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|Degree||MS in NRES|
013 Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
- Presentation Type: Thesis Defense
- Date: 4/14/2017
Variation in hunter behavior within regulatory parameters has the potential to influence prey populations in evolutionary time by imposing selection and in ecological time by inducing changes in prey habitat use. When prey leave managed lands in response to hunting, the change in prey distribution may be suboptimal to both hunters and prey. To understand how hunting activity influences prey spatial decisions, we must first understand how hunting pressure becomes distributed in time and space. We assessed how transportation infrastructure, physical stress, variation in vegetation structure, land use on adjacent fields, and fine-scale pheasant distribution influenced hunter movement through public access hunting fields in southwest Nebraska. We found that hunter space use increased with increasing pheasant density and decreased with increasing distance from roads and public access hunting signs. Our results corroborate at a finer scale landscape studies of hunter movement suggesting that hunters are influenced by the distribution of infrastructure and prey. Our results further imply that conservation practitioners may be able to subtly manage fine-scale hunter behavior through the strategic placement of access infrastructure.
- 2017 – Meritorius Graduate Student awarded by School of Natural Resources, UNL
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