Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Predation is one of the most important interspecies interactions that affect a wildlife population. Predator-prey interactions may cause species to shift their behavior, such as changing the use of their habitat in both space and time, based on their ability to assess risk. Wildlife population responses to predation stresses have been studied in the past, but individuals' responses to these stresses have not been studied in fine detail. For this study, cow elk were collared with GPS collars, and hunters carried hand-held GPS units. GPS locations were taken at 10-minute intervals for both cow elk and hunters during the hunting season. The data collected permitted a comparison of the effects of hunting different species and sexes on cow elk predation response. Overall, the data showed that cow elk respond directly to hunting pressure. Cow elk showed a strong reaction to hunting pressure during the cow elk hunt, which depended on the distance from hunters. Cow elk appeared to interpret and mitigate risk when they were being hunted.
McBride, Randall, "Spatial-Temporal Responses of Cow Elk to Targeted and Non-Targeted Hunting Risk" (2022). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 8551.
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