• Black-tailed Jackrabbit Diet and Density on Rangeland and Near Agricultural Crops

      Fagerstone, K. A.; LaVoie, G. K.; Griffith, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1980-05-01)
      Black-tailed jackrabbit diets and densities were compared between rangeland and cultivated areas in southern Idaho to determine how heavily jackrabbits rely on crops for spring and summer food. Jackrabbit densities were significantly higher near cultivated crops than on the isolated rangeland. Where barley and crested wheatgrass plants were available to jackrabbits, they were preferred foods and made up a large part of the spring and summer diet. As potato plants were not a highly preferred food, crop, damage by jackrabbits could probably be reduced by planting potatoes in a buffer strip between rangeland and preferred grain crops. Plant phenology was a major factor in determining food preferences of jackrabbits collected on rangeland. In the spring, 85% of rangeland diet consisted of grass. However, in early summer, grasses and forbs were eaten in equal amounts and by late summer, 71% of the diet was comprised of forbs and shrubs.