Bison grazing patterns on seasonally burned tallgrass prairie

  • Published source details Coppedge B.R. & Shaw J.H. (1998) Bison grazing patterns on seasonally burned tallgrass prairie. Journal of Range Management, 51, 258-264.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning

    A study in 1993–1995 of a prairie site in Oklahoma, USA (Coppedge & Shaw 1998) found that burned areas were selected for grazing by mixed age and sex bison Bison bison groups but were avoided by mature bull groups. Burned areas were selected in a higher proportion than their availability by mixed groups during 23% of observations and avoided during 13%. Unburned areas were selected in 0% of observations and avoided in 63%. Burned areas were selected by bull groups in 4% of observations, and avoided in 46%. Unburned areas were selected in 29% of observations, and avoided in 14%. Three hundred bison were reintroduced into a 1,973-ha study area in October 1993. The area was expanded by 292 ha in 1995. Controlled burns were carried out five times between September 1993 and December 1995. Bison usage of burned and unburned areas was surveyed 4–12 times/month in 1994 and 1995. Herds were generally mature (>5 year-old) bulls and mixed groups of cows, calves and younger bulls.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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