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Wednesday, February 8 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Technical Session. Comparison of Adult Urban and Rural White-tailed Deer Home Range Size in Southern Indiana

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AUTHORS: Jonathan K. Trudeau, Garrett B. Clevinger, Timothy C. Carter - Ball State University

ABSTRACT: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been extensively researched throughout their distribution and in varying habitats. Urban deer research has grown in popularity due to increasing densities of white-tailed deer in many developed areas. Though much is known about urban and rural deer populations, little is known about how these two populations differ in response to the effects of urbanization. In particular, understanding the differences between urban and rural white-tailed deer space use in adjacent areas is essential to effectively manage the two populations. We are particularly interested in home range and core area size and how they may differ between adjacent areas during the same time period. Our study took place in Morgan, Monroe, and Brown counties in southern Indiana. The City of Bloomington, IN is similar to many moderate sized cities in that it has a healthy urban white-tailed deer population. Using a drop net, dart projectors, and suspended net-gun we caught and collared 41 rural and 45 urban adult white-tailed deer between January and July of 2015/2016. Of the 85 deer collared, 51 had Global Positioning System (GPS) collars and 34 had VHF radio transmitter collars. Locations were collected every 6 hours on GPS collars and 2-4 times a week on radio transmitter collars. We expected the urban deer to have smaller home ranges than the rural deer, but preliminary results show estimated urban home range sizes to be approximately 30% larger than the adjacent rural deer population. Core area size of urban deer was also estimated to be approximately 25% larger than rural deer. As expected, differences in area use were evident between genders and urban class.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am CST
Grand Ballroom C