The University of Arizona

Activity budgets and foraging behavior of bison on seeded pastures.

B.D. Rutley, R.J. Hudson

Abstract


Activity budgets and foraging behavior of yearling bison (Bison bison L.) on pasture were studied during quarterly trials between June 1994 and December 1995. Daily activity patterns were polyphasic with alternating bouts of foraging and resting activity. During winter, bison displayed 2 main daytime foraging bouts and significant nighttime foraging. During summer, phasic activity was poorly expressed due to the increased number of cycles. Total foraging time declined from summer to winter (763 +/- 62 to 470 +/- 32 min day(-1)) while bedding bout length increased (121 +/- 13 to 276 +/- 26 min day(-1)). Bison selected forage higher in crude protein (12.9 +/- 0.8 vs 10.0 +/- 0.8%), higher in predicted digestible energy (2.70 +/- 0.09 vs 2.17 +/- 0.09 Mcal kg(-1)), lower in acid detergent fiber (31.9 +/- 0.9 vs 38.8 +/- 0.9%), and lower in lignin (4.8 +/- 0.3 vs 6.8 +/- 0.3%, respectively) than forage available within grazed patches.

DOI:10.2458/azu_jrm_v54i3_rutley


Keywords


physical activity;bison;digestible energy;British Columbia;diurnal variation;foraging;dietary fiber;lignin;duration;length;pastures;animal behavior;feeding behavior;crude protein;seasonal variation;feeding preferences

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