Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Fisheries and Wildlife

Committee Chair(s)

Tom Bunch


Tom Bunch


I studied desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) behavior and habitat use in response to boating activities during 1985. The percent of total observed time in attention behavior before the boating season, during the boating season, and while riverboats were< 0.8 km from bighorn sheep groups was 1, 1.4, and 12.2, respectively. Estimated energy expenditure did not significantly differ for high riverboat pressures (2 > 0.2) or seasonal comparisons (2 > 0.1). Habitat use significantly differed for proximity to the river, which was probably related to the summer use of the river for drinking. Moderate, minor, and no responses to passing riverboats were observed 3, 39, and 58%, respectively. Responses to riverboats did not significantly differ according to time of day (2 > 0.15) or riverboat pressure (2 > 0.2).