The Effects of a Rotational Cattle Grazing System on Elk Diets in Arizona Piñon–Juniper Rangeland

Tolleson, Doug
Halstead, Lacey
Howery, Larry
Schafer, Dave
Prince, Steohen
Banik, Kris
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
It is not uncommon to hear statements such as these in the western United States. Dietary overlap between cattle and wild herbivores such as elk or deer has been 1 reported in various regions, seasons, and ecosystems. Competition between two species occurs when a shared resource is in limited supply or when the presence of one species disturbs the other. The simple fact that space and forage resources are shared might or might not, however, constitute a negative interaction between cattle and elk.1 Studies in central Arizona2 found that although diet similarity was high in certain years and seasons, there was actually little inter-specific competition between cattle and elk overall. Factors such as scale, season, and forage availability influ- ence the likelihood and degree of competition. Overgrazing isdetrimentaltosustainedlivestockandwildlifeproductivity. Livestock grazing can, however, be applied to positively manipulate habitat for wildlife. A review by Krausman et al.3 cites a Montana case study in which a rotational cattle graz- ing system “maintained productive cover and forage for elk while enhancing native vegetation condition on all of the managed areas.” DOI: 10.2458/azu_rangelands_v34i1_tolleson
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangelands, a publication of the Society for Range Management, serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, and use of rangelands. The journal features scientific and historical articles as well as Society news. It provides readers with scientifically accurate information in a user-friendly format, placed in context of the world we live in today. Rangelands is a practical (non-technical) counterpart of Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management). The Global Rangelands collection includes articles from Rangelands up to 3 years from the current year. Access to more recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management and may also be available at your local university library. 
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