Distribution and behavior of cattle grazing riparian pastures Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2j62s835s

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  • One second GPS collars were deployed on cattle in three different pastures at three separate times during the year. In each riparian pasture the vegetative communities and stream bank edge were digitally mapped using low elevation aerial photographs and checked in the field for accuracy. A 5 m buffer zone was established on the outside of both stream banks to analyze steam bank edge. The Animal Movement Classification Tool (Johnson et al. 2009) was used to split the one second data into 24 hour periods and movement was determined by pre determined settings. The herd day (5 cattle) one second point files were overlaid with this map and amount of time spent was determined for each community or zone. Analysis was done to determine the type of movement done in each community (moving vs. stationary and 1st half vs 2nd half of trial). One typical day for each pasture was analyzed to show the movement of a cow for that day. Other descriptive analyses were used to explain cattle crossings. In all three pastures the cattle did not move evenly throughout the pastures. Cattle always preferred to rest in areas that were dry and open. Cattle were stationary for more than 50% of the time in each pasture and had a consistent resting period from about dark until 4:00 a.m. Stationary locations (stationary > 10 minutes) were found to be relatively well distributed within these areas. Interaction with the stream was found to be 1-2% of total occupancy. Cattle were either neutral in preference or avoided these areas relative to their acreage and a majority of the time spent in these areas was spent moving not resting. Cattle did not prefer to be in the stream bank zone in any pasture relative to their acreage. The stream bank zone was used as a travel corridor to get to and from the stream to drink or cross.
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