• 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.