Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains

American Midland Naturalist
By: , and 

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Abstract

Limited information exists regarding summer resource selection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in grassland regions of the Northern Great Plains. During summers 2005-2006, we analyzed habitat selection of adult female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. We collected 1905 summer locations and used 21 and 30 home ranges during 2005 and 2006, respectively, to estimate habitat selection. Results indicated that selection occurred at the population (P < 0.001) and home range (P < 0.001) levels. Deer selected for Conservation Reserve Program grasslands and corn during both summers and shifted selection temporally within summer. Use of CRP grasslands occurred during early summer; 73.1 and 88.9% of locations in CRP were documented prior to 1 Jul. during 2005 and 2006, respectively. Conversely, selection for corn occurred during late summer; 86.0 and 68.4% of locations in corn were documented after 1 Jul. during 2005 and 2006, respectively. Additionally, deer selected for forested cover and rural development areas containing permanent water sources during extreme drought conditions during 2006. Deer likely selected for fields of CRP grasslands during early summer for cover and natural forages, such as clover (Trifolium sp.), prior to the period when agricultural crops become available. Drought conditions occurring in semiarid prairie grassland regions may reduce food and water availability and contribute to subsequent changes in deer habitat selection across the range of the species.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains
Series title American Midland Naturalist
DOI 10.1674/0003-0031-166.1.147
Volume 166
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 16 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title American Midland Naturalist
First page 147
Last page 162