Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems Research
Project Number: 3012-21610-002-18-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 15, 2018
End Date: Dec 31, 2020
Evaluate where, when, and to what extent altering forage resources and livestock foraging behavior influences livestock production in the Thunder Basin region of Wyoming.
The Cooperator and ARS will collaborate in the determination of where, when, and to what extent altering forage resources and livestock foraging behavior influences livestock production in the Thunder Basin region of Wyoming. These collaborative efforts will (1) quantify relationships between cattle weight gains and prairie dog abundance at pasture scales, at multiple sites, and across multiple years, (2) evaluate whether spatiotemporal patterns of livestock foraging can explain the mechanisms by which prairie dog abundance and distribution affect livestock weight gains, (3) evaluate the extent to which drought and precipitation variability influence forage resources available to livestock, and (4) evaluate the impacts of livestock and native ungulate grazing on forage quality, quantity and composition in the context of variable weather conditions. Staff with the Cooperator will collect data on vegetation, livestock gain and prairie dog colony size/distribution responses to altering forage resources and livestock foraging behavior with seasonal weather variability and extreme events.