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20 January 2020 Habitat Use and Abundance of Island-Endemic White-Tailed Deer in Panama
Jared F. Duquette, Eric E. Flores, Luis Ureña, Josué Ortega, Iliana Cisneros, Ricardo Moreno, Zachary Loman
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Abstract

Although white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been studied extensively, ecological information lacks for O. virginianus rothschildi, a subspecies endemic to Coiba Island, Panama. A combination of camera traps (n = 29) deployed during March–July 2015 and Royle–Nichols occupancy model were used to estimate the sex-related detection, habitat use, and abundance of unmarked deer. No covariates influenced detection of individual sexes, but detection of sexes combined was greater on wildlife trails than maintained human foot trails and negatively related to daily maximum temperature. Predicted abundance of sexes combined and females were greatest along an ecotone of secondary forest and feral fields, whereas male abundance was greatest at an ecotone of secondary and primary forest. Results corroborated the common mixed edge habitat use of O. virginianus, with likely partitioning of resources between sexes due to differing habitat needs. Although primary forest dominants Coiba Island, lesser use of this habitat suggests that it may provide poorer resources for deer, at least during the period of this study. Additionally, habitat use suggested potential avoidance of areas with greater feral livestock and tourist use. Further research is needed to understand the ecology of this endemic subspecies, including potential anthropogenic threats.

© The Mammal Society of Japan
Jared F. Duquette, Eric E. Flores, Luis Ureña, Josué Ortega, Iliana Cisneros, Ricardo Moreno, and Zachary Loman "Habitat Use and Abundance of Island-Endemic White-Tailed Deer in Panama," Mammal Study 45(1), 13-25, (20 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.3106/ms2019-0036
Received: 10 June 2019; Accepted: 23 September 2019; Published: 20 January 2020
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KEYWORDS
Camera trap
conservation
detection
disturbance
occupancy
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