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1 September 2004 Survival of white-tailed deer in an intensively farmed region of Minnesota
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Abstract

Survival and cause-specific mortality of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been well documented in forested habitat, but limited information has been collected in intensively farmed regions. The objectives of this study were to determine survival and cause-specific mortality of neonate, fawn female, and adult female white-tailed deer in an intensively farmed (>80% land cover) region of Minnesota. We captured and radiocollared 77 female deer >8 months old (61 adults, 16 fawns) and 39 neonates (17 male, 22 female). Hunting was the greatest cause of mortality among adult deer, with 43% of mortalities attributed to firearms hunters. Annual survival rate of all adult and fawn (≥8 months) radiocollared deer was 0.77 (n = 58, SE = 0.06). Overall (Jan. 2001-Aug. 2002) adult survival was 0.75 (n = 77, SE = 0.05) and was similar to survival rates reported elsewhere for female white-tailed deer. Natural causes (e.g., disease, predation) of mortality were minor compared to human-related causes (e.g., hunting, vehicle collision). In total, 67% of neonate mortalities were due to predators. Neonate summer survival rate pooled over years was 0.84 (n = 39, SE = 0.06) and was high compared to other studies. High neonate survival was likely associated with a low predator density, quality vegetation structure at neonate bed sites, and high nutritional condition of dams. Deer management in the highly fragmented and intensively farmed regions of Minnesota relies on hunter harvest to maintain deer populations at levels tolerable to landowners.

Todd J. Brinkman, Jonathan A. Jenks, Christopher S. DePerno, Brian S. Haroldson, and Robert G. Osborn "Survival of white-tailed deer in an intensively farmed region of Minnesota," Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(3), 726-731, (1 September 2004). https://doi.org/10.2193/0091-7648(2004)032[0726:SOWDIA]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 September 2004
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