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Starkey Project : history facilities, and data collection methods for ungulate research Public Deposited

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  • In the 1980s, resource managers were increasingly concerned about effects of timber harvest on ungulates in National Forests. Land and resource management plans incorporated restrictions on timber harvest to maintain cover for Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni V. Bailey) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus Rafinesque), and habitat models were used to predict effectiveness of various habitat components for these ungulates. Many of the assumptions of which these models were based were untested, however. The Starkey Project, in northeastern Oregon, was begun to address some of these issues through manipulative experiments in a landscape representative of inland National Forests in the West. A 25,000-acre (10 125-ha) area was surrounded with game-proof fencing to support studies on elk, mule deer, and cattle (Bos taurus). A newly developed telemetry system, using loran-C (long rangenavigation-C) signals, tracks distribution of the three species in relation to common land management activities and habitat variables. Four primary research projects are under way; animal-unit equivalencies, intensive timber management, effects of roads and traffic, and breeding efficiency of bull elk.
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