AuthorWallace, Mark Christopher.
AdvisorKrausman, Paul R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractI identified the seasonal ranges and migration routes for Rocky mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) that summered on the White Mountains Apache Reservation (reservation). I described elk distributions, movements, diets, and behaviors related to habitats in the White Mountains, Arizona from October 1983 to July 1986. I identified neonatal elk hiding habitats and how long they were used. Adult and neonatal elk were captured and radio collared. I determined movements and habitat use from direct observations of marked elk relocated by radio-telemetry. Yearly home ranges in this population were large; 638.9 ± 465.2 (SE) km² and 385.7 ± 313.1 km² for males and females, respectively. Distances elk moved/day were greater in summer (7.5 ± 0.3 km) and fall (6.5 ± 0.4) than in winter (3.2 ± 0.2 km). In summer, males selected spruce (Picea spp.) forests and associated clear cuts while females selected mixed-conifer types. In winter, males selected juniper (Juniperus spp.) and cleared sites. Females selected junipers and cleared sites, but also selected meadows and mixed-confer sites. Daily and seasonal elk activity patterns were similar to those reported elsewhere. Seasonal segregation of male and female elk groups occurred and was most related to elevational (and associated habitat) differences. Females moved to higher elevations, following snowmelt, earlier than males in spring, but males moved to higher elevations than females by summer. In fall, males and females used habitats at mid-elevations. Females were more frequently seen in forested types than males which were often observed in small forest openings. Habitat differences in winter were mostly spatial rather than structural. Spring elk diets were dominated by grasses (57.8%), summer diets by forbs (65.6%), fall diets by grasses (35.2%) and forbs (37.9%), and winter diets by evergreen oaks (Quercus spp.) (41.0%). Diets were similar between sexes in all seasons. Neonatal elk hid until 16 days old. Calves <10 days old moved less than calves ≥10 days old. Calf hiding sites were in mid-elevational ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa) on gentle southwest slopes. Hiding cover 0.36 m to 1.70 m tall was the most important component of calf hiding sites.
Degree ProgramRenewable Natural Resources