Mammal Distribution Across Landscape Gradients
Only 40% of Northern Great Plains remain relatively intact. These extensive grasslands are managed by people and wildlife that occur within these working landscapes need to adapt and cope with landuse changes. Our study area is a working landscape that is mostly used for cattle ranching. The landscape was sliced up by miles of fences for rotational grazing. This management is a common practice that ensures cattle do not over graze the pastures. However, wildlife that need to roam throughout this space need to cope with movement barriers and competition with cattle for resources. How do wildlife move throughout this space? When do they utilize different resources? And do they need to compete with livestock for resources? These are some of my questions.
Over the past two years I established a large-scale camera trap survey, covering ~4000 km2 in Central Eastern Montana’s grassland. I deployed over 1300 cameras to learn about mammal space use throughout the study region. I’m now working on a couple of publications based on these data. But until the articles come out here is a descriptive summary of the sampling effort.