Status and habitat use of California bighorn sheep on Hart Mountain, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/g732df875

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  • California bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis californiana) were studied on Hart Mountain, Oregon, during the summer and fall of 1976, and the spring of 1977. The population consisted of a minimum of 196 sheep in June, 1977. The high number of lambs observed and high lamb:ewe ratios throughout both years of the study indicated that the population was expanding rapidly. Sheep occupied about 85 percent of the length of the mountain; ewe-lamb groups occupied 25 percent. Both ewes and rainsoccurred on two distinct ranges during all seasons, and interchange of individuals between the two ranges was minimal during the study. Most rutting activity occurred during November. Lambs were born between mid-April and late May. Fifteen habitats within the ewe-lamb range were identified and sampled for plant species composition. A habitat preference value (HPV) was calculated for each habitat on Hart Mountain, based on use by ewe groups. Bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum) and big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) were the two most widely distributed plant species in the ewe-lamb range; Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) provided thegreatest amount of herbaceous cover. Daily activities of ewe groups centered around four contiguous bedding grounds and three principal feeding areas. Topography, as well as vegetational composition, appeared to influence the preference of ewes for certain locations, particularlyfor major cliff formations and adjacent feeding areas. Habitat factors unique to the present ewe-lamb range are discussed as possible determinants of its location.
  • California bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis californiana) were studied on Hart Mountain
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