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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Supplemental feeding alters migration of a temperate ungulate

Published source details

Jones J.D., Kauffman M.J., Monteith K.L., Scurlock B.M., Albeke S.E. & Cross P.C. (2014) Supplemental feeding alters migration of a temperate ungulate. Ecological Applications, 24, 1769-1779


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide supplementary food to increase reproduction/survival Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2007–2013 in four forested mountain areas in Wyoming, USA (Jones et al. 2014) found that elk Cervus canadensis provided with supplementary food migrated shorter distances and spent less time on their summer feeding grounds than unfed elk. Elk provided with supplementary food in winter migrated shorter distances (35.4 km) than did unfed elk (54.6 km). Fed elk arrived at their summer range an average of five days later and left 10 days earlier than did unfed elk. More fed elk used stopover sites on spring (56% of elk) and autumn (49% of elk) migration than non-fed elk (48% and 42% of individuals). Two hundred and nineteen adult female elk were caught and fitted with GPS radio-collars between January and March 2007–2011 at 18 sites where supplementary food was provided and at four sites with no supplementary food. Sites were located in four mountain areas within elk winter ranges. Supplementary feeding began when elk started to congregate at feeding sites and ceased once most elk had departed. GPS locations were taken from the elk every 30–60 minutes, for 1–2 years. Fed and unfed elk were monitored for 164 and 116 elk-years, respectively. The precise number of fed and unfed elk monitored is not detailed.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)