Seasonal Movements and Home Ranges of White-Tailed Deer in the Adirondacks

Journal of Wildlife Management (Impact Factor: 1.73). 07/1985; 49(3):760-769. DOI: 10.2307/3801708
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    • "However, population density is not always monotonically related to habitat quality such that areas with higher population density equate to areas with higher habitat quality (VanHorne 1983). In highly philopatric species, such as Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman (White-tailed Deer, hereafter Deer), it has been suggested that population density and home-range size are directly related (Kilpatrick et al. 2001, Tiersen et al. 1985). These discrepancies in hypothesized relationships make it difficult to predict the relationship between population density and home-range patterns in any individual population. "
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    ABSTRACT: Management strategies designed to reduce the negative impacts of overabundant Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) populations on forest regeneration may be influenced by changes in both population density and timber harvest. However, there is conflicting evidence as to how such changes in per capita resource availability influence home-range patterns. We compared home-range patterns of 33 female White-tailed Deer from a low-density population at a site with abundant browse to patterns of a sample of >100 females prior to a 75% reduction in population density and a doubling in timber harvest area. Home-range and core-area sizes were approximately 3 times larger than were found prior to population decline and timber harvest increase, consistent with predictions related to intraspecific competition. We also observed greater site fidelity than previously exhibited, although this may be an artifact of increased home-range sizes. Our results support previous research suggesting that White-tailed Deer home-range size is inversely related to population density and is driven, in part, by intraspecific competition for resources. Relationships among population density, resource availability, and home-range patterns among female White-tailed Deer appear to be complex and context specific.
    Northeastern Naturalist 06/2015; 22(2):403-412. DOI:10.1656/045.022.0215 · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    • "Uncertainty was also larger in our study compared with the meta-analytic results of Brei et al.[12], perhaps because we addressed model selection uncertainty and did not treat co-located stations or transects as statistically independent samples. Large deer home range size may reduce statistical independence of our study sites, but is considered less than 1.6 km in radius within seasons and possibly decreases in areas of high deer density (reviewed in [22]; also see [23]). Distances between our treated and control sites were always at least twice this radius, but note that any violation of the independence assumption would mean that our uncertainty estimate (i.e., the width of confidence limits in Figure 3) is too low and differences between our results and those of the USDA study may be even larger than what we have reported here. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The use of animal host-targeted pesticide application to control blacklegged ticks, which transmit the Lyme disease bacterium between wildlife hosts and humans, is receiving increased attention as an approach to Lyme disease risk management. Included among the attractive features of host-targeted approaches is the reduced need for broad-scale pesticide usage. In the eastern USA, one of the best-known of these approaches is the corn-baited “4-poster” deer feeding station, so named because of the four pesticide-treated rollers that surround the bait troughs. Wildlife visitors to these devices receive an automatic topical application of acaricide, which kills attached ticks before they can reproduce. We conducted a 5-year controlled experiment to estimate the effects of 4-poster stations on tick populations in southeastern Massachusetts, where the incidence of Lyme disease is among the highest in the USA. Methods We deployed a total of forty-two 4-posters among seven treatment sites and sampled for nymph and adult ticks at these sites and at seven untreated control sites during each year of the study. Study sites were distributed among Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. The density of 4-poster deployment was lower than in previous 4-poster studies and resembled or possibly exceeded the levels of effort considered by county experts to be feasible for Lyme disease risk managers. Results Relative to controls, blacklegged tick abundance at treated sites was reduced by approximately 8.4%, which is considerably less than in previous 4-poster studies. Conclusions In addition to the longer duration and greater replication in our study compared to others, possible but still incomplete explanations for the smaller impact we observed include the lower density of 4-poster deployment as well as landscape and mammalian community characteristics that may complicate the ecological relationship between white-tailed deer and blacklegged tick populations.
    Parasites & Vectors 06/2014; 7(1):292. DOI:10.1186/1756-3305-7-292 · 3.43 Impact Factor
    • "Culling can be an effective bTB management strategy (Corner 2007, Livingstone et al. 2009, Carstensen and DonCarlos 2011), but application is often not straightforward (McDonald et al. 2008, White et al. 2008). Because white-tailed deer exhibit high site fidelity to summer range (Verme 1973, Tierson et al. 1985, Van Deelen et al. 1998, Nelson and Mech 1999), reduced density created by culling would not likely expand or shift home ranges of adjacent deer. To date, culling has not been seriously considered in Michigan (O'Brien et al. 2006, 2011b), presumably because of public opposition (Dorn and Mertig 2005), and the low rate of cattle herd infections (O'Brien et al. 2011a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) caused by Mycobacterium bovis infection in Michigan white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) has proven resistant to current management practices. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is faced with managing a protracted bTB outbreak with shrinking economic resources, its initial control strategies approaching, or having reached, the limits of their effectiveness. Planning tools are needed to project the outbreak's future course and forecast the likely outcomes of proposed controls. We describe development of a spatially explicit, individual-based stochastic simulation model of bTB in Michigan white-tailed deer. We sought to 1) characterize whether eradication of bTB is possible by increasing hunter harvest or via vaccination, and how long it is likely to take to achieve eradication; 2) characterize the effect of concurrent deer baiting; and 3) assess the effect of baiting on the probability of bTB establishment in uninfected areas. Simulations indicated that current MDNR management strategies are unlikely to eradicate bTB from the core outbreak area's deer population within the next 30 years. A 50–100% increase (over current rates) of both antlered and antlerless deer harvest was required to achieve eradication if baiting was occurring, compared to only a 50% increase in harvest required if baiting was eliminated. Vaccination strategies required frequent application and high exposure rates (>90%) to achieve eradication, which baiting delayed. Simulations indicated that if bTB was eradicated from the core outbreak area, a single infected deer introduced into the area would be 8 times more likely to re-establish bTB if baiting was occurring. The ability to forecast likely outcomes of disease management can be critical for wildlife managers to assess whether specific strategies are likely to be successful. Because current policy appears unlikely to achieve the stated goal of eradicating bTB from Michigan in the foreseeable future, reorienting the bTB program from eradication to controlling geographic spread and transmission to cattle may be more realistic goals. Spatial models such as ours are ideally suited to investigating spatial heterogeneity of disease transmission, and how transmission is influenced by aggregating factors such as baiting or supplemental feeding. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.
    Journal of Wildlife Management 02/2014; 78(2). DOI:10.1002/jwmg.656 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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