Study

Shrub-grassland small mammal and vegetation responses to rest from grazing

  • Published source details Rosenstock S.S. (1996) Shrub-grassland small mammal and vegetation responses to rest from grazing. Journal of Range Management, 49, 199-203.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce intensity of grazing by domestic livestock

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Reduce intensity of grazing by domestic livestock

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Reduce intensity of grazing by domestic livestock

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1989–1991 of shrub grassland in a national park in Utah, USA (Rosenstock 1996) found that reducing grazing intensity by excluding cattle from small enclosures did not increase small mammal abundance or species richness. Small mammal abundance in ungrazed enclosures (1.9 individuals/100 trap-nights) did not significantly differ from that in grazed areas (2.3 individuals/100 trap-nights). Small mammal species richness in enclosures (1.5 species/trap grid) did not significantly differ from that in grazed areas (1.6 species/trap grid). Cattle were excluded from four enclosures, three for six years prior to the study and one for 38 years. Enclosures measured 0.1–0.8 ha. Grazing outside enclosures was by 1,500 Animal Units (equivalent to a cow and suckling calf) across 35,499 ha in October–May. Small mammals were sampled in grids of Sherman live traps, one grid inside each enclosure. An identical grid was sampled simultaneously >500 m away from each enclosure. Grids were trapped for four consecutive days, between 1 May and 31 June. Three enclosures were sampled annually in 1989–1991, and one in 1990–1991.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Reduce intensity of grazing by domestic livestock

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1990 of shrub grassland at eight sites in two national parks in Utah, USA (Rosenstock 1996) found that reducing grazing intensity by excluding cattle from areas of grassland increased small mammal abundance and species richness. Small mammal abundance in ungrazed sites (1.8 individuals/100 trap-nights) was higher than in grazed sites (1.0 individuals/100 trap-nights). Small mammal species richness in ungrazed sites (1.5 species/site) was higher than in grazed sites (1.0 species/site). Eight sites were sampled; four ungrazed for ≥30 years and four in a region grazed by 1,500 Animal Units (equivalent to a cow and suckling calf) across 35,499 ha in October–May. All sites were on large (≥ 100 ha) areas of shrub-grassland and were selected to match geological and soil characteristics. Each site was sampled using a grid of Sherman live traps, for four consecutive days, between 1 May and 31 June 1990.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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