Are home range sizes constant at all times of year?

Are home range sizes constant at all times of year?

Over winter, hind home ranges are similar in size to those over calving and they continue to prefer pasture areas, followed by tussock, and then scrub areas (Fig 11).

 hind vegetation type prefs early-mid winter

Figure 11: Hind core occupancy area (COA) vegetation usage in early-mid winter prior to being given access to a kale fodder crop break-fed at the base of the hill paddock.

Home ranges change under supplementary feeding regimes.

When given access to additional high quality feed, hinds significantly reduce the total area of the paddock inhabited, by avoiding some of the steepest topography and densest vegetation in the paddock (Fig 12) and reducing their use of tussock and scrub areas (Fig 13).  

Stocking paddocks to the appropriate level relative to the pasture/forage supply available may help protect desirable plants (e.g. tussocks) that are sensitive to grazing or browsing – deer will preferably graze the most nutritious and easily digestible herbage.

 Whiterock areas avoided mid to late winter even when kale crop available

Figure 12: Areas of the Whiterock Station study paddock not used by breeding hinds in mid-late winter while being break-fed a kale fodder crop located at the base of the paddock.

 area by veg type occupied by hinds mid-late winter after kale provided

 Figure 13: Hind core occupancy area (COA) vegetation usage in mid-late winter after getting additional access to a kale fodder crop that was break-fed at the base of the hill paddock.