Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Zoology

First Advisor

Nielsen, Clayton

Abstract

I studied population demographics and space-use of white-tailed deer in Manistee and Mason counties in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan during 2005-08. Deer density from spring spotlight distance sampling surveys was 20.1 ± 1.7 deer/km2. The sex ratio was 14 bucks:100 does and the age ratio was 84 fawns:100 does. I radiomarked and monitored 105 does (62 adults and 43 fawns) for survival and space use. Annual adult survival was 0.74 ± 0.06, with most mortalities (n = 8 of 23) caused by human harvest. Adult survival was the highest during winter (1.00) and lowest in autumn (0.81 ± 0.08). Winter/spring fawn survival was 0.74 ± 0.06, with all mortalities caused by predation (n = 4) and starvation (n = 3). Mean size of composite home-ranges and core-areas were 2.0 ± 0.1 km2 and 0.4 ± 0.02 km2, respectively, and did not differ seasonally. Cover-type use did not differ seasonally between home ranges and core areas, indicating that deer did not select specific cover types within their home range. Vegetated openland and mast-producing upland forests received the highest proportion of use in home ranges (47% and 23%, respectively) and core areas (49% and 21%, respectively). These data will be beneficial for modeling deer population growth and response to harvest and to focus habitat management prescriptions for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

Share

COinS
 

Access

This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Others should
contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library.