CARNIVORE AND UNGULATE RESPONSE TO LIVESTOCK IN A GRAZED FOREST ECOSYSTEM
|Rebecca L Carniello; Humboldt State University; firstname.lastname@example.org; Micaela Szykman Gunther
Livestock grazing is one of the most widespread influences on native ecosystems of western North America. Research on the impacts of livestock on carnivores and ungulates varies, and the degree to which wildlife are affected is often species-specific. We used remote trail cameras to compare the activity patterns of black bear (Ursus americanus), coyote (Canis latrans), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in areas with and without cattle grazing before, during, and after the grazing period in northeastern California. Activity patterns of black bears were minimally affected, while bobcats, coyotes, and mule deer demonstrated a shift in activity. Mule deer and coyotes detected in grazing allotments had greater activity overlap with cattle, while bobcats detected in grazing allotments had less activity overlap with cattle. Cattle were found to be most active in the morning, dusk, and night. These findings suggest that carnivores and ungulates display varying levels of sensitivity and behavioral plasticity in response to the presence of cattle.