White-tailed deer


Title:  Deer research needs and ideas: summary of an informal discussion.
Author(s): Downing, R. L.
Year: 1977
Abstract: Bob drew a "wildlife decision tree" on the blackboard and asserted that 95 percent of our past research efforts have been devoted to the bottom step, basic sampling and analysis of various biological phenomena. What is also badly needed, Bob says, is research on how many and what kinds of data are most urgently needed to 1) reach the proper interpretations of related data, 2) proper recommendations for the herd, and 3) gain the acceptance and support of the people who count, such as chiefs of game, commissioners, and ultimately, the public. At each step up the "decision tree" there are outside influences, often non-biological, which may alter decisions. Because of these influences and the differing backgrounds and biological training of the people involved in the various steps of the decision-making process, different biological data, presented in a different way, may be needed to reach successive limbs of the decision tree. Bob contends that the task of determining what data to collect, how to interpret them, and how to present them is large enough to occupy several researchers for their entire careers. Bob then presented his ideas on how to begin this research effort. Bob has little hope of doing this work himself, and he hopes that others will take the idea and run with it. The first step is to determine how many data, of what kinds, are needed by the biologist to reach the proper interpretations and recommendations. The next step, from the biologist to his chief, might not involve the original data but might require an easier-to-understand interpretation and summary. What kinds of data are stressed, how they are presented and what kinds of outside influences there are (see blackboard) will determine how successful the biologist is in "sellingn this to his chief.

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