Great Plains Natural Science Society


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 39(1): March 2007, pp 49-53


Copyright © 2007 The Great Plains Natural Science Society


Much of the previous literature on pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) fawns has focused on fawn mortality (Beale 1978, Barrett 1984, Gregg et al. 2001) and social behavior (Kitchen 1974, Autenrieth and Fichter 1975, Bromley 1977). Selection of bed sites by pronghorn fawns is a major factor affecting fawn survival (Bromley 1978, Barrett 1981, O'Gara et al. 1986, VanSchmus 1990) because adequate cover is a crucial component of fawn bed site selection (Autenrieth 1984). Alldredge et al. (1991) reported that fawns selected dense shrub cover but avoided the most-dense cover in sagebrush-steppe communities in southcentral Wyoming while Tucker and Gamer (1983) noted that height and density of vegetation provided concealment cover to hiding fawns. Canon and Bryant (1997) also found density and height of vegetation to be factors affecting survival of fawns and suggested that increased grass and forb production provided necessary hiding cover for fawns. Bromley (1978) and Smith and Beale (1980) noted that fawns selected bed sites that offered the greatest opportunity for visual detection of predators rather than concealment The pronghorn was reintroduced into Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, i 1914 and thus, has been maintained within its boundaries for nearly a century However, no information is available on fawning habitat within Wind Cave National Park. The objective of our study was to quantity vegetative characteris tics of fawn bed sites throughout Wind Cave National Park.