• An investigation on fire effects within xeric sage grouse brood habitat

      Fischer, R. A.; Reese, K. P.; Connelly, J. W. (Society for Range Management, 1996-05-01)
      We investigated the short-term influence of fire on xeric sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) brood habitat in southeastern Idaho from 1990-92. A prescribed fire in 1989 removed Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis Nutt.)/threetip sagebrush (A. tripartita Rydb.) canopy cover from approximately 57% of a 5,800-ha area, potentially influencing brood-rearing habitat. Although the fire created a mosaic of sagebrush areas interspersed with open areas having abundant grasses and forbs, the relative abundance of males, females, and broods on survey routes in burned and unburned habitat were similar. Cover of forbs important in sage grouse summer diets was similar in burned and unburned habitat. However, the abundance of Hymenoptera, an insect Order important in sage grouse diets, was significantly lower in burned habitat the second and third years postburn. Our research did not support the contention that fire may enhance sage grouse brood-rearing habitat.
    • Changes in reproductive habitat of gray partridge after burning

      Novoa, C.; Dumas, S.; Prodon, R. (Society for Range Management, 1998-11-01)
      We investigated the effects of winter controlled burning on the breeding habitat of the Pyrenean gray partridge (Perdix perdix hispaniensis Reich.). Floristic composition and vegetation structure were sampled on 198 sites, including 64 recently used by hens for nesting or rearing of broods, 90 within partridge habitat burned under dry conditions, and 44 burned under wet conditions. During the early breeding season, birds selected shrublands of broom (Cytisus purgans (L.) Boiss.) with an average canopy coverage of 60% and an average height of 0.50 m. Birds avoided sites where shrub cover was more than 80% or less than 20%. The most critical effect of burning on gray partridge brood habitat was the reduction of the cover in the 2 vegetation layers providing protection against predators (0.05-0.25 m, and 0.25-0.50 m). In the case of "dry burning", the recovery of suitable habitat took more than 8 years for nesting hens and flightless chicks, but only 5-6 years for broods older than 3 weeks. Data obtained by radio-tracking eight broods indicated that "wet burns" (mean size = 4 ha) were better than "dry burns" (mean size = 15 ha) for maintaining good brood habitat. For the "dry burns", we recommend that burned patches be equal to or less than 5 ha and separated by unburned patches of 10-15 ha. In both cases, the frequency of fires should not exceed once every 15-20 years.
    • Cool, Clear Water?

      Williamson, Lonnie L. (Society for Range Management, 1988-08-01)
    • Cover for wildlife after summer grazing on Sandhills rangeland

      Reece, P. E.; Volesky, J. D.; Schacht, W. H. (Society for Range Management, 2001-03-01)
      Livestock production and wildlife habitat objectives become antagonistic on grasslands when the architecture of standing herbage needed for key wildlife species limits the amount of forage that can be used by livestock. However, quantitative information needed to achieve cover objectives for wildlife is not available for summer-grazed grasslands. Three replicates of 7 grazing treatments were applied to the same 1.0-ha pastures for 3 years. Treatments included ungrazed control, and grazing at 16, 32, or 48 animal unit days (AUD) ha(-1) for 5 to 7 days during mid-June or mid-July. Cover was estimated after killing frost in September by measuring the average height below which complete visual obstruction occurred. Cumulative grazing pressure (AUD Mg(-1)) was used to describe grazing effects because of measurable differences in herbage among pastures and dates. Grazing in June reduced the average height of autumn cover at a constant rate from 11.0 to 7.0 cm (R2 = 0.34) as cumulative grazing pressure increased from 16 to 90 AUD Mg(-1). In contrast, declines in cover after grazing in July were about 2.6 times greater for cumulative grazing pressures up to 40 AUD Mg(-1) (R2 = 0.62), indicating a measurable decline in plant growth and an increasing dependence of autumn cover on the remaining herbage when grazing ended. Relatively low predictability of autumn cover after June compared to July grazing was offset by more plant growth during the balance of the growing season. Frequency of low-cover patches (less than or equal to 5.0 cm) within pastures was highly correlated (R2 = 0.94) with mean estimates of autumn cover. Consequently, the quality of cover near potential nesting sites also declined as the average height of cover declined, regardless of grazing date. The interdependence of low-cover patches and mean visual obstruction indicates that either variable could be the primary criterion for nest site selection up to 12 cm in visual obstruction.
    • Defining and refining value for riparian systems

      Schmidt, Robert H. (Society for Range Management, 1991-04-01)
    • Grazing Allotment Administration Along Streams Supporting Cutthroat Trout in Montana

      Shepard, Bradley B. (Society for Range Management, 1992-08-01)
    • Invasion of the Eastern Red Cedar

      Barth, Zeb (Society for Range Management, 2002-08-01)
    • Lesser prairie-chicken densities on tebuthiuron-treated and untreated sand shinnery oak rangelands

      Olawsky, C. D.; Smith, L. M. (Society for Range Management, 1991-07-01)
      Line transect procedures were used to estimate density of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in tebuthiuron-treated and untreated sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii Rydb.) rangelands. Forb and grass composition was greater (P less than or equal to 0.014, P < 0.001, respectively) in treated areas than in untreated areas, while shrub composition was greater (P < 0.001) in untreated sites. Densities of lesser prairie-chicken were similar (P less than or equal to 0.298) between treatments. Summer densities were 0.26 birds/ha in treated areas and 0.20 birds/ha in untreated areas, while winter densities were 0.53 and 0.34 birds/ha, respectively. Because shinnery oak provides an important source of shade and food for lesser prairie-chicken, and may be important for cover maintenance by preventing entire areas from being overgrazed in dry years, preservation of some untreated areas is recommended.
    • Livestock and Big Game Forage Relationships

      Vavra, Martin (Society for Range Management, 1992-04-01)
    • Small Mammals in Modified Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands, New Mexico

      Severson, K. E. (Society for Range Management, 1986-01-01)
      The effects of pinyon (Pinus edulis)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) treatments on rodent abundance, 13 to 18 years after treatment, were studied in southwestern New Mexico from 1981 to 1983. Treatments included bulldozing, bulldozing/piling/burning, thinning, and untreated woodland. The area had not been grazed by livestock since time of treatment but was subjected to light and irregular use by wild ungulates. Total rodent numbers were significantly greater (P is greater than or equal to 0.05) on all treated areas compared to untreated woodlands but individual species and groups responded differently. Woodrats (Neotoma spp.) and brush mice (Peromyscus boylii) increased in abundance as slash accumulations increased, regardless of condition of overstory. Pinyon mice (P. truei) and rock mice (P. difficilus) numbers were also greater where slash was present, but only if the pinyon-juniper overstory was relatively intact. Grassland rodents, as a group, were more abundant on areas where the pinyon-juniper overstory and slash had been removed (bulldozed and bulldozed/piled/burned), but reduced numbers on bulldozed plots where slash was left suggested slash accumulations may have detrimental effects on numbers of these species. Treatments did not influence number of different rodent species. Data indicate that numbers of individuals and proportions of rodent species can be affected by manipulation of pinyon-juniper overstory and method of slash disposal.
    • The Desert Tortoise

      Huxtable, Nichia (Society for Range Management, 1992-02-01)
    • The Effect of Agriculture on Ferruginous and Swainson's Hawks

      Schmutz, J. K. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Raptors are an important component of prairie ecosystems. I examined the effects of grassland conversion to agricultural fields on densities of nesting prairie hawks. Densities of Swainson's hawks were recorded for comparison. The 2 species of congeneric hawks responded differently to habitat loss despite considerable overlap in their use of resources. As cultivation on study plots increased, ferruginous hawks declined. Swainson's hawks were more abundant in areas of moderate cultivation than in grassland or in areas of extensive cultivation. Differences in the hawks' responses were attributed to differences in their ecology, primarily prey utilization. There was no evidence that soil quality affected hawk abundance.
    • Viewpoint: The black-tailed prairie dog—headed for extinction?

      Wuerthner, G. (Society for Range Management, 1997-09-01)
      The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is 1 of 5 western prairie dog species, and the only species found on the Great Plains. Some authorities believe the black-tailed prairie dog may have been the most numerous of mammalian herbivores found on the plains with some estimates placing their historic numbers as high as 5 billion. Due to a combination of factors including habitat destruction, hunting, plague, and poisoning programs, the black-tailed prairie dog may now be threatened with extinction across its entire range. In this paper, a tentative prairie dog conservation strategy consisting of core reserves, buffer areas, and corridors is proposed.
    • Wetland Mitigation Banking—How It Works in Minnesota

      Jatnieks-Straumanis, Serma A.; Foote, Lawrence E. (Society for Range Management, 1988-06-01)
    • White-tailed deer habitats in the central Black Hills

      DePerno, C. S.; Jenks, J. A.; Griffin, S. L.; Rice, L. A.; Higgins, K. F. (Society for Range Management, 2002-05-01)
      White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus dacotensis Zimm.) numbers in the central Black Hills have declined since the middle 1970s. Population status has been documented by a decline in hunter success, deer reproductive success, and fawn survival. Most management agencies believe habitat deterioration is the primary cause of population decline in the Black Hills. We evaluated habitat selection for a white-tailed deer herd in the central Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. From July 1993-July 1996, 73 adult and yearling doe and 12 adult and yearling buck white-tailed deer were radiocollared and visually monitored. Habitat Information was collected at 4,662 white-tailed deer locations and 1,087 random locations. During winter, white-tailed deer selected ponderosa pine- (Pinus ponderosa P. C. Lawson) deciduous and burned pine cover types. Overstory-understory habitats selected included pine/grass-forb, pine/bear-berry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng.), pine/snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus L.), burned pine/grass-forb, and pine/shrub habitats. Structural stages selected included sapling-pole pine stands with 70% canopy cover, burned pine sapling-pole and saw-timber stands with 40% canopy cover. During summer, white-tailed deer selected pine-deciduous, aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), aspen-coniferous, spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), and spruce-deciduous cover types. Overstory-understory habitats selected included pine/juniper Juniperus communis L.), aspen/shrubs, spruce/juniper, and spruce/shrub habitats. Structural stages selected included pine, aspen, and spruce sapling pole stands with all levels (0-40%, 41-70%,71-100%) of canopy cover. Results supported low habitat quality as a factor involved with the decline of the deer population. We recommend that habitat management techniques, such as aspen regeneration and prescribed burns, be used to Improve the habitat base in the central Black Hills.