Bison Movement Ecology

I study fine scale movement patterns and behavior of individual bison in relation to pasture size, herd size and other landcover gradients. Understanding bison grazing patterns will inform land managers how best to preserve and restore grassland heterogeneity. I will describe bison habitat use and resource selection using GPS collar data and by adding a behavioral component to resource selection functions using accelerometer data. Connecting behavior and location will help us determine how bison use different patch types across the landscape beyond just presence or absence. Behavior and movement will be related to pastures size, water, vegetation structure and cover. Other aspects that interest is what are the seasonal changes in movement patterns? And how does micro-climate changes induce movements.

Featured are movements of nine bison were tagged April 2019. Here are their movement within a 110 Km2. Animals across Sun Prairie Pasture have moved 86.56 Km (on average) over the past during February 2020. Average distance moved by animals across Sun Prairie over the entire tracking period is 1702.15 Km.

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