Great Plains Natural Science Society
Date of this Version
The Prairie Naturalist· 41(3/4): December 2009, pp 100-109
We evaluated pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) fawn bedding site characteristics on a prairie and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) landscape interface in Custer State Park, South Dakota. We radio-marked 16 adult female pronghorn and collected bed site information from their fawns during 2007~2008. We compared bed site selection with random sites (n = 74) during 2 periods; the early hiding phase when fawns were 1 ~28 days of age (n = 23 bed sites) and the later group phase when fawns were 29~60 days of age (n = 52 bed sites). During the hiding phase fawns selected dry prairie-seminatural mixed grassland at the course-scale level; group phase fawns selected prairie dog (Cynomys ludoviciana) dominated grasslands and dry prairie-seminatural mixed grassland at the course-scale. Evaluation at the fine-scale indicated fawns during the group phase period selected bed sites that had greater forb cover and overs tory canopy cover of ponderosa pine trees compared to random sites. Management activities that promote a dynamic grassland ecosystem with patches of forb cover may enhance resources selected as bedding habitat by pronghorn fawns during the group phase period.
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