• Elk, Mule Deer, and Cattle Habitats in Central Arizona

      Wallace, M. C.; Krausman, P. R. (Society for Range Management, 1987-01-01)
      Elk (Cervus elaphus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) distribution and use of habitats shared with cattle (Bos spp.) on a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)-bunchgrass range in central Arizona was examined. Cattle were removed from the range in 1961 and reintroduced in 1980. A 48-km survey route was driven through pastures containing cattle and through pastures without cattle to document the effects cattle had on native ungulates during the summers of 1981 and 1982. Location and number of elk, mule deer, and cattle observed along the route were recorded. Locations where animals were seen were used as sample sites to measure habitat variables: forest overstory, plant species composition, elevation, slope, exposure, and distance to water, fencing, meadow, cover, and draws. Distribution of elk and mule deer and habitats used by elk changed when cattle were introduced to the range. Significantly (P<0.05) fewer elk and mule deer were seen on pastures grazed by cattle than on pastures not grazed by cattle. Use of habitats by elk shifted from open mesic and silviculturally disturbed areas to more closed forest after cattle introduced. Use of habitats by deer was not altered when cattle were introduced to the range.