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Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility

Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility

The mission of the Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility is to provide a well-equipped facility for Institute researchers and students to conduct ungulate related research requiring captive animals.  Such research is essential to provide the basis for ungulate-related management strategies. 

The 5.25 acre Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility is located in the northwest corner of the Tio & Janell Kleberg Wildlife Research Park.  This facility is used for studies of ungulates, that is “hoofed animals”, specifically white-tailed deer, feral pigs, collared peccary, and nilgai antelope.   It enables scientists at the CKWRI to conduct highly specialized research needed to address the needs of landowners and wildlife managers in Texas and throughout North America.  Within the facility, research  on ungulate foraging and nutrition, reproduction, behavior, thermoregulation, and disease is conducted.

The Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility consists of three, 1-acre pens to house deer when they are not being used in research, three 0.2 acre pens for behavioral and other research, and eighteen 15 x 30 foot pens for long term nutritional research. A large 4,500 square foot barn contains a laboratory, a feed preparation area, animal handling facilities, and several small pens for highly controlled nutritional and physiological studies. 

Albert and Margaret Alkek were dedicated to research and education endeavors and this facility in their memory ensures the legacy of their commitment to the advancement of scientific research.  

Research

The Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility enables scientists at the Institute to conduct highly specialized research needed to address the needs of landowners and wildlife managers in southern Texas and throughout North America. The facility is used to conduct research on ungulate foraging and nutrition, reproduction, behavior, thermoregulation, and disease.

Current Research Projects

  • Evaluation of the effects of heat on deer growth and production
  • Collaborative study with the Baylor College of Medicine on using antlers as a model of human bone growth, physiology, and disease
  • Background studies to support use of stable isotopes in deer research
  • Various studies of supplemental feed systems
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