Mortality and survival of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus fawns (n=29) were studied from birth to 1 year of age during 1991-95 on Mount Desert Island (MDI), Maine where deer hunting is prohibited, coyotes Canis latrans have become recently established, and protected U. S. National Park lands are interspersed with private property. Rate of predator-caused mortality was 0.52, with coyote predation (n=8) accounting for at least 47% of mortalities from all causes (n=17). Mortality rate from drowning was 0.24 (n=3), and from vehicles was 0.14 (n=3). Of fawns radio-collared as neonates, 10 of 14 mortalities occurred during the first 2 months of life. Annual rate of fawn survival was 0.26. Survival rate from 6 months to 1 year was 0.65 and 4 mortalities (2 predation, 2 drowning) were observed during this interval. A subgroup of fawns (n = 11) captured near a residential area and along the edge of a coyote territory had a higher (P = 0.002) rate of survival to 1 year of age (S = 0.67) than did fawns from all other areas (n = 18, S = 0.00). Recruitment to 1 year of age was lower than has been observed in other deer populations in the northeastern United States. Low recruitment associated with coyote predation and mortality sources influenced by humans appears to be limiting white-tailed deer populations in this insular landscape.
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Mortality and survival of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus fawns on a north Atlantic coastal island