Abstract

Across the western United States, most populations of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus canadensis) are managed through hunter harvest (Sandrey 1983). In hunted populations, human harvest is the leading source of mortality (Ballard 2000). With the exception of elk in national parks, populations are primarily managed through hunter harvest. Other sources of mortality include disease, automobile collisions, and predation from mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, and black bears (Childress 2003, Hornocker 1970). As a species of management concern and high economic value (Pickton 2008), hunted populations of elk are carefully managed to target population sizes to guarantee a sustainable supply and ensure available harvest in the future. Estimates of survival, an understanding of cause-specific mortality, and knowledge of high-risk harvest areas are essential to effective management strategies (Stussy 1994). In the first chapter, I examined habitat use of elk during the hunting season and determined habitat characteristics that best predicted vulnerability to harvest. In the second chapter, I calculated annual survival and determined cause-specific mortality of elk.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2019-03-01

Document Type

Thesis

Keywords

harvest vulnerability, hunters, survival, cause-specific mortality, habitat use, elk

Language

english

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

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