Abstract

Title:  Seasonal changes in white-tailed deer activity areas.
Author(s): Rayburn, R. L. and J. C. Kroll
Year: 1982
Abstract: Studies of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) activity areas (home range, core area, etc.) have used numerous statistical methods for calculating probability circles and ellipses, all of which are based on the arithmetic mean center of activity. We have tested a new method which uses the harmonic mean of deer locations to describe the center of activity and various types of activity areas. The method as proposed by Dixon and Chapman (1980, Ecology 61:1040- 1044) allows the investigator to perform time series analysis of changes in activity areas. Radio-telemetry location data on 2 adult does were used to test the utility of this method. A 300 m isopleth was used to define home range (since it enclosed approximately 95% of all locations), and a 200 m isopleth determined a core area of more intense activity. Time series analysis was performed using chronologically ordered data sets with 15 day increments. Harmonic mean home ranges tended to be smaller and more exact than probability circles and ellipses. Use of the 2 isopleths allowed comparisons of home range and core area overlaps. Home ranges consistently showed 70%-90% overlap throughout the year. Shifts in core areas, however, revealed that the 2 deer rarely used the same geographic area simultaneously. Changes in the harmonic mean center of activity provided insight to changes in seasonal habitat preferences.

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