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Use Pattern Mapping


written by Karen Colson and Jason Karl

Description and Uses

Use Pattern Mapping involves mapping areas for proportions of the annual production that has been consumed or destroyed by animals. This qualitative method helps to establish key areas, identify distribution problems and solutions (areas that are underused, overused, and properly used), develop objectives and grazing plans, locate range improvements, and make adjustments in management plans.

Mapping use patterns involves traversing the management unit (allotment, pasture etc.) to obtain a general concept of utilization patterns. When mapping use zones, use classes need to be identified. These classes are chosen based on need. Typically the seven class delineation described in the Keys Species Method (0-5%, 6-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%,81-94%, 95-100%) or a three class delineation (0-40%, 41-60%, 61-100%) are used.

This method can help managers determine whether or not the grazing plan is effective by identifing the relative extent of areas underused, overused, and properly used. However, when problem areas are identified, other qualitative or quantitative methods should be employed to determine the cause.

Advantages and Limitations

Use patterns typically do not fluctuate significantly from year to year unless there have been some modification made to the grazing system (i.e., number of days area is used by animals, season of use, water locations, salt or fence locations); therefore, it is not necessary to map use every year unless a management change has occurred.

Use pattern mapping is very helpful for tracking the progress and impacts of range improvements and management changes.

This method can help managers determine whether or not the grazing plan is effective by identifing the relative extent of areas underused, overused, and properly used. However, when problem areas are identified, other qualitative or quantitative methods should be employed to determine the cause.

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field_methods/use_pattern_mapping.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/08 15:48 by jgillan