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dc.contributor.authorBryan, Travis S.
dc.date.accessioned2020-05-21T17:59:33Z
dc.date.available2020-05-21T17:59:33Z
dc.date.issued2018-02
dc.identifier.urihttp://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/80140
dc.descriptionThe chapters of this thesis were written and designed following the submission guidelines of the Journal of Wildlife Management, and therefore, strict adherence to the thesis submission guidelines was not followed and the duplication material and citations within each chapter was intentional.en_US
dc.description.abstractCHAPTER ONE: One of 6 subspecies of elk (Cervus canadensis), the eastern elk (C. c. canadensis), once ranged throughout the majority of Wisconsin, but local elk populations were extirpated by the late 1800s. The reintroduction of elk has been an important tool in restoring extirpated populations to their historical range, and we studied the post-release movements of elk reintroduced to Wisconsin from 2015-2017. Elk were captured near Stoney Fork, Kentucky and transported to Jackson County, Wisconsin. Adult elk were fitted with GPS collars to collect spatial data. Our objective was to identify elk resource home range and release site fidelity patterns for one year post-release. Twenty-three elk were released on August 20, 2015, and 50 elk were released on July 11, 2016. To assess release site fidelity, maximum distances traveled were determined for multiple time periods post-release, and data analysis regarding home range size was conducted using time scaled local convex hull. Maximum distance traveled from the release site was stable between days 1 – 90 post-release but increased substantially between days 91 -365. Adult elk traveled further distances from the release site than yearlings, and maternal females remained closer to the release site compared to males and females without calves. Home range sizes decreased days 1 – 90 post-release but increased between days 91 -365. The effect of age on elk home range sizes was minimal between adults and yearlings. Maternal females and females without offspring had similar range sizes, whereas male home range size was larger than females. Elk initially departed the release site making exploratory movements, and then established home ranges while including previously used habitat. For ungulate reintroductions to be successful, release site fidelity is critical for maintaining initial herd growth, continued reproductive success, and mitigating human-wildlife conflict. Future reintroduction efforts should encourage elk to remain near the release site. CHAPTER TWO: One of 6 subspecies of elk (Cervus canadensis), the eastern elk (C. c. canadensis), once ranged throughout the majority of Wisconsin, but local elk populations were extirpated by the late 1800s. The reintroduction of elk has been an important tool in restoring extirpated populations to their historical range, and we studied the post-release movements of elk reintroduced to Wisconsin from 2015-2017. Elk were captured near Stoney Fork, Kentucky and transported to Jackson County, Wisconsin. Adult elk were fitted with GPS collars to collect spatial data. Twenty-three elk were released on August 20, 2015, and 50 elk were released on July 11, 2016. Our objective was to identify elk resource selection patterns during one year post-release. We used resource selection function models (RSF) to identify resources that elk preferred. Reintroduced elk selected for a suite of vegetation cover types, but they consistently selected against the cranberry, shrubland, wetland, and open water habitats. They preferred sloped terrain and selected for aspects that provided for thermoregulatory advantages as seasons changed. Elk initially avoided roads, but as time progressed, elk often utilized resources near major roads and human development. Overall, elk did not avoid wolf activity centers, but they selected against them during the time period that coincided with winter. We recommend selecting release sites near high quality resources. The addition of supplement resources, such as food plots, provide an immediate source of high quality forage. Implementing multiple food plots near release sites will help decrease predation risk where wolves are present. Elk often use agricultural areas which may cause conflict with agriculture producers, and management actions may be needed to mitigate these conflicts. Where elk congregate near roads, signs warning motorist of the presence of elk would be prudent.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resourcesen_US
dc.titleIdentifying Home Range, Release Site Fidelity and Resource Selection Patterns of a Reintroduced Elk (Cervus canadensis) Herd: Jackson County, Wisconsinen_US
dc.title.alternativeIDENTIFYING HOME RANGE AND RELEASE SITE FIDELITY PATTERNS OF A REINTRODUCED ELK HERD: JACKSON COUNTY, WISCONSINen_US
dc.title.alternativeIDENTIFYING RESOURCE SELECTION PATTERNS OF A REINTRODUCED ELK HERD: JACKSON COUNTY, WISCONSINen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US


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