Response of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) to wind-power development

W. David Walter, David M. Leslie, Jonathan A. Jenks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wind-power development is occurring throughout North America, but its effects on mammals are largely unexplored. Our objective was to determine response (i.e., home-range, diet quality) of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) to wind-power development in southwestern Oklahoma. Ten elk were radiocollared in an area of wind-power development on 31 March 2003 and were relocated bi-weekly through March 2005. Wind-power construction was initiated on 1 June 2003 and was completed by December 2003 with 45 active turbines. The largest composite home range sizes (>80 km2) occurred April-June and September, regardless of the status of wind-power facility development. The smallest home range sizes (<50 km2) typically occurred in October-February when elk aggregated to forage on winter wheat. No elk left the study site during the study and elk freely crossed the gravel roads used to access the wind-power facility. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes and percent nitrogen in feces suggested that wind-power development did not affect nutrition of elk during construction. Although disturbance and loss of some grassland habitat was apparent, elk were not adversely affected by wind-power development as determined by home range and dietary quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-375
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume156
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

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wind power
Cervus elaphus nelsoni
Cervus elaphus
elks
mountain
home range
nutritional adequacy
range size
turbines
nitrogen isotope
nitrogen
gravel
feces
turbine
carbon isotope
winter wheat
forage
roads
nutrition
isotopes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Walter, W. David ; Leslie, David M. ; Jenks, Jonathan A. / Response of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) to wind-power development. In: American Midland Naturalist. 2006 ; Vol. 156, No. 2. pp. 363-375.
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Response of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) to wind-power development. / Walter, W. David; Leslie, David M.; Jenks, Jonathan A.

In: American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 156, No. 2, 10.2006, p. 363-375.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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