Abstract

Title:  Comparisons of Dispersal and Excursion Events between Localized Populations of Urban and Rural White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Author(s): Garrett B. Clevinger - Ball State University; Jonathan K. Trudeau - Ball State University; Timothy C. Carter - Ball State University
Year: 2016
Abstract: In recent years, the movement patterns of urbanized populations of white-tailed deer (WTD) have become a major area of interest to both academic and professional wildlife organizations. Although a handful of studies have focused on the dispersal and temporary excursion events of either the urban or rural populations of this species, few if any have ever compared these parameters between both populations on a localized scale. By understanding the extent of seasonal movement between urban and rural populations of WTD within the same general area, wildlife biologists and other stakeholders gain valuable information in which to base management decisions for the benefit of both the herd and the impacted citizens. This study was conducted in three counties in southern Indiana: Morgan, Monroe, and Brown; with our urban study area in the city of Bloomington, Indiana. WTD were captured using drop nets or free-darted from a distance. WTD were then equipped with GPS or VHF collars and monitored using radio or satellite telemetry to obtain location data. From April-July 2015 a total of 21 WTD was captured consisting of 16 urban individuals and 5 rural individuals. Preliminary observations indicate an increase in average distance traveled (2.14 mi) from home ranges of rural WTD as opposed to that of urban WTD (0.93 mi). Our data also shows individuals traveling across multiple subsets of urbanity, which may suggest that the localized population is operating as an open system.

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