Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    Despite several studies that demonstrate general responses of elk (Cervus elaphus) to roads and people, land management agencies continue to struggle with management of offhighway vehicles, recreation, and roads. The Black Hills National Forest has a greater road density (3.2 km/km2) than any other national forest. We used Global Positioning System (GPS) telemetry collars to quantify responses of elk to human activity by quantifying their movements during the 2000 and 2001 big game hunting seasons in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Three hunting seasons, 1 month each, occurred consecutively from 1 September to 30 November and included limited entry archery elk, limited entry firearm elk, and limited entry firearm deer (Odocoileus spp.). We used the number of licenses issued times the average days hunters were in the field to quantify human activity. Average distance/hr between successive locations increased during the 10-day interval that began on the opening date of the archery elk season (P < 0.10) compared to the previous 10 days in late August. Movements by elk following the opening of the firearm elk season were similar to those during the last 10 days of September, but greater (P < 0.10) than movements during the last 10 days of August. Elk movements during 10 days after the opening of the firearm deer season (1 November) were greater (P < 0.05) than both the last 10 days of August and the last 10 days of October. Movements increased on the opening weekends of hunting seasons and the day after Thanksgiving, which is a traditional day for hunting deer in the Black Hills. Individual animals selected habitats differently (P < 0.01) but also selected (P < 0.10) habitats different from those available within 500 m of locations for each 10-day interval only from 22 August through 31 October. Elk dispersion patterns relative to roads varied with the hunting season. During the archery season, elk were closer to primary and secondary roads than before the season. During the firearm elk and firearm deer seasons, elk moved away from primary and secondary roads. Based on foraging models, elk may require 0.5 hr of additional foraging time to accommodate greater movements resulting from human activity. In light of an increased demand for outdoor recreational opportunities, our study provided additional support for land management agencies to develop travel management policies that provide elk with areas of little human disturbance.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Rumble, Mark A .; Benkobi, Lakhdar; Gamo, R. Scott 2005. Elk responses to humans in a densely roaded area. Intermountain Journal of Sciences. 11(1-2): 10-24.

    Keywords

    Black Hills, Cervus elaphus, elk, GPS telemetry, habitat selection, human activity, off-road vehicles, road density, South Dakota

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page