White-tailed deer


Title:  Differential Mortality of Resident, Emigrant, and Migrant Female White-tailed Deer.
Author(s): Kurt VerCauteren - USDA/APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center and Scott Hygnstrom - University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Year: 2001
Abstract: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in agricultural landscapes may establish permanent home ranges or move between summer and winter ranges. Differences in the fates of resident, emigrant, and migrant deer have implications for local management as well as population, metapopulation, and source/sink dynamics. We radiotracked 70 female white-tailed deer in the Missouri River Valley of Nebraska and Iowa, USA, from 1991 through 1998. Seventy percent of radiomarked deer were residents, 14% were emigrants, and 16% were migrants. Annual mortality rates for residents, emigrants, and migrants averaged 0.22 (SE = 0.00), 0.30 (SE = 0.02), and 0.39 (SE = 0.02), respectively. Human-related mortality factors (hunting, vehicles, and poaching) caused 85% of resident deaths, 100% of emigrant deaths, and 83% of migrant deaths. Residents and migrants were most likely to be killed by legal harvest while emigrants were most likely to be killed in collisions with vehicles. Local and landscape-scale population management may be facilitated by considering the various mortality factors and rates associated with the movement dispositions of deer. Managers may be able to reduce crop damage by timing local hunts to occur when primarily resident deer are available to be harvested by hunters. Management strategies to specifically target or protect residents, emigrants, or migrants will be proposed.

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