Seasonal Changes in the Home Range of the Antelope Jackrabbit (Lepus alleni)

Maria M. Altemus, John Koprowski, David E. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the face of climate change, more research is needed to understand how animals adjust to dynamic ecosystems. Seasonal environments offer a unique opportunity to observe how animals use the landscape in a fluctuating system. The antelope jackrabbit (Lepus alleni) is an understudied lagomorph found in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, USA and Mexico. Basic ecological information on this species is lacking beyond historical responses to rangeland conditions. Using radio telemetry, we collected data on home range size and seasonal ranges of antelope jackrabbits on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southcentral Arizona. Male and female antelope jackrabbit mean home range size differed slightly, though not significantly. Within a seasonal landscape of semidesert and Sonoran savanna grasslands, antelope jackrabbits seasonal range size did not change but the home range usage percentage differed across seasons and degree of interseason similarity was low. Antelope jackrabbit home ranges are comparable to range sizes reported for the widespread black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) as well as the closely related Tehuantepec jackrabbit (Lepus flavigularis). This study is the first to document antelope jackrabbit home range, and our results permit a better understanding of how these hares use the landscape in a complex arid environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalMammal Study
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Keywords

  • Arizona
  • hare
  • lagomorph
  • seasonality
  • spatial ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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