• Summer habitat use and activity patterns of domestic sheep on coniferous forest range in southern Norway

      Warren, J. T.; Mysterud, I. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
      Eight domestic sheep (Ovis aries L.) ewes were fitted with radio collars and tracked during the 1985 grazing season in Trysll, Hedmark County, southern Norway. The ewes were relocated 761 times between 11 June until 13 September. All relocations were used to describe activity patterns, and 565 were plotted and used to estimate habitat use. Range use was initially concentrated on and about areas previously referenced by man (e.g., abandoned homesteads, old fields) and on adjacent stands of rich spruce/fern (Picea abies (L) Karsten)/(Dryopteris spp.) forest. This preference was displayed especially during the day; poorer forest types were used more in the evening and at night. As the season progressed, use of the meadow/old-field habitat type declined in favor of the forest types. Activity peaks were at mid-morning and late evening. Animals camped in groups at midday and at night, always further upslope at night than during the day. Sheep were less active in cold, wet weather. Habitat selection and activity patterns observed in this study were similar to those of both wild and domestic sheep studied elsewhere.