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Utah State University

Implications

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Social Organization And Decision Making In North American Bison: Implications For Management, Ryan A. Shaw May 2012

Social Organization And Decision Making In North American Bison: Implications For Management, Ryan A. Shaw

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Social organization varies widely among herbivores, and the level of social organization in bison is widely debated. I hypothesized that when mother-daughter relationships are allowed to develop, bison form long-term associations. In my study, 25 treatment mothers were selected from a free-ranging herd and kept together with their calves, while 25 control females had their calves forcefully removed. Treatment mothers and offspring had by far the greatest number of associations with a greater percentage of individuals with a half weight index (HWI) > 0.50. The strongest associations (HWI > 0.31) were among treatment mothers and their offspring. Moreover, these associations ...