Grazing patterns of bison vs. cattle in response to management strategies designed to improve habitat for Species at Risk
It is well established that livestock producers are effective land stewards and contribute to high productivity and wildlife habitat on grazed lands. The effectiveness of many management practices are established, but uncertainty remains, particularly in interactions between practices at large-scales. We propose to track grazing patterns of bison and cattle using GPS collars at the Nature Conservancy of Canadas (NCC) Old Man on His Back Conservation Area (OMB) in response to various strategies (e.g. burning, fencing, weed control) over 3 years at multiple scales of observation (e.g. ground, aerial photos, satellite). This is a unique opportunity for industry, NCC, and researchers to collaborate on large-scale tests of grazing practices. These practices will be evaluated in terms of grassland productivity and health, species at risk habitat quality, and economic viability. This will provide NCC, livestock producers and other stakeholders clear guidelines to meet government regulations and enhance economic and environmental sustainability.