can be related to the landscape features; new statistical methods allow variance to be partitioned across multiple scales greatly improving our ability to evaluate habitat quality. If these occurrence data were derived from genetic samples, many additional analyses are possible. By relating pair-wise genetic differences across space we have developed methods to measure population connectivity across complex landscapes. The combination of occurrence data and genetic patterns together provide a rich and cost effective approach to determine population status. We are currently prototyping broad-scale genetic monitoring using native fish samples from across Montana and Idaho. Additionally, we are testing environmental DNA based detection of brook, bull, lake, and westslope cutthroat trout.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on providing better methods to assess resources across large spatial and temporal domains. For example, the Forest Service manages over 190 million acres. Even spending a single dollar per acre to assess all of the resources --wood, plant and animal species, soild conditions, recreation use--would be too expensive. So, we need to develop methods that produce reliable information for many resources for only pennies per acre. As current methods will not deliver this, we need to use new technologies and statistical methods to develop methods that do. This is my primary interest

Past Research

Simply put, you cannot run a store if you have no idea what is on the shelves. And the store, its shelves, and the customers are relatively stable and don't change much from day to day. For example, if you don't sell a jar of peanut butter, it will be there to be sold tomorrow. Natural resources are, however, in a continual state of change. They grow, die, burn, fly or run away, interact, and adapt. It is therefore much more difficult and if we are to manage our resources intelligently, it is much more important to be able to assess current resource status. Without this, our management will consist of guesswork and our guesses will too frequently wrong. As professional management is fundamentally dependent on resource assessment and monitoring, there are few tasks more important to do well.

Why This Research is Important

My research interests have been varied, but have in common a focus on large scale issues. I began work for the Forest Service building a spatially explicit simulator for the northern spotted owl, a model that allowed detailed modeling of various reserve options and which was eventually used by the state of California, the BLM, and in the President's Forest Plan. I then was leader of the fire modeling sub-group in the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project, and developed the first comprehensive fire history for the Sierra Nevada. This history showed that fire had been stable in its patterns throughout the 20th Century, and was therefore predictable. I then became part of the Lynx Science Team and was the Science lead for the National Lynx Survey, the most extensive DNA-based carnivore survey ever attempted. This survey provided reliable presence absence data Canada lynx for over 50 national forests. 5 national parks, and numerous other areas managed by the BLM and several Tribal Nations. I then was a member of the wolverine science team, and worked with Jeffrey Copeland to define the bioclimatic factors that controlled wolverine range and habitat use across it's northern hemispheric range.


  • University of Montana, B.A., History, 1984
  • University of Montana, M.S., Forestry, 1986
  • University of Florida, Ph.D., Forest Ecology, 1990
  • Featured Publications


    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Block, William M.; Jain, Terrie B.; Luce, Charles H.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Saab, Victoria A.; Schoettle, Anna W.; Sieg, Carolyn H.; Williams, Daniel R., 2021. Adapting research, management, and governance to confront socioecological uncertainties in novel ecosystems
    Yates, Matthew C.; Wilcox, Taylor; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Derry, Alison M., 2021. Allometric scaling of eDNA production in stream‐dwelling brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) inferred from population size structure
    Wilcox, Taylor; Caragiulo, Anthony; Dysthe, Joseph; Franklin, Thomas W.; Mason, Daniel; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Zarn, Katie; Schwartz, Michael K., 2021. Detection of jaguar (Panthera onca) from genetic material in drinking water
    Serrao, Natasha R.; Weckworth, Julie; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Dysthe, Joseph; Schwartz, Michael K., 2021. Molecular genetic analysis of air, water, and soil to detect big brown bats in North America
    Sanderlin, Jamie S.; Golding, Jessie; Wilcox, Taylor; Mason, Daniel; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Pearson, Dean E.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2021. Occupancy modeling and resampling overcomes low test sensitivity to produce accurate SARS-CoV-2 prevalence estimates
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Kallstrom, Corey; Ledbetter, Jeri; Sada, Donald W.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2020. An inventory of springsnails (Pyrgulopsis spp.) in and adjacent to the Spring Mountains, Nevada
    Mason, Daniel; Dysthe, Joseph; Franklin, Thomas W.; Williams, Chris L.; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2020. Certain detection of uncertain taxa: eDNA detection of a cryptic mountain sucker (Pantosteus jordani) in the Upper Missouri River, USA
    Thompson, Daniel B.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; van Els, Paul; Andrew, Gretchen; Jacoby‑Garrett, Paula; Glenn, Matt; Kallstrom, Corey; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Opler, Paul A., 2020. Conserve the eco-evolutionary dynamic, not the subspecies: Phenological divergence and gene flow between temporal cohorts of Euphilotes ancilla endemic to southern Nevada
    Homel, Kristen M.; Franklin, Thomas W.; Carim, Kellie; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Dysthe, Joseph; Young, Michael K., 2020. Detecting spawning of threatened chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta over a large spatial extent using eDNA sampling: Opportunities and considerations for monitoring recovery
    Carim, Kellie; Bean, N. J.; Connor, J. M.; Baker, W. P.; Jaeger, M.; Ruggles, M. P.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Franklin, Thomas W.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2020. Environmental DNA sampling informs fish eradication efforts: Case studies and lessons learned
    Wilcox, Taylor; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Engkjer, Cory L.; Lance, Richard F.; Lahr, Andrew; Eby, Lisa A.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2020. Parallel, targeted analysis of environmental samples via high-throughput quantitative PCR
    Robinson, Anthony T.; Paroz, Yvette M.; Clement, Matthew J.; Franklin, Thomas W.; Dysthe, Joseph; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Carim, Kellie, 2019. Environmental DNA sampling of small-bodied minnows: Performance relative to location, species, and traditional sampling
    Franklin, Thomas W.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Greaves, Samuel; Dysthe, Joseph; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2019. Repurposing environmental DNA samples to verify the distribution of Rocky Mountain tailed frogs in the Warm Springs Creek Basin, Montana
    Steenweg, Robin; Hebblewhite, Mark; Whittington, Jesse; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2019. Species-specific differences in detection and occupancy probabilities help drive ability to detect trends in occupancy
    Kendall, Katherine C.; Graves, Tabitha A.; Royle, J. Andrew; Macleod, Amy C.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Boulanger, John; Waller, John S., 2019. Using bear rub tree data and spatial capture-recapture models to estimate trend in a brown bear population
    Franklin, Thomas W.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Golding, Jessie; Mason, Daniel H.; Dysthe, Joseph; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Squires, John R.; Aubry, Keith B.; Long, Robert A.; Greaves, Samuel; Raley, Catherine M.; Jackson, Scott; MacKay, Paula; Lisbon, Joshua; Sauder, Joel D.; Pruss, Michael T.; Heffington, Don; Schwartz, Michael K., 2019. Using environmental DNA methods to improve winter surveys for rare carnivores: DNA from snow and improved noninvasive techniques
    Carim, Kellie; Dysthe, Joseph; McLellan, Holly; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2019. Using environmental DNA sampling to monitor the invasion of nonnative Esox lucius (northern pike) in the Columbia River basin, USA
    Franklin, Thomas W.; Dysthe, Joseph; Rubenson, Erika S.; Carim, Kellie; Olden, Julian D.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. A non-invasive sampling method for detecting non-native smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
    Dysthe, Joseph; Franklin, Thomas W.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. An improved environmental DNA assay for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) based on the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer I
    Wilcox, Taylor M.; Zarn, Katherine E.; Piggott, Maxine P.; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. Capture enrichment of aquatic environmental DNA: A first proof of concept
    Wilcox, Taylor M.; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Isaak, Daniel J.; Horan, Dona; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. Fine-scale environmental DNA sampling reveals climate-mediated interactions between native and invasive trout species
    Franklin, Thomas W.; Dysthe, Joseph; Golden, Michael; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Hossack, Blake R.; Carim, Kellie; Tait, Cynthia; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. Inferring presence of the western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) species complex using environmental DNA
    Dysthe, Joseph; Carim, Kellie; Franklin, Thomas W.; Kikkert, Dave; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. Molecular detection of northern leatherside chub (Lepidomeda copei) DNA in environmental samples
    Golding, Jessie; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Squires, John R.; Jackson, Scott D.; Staab, Cara; Sadak, Rema B., 2018. Multispecies mesocarnivore monitoring: USDA Forest Service multiregional monitoring approach
    Steenweg, Robin; Hebblewhite, Mark; Whittington, Jesse; Lukacs, Paul; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2018. Sampling scales define occupancy and underlying occupancy-abundance relationships in animals
    Wilcox, T. M.; Carim, Kellie; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Franklin, Thomas W.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. The importance of sound methodology in environmental DNA sampling
    Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Jennings, Tara; Carter, Katie; Cronn, Richard; Keeley, Ernest R.; Loxterman, Janet L.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. The phylogeography of westslope cutthroat trout
    Mason, Daniel H.; Dysthe, Joseph; Franklin, Thomas W.; Skorupski, Joseph A.; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2018. qPCR detection of Sturgeon chub (Macrhybopsis gelida) DNA in environmental samples
    Carim, Kellie; Dysthe, Joseph; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2017. A noninvasive tool to assess the distribution of Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) in the Columbia River basin
    Young, Michael K.; Isaak, Daniel J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; Campbell, Matthew R.; Corsi, Matthew P.; Horan, Dona; Schwartz, Michael K., 2017. Ecological segregation moderates a climactic conclusion to trout hybridization
    Dysthe, Joseph; Carim, Kellie; Ruggles, Michael; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2017. Environmental DNA assays for the sister taxa aauger (Sander canadensis) and walleye (Sander vitreus)
    Carim, Kellie; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. A protocol for collecting environmental DNA samples from streams
    Padgett-Stewart, Ticha M.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; Carim, Kellie; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. An eDNA assay for river otter detection: A tool for surveying a semi-aquatic mammal
    Carim, Kellie; Dysthe, Joseph; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. An environmental DNA assay for detecting Arctic grayling in the upper Missouri River basin, North America
    Carim, Kellie; Wilcox, T. M.; Anderson, M.; Lawrence, D.; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. An environmental DNA marker for detecting nonnative brown trout (Salmo trutta)
    Buotte, Polly C.; Peterson, David L.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Hicke, Jeffrey A., 2016. Capturing subregional variability in regional-scale climate change vulnerability assessments of natural resources
    Young, Michael K.; Isaak, Daniel J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; Bingham, Daniel M.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Carim, Kellie; Campbell, Matthew R.; Corsi, Matthew P.; Horan, Dona; Nagel, David E.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. Climate, demography, and zoogeography predict introgression thresholds in salmonid hybrid zones in Rocky Mountain streams
    Carim, Kellie; Christianson, K. R.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Pate, W. M.; Silver, D. B.; Johnson, B. M.; Galloway, B. T.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. Environmental DNA marker development with sparse biological information: A case study on opossum shrimp (Mysis diluviana)
    Dysthe, Joseph; Carim, Kellie; Paroz, Yvette M.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. Quantitative PCR assays for detecting loach minnow (Rhinichthys cobitis) and spikedace (Meda fulgida) in the southwestern United States
    Dilkina, Bistra; Houtman, Rachel; Gomes, Carla P.; Montgomery, Claire A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Kendall, Katherine; Graves, Tabitha A.; Bernstein, Richard; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. Trade-offs and efficiencies in optimal budget-constrained multispecies corridor networks
    Wilcox, Taylor M.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Shepard, Bradley B.; Jane, Stephen F.; Whiteley, Andrew R.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2016. Understanding environmental DNA detection probabilities: A case study using a stream-dwelling char Salvelinus fontinalis
    Wilcox, Taylor M.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2015. Environmental DNA particle size distribution from Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
    Wilcox, Taylor M.; Carim, Kellie; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2015. The dual challenges of generality and specificity when developing environmental DNA markers for species and subspecies of Oncorhynchus
    Wilcox, Taylor M.; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Lowe, Winsor H., 2014. A blocking primer increases specificity in environmental DNA detection of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus)
    Lemoine, Michael; Young, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Eby, Lisa; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2014. Cottus schitsuumsh, a new species of sculpin (Scorpaeniformes: Cottidae) in the Columbia River basin, Idaho-Montana, USA
    Jane, Stephen F.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Letcher, Benjamin H.; Whiteley, Andrew R., 2014. Distance, flow and PCR inhibition: eDNA dynamics in two headwater streams
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Aubry, Keith B.; Anderson, Neil J.; Clevenger, Anthony P.; Copeland, Jeffrey P.; Heinemeyer, Kimberley S.; Inman, Robert M.; Squires, John R.; Waller, John S.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2014. Recovery of wolverines in the western United States: Recent extirpation and recolonization or range retraction and expansion?
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Aubry, Keith B.; Anderson, Neil J.; Clevenger, Anthony P.; Copeland, Jeffrey P.; Heinemeyer, Kimberley S.; Inman, Robert M.; Squires, John R.; Waller, John S.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2014. Recovery of wolverines in the western United States: recent extirpation and recolonization or range retraction and expansion?
    Vojta, Christina D.; McDonald, Lyman L.; Brewer, C. Kenneth; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Rowland, Mary M; Goldstein, Michael I., 2013. Chapter 3. Planning and design for habitat monitoring
    DeMeo, Thomas E.; Manning, Mary M.; Rowland, Mary M.; Vojta, Christina D.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Brewer, C. Kenneth; Kennedy, Rebecca S.H.; Maus, Paul A.; Schulz, Bethany; Westfall, James A.; Mersmann, Timothy J., 2013. Chapter 4. Monitoring vegetation composition and structure as habitat attributes
    Cushman, Samuel A.; Mersmann, Timothy J.; Moisen, Gretchen; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Vojta, Christina D., 2013. Chapter 5. Using Habitat Models for Habitat Mapping and Monitoring
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McGarigal, Kevin; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Vojta, Christina D.; Regan, Claudia M., 2013. Chapter 6. Landscape Analysis for Habitat Monitoring
    McDonald, Lyman L.; Vojta, Christina D.; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2013. Chapter 8. Data Analysis
    Neel, M. C.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Ryman, N.; Lloyd, M. W.; Short Bull, R.; Allendorf, F. W.; Schwartz, M. K.; Waples, R. S., 2013. Estimation of effective population size in continuously distributed populations: There goes the neighborhood
    Solem, Stephen J.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Giffen, Casey; Coles-Ritchie, Marc; Ledbetter, Jeri; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Berg, Joy; Menlove, James S.; Woodlief, Carly K.; Boehnke, Luke A., 2013. Final Program Report for 2010-2012: Monitoring and evaluation for conserving biological resources of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Ramirez, Jennifer E.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2013. Genetic sampling of Palmer's chipmunks in the Spring Mountains, Nevada
    Dilkina, Bistra; Lai, Katherine; Le Bras, Ronan; Xue, Yexiang; Gomes, Carla P.; Sabharwal, Ashish; Suter, Jordan; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Montgomery, Claire, 2013. Large landscape conservation-synthetic and real-world datasets
    Wilcox, Taylor M.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Jane, Stephen F.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Whiteley, Andrew R.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2013. Robust detection of rare species using environmental DNA: The importance of primer specificity
    Le Bras, Ronan; Dilkina, Bistra; Xue, Yexiang; Gomes, Carla P.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Montgomery, Claire A., 2013. Robust network design for multispecies conservation
    Solem, Stephen J.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Woldow, Julie A.; Coles-Ritchie, Marc; Ledbetter, Jeri; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Berg, Joy; Gilboy, Amy; Menlove, Jim; Woodlief, Carly K., 2012. 2011 Annual Report: Monitoring and evaluation for conserving biological resources of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
    Campbell, N. R.; Amish, S. J.; Prichard, V. L.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Garza, J. C.; Luikart, G.; Narum, S. R., 2012. Development and evaluation of 200 novel SNP assays for population genetic studies of westslope cutthroat trout and genetic identification of related taxa
    Noon, Barry R.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Sisk, Thomas D.; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2012. Efficient species-level monitoring at the landscape scale
    Russell, Robin E.; Royle, J. Andrew; Desimone, Richard; Schwartz, Michael K.; Edwards, Victoria L.; Pilgrim, Kristy P.; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2012. Estimating abundance of mountain lions from unstructured spatial sampling
    Hansen, Michael M.; Olivieri, Isabelle; Waller, Donald M.; Nielsen, Einar E.; Allendorf, F. W.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Baker, C. S.; Gregovich, D. P.; Jackson, J. A.; Kendall, K. C.; Laikre, L.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Neel, M. C.; Ryman, N.; Short Bull, R.; Stetz, J. B.; Tallmon, D. A.; Vojta, C. D.; Waples, R. S., 2012. Monitoring adaptive genetic responses to environmental change
    Solem, Stephen J.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Coles-Ritchie, Marc; Ledbetter, Jeri; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Berg, Joy; Nelson, Kellen; Menlove, James S., 2011. 2010 Annual Report: Monitoring and evaluation for conserving biological resources of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
    Lai, Katherine J.; Gomes, Carla P.; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Calkin, Dave E.; Montgomery, Claire A., 2011. The Steiner Multigraph Problem: Wildlife corridor design for multiple species
    Short Bull, R. A.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Mace, R.; Chilton, T.; Kendall, K. C.; Landguth, E. L.; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Allendorf, Fred W.; Luikart, G., 2011. Why replication is important in landscape genetics: American black bear in the Rocky Mountains
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Lofroth, Eric C.; Copeland, Jeffrey P.; Aubry, Keith B.; Magoun, Audrey J., 2010. Comments on Brodie and Post: Climate-driven declines in wolverine populations: Causal connection or spurious correlation?
    Laikre, Linda; Schwartz, Michael K.; Waples, Robin S.; Ryman, Nils; Allendorf, F. W.; Baker, C. S.; Gregovich, D. P.; Hansen, M. M.; Jackson, J. A.; Kendall, K. C.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Neel, M. C.; Olivieri, I.; Short Bull, R.; Stetz, J. B.; Tallmon, D. A.; Vojta, C. D.; Waller, D. M., 2010. Compromising genetic diversity in the wild: Unmonitored large-scale release of plants and animals
    Schwartz, Michael K.; Luikart, Gordon; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Cushman, Samuel A., 2010. Landscape genomics: A brief perspective [Chapter 9]
    Landguth, E. L.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Murphy, M.; Luikart, G., 2010. Quantifying the lag time to detect barriers in landscape genetics
    Copeland, J. P.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Aubry, K. B.; Landa, A.; Persson, J.; Inman, R. M.; Krebs, J.; Lofroth, E.; Golden, H.; Squires, John R.; Magoun, A.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Wilmot, J.; Copeland, C. L.; Yates, R. E.; Kojola, I.; May, R., 2010. The bioclimatic envelope of the wolverine (Gulo gulo): do climatic constraints limit its geographic distribution?
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Noon, Barry R.; McGarigal, Kevin, 2010. Use of abundance of one species as a surrogate for abundance of others
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2009. Landscape genetics [Chapter 17]
    Laikre, Linda; Allendorf, Fred W.; Aroner, Laurel C.; Baker, C. Scott; Gregovich, David P.; Hansen, Michael M.; Jackson, Jennifer A.; Kendall, Katherine C.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Neel, Maile C.; Olivieri, Isabelle; Ryman, Nils; Schwartz, Michael K.; Bull, Ruth Short; Stetz, Jeffrey B.; Tallmon, David A.; Taylor, Barbara L.; Vojta, Christina D.; Waller, Donald M.; Waples, Robin S., 2009. Neglect of genetic diversity in implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Cushman, Samuel A.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Ruggiero, Leonard F., 2009. Wildlife monitoring across multiple spatial scales using grid-based sampling
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2008. Case study 6.1: DNA survey for fisher in northern Idaho
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Flather, Curtis H.; McGarigal, Kevin, 2008. Do forest community types provide a sufficient basis to evaluate biological diversity?
    Noon, Barry R.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Dickson, Brett G., 2008. Multispecies conservation planning on U. S. federal lands [Chapter 3]
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K., 2008. Use of empirically derived source-destination models to map regional conservation corridors
    Schwartz, Michael K.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Rivera, Pilar T.; Ruggiero, Leonard F., 2007. DNA markers for identifying individual snowshoe hares using field-collected pellets
    Aubry, Keith B.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Copeland Jeffrey P.,, 2007. Distribution and broadscale habitat relations of the wolverine in the contiguous United States
    Schwartz, Michael K.; Aubry, Keith B.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Copeland, Jeffrey P.; Squires, John R.; Inman, Robert M.; Wisely, Samantha M.; Ruggiero, Leonard F., 2007. Inferring geographic isolation of wolverines in California using historical DNA
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2007. Research agenda for integrated landscape modeling
    Copeland, Jeffrey P.; Peek, James M.; Groves, Craig R.; Melquist, Wayne E.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; McDaniel, Gregory W.; Long, Clinton D.; Harris, Charles E., 2007. Seasonal habitat associations of the wolverine in central Idaho
    Ruggiero, Leonard F.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Aubry, Keith B.; Copeland, Jeffrey P.; Pletscher, Daniel H.; Hornocker, Maurice G., 2007. Wolverine conservation and management
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; von Kienast, Jeffrey; Aubry, Keith B.; Koehler, Gary M.; Maletzke, Bejamin T.; Squires, John R.; Lindquist, Edward L.; Loch, Steve; Schwartz, Michael K., 2006. DNA analysis of hair and scat collected along snow tracks to document the presence of Canada Lynx.
    Schwartz, Michael K.; Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Hayden, Jim; Engkjer, Cory, 2006. Detecting genotyping errors and describing black bear movement in northern Idaho
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Hayden, Jim; Schwartz, Michael K., 2006. Gene flow in complex landscapes: Testing multiple hypotheses with causal modeling
    Cushman, Samuel A.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2006. Research agenda for integrated landscape modeling
    Noon, Barry R.; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2006. The Process of Indicator Selection
    Vinkey, Ray S.; Schwartz, Michael K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Foresman, Kerry R.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Giddings, Brian J.; Lofroth, Eric C., 2006. When reintroductions are augmentations: the genetic legacy of the fisher (Martes pennanti) in Montana
    Holthausen, Richard; Czaplewski, Raymond L. Ph.D.; DeLorenzo, Don; Hayward, Greg; Kessler, Winifred B.; Manley, Pat; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Powell, Douglas S.; Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Van Horne, Bea; Vojta, Christina D., 2005. Strategies for monitoring terrestrial animals and habitats
    Squires, John R.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Ruggiero, Leonard F., 2004. A snow-tracking protocol used to delineate local lynx, Lynx canadensis, distributions
    Ortega, Yvette K.; Pearson, Dean E.; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2004. Effects of biological control agents and exotic plant invasion on deer mouse populations
    Pearson, Dean E.; Ortega, Yvette K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Ruggiero, Leonard F., 2001. Small mammal communities and habitat selection in Northern Rocky Mountain bunchgrass: Implications for exotic plant invasions
    Waters, Jeffrey R.; Zabel, Cynthia J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Welsh, Hartwell H. Jr., 2001. Vegetation patterns and abundances of amphibians and small mammals along small streams in a northwestern California watershed
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Ortega, Yvette K.; Koehler, Gary M.; Aubry, Keith B.; Brittell, J. David., 2000. Canada lynx habitat and topographic use patterns in north central Washington: A reanalysis [Chapter 10]
    Buskirk, Steven W.; Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Aubry, Keith B.; Pearson, Dean E.; Squires, John R.; McKelvey, Kevin S., 2000. Comparative ecology of lynx in North America [Chapter 14]
    Aubry, Keith B.; Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Squires, John R.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Koehler, Gary M.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Krebs, Charles J., 2000. Conservation of lynx in the United States: A systematic approach to closing critical knowledge gaps [Chapter 17]
    McDaniel, Gregory W.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Squires, John R.; Ruggiero, Leonard F., 2000. Efficacy of lures and hair snares to detect lynx
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Aubry, Keith B.; Agee, James K.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Koehler, Gary M., 2000. Lynx conservation in an ecosystem management context [Chapter 15]
    Pearson, Dean E.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Ruggiero, Leonard F., 2000. Non-target effects of an introduced biological control agent on deer mouse ecology
    Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Aubry, Keith B.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Koehler, Gary M.; Krebs, Charles J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Squires, John R., 2000. The scientific basis for lynx conservation: Can we get there from here? [Chapter 18]
    Aubry, Keith B.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Koehler, Gary M.; Krebs, Charles J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Squires, John R., 2000. The scientific basis for lynx conservation: Qualified insights [Chapter 16]
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Krebs, Charles J., 2000. Theoretical insights into the population viability of lynx [Chapter 2]
    Canton-Thompson, Janie; Smith, Jane Kapler; Jones, Greg; Brown, Perry J.; Arno, Stephen F.; Daniels, Orville L.; Burk, Dale A.; Hardy, Colin C.; Silvieus, Dave; Pflug, Kristi D.; Winhorst, Bruce; Thompson, Brooke; Ortega, Yvette K.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Thompson, Tom; Pearson, Dean E.; Stewart, Cathy; Sullivan, Janet, 1999. ECO-Report - 1999 Symposium highlights five years of learning
    Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Aubry, Keith B.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Koehler, Gary M.; Krebs, Charles J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Squires, John R., 1999. Ecology and conservation of lynx in the United States
    McKelvey, Kevin S.; Skinner, C.N.; Chang, C.; Erman, D.C.; Husari, S.J.; Parsons, D.J.; van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Weatherspoon, C.P., 1996. An overview of fire in the Sierra Nevada
    Holthausen, Richard S.; Raphael, Martin G.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Forsman, Eric D.; Starkey, Edward E.; Seaman, D. Erran., 1995. The contribution of federal and nonfederal habitat to persistence of the northern spotted owl on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington: report of the reanalysis team.
    Verner, Jared; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Noon, Barry R.; Gutierrez, R. J.; Gould, Gordon I. Jr.; Beck, Thomas W., 1992. The California spotted owl: a technical assessment of its current status
    An illustration of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
    Rapid testing has been an essential part of the COVID-19 response, but rapid tests have lower sensitivity compared to other types of tests. New research has found that a modeling approach developed for detecting rare wildlife species could help overcome this challenge to generate fast, accurate, and cost-effective SARS-CoV-2 prevalence estimates.
    Arm reaching into stream water with sampling cup
    The mountain sucker has been declining in the Upper Missouri River Basin for unknown reasons. To address this uncertainty, a team of Forest Service researchers collected additional genetic data from these fish to find a section of DNA that is completely unique to this new species and developed an environmental DNA assay to detect this unique DNA fragment in water samples with increased accuracy. 
    A screenshot of the eDNAtlas Results Map for the Western United States.
    Because of its advantages relative to traditional sampling techniques, environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling is being rapidly adopted to address questions about the distribution of species in streams across the United States. The eDNAtlas provides occurrence information for over 50 species from more than 12,000 samples and assists organizations in collecting more samples for specific areas and species. 
    A closeup of a gloved hand in a stream holding a funnel attached to a hose.
    Environmental DNA methods are highly sensitive and accurate, making them ideal for detecting animals at low densities. However, this tool also comes with its own unique set of challenges when applied to efforts to eradicate invasive species. This research explores the use of eDNA for evaluating invasive species eradication efforts in streams and offers best practices for incorporating eDNA methods into invasive species removal projects.
    A suspected lynx has triggered this photo from a game camera in Montana (photo credit: Don Heffington).
    A new project showed that animal footprints in snow contain enough DNA for species identification, even when the snow was many months old. The study extracted DNA from snow samples collected within animal tracks as well as areas where the animal had been photographed months earlier. Newly developed genetic assays were applied and positively detected the DNA of each species, performing nearly flawlessly on samples previously considered too poor to provide usable DNA. This method could revolutionize winter surveys of rare species by greatly reducing or eliminating misidentifications and missed detections.
    National Genomics Center stream water filter setup for eDNA sample collection
    The National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation pioneered development of eDNA sampling of aquatic environments at their laboratory in Missoula, MT. The Center has partnered with dozens of National Forests, as well as other state, federal, tribal, and private natural resource organizations to assist in the collection and processing of eDNA samples. Thousands of eDNA samples are collected annually and constitute a rapidly growing biodiversity archive that provides precise information about native and non-native species distributions, temporal trends in those distributions, and the efficacy of species and habitat restoration and conservation efforts. eDNA sampling provides a low-cost & sensitive method for determining which species occur in water bodies. Rapid adoption of eDNA sampling by many natural resource agencies led to an exponential increase in data and the need for an open-access database. The website and open-access database were launched in June 2018 with approximately 6,000 samples and is updated semi-annually with newly processed samples.
    Effective conservation and management decisions for habitats require information about the distribution of multiple species but such data is expensive to obtain; this often limits data collection to just a few, high-profile species. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling can be more sensitive, and less expensive, than traditional sampling for aquatic species, and a single sample potentially contains DNA from all species present in a waterbody. Cost-savings accrue if eDNA collected for detecting a particular species can be repurposed to detect additional species. This study tested the feasibility of repurposing and re-analyzing already collected samples.   
    Concerns about climate change effects on cold-water biodiversity sparked broad multi-agency collaborative efforts throughout the American West. U.S. Forest Service research teams led development of massive interagency databases that now enable precise mapping of critical habitats and species distributions in streams flowing through 101 National Forests.
    A new optimization technique will help conservation biologists choose the most cost-effective ways of connecting isolated populations of rare species. As the human population grows and expands its footprint, maintaining the connectivity of wildlife habitats is a challenge, but an RMRS-led team has developed tools for cost-effective solutions.
    Westslope cutthroat trout, native to the Columbia River and upper Missouri River hybridize with introduced rainbow trout and have been extirpated from large portions of their historical range.
    Hybridization between westslope cutthroat trout and both rainbow trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout is a major conservation concern for the species.  A new broad-scale analysis of hybridization patterns found many pure populations of westslope cutthroat trout in headwaters streams.
    A wolverine
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is examining the wolverine (Gulo gulo) as a candidate for listing as a threatened or endangered species. RMRS researchers are investigating suitable habitats for wolverine reintroduction efforts, and have found ways to apply models derived from current genetic patterns to future landscapes to inform land management decisions on existing and future corridor locations. While current efforts are focused on wolverines, these newly developed tools can be applied to a variety of organisms to inform their potential future in a changing climate.
    The bull trout is an ESA-listed species that relies on cold stream environments across the Northwest and is expected to decline with climate change. Resource managers from dozens of agencies are charged with maintaining bull trout in thousands of streams, but monitoring this species is difficult. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is much faster, easier, and more sensitive than traditional fish sampling methods and provides an opportunity to better delineate populations of federally threatened species like bull trout.
    Opportunity and Vision
    Early detection of the white-nose syndrome fungus in bat hibernacula is critical for developing disease mitigation strategies; however, where bats overwinter in western North America is largely unknown. In this study, assays to detect bats from environmental samples such as sediment, water and air were designed for use as a tool to find bats on the landscape. 
    RMRS scientists have teamed up with the Dixie National Forest (DNF) to develop an environmental DNA (eDNA) assay for boreal toads. Because toads do not persistently inhabit wetlands, determinations of when, where, and how to sample are critical for the development of protocols based on eDNA.
    The website provides: 1) A large list of supporting science behind eDNA sampling. 2) The recommended field protocol for eDNA sampling and the equipment loan program administered by the NGC. 3) A systematically-spaced sampling grid for all flowing waters of the U.S. in a downloadable format that includes unique database identifiers and geographic coordinates for all sampling sites. Available for download in an Geodatabase or available by ArcGIS Online map. This sampling grid can be used to determine your field collection sites to contribute. 4) The lab results of eDNA sampling at those sites where project partners have agreed to share data.
    Mesocarnivores are species with diets consisting mainly of small prey and supplemented with fruits and/or fungi. RMRS scientists are partnering with the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) and other Forest Service regions to create a detailed model of rare mesocarnivores across multiple regions. This project will primarily survey for highly elusive species such as Canada lynx, fishers, and wolverines within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems.
    Knowing how environments might influence the degree and location of hybridization between these species represents a potentially powerful tool for managers. To address that need, we modeled how hybridization between westslope cutthroat trout and rainbow trout is influenced by stream characteristics that favor each species. On the Cutthroat trout-rainbow trout hybridization website, we describe that model, and provide high-resolution digital maps in user-friendly formats of the predictions of different levels of hybridization across the native range of westslope cutthroat trout in the Northern Rocky Mountains, representing both current conditions and those associated with warmer stream temperatures. Our goal is to help decision-makers gauge the potential for hybridization between cutthroat trout and rainbow trout when considering management strategies for conserving cutthroat trout.
    The bull trout has a historical range that encompasses many waters across the Northwest. Though once abundant, bull trout have declined in many locations and is now federally listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act. Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists initiated the range-wide bull trout eDNA project in partnership with biologists from more than 20 organizations to create sound and precise information about the distribution of bull trout in thousands of streams across their range.
    Land managers require high-quality information on species and habitats at risk to develop effective management strategies. In the absence of information on these species and their habitats, agencies frequently err on the side of the species and make conservative, and often unnecessary, decisions relative to habitat protection. Over 20 years of research by scientists with the Rocky Mountain Research Station are helping address these information needs.
    External DNA released by animals in aquatic environments, called environmental DNA (eDNA), can be used to determine whether a species is present without actually capturing or seeing an individual. Because of its greater efficiency and reduced cost, eDNA sampling may revolutionize the monitoring and assessment of freshwater species.