Date of Award:

1965

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Biology

Advisor/Chair:

Frederic H. Wagner

Abstract

This work describes the extent and pattern of some black-tailed jackrabbit (Lapus californicus) movements and areas of activity in northern Utah and their relationship to sex and age, and season of the year.

Black-tailed jackrabbits are the most common lagomorphs in much of the western United States, particularly in that vegetational association descibed by McDougal (1908) as the sagebrush desert. Furthermore, Adams and Adams (1959) have suggested a correlation between sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) incidence and jackrabbit density.

Farmers often regard this species as a liability because of its depredations on alfalfa (Medicago sativa), crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) and cultivated crops (Lewis, 1946). Ranchers claim that hares compete with grazing stock and Vorhies and Taylor (1933) found such competition in Arizona. On the other hand, jackrabbit hunting provides year-round sport in many western states.

If control or management of this species is necessary, movement information is essential, for Leopold (1933) stated: "Mobility of a species determines the minimum unit of management." Censuses and density indices are the yardsticks of success in game management. Movement is a determinant of density, and movement data provide insight into phenomena of population dynamics as well as management information.

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