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Journal Article

Home Range and Movements of Scottish Blackface Sheep in Lochaber, North- West Scotland

R. Hewson and C. J. Wilson
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 16, No. 3 (Dec., 1979), pp. 743-751
DOI: 10.2307/2402850
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402850
Page Count: 9

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Topics: Sheep, Ewes, Lambs, Heathlands, Grazing, Vegetation, Foxes, Livestock farms, Fences, Applied ecology
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Home Range and Movements of Scottish Blackface Sheep in Lochaber, North- West Scotland
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Abstract

(1) The home ranges of groups of Blackface hill sheep were based on coastal greens derived from crofting agriculture and appeared to be influenced by former fence lines between townships rather than by vegetation. (2) Heavy annual adult mortality (9-16%) and poor production of lambs (51-59 per 100 ewes) were associated with crowding on coastal greens during the day and small home ranges, most mortality being associated with the smallest home ranges. Sheep moved uphill at night. (3) Ewes often lambed during the night or early morning away from the main flock, uphill, and in areas where birch scrub gave cover to foxes. They returned to the flock after one or two days. (4) Home ranges of individual sheep varied from 3.1 to 50 ha, and of groups of sheep in different parts of the study area from 11.38 $\pm$ 2.28 to 24.30 $\pm$ 5.35 ha. The area occupied by individual sheep at night formed 20-48% of their home range.

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