Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, MSC 218, Kingsville, Texas, United States 78363
- Key words: livestock, wildlife, hunting, rangelands, North America
- Page(s) : 371-6
- Published in: 2006
Direct impacts of livestock grazing on wildlife depend largely on stocking rate, climate, and soils. Vegetation responses to herbivory vary across environmental gradients and gradients of grazing pressure. Livestock grazing may increase plant species diversity and densities of animal species that require patchy habitats with short vegetation in humid bioclimatic zones. Conversely, moderate grazing intensities may reduce plant species diversity and wildlife densities in semiarid habitats. Livestock grazing, when used as a habitat manipulation tool, is very wildlife species-specific in its benefits. Grazing may have indirect negative effects on certain wildlife species, particularly large predators subject to control efforts and ungulates such as pronghorns (Antilocapra americana) whose movements are inhibited by fencing. Wildlife-associated recreation, including hunting, is growing in economic importance in North America. Integration of livestock production, wildlife management, and range management will become increasingly important on rangelands of the western United States.