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1 June 2006 MOVEMENTS, CONNECTIVITY, AND RESOURCE SELECTION OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP
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Abstract

Species that exist in naturally fragmented subpopulations can maintain long-term viability through interpopulation connectivity and recolonization of suitable habitat. We used radiotelemetry to study movements of 3 herds of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) that recently colonized previously unoccupied parts of western Montana. These herds also provided a unique opportunity to compare resource-selection patterns in newly colonized habitats, and we used logistic regression in a global information system framework to generate predictive models for females in each herd. We detected relatively long (19- to 33-km) extra–home range movements by males in all 3 herds, and connectivity with nearby bighorn and domestic sheep herds. An information-theoretic approach to model selection revealed greater differences in resource selection among herds than anticipated. Initial evaluation of resource-selection models by resubstituting data showed excellent predictive accuracy (P ≤ 0.002), but testing models across sites gave mixed results, and in many cases, poor fit (0.001 ≤ P ≤ 0.960). High vagility of males and variability in resource selection by females suggests increased potential for future recolonization and connectivity.

Nicholas J. DeCesare and Daniel H. Pletscher "MOVEMENTS, CONNECTIVITY, AND RESOURCE SELECTION OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP," Journal of Mammalogy 87(3), 531-538, (1 June 2006). https://doi.org/10.1644/05-MAMM-A-259R1.1
Accepted: 1 November 2005; Published: 1 June 2006
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