Preliminary data used to assess the accuracy of estimating female white-tailed deer diel birthing-season home ranges using only daytime locations

Wildlife Biology in Practice
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Abstract

Because many white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) home-range and habitat-use studies rely only on daytime radio-tracking data, we were interested in whether diurnal data sufficiently represented diel home ranges. We analyzed home-range and core-use size and overlap of 8 adult-female Global-Positioning-System-collared deer during May and June 2001 and 2002 in the Superior National Forest, Minnesota, USA. We used 2 traditional means of analysis: minimum-convex polygons (MCP) and fixed kernels (95% FK, home range and 50% FK, core use) and two methods to partition day and night location data: (1) daytime = 0800-2000 h versus nighttime = 2000-0800 h and (2) sunup versus sundown. We found no statistical difference in size of home-range and core-use areas across day and night comparisons; however, in terms of spatial overlap, approximately 30% of night-range areas on average were not accounted for using daytime locations, with even greater differences between core-use areas (on average approximately 50%). We conclude that diurnal data do not adequately describe diel adult-female-deer, May-June home-ranges due to differences in spatial overlap (location). We suggest research to determine (1) if our findings hold in other circumstances (e.g., exclusive of the parturition period, other age classes, etc.), (2) if our conclusions generalize under other conditions (e.g., across deer range, varying seasons, etc.), (3) if habitat-use conclusions are affected by the incomplete overlap between diurnal and diel data, (4) how many nocturnal locations must be included to generate sufficient overlap, and (5) the influence of using other kernel sizes (e.g., 75%, 90%).

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Preliminary data used to assess the accuracy of estimating female white-tailed deer diel birthing-season home ranges using only daytime locations
Series title Wildlife Biology in Practice
DOI 10.2461/wbp.2014.10.8
Volume 10
Issue 2
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Portuguese Wildlife Society
Publisher location Figueira da Foz, Portugal
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 7 p.
First page 62
Last page 68
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N