The focus of the Livestock/Wildlife Relationships Program on the use of cattle grazing to manipulate plant species composition on habitats, including the use of cattle grazing and prescribed burning to reduce invasive species such as guineagrass, from this study we concluded prescribed fire and cattle grazing can reduce the density of guinea grass and increase native plants species richness by over 300%. Long term research to evaluate cattle grazing effects on deer preferred forbs is being conducted across south Texas in different soils and plant communities and to determine the diet overlap among cattle, nilgai and white-tailed deer under different conditions of forage availability.
Additionally, we are conducting long term research to evaluate the effect prescribed fire and cattle grazing on tanglehead monocultures. In this study we are determining the value of prescribed fire to increase the preference of cattle for tanglehead and the value of cattle grazing to reduce tanglehead populations and increase of valuable native plants for cattle and wildlife.
Cattle and wildlife disease research results have been groundbreaking, we were the first ones to report the presence of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina in white-tailed deer, nilgai, and fallow deer. This is a very important finding since these disease agents are the ones causing cattle tick fever which is lethal for cattle. The practical implications of these findings include the reconsideration of health management programs in areas were these wildlife species coexist with cattle.