Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

Foraging Behavior by Mule Deer: The Influence of Cattle Grazing

John G. Kie, Charles J. Evans, Eric R. Loft and John W. Menke
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Oct., 1991), pp. 665-674
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809516
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809516
Page Count: 10
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Foraging Behavior by Mule Deer: The Influence of Cattle Grazing
Preview not available

Abstract

We studied the effects of different cattle stocking rates on activity patterns of female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) on a summer range in the Sierra Nevada of California. Using an automated telemetry system, we determined that deer averaged 32 ± 2.2 (SE)% of the time feeding, 8 ± 1.1% traveling, and 60 ± 2.4% resting per 24-hour period. Deer spent more time feeding and less time resting with increased cattle stocking rates. During 1984, a year of average precipitation, deer spent more time feeding per day in late summer than in early summer in range units grazed by cattle but did not do so in ungrazed range units. In 1985, a drier year, deer spent less time feeding per day in late summer in grazed range units. Time spent feeding by deer was negatively correlated with standing crop of herbaceous forage in meadow-riparian habitats. Deer increased their time spent feeding by shortening the length of resting bouts and including more feeding bouts each day, not by increasing the length of each foraging bout. Companion studies indicated that with cattle grazing, deer home-range sizes were larger (Loft 1988), and hiding cover for fawns was reduced (Loft et al. 1987). The results are consistent with the hypothesis that cattle competed with deer, particularly at high stocking rates and during a year of below-average precipitation. We suggest that female mule deer were acting as time-minimizers to meet the high energetic demands of lactation while minimizing their exposure to predators. Management options to reduce adverse effects include reducing or eliminating cattle grazing during early summer on all or part of the grazing allotment.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
665
    665
  • Thumbnail: Page 
666
    666
  • Thumbnail: Page 
667
    667
  • Thumbnail: Page 
668
    668
  • Thumbnail: Page 
669
    669
  • Thumbnail: Page 
670
    670
  • Thumbnail: Page 
671
    671
  • Thumbnail: Page 
672
    672
  • Thumbnail: Page 
673
    673
  • Thumbnail: Page 
674
    674