I documented natal dispersal and gene flow in 79 yearling white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in northeastern Minnesota during 1974-1988. Sixty-four percent (n = 28) of 44 males and 20?/0 (n = 7) of 35 females dispersed from their natal home ranges when 1.0-1.5-years old. Eighty-six percent and 95%, of all yearlings including nondispersers, dispersed 526 and 538 km, respectively. Minimum gene flow was estimated to be 40 deer per generation, based on a circular subpopulation defined by a 26-km radius. Gene flow estimated from allele frequencies for five polymorphic loci averaged 15 deer per generation among five subpopulations. These values of gene flow were concomitant with significant allele frequency heterogeneity at the subpopulation level.
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Natal dispersal and gene flow in white-tailed deer in northeastern Minnesota