Population dynamics model to inform harvest management of a small elk herd in Central New Mexico

Ryan M DeVore, Matthew J Butler, Mark Wallace, Stewart G Liley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Crop depredation by wildlife is a frequent concern for natural resource managers and mitigation of this issue is often an important task for wildlife agencies. Elk Cervus elaphus and other ungulate species have depredated corn Zea mays at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA, interfering with the ability of the Refuge to provide sufficient supplemental nutrition to overwintering sandhill cranes Antigone canadensis and geese (Anatidae). We estimated annual adult survival and calf recruitment rates of elk from 2011 to 2013 at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Natural adult survival (excludes human-related mortalities) was high (mean ¼ 98.3%; 95% CI ¼ 95.0–100.0%). Calf recruitment was lower than in some populations, and ranged from 13.0 to 36.7 calves : 100 cows at time of recruitment (March and April) with a mean of 21.9 (SD ¼12.9). Using this information, we constructed a harvest management model to determine annual harvest quotas required to
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-544
JournalJournal of Fish and Wildlife Management
StatePublished - Sep 2018

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