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1 June 2005 Counting a suburban deer population using Forward-Looking Infrared radar and road counts
David Drake, Chris Aquila, Gene Huntington
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Population estimates of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are critical to advancing the process of community-based deer management. One of the first questions raised by residents of suburban areas is “How many deer live in our community?” Our objective was to evaluate the reliability and cost of helicopter-mounted Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) in detecting and counting a suburban white-tailed deer population as compared to road counts. We conducted 4 separate road counts 1 hour prior to sunset between June 2001–January 2002. The average number of deer counted based on road counts was 229 (SE = 10.04). We conducted 3 separate flights using a helicopter-mounted FLIR between 2000–2330 hours on 9 January 2002. The average number of deer counted using FLIR was 214 (SE = 18.7). Both population survey methods yielded similar results (P = 0.46). We recommend using FLIR in suburban areas dominated by private property where ground access or site distances may be limited, or where conducting a road count at a slow rate of speed may cause traffic congestion.

David Drake, Chris Aquila, and Gene Huntington "Counting a suburban deer population using Forward-Looking Infrared radar and road counts," Wildlife Society Bulletin 33(2), 656-661, (1 June 2005).[656:CASDPU]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 June 2005

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forward-looking infrared
Odocoileus virginianus
road counts
white-tailed deer
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