Study

Sex-specific responses of North American elk to habitat manipulation

  • Published source details Long R.A., Rachlow J.L. & Kie J.G. (2009) Sex-specific responses of North American elk to habitat manipulation. Journal of Mammalogy, 90, 423-432.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees to reduce wildfire risk

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Use prescribed burning

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Thin trees to reduce wildfire risk

    A replicated, controlled study in 2005–2006 in a coniferous forest in Oregon, USA (Long et al. 2009) found that thinning followed by prescribed burning did not increase use of areas by North American elk Cervus canadensis, in most season, stand age and sex comparisons. Thinning and burning were carried out on the same plots, so their influences could not be separated. In spring, female elk used plots burned two and three years previously, proportionally to their availability, preferentially selected 4-year-old burns, and avoided 5-year-old burns. They showed no preference for thinned and burned plots in summer. Male elk did not show preference for any thinned and burned plots, relative to their availability, in spring or summer. Stands not thinned and burned were avoided by females and selected by males in spring. In summer they were selected by females and males showed no preference. Data all presented as selection ratios. In 2001–2004, twenty-six forest stands (average 26 ha) were thinned between May and October, followed by prescribed burning during September or October of either the same or the following year. Twenty-seven similar stands (average size 55 ha) were not thinned or burned. Eighteen female and five male elk were radio-collared in spring 2005 with 30 female and nine male elk radio-collared in spring 2006. Locations were recorded automatically, within 1 hour of sunset or sunrise.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Use prescribed burning

    A replicated, controlled study in 2005–2006 in a coniferous forest site in Oregon, USA (Long et al. 2009) found that thinning, followed by prescribed burning was associated with mixed effects on use by North American elk Cervus canadensis, depending on season, stand age and sex. Thinning and burning were carried out on the same plots, so their influences could not be separated. Female elk used plots burned two and three years previously, proportionally to their availability, preferentially selected 4-year-old burns, and avoided 5-year-old burns. Male elk spent less time in all burned plots relative to their availability (data presented as selection ratios). In 2001–2003, twenty-six forest stands (average 26 ha) were thinned between May and October, followed by prescribed fire during September or October of either the same or the following year. Twenty-seven similar stands (average 55 ha) were not thinned or burned. Radio-collars were fitted on 18 female and five male elk in spring 2005, and 30 female and nine male elk in spring 2006. Locations were recorded automatically, within 1 hour of sunset or sunrise.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust