We quantified indirect effects of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on ground-dwelling herpetofauna and invertebrates in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, USA. We placed cover boards at 12 sites, each consisting of a 10 × 10-m fenced (exclosure) plot and an unfenced (control) plot. Periodically, during May–December 2004 and May–September 2005, we counted salamanders, snakes, and a variety of invertebrate taxa. Salamander, snake, and gastropod abundance as well as invertebrate richness (no. of species or higher level taxa) were higher in control than exclosure plots. Our findings suggest that management actions taken to regulate deer densities could have the unintended effect of reducing local animal diversity.
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Vol. 72 • No. 6