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Habitat Selection by Feral Horses in the Alberta Foothills Open Access


Other title
Resource Selection
Akaiki Information Criteria (AIC)
Habitat Selection
Resource Selection Probability Functions
Feral Horses
Resource Selection Functions
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Bevan, Tisa L
Supervisor and department
Bork, Edward (Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Nielsen, Scott (Renewable Resources)
Irving, Barry (Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences)
Merrill, Evelyn (Biological Sciences)
Bork, Edward (Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Rangeland and Wildlife Resources
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Populations of feral horses have been increasing in the Alberta foothills and pose a concern to the conservation of native grasslands. Sustainable management of feral horses requires information on their habitat use. I utilized spatial data from radio-collared mares to assess seasonal habitat selection for two years beginning November of 2008. Field data were gathered to compare localized habitat use by feral horses, cattle and wild ungulates during summer. Grasslands were consistently selected while conifer forests avoided. Cutblocks were selected only in winter. Feral horse use of vegetation increased within open habitats and decreased with increased human disturbance (i.e. roads, trails and cutlines). Based on pellet surveys, horses use increased with disturbance, was positively related with cattle use, and more likely to occur in open habitat, but decreased with increasingly rugged terrain and greater wild ungulate use. Information provided by this study may necessitate changes to regional range management plans.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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