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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376913

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Late-fall landscape use by heritage vs conventional beef cattle on Colorado Plateau rangelands: a case study

item MCINTOSH, MATTHEW - New Mexico State University
item DUNI, DANIELLE - New Mexico State University
item CIBILS, ANDRES - New Mexico State University
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item Gonzalez, Alfredo
item NYAMURYEKUNG'E, SHELEMIA - New Mexico State University
item REDD, MATT - The Nature Conservancy
item DUNIWAY, MICHAEL - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item Spiegal, Sheri

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2019
Publication Date: 2/17/2020
Citation: McIntosh, M., Duni, D., Cibils, A., Estell, R.E., Gonzalez, A.L., Nyamuryekung'e, S., Redd, M., Duniway, M., Spiegal, S.A. 2020. Late-fall landscape use by heritage vs conventional beef cattle on Colorado Plateau rangelands: a case study [abstract]. Society for Range Management Meeting. February 17-20, 2020, Denver, Colorado. #29

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Heritage livestock genetics may help improve sustainability of arid rangelands. We compared behavior and landscape use of Raramuri Criollo (RC; heritage) and Red Angus (RA) at the Dugout Ranch in Canyonlands, Utah. We used Lotek LITETRACK LR-GPS collars to track 3 RC and 3 RA cows that grazed in a mixed herd from November 16 – December 25, 2018. We used PROC MIXED in SAS 9.4 to analyze movement patterns (distance traveled [m], velocity [m*min-1], and path sinuosity [0=more sinuous; 1=straight]), use of riparian areas and upland slopes, as well as vegetation preference (using Ivlev’s Electivity Index) during 40 d in a 3563.3 ha pasture. RC cows traveled farther during 24 h (RC: 6.5 ± 1.4; RA 6.1 ± 2.1 km; P < 0.01) and daytime hours (RC: 3.9 ± 1.1; RA: 3.2 ± 1.0 km; P <0.01) than their RA counterparts. RC cows also traveled faster during 24 h (RC: 1.6 ± 0.3; RA: 1.4 ± 0.5 m*min-1; P <0.01) and daytime hours (RC: 6.6 ± 2.1; RA: 5.2 ± 1.7 m*min-1; P <0.01) than their RA counterparts, though RA moved faster during post-sunset hours (RC: 1.3 ± 0.9; RA: 1.5 ± 1.4 m*min-1; P <0.01). RC cows displayed more sinuous movement trajectories during all 24 h, daytime, pre and post-sunset periods (P <0.01). RC cows spent less time near riparian areas compared to their RA counterparts (RC: 143 ± 1.2; RA: 111.1 ± 2.0 m away from streams; P <0.01). RC and RA cows did not differ in their use of slopes nor elevation (P >0.10). RA cows showed a greater preference for riparian shrublands than RC counterparts (RC: E 0.23 ± 0.0; RA: E 0.59 ± 0.03; P <0.01). Our preliminary results suggest that RC and RA cows use rangelands of the Colorado Plateau differently.