State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009TX321B
Title: Role of Free-ranging Wildlife in the Deposition of Escherichia coli into a Texas River Floodplain
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 17
Focus Categories: Non Point Pollution, Management and Planning, Water Quality
Keywords: Wildlife, Escherichia coli, Population Estimation, Fecal Deposition Rate, Concentrations
Principal Investigators: Parker, Israel David; Lopez, Roel R
Federal Funds: $ 4,997
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,000
Abstract: Current Environmental Protection Agency standards depend upon Escherichia coli content as a determinant of fecal contamination into water bodies. Previous studies have demonstrated that E. coli has a variety of potential sources including city effluent and agricultural operations. More recent studies also suggests E. coli can be transmitted by a variety of familiar wildlife populations including mammals (Sargeant et al. 1999, Olsen et al. 2002), reptiles/amphibians (Souza et al. 1999, Tobe et al. 2006), and birds (Brittingham et al. 1988, Makino et al. 2000, McLellan 2004). Although previous E. coli research has investigated the role of traditional sources of fecal pollution, further studies are needed to understand the role of free-ranging wildlife populations in the deposition of E. coli in order to accurately describe the sources of fecal contamination (Brittingham et al. 1988, Dobson and Foufopolous 2001, Renter et al. 2001, Solomon et al. 2001). Land managers and natural resource decision-makers need to understand the role of wildlife in the deposition of E. coli into Texas watersheds in order to successfully manage water supplies in the state and to implement effective pollution control strategies. We will quantify the role of free-ranging wildlife in the deposition of E. coli through population density estimation, fresh fecal collection, and fecal deposition rate estimation.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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