Submitted to: Ecology Management and Restoration of Rangelands Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/16/2005
Publication Date: 5/16/2005
Citation: Boyd, C.S., Ganskopp, D.C. 2005. Interspace/undercanopy foraging patterns of beef cattle in sagebrush communities: Implications to sage-grouse nesting habitat [abstract]. Ecology Management. Paper No. 113.
Technical Abstract: Livestock grazing has been indirectly related to sage grouse declines in the western United States and southern Canada; however, there is a lack of scientific research that directly relates the two. An 18-day trial was conducted to determine the level of utilization at which cattle begin to access herbaceous vegetation under the canopy of sagebrush plants; these herbaceous plants can provide important screening cover for nesting sage grouse. Our results suggest that cattle use of understory plants was minimal until pasture utilization exceeded about 35% utilization (by weight). These results can be used to help land managers develop grazing plans which minimize the impacts of grazing livestock on herbaceous cover important to nesting sage-grouse.