The University of Arizona

Influene of rest-rotation cattle grazing on mule deer and elk habitat use in east-central Idaho.

J.J. Yeo, J.M. Peek, W.T. Wittinger, C.T. Kvale

Abstract


Elk (Cervus elaphus Linnaeus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus Rafinesque), and cattle (Bos taurus Linnaeus) distributions were determined year round from 1975-1979 on a rest-rotation grazing system established in steep mountainous terrain. Following implementation of the grazing system, cattle progressively used higher elevations and steeper slopes in each succeeding year. Elk preferred rested pastures during the grazing season (June-October) and avoided habitat frequented by cattle by using higher elevations and steeper slopes. Few mule deer used the allotment during summer, but during the winter, deer selected habitats grazed previously by cattle. Elk appeared to adjust to the grazing system by making greater use of pastures with cattle present, although preference for pastures without cattle continued.

Keywords


population distribution;mountains;mountain areas;sloping land;highlands;habitats;Cervus elaphus;Idaho;rotational grazing;Odocoileus hemionus;grazing behavior;cattle;grazing;altitude

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