• H. Wayne Springfield—Southwestern Range Ecologist

      Cox, Jerry R.; Johnsen, Thomas N.; Morton, Howard L. (Society for Range Management, 1987-08-01)
    • Habitat and Dietary Relationships of the Pygmy Rabbit

      Green, J. S.; Flinders, J. T. (Society for Range Management, 1980-03-01)
      Vegetal habitat characteristics and annual dietary selection were examined for the pygmy rabbit in southeastern Idaho. Areas selected for habitation by pygmy rabbits had a significantly greater woody cover and height than other areas. Total grass-forb biomass was similar in rabbit and nonrabbit sites. Grass biomass was least and forb biomass greatest where pygmy rabbits were most abundant. Sagebrush was eaten throughout the year, although in lesser amounts in summer (51%) than in winter (99%). Grasses and forbs were eaten through the summer (39 and 10%, respectively) and decreased in the diet through fall to winter. Sagebrush is critical to the pygmy rabbit for both food and cover, although in this study, cover and height of woody vegetation appeared to be the critical features of the habitat selected for. This fact should be considered before brush removal treatments are applied within pygmy rabbit range.
    • Habitat Changes: Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area

      Frisina, Michael R.; Keigley, Richard B. (Society for Range Management, 2004-04-01)
    • Habitat Differences Between Basin and Wyoming Big Sagebrush in Contiguous Populations

      Barker, J. R.; McKell, C. M. (Society for Range Management, 1983-07-01)
      Basin and Wyoming big sagebrush plants growing in contiguous populations were studied to identify potential habitat differences in plant water and soil relationships. At 3 study sites, basin big sagebrush plants were growing in and adjacent to a drainage, while Wyoming big sagebrush plants occupied areas adjacent to the basin big sagebrush populations. Soil- and leaf-water potentials and leaf-transpiration resistances were measured from May to October 1980 to identify differences between basin and Wyoming big sagebrush plant-water relationships. Soil identification and plant tissue analyses were conducted to help characterize edaphic differences between the subspecies. The results of these studies showed that basin big sagebrush plants grew in a more mesic and fertile habitat than did Wyoming big sagebrush plants. Understanding the environmental differences of these two big sagebrush subspecies is important in effectively managing basin and Wyoming big sagebrush ranges.
    • Habitat Effects on Condition of Doe Mule Deer in Arid Mixed Woodland-Grassland

      Bender, Louis C.; Lomas, Laurie A.; Kamienski, Tomas (Society for Range Management, 2007-05-01)
      Productivity of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus Raf.) populations is closely linked to individual nutritional condition. We modeled body fat of individual does as a function of vegetation cover, composition, and water characteristics of their annual, summer, and winter home ranges in north-central New Mexico. We also modeled home range size as a function of the same characteristics. Levels of body fat were most closely and negatively related to the amount of pinyon-juniper in an individual deer’s annual home range (F1,21 = 7.6; P = 0.012; r2 = 0.26). Pinyon-juniper types provided little (combined ground cover of preferred forbs and shrubs = 5.7%) mule deer forage but were included in home ranges in excess of their availability on the landscape, likely because of security cover attributes. Proportion of grasslands in home ranges was most strongly related to both annual (F1,23 = 4.9; P = 0.037; r2 = 0.18) and summer (F2,25 = 5.7; P = 0.009; r2 = 0.31) home range sizes, and home ranges increased as the grassland component increased, indicating that this habitat type was providing little value to mule deer. Grassland (0.2% combined cover of preferred forb and shrub) and montane conifer (3.2% ground cover of preferred forb and shrub) habitat types similarly lacked preferred mule deer food, and grasslands also lacked cover. Most immediate gains in mule deer habitat in north-central New Mexico may be attained by management of pinyon-juniper communities to increase forage quantity and quality while maintaining cover attributes. Gains can also be realized in grasslands, but here management must establish both cover and forage. 
    • Habitat Management for Desert Tortoise in Nevada

      Ross, Joseph V. H. (Society for Range Management, 1986-12-01)
    • Habitat Preferences of Feral Hogs, Deer, and Cattle on a Sierra Foothill Range

      Barrett, R. H. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      The relative habitat preferences of feral hogs (Sus scrofa), black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), and cattle were assessed for 17 habitat types by sampling the distribution and abundance of fecal sign on a northern California annual range. Hogs preferred oak thickets and irrigated pastures; deer preferred brushland and oak woodland; and cattle preferred level topography and sites with relatively high herbage production including irrigated pastures, upland plains, and oak savanna-woodland. Deer and cattle used the study area during winter only, whereas the hogs were permanent residents. An association analysis indicated the greatest potential for interspecific competition would be between cattle and deer on foothill ridge tops and between cattle and hogs on irrigated pastures.
    • Habitat Relations of Cercocarpus montanus (true mountain mahogany) in Central Utah

      Brotherson, J. D.; Anderson, D. L.; Szyska, L. A. (Society for Range Management, 1984-07-01)
      True mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus Raf.) and its habitats were studied in the canyons and foothills of the Wasatch Mountains of Central Utah. Twenty populations were selected and sampled for various biotic and abiotic environmental variables. All study sites contained true mountain mahogany as a dominant or subdominant plant. The communities are shrub dominated with other plant life forms contributing little to the total cover of the sites. The more northern exposed sites appear to be undergoing succession while the more southern exposures seem more stable.
    • Habitat Relationships of Basin Wildrye in the High Mountain Valleys of Central Utah

      Walker, G. R.; Brotherson, J. D. (Society for Range Management, 1982-09-01)
      Habitat relationships between stands of basin wildrye (Elymus cinereus) and adjacent sagebrush-grass steppe were studied in the Strawberry Valley of central Utah. Fifteen sites of basin wildrye and 15 adjacent sites of sagebrush-grass steppe were selected and sampled for various biotic and abiotic environmental variables. Stands of basin wildrye were dominated by this grass (90% composition). The adjacent sagebrush-grass steppe exhibited more diversity of species and life forms. Basin wildrye and badger diggings were correlated 95% of the time. Potassium concentrations (P<.05) and soil depth (P<.01) were significantly greater in the basin wildrye sites. Secondary successional patterns were observed on disturbed sites.
    • Habitat relationships of the pyrenean gray partridge

      Lescourret, F.; Génard, M. (Society for Range Management, 1993-07-01)
      Summer habitat relationships of the pyrenean gray partridge (Perdix peridix hispaniensis) were studied in the northern Pyrenees Mountains (France). Six available habitat types were defined, and those selected or avoided were identified. The only habitat type significantly (P < 0.05) selected was at intermediate altitudes, on fairly steep south-exposed slopes, with a moderate cover of woody plants. Two habitat types were significantly avoided. One occurred at low altitudes on mowed plateaus colonized by low woody plants, and the other was at high altitudes on slopes free of low woody plants. We suggest applications of the work in a model that should lead to valid habitat recommendations for restoring partridge populations.
    • Habitat Requirements of the Golden-Cheeked Warbler: Management Implications

      Kroll, J. C. (Society for Range Management, 1980-01-01)
      Characteristics of nesting and wintering habitats of golden-cheeked warblers (Dendroica chrysoparia) were studied from 1973-1978. Golden-cheeks are obligatively dependent on Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) for nesting materials and singing perches, but are equally dependent on scrub-oak (Quercus durandii breviloba) for foraging substrates. Golden-cheeks preferred to forage (73.6% of total observations) in hardwood species. Stepwise discriminant analysis suggested that quality nesting habitat differs from poor nesting habitat by having older (greater than or equal to 40 yrs.) Ashe juniper, lower juniper densities and higher densities of oak (juniper-oak ratio = 1.35 to 1). Structure of scrub-oak (mostly Q. oleoides) in the wintering habitat (La Esperanza, Intibuca Dept., Honduras) was structurally similar to that in the nesting habitat. Golden-cheeks were observed feeding in the shrubby understory.
    • Habitat Restoration--Solving the Puzzle of Wildlife Diversity in Texas

      Wagner, Matt; Pluhar, Jenny (Society for Range Management, 1996-06-01)
    • Habitat selection and activity patterns of female mule deer in the Front Range, Colorado

      Kufeld, R. C.; Bowden, D. C.; Schrupp, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      Twenty-two adult, female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) were radio-collared with activity sensors and monitored with ground triangulation from mid-November through March, for 3 years (1982-1985) in the foothills west of Fort Collins, Colorado, to test 4 general hypotheses about habitat selection and activity: (1) The proportion of time deer spend feeding and resting varies with time of day. (2) Deer alter their activity patterns in response to environmental influences. (3) Selection of specific vegetation types for feeding and resting varies with time of day. (4) Ecotones are preferred habitats. Deer were monitored during 6-hr sampling periods: sunrise, daytime, sunset, and night. Deer fed most during sunset, night, and sunrise periods and least during the day. Feeding occupied similar proportions of an average deer's time during sunset, night, and sunrise periods. They preferred the grassland type for feeding and resting at night and the mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) type for both activities during all other periods. Preference deer showed for the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) type for feeding activity was inversely related to canopy cover. Deer rested most during daytime and night periods. During periods of daylight, deer using the grassland type showed preference for ecotones with certain types offering escape cover. No such preference was observed at night. Deer fed less and rested more when snow depth exceeded 36 cm. No significant differences (P>0.05) in the proportion of time deer devoted to feeding were found in the following comparisons: clear versus cloudy full-moon nights (-50 vs. + 50% cloud cover), full-moon versus new-moon, low versus high wind speeds (0-32 vs. 32-56 km/hr), and warm versus cold temperatures (+18 to -15 vs. -15 to -23 degrees C). No significant relationships were found for the same comparisons in proportion of time devoted to resting.
    • Habitat Selection and Vegetational Characteristics of Antelope Fawn Bedsites in West Texas

      Tucker, R. D.; Garner, G. W. (Society for Range Management, 1983-01-01)
      Vegetative composition, dominance, and height of cover characteristics were measured at 60 daytime bedsites of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) fawns in a desert grassland in southwest Texas. Fawns were fitted with radio transmitters and were located daily between 8 May and 9 July 1978. Igneous hill and mountain range sites were used 69% of the time during the first 4 weeks of age. Black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda), sideoats grama (B. curtipendula), hairy grama (B. hirsuta), and cane bluestem (Bothriochloa barbinodes) were the dominant species at bedsites of fawns 1 to 4 weeks of age. Cane bluestem and sideoats grama were the tallest species, averaging 52 and 42 cm in height, respectively. Blue grama (B. gracilis), tobosa grass (Hilaria mutica), and black grama were the species that occurred most often at bedsites of fawns 4 to 8 weeks of age. Cane bluestem, threeawns (Aristida spp.), sideoats grama, and tobosa grass had average heights of 46 cm, 38 cm, 41 cm, and 43 cm, respectively. Cover characteristics of the bedsites were taller than cover characteristics of the surrounding area (P<0.015) for fawns less than 4 weeks of age, but were the same for fawns over 4 weeks of age. Shrubs were not a major component of any bedsite. Management of areas used by fawns less than 4 weeks of age may be critical to young survival.
    • Habitat selection by cattle along an ephemeral channel

      Smith, M. A.; Rodgers, J. D.; Dodd, J. L.; Skinner, Q. D. (Society for Range Management, 1992-07-01)
      Because of widespread concern about cattle grazing effects on riparian zones of public lands, seasonal habitat selection by cattle was studied along a cold desert area ephemeral waterway of northcentral Wyoming. Little is known of grazing effects on ephemeral streams compared to perennial streams. Cattle activity was monitored in small pastures and a surrounding large allotment in spring, summer, and fall. Observations included activity and habitat where it occurred. Concomitantly, utilization levels, protein content, and dry matter content of forages were determined in the small pastures. A higher percent of cattle selected channel and floodplain habitats than percent area of habitats while a lower percent of cattle selected upland habitat than percent of this habitat in the area. Utilization levels of forages except greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Hook.) Torrey) in the floodplain were not greatly different among habitats. Protein and dry matter content of forages did not vary greatly among habitats, except greasewood had higher protein and lower dry matter than other species and received much higher use. Forage quality declined in summer and fall. Animal preference for channel habitat was attributed to more available forage in the channels. In contrast, selection of floodplains was due to succulence and high protein content of greasewood. Comparison of cattle selectivity between small pastures and the large allotment indicates that greater avoidance of upland areas by cattle is likely due to greater distances to drinking water in the large allotment.
    • Habitat Selection by Cattle Along an Ephemeral Channel

      Smith, Michael A.; Rodgers, J. Daniel; Dodd, Jerrold L.; Skinner, Quentin D. (Society for Range Management, 1993-06-01)
    • Habitat selection patterns of feral horses in southcentral Wyoming

      Crane, K. K.; Smith, M. A.; Reynolds, D. (Society for Range Management, 1997-07-01)
      Feral horse habitat selection patterns and forage attributes on available habitats were studied on public rangelands of southcentral Wyoming. Environmental assessments preceding roundup of excess horses requires resource data to justify the number of horses removed. Randomly selected bands of horses were followed for 24-hour observation periods during the spring and summer to determine if they utilized habitats in proportion to their abundance. We also determined if forage abundance, succulence (an index to forage palatability), percent utilization, and dietary composition were related to habitats selected. Streamsides, bog/meadows, and mountain sagebrush habitats were preferentially selected (p less than or equal to 0.05). Lowland sagebrush habitats were avoided and no apparent selection behavior was shown for grassland and coniferous forest habitats. Forage abundance, palatability, and percent utilization were higher (p less than or equal to 0.05) in streamside and bog/meadow habitat classes. Diet composition indicated that sedges (Carex sp.), common in streamsides and bog/meadows, were an important forage of feral horses. Palatability and abundance of graminoid vegetation and proximity to preferred habitats seemed to be the primary influences on habitat selection by feral horses.
    • Habitat Selection, Foraging Behavior, and Dietary Nutrition of Elk in Burned Aspen Forest

      Canon, S. K.; Urness, P. J.; DeByle, N. V. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Prescribed burning is frequently used to enhance regeneration of aspen. The effects of burning aspen on wild ungulates are poorly understood. We used free-ranging tame elk to assess diet composition and quality on a site containing a 40-ha aspen burn, pure unburned aspen, mixtures of aspen and conifers, and other habitats. Foraging preferences of elk among the habitats were also investigated. Overall, no dietary nutritional differences were found between burned and unburned aspen habitats. Diet composition by forage class varied somewhat, due primarily to an abundance of very palatable post-fire forbs on the burn. Time spent feeding was significantly different among habitats. The burn was substantially more attractive for foraging probably because preferred forages were consistently available and greater foraging efficiency was possible than in other habitats.
    • Habitat Use and Fecal Analysis of Feral Burros (Equus asinus), Chemehuevi Mountains, California, 1974

      Woodward, S. L.; Ohmart, R. D. (Society for Range Management, 1976-11-01)
      Between January and March burros spent from 60 to 78.7% of their time on the interfluves. In April, habitat use was predominantly in washes, with a high of 58.5% in July. During the summer months, when daily maximum ambient temperature approached 48°C, much of their time was spent in densely shaded pockets of vegetation along the Colorado River. Thirty-nine plant species comprised the diet in 1974, desert Indian-wheat (Plantago insularis) and palo verde (Cercidium floridum) being the most common. These two species, combined with mesquite (Prosopis spp.) and arrowweed (Pluchea sericea) formed over 50% of the annual diet. The 1974 diet consisted of 3.9% grasses, 30.1% forbes, and 61.1% browse. Population increases of 20-25% every 13-18 months and little predation bespeaks the need for unceasing management and possible control to prevent deterioration of the native flora and fauna.
    • Habitat Use by Federal Horses in the Northern Sagebrush Steppe

      Ganskopp, D.; Vavra, M. (Society for Range Management, 1986-05-01)
      Distribution patterns of feral horses (Equus caballus) relative to plant communities, herbaceous production, and perennial water sources were studied from April 1979 to March 1981 in Oregon's Owyhee Breaks. Repeated observations of radio-collared and easily identified horses allowed estimation of home range sizes and documentation of the plant communities utilized. A map of plant communities was constructed, and composition and herbaceous production of key communities sampled. Time-lapse cameras monitored the daylight watering patterns of horses. One hundred thirty-three horses were initially censused and identified on the study area with the total population subsequently increasing at an annual rate of 13%. Home ranges averaged 12 km2 with the minimum convex polygon procedure and 27 km2 with the 90% confidence ellipse method. No seasonal shifts in home ranges occurred, and no correlations were detected between home range size and number of horses per band, densities of perennial water sources, or levels of forage production within home ranges. Six distinct herds were identified on the area. Only one band of horses moved from one herd to another during the 2-year study. Animals in each herd made greatest use of the most prevalent plant community, with no community being universally preferred to over another. Watering activities were most intense during the first and last periods of daylight. Horses rapidly vacated the watering areas after drinking. A seasonal trend was observed in which horses remained slightly closer to perennial water sources during warm, dry summer months than during spring periods when additional seasonal sources were available. Seasonal differences were not statistically significant, however.