Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2009
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Citation: Anderson, D.M., Estell, R.E. 2009. Behaviour - The keystone in optimizing free-ranging ungulate production. In: Squires, V.R., editor. Range and Animal Scinces and Resources Management. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK. Interpretive Summary: Sound free-ranging animal management involves several aspects beginning with the understanding of terms and concepts and ending with the application of methodologies that utilize innate animals behaviour as well as training to accomplish management goals. Though 21st century technology offers many advantages not available to previous generations technology should never replace sound husbandry when it comes to optimizing production from the animals or the landscapes on which foraging takes place.
Technical Abstract: Free-ranging animal behaviour is a keystone to optimizing free-ranging domestic animal production. This chapter focuses on several aspects that emanate from foraging including defining terms, concepts and the complexity that underlie managing animals and landscapes. Behaviour is investigated in light of individuals as well as groups and the key role plant chemistry plays in the foraging process. Ethics and animal welfare, especially in terms of low-stress management strategies, are discussed in terms of production in 21st century range animal ecology. A section on melding animals and machines stress how using innate animal behaviour in order to realize management goals is a win -win for both humans and animals as long as the final judgments that must be made in management of biological resources are not replaced by technology alone. The final section of this chapter stresses the importance of using today’s technology together with animal husbandry to optimize range animal ecology in the 21st century.