Free water is considered important to wildlife in arid regions. In the western United States, thousands of water developments have been built to benefit wildlife in arid landscapes. Agencies and researchers have yet to clearly demonstrate their effectiveness. We combined a spatial analysis of summer chukar (Alectoris chukar) covey locations with dietary composition analysis in western Utah. Our specific objectives were to determine if chukars showed a spatial pattern that suggested association with free water in four study areas and to document summer dietary moisture content in relation to average distance from water. The observed data for the Cedar Mountains study area fell within the middle of the random mean distance to water distribution suggesting no association with free water. The observed mean distance to water for the other three areas was much closer than expected compared to a random spatial process, suggesting the importance of free water to these populations...
- free water