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Time to removal of fetal materials by scavengers in SW Montana 2017 - 2018

September 28, 2021

We investigated the time to removal of bovine fetal materials, meant to simulate elk abortion materials, by scavengers in southwest Montana at 233 sites in February – June 2017 and 2018. Scavengers are likely to reduce the transmission risk of brucellosis, a bacterial disease that can lead to reproductive failure in infected elk, by consuming and removing infectious fetal materials from the landscape. Sites were monitored using remote, motion-detecting cameras until the fetal materials were consumed or removed by scavengers. Here we provide: 1) the time to removal of fetal materials by scavengers, 2) scavenger and ungulate activity at the remote camera sites, and 3) descriptions of the 13 study locations in southwest Montana.