Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Iowa
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Iowa Staff Member

Dr. David Otis

Dr. David Otis, Former Unit Leader of Iowa Unit

Unit Leader
Phone: (515) 294 - 7639


Former Unit Leader, IA Coop F&W Research Unit B.S., 1971 M.S., 1974 Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1976 I retired in 2011 after 10 years as Unit Leader. In 2001, I returned to my home state of Iowa to become Unit Leader of the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Iowa State University. This move represented the latest chapter in a long history of association with the Unit Program. I began my post-graduate school career in 1976 as a post-doctoral student in the Utah Cooperative Unit at Utah State University, and I was Leader of the South Carolina Unit at Clemson University for 10 years, 1991 - 2001. In the interim, during my years as a scientist with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I also spent a year as a visiting scientist in the New York Cooperative Unit at Cornell University. . A primary focus of my research career has been the development and evaluation of quantitative methods for application in field ecology. Much of this work has focused on estimation of population parameters using techniques such as mark-recapture, change-in-ratio, band recovery, and distance sampling. More recently, I have been interested in improvements to design and analysis of habitat selection studies, analysis of telemetry data, use of mark-recapture data for testing additive and compensatory mortality hypotheses in exploited species, and evaluation of surveillance sampling designs for wildlife disease. For the past 15 years, I have done personal research on the po...

Research Publications Publication Date
Thomson, D. L., M. J. Conroy, D. R. Anderson, K. P. Burnham, E. G. Cooch, C. M. Francis, J. D. Lebreton, M. S. Lindberg, B. J. T. Morgan, D. L. Otis, and G. C. White. 2009. Standardizing terminology and notation for the analysis of demographic processes in marked populations, pp 1099-1106 in Modeling Demographic Processes in Marked Populations, Environmental and Ecological Statistics 3. Thomson, D.L., E.G. Cooch, and M.J. Conroy (Eds.). Springer, New York, NY. | Publisher Website April 2009
Vogel, J., R. Koford, and D. Otis. 2011. Assessing the role of conspecific attraction in habitat restoration for Henslow’s sparrows in Iowa. Prairie Naturalist 43:23-28. June 2011
Taylor, C. E., Otis, D. L., Hill, H. E., Jr., and C. R. Ruth. 2000. Design and evaluation of mail surveys to estimate deer harvest parameters. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:717-723. December 2000
Scott, D. P., J. B. Berdeen, D. L. Otis, and R. L. Fendrick. 2004. Harvest parameters of urban and rural morning doves in Ohio. Journal of Wildlife Management 68:694-700. July 2004
Sanders, F. J., R. Costa, and D. L. Otis. 2004. Use of modified artificial cavities to access red-cockaded woodpecker nests. Proceedings of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Symposium IV: 453-458. July 2005
Potter, L. M., D. L. Otis, and T. R. Bogenschutz. 2011. Nest success of northern bobwhite on managed and unmanaged landscapes in southeast Iowa. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:46-52. March 2011
Peters, K. A., and D. L. Otis. 2007. Shorebird roost-site selection at two temporal scales is human disturbance a factor? Journal of Applied Ecology 44:196-209. January 2007
Peters, K. A., and D. L. Otis. 2007. Shorebird roost-site selection at two temporal scales is human disturbance a factor? Journal of Applied Ecology 44:196-209. February 2007
Peters, K. A., and D. L. Otis. 2006. Wading bird response to recreational boat traffic on a national wildlife refuge in South Carolina: Does flushing translate into site avoidance? Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:1383-1392. December 2006
Peters, K. A., and D L. Otis. 2005. Using the risk-disturbance hypothesis to assesseffects of human disturbance and predation risk on foraging American oystercatchers. Condor 107: 715-724. August 2005
Otis, D. L., and G. C. White. 2005. Evaluation of ultrastructure and random effects band recovery models for estimating relationships between survival and harvest rates in exploited populations. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 27: 157 - 173. February 2005
Otis, D. L., and G. C. White. 2002. Re-analysis of a banding study totest effects of an experimental increase in bag limits of mourning doves. In Morgan, B. J. T. and Thomson, D. L., Eds. Statistical Analysis of Datafrom Marked Bird Populations. Journal of Applied Statistics 29, nos1-4. May 2002
Otis, D. L., J. H. Schulz, and D. P. Scott. 2008. Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) harvest and population parameters derived from a national banding study. U. S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Biological Technical Publication FWS-BTP-R3010-2008. Washington, DC. February 2008
Otis, D. L. 2006. A mourning dove hunting regulation strategy based on annual harvest statistics and banding data. Journal of Wildlife Management 70:1302-1307. November 2006
Otis, D. L. 2004. Comparison of the distribution of mallard harvestin the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways between periods of restrictive and liberal hunting regulations. Journal of Wildlife Management 68:351-359. April 2004
Otis, D. L. 2003. A framework for reproductive models of mourningdove populations. Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science 110:13-17. July 2003
Otis, D. L. 2002. Survival models for harvest management of mourning dove populations. Journal of Wildlife Management 66:1052-1064 October 2002
Otis, D. L. 2001. Quantitative training of wildlife graduate students. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29:1043-1049. December 2001
Otis, D. L. Mourning dove banding needs assessment. 2009. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Population and Habitat Assessment Branch. Laurel, MD. September 2009
Nusser, S. M, W. R. Clark, D. L. Otis, and L. Huang. Sampling considerations for surveillance in wildlife populaitons. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:52-60. January 2008
Nelms, C. O., D. L. Otis, G. M. Linz, and W. J. Bleier. 1999. Use of cluster sampling to estimate breeding blackbird populations in North Dakota. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:931-997. November 1999
Miller, D. A., C. M. Vleck and D. L. Otis. 2009. Individual variation in baseline and stress-induced prolactin and corticosterone levels predicts parental effort by nesting mourning doves. Hormones and Behavior 56:457-464. Functional Ecology October 2009
Miller, D. A. and D. L. Otis. 2010. Calibrating recruitment estimates for mourning doves from harvest age ratios. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:1070-1080. July 2010
Loda, J. L. and D. L. Otis 2009. Low prevalence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachocytrium dendrobatis) in Northern Leopar Frog (Rana pipiens) populations of north-central Iowa, USA. Herpetological Review 40:428-431. October 2009
LeBlanc, D. E., and D. L. Otis. 2000. Preferences by mourning doves and two granivorous songbirds for selected seeds. Proceedings Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 52:324-335. January 2000
Kinkead, K. E., and D. L. Otis. 2007. Estimating superpopulation size and annual breeding probability of breeding for pond breeding salamanders. Herpetelogica 63:151-162. June 2007
Kinkead, K. E., D. L. Otis, J. F. Townsend, and J. A. Fairey. 2002. The efficacy of tree shelters for oak regeneration on a wetland mitigation site. Ecological Restoration 20:208-209. September 2002
Kinkead, K. E., A. G. Abbott, and D. L. Otis. 2006. Genetic Variation among Ambystoma Breeding Populations on the Savannah River Site. Conservation Genetics 7: June 2006
Jordan, N. E., D. L. Otis, R. Costa, and S. A. Gauthreaux. 2004. Hatching failure and embryonic mortality within a red-cockaded woodpecker population in South Carolina. Proceedings of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Symposium IV: 607 - 616. July 2005
Greenberg, C., D. L. Otis, and T. Waldrop. 2006. Response of wite-footed mice (Peromyscus leacopus) to fire and fire surrogate fuel reduction treatments in a southern Appalachian hardwood forest. Forest Ecology and Management 234:355-362. October 2006
Berdeen, J. B., and D. L. Otis. 2006. The influence of subcutaneous transmitter implants on the weight change and survival of mourning doves. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:93-104. May 2006
Technical Publications Publication Date
Samuel, M.D., Joly, D.O., Wild, M.A., Wright, S.D.,Otis, D.L., Werge, R.W., Miller, M.W. Surveillance strategies for detecting chronic wasting disease in free-ranging deer and elk: results of a CWD surveillance workshop. USGS National Wildlife Health Center Report. March, 2003. 40pp. April 2005
Otis, D. L., J. H. Schulz, D. A. Miller, R. Mirarchi, and T. Baskett. Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura). In The Birds of North America, No. 117. (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists Union. 19. July 2008
Otis, D. L. and H. Wickham. 2006. Evaluation of the Statistical Properties of Grand Canyon Humpback Chub Abundance and Trend Estimates Produced from ASMR and Alternative Mark-Recapture Models. Draft Final Report to USGS GCMRC. 50pp. September 2006
Otis, D. L. 2009. Mourning Dove Banding Needs Assessment. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management. Laurel, MD. 22pp. May 2009
Mourning Dove National Strategic Harvest Management Plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. September, 2004. 15pp. April 2005
McDonald, L.L., T. R. Stanley, D. L. Otis, D. E. Biggins, J. L. Koprowski, and W. Ballard. 2010. Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the UNited States. Draft USGS Special Scientific Report. June 2010
Koford, R.R., and D. L. Otis. 2008. Bird response to enhanced vegetation diversity in the Spring Run Complex. Progress Report, SWG project, to Iowa DNR. July 2008
Koford, R. R., and D. L. Otis. 2010. Bird Response to Enhanced Vegetation Diversity in the Spring Run Complex September 2010
Koford, R. R., and D. L. Otis. 2009. Bird Response to Enhanced Vegetation Diversity in the Spring Run Complex July 2009
Kitchell, J.F., Grimes, C., Lindley, S.T., Otis, D.L., Schwarz, C. Report to the Adaptive Management Work Group, Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. An Independent Review of Ongoing and Proposed Scientific Methods to Assess the Status & Trends of the Grand Canyon Population of the Humpback Chub (Gila cypha). December, 2003. 21pp. April 2005
Cox, R.R., Jr., Eadie, J.M., Otis, D.L., Reinecke, K.J. Science-based allocation of resources for waterfowl conservation in the contiguous U.S.: implications for the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service MBCF Allocation Process (MAP) Team. May, 2004. 5pp. April 2005
Andres, B., J. Bart, M. Hack, D. Humberg, M. Koneff, H. Laskowski, J. Nichols, D. Otis, and J. Roberson. Monitoring Avian Conservation: Rationale, Design, and Coordination. Prepared by: The Coordinated Bird Monitoring Working Group of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. September, 2004. 30pp. April 2005