Sixty years of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) yarding in a Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)–deer system

Canadian Field Naturalist
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Abstract

This article synthesizes information from over a six-decade period of studies of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) use of a winter yard and subject to Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) predation in northeastern Minnesota. It also adds spring migration data from 35 adult female deer and fawns studied there during 1998, 1999, 2001, 2014, and 2017. Twenty-nine of these deer migrated in spring a mean distance of 29 km (SE = 4), a maximum distance of 78 km, and at a mean bearing of 83° (SE = 12; range 21–348). These findings are similar to those from 49 deer (both sexes) from the same yard studied during 1974–1984, that migrated a mean distance of 25 km (SE = 1.8) and a mean bearing of 77° ± 4 SE. Between the two periods, the wolf population fluctuated considerably, the winter range of deer in the area where these deer spent summer greatly diminished, and both derechos and fires disturbed the habitat. This study attests to the selective advantage of the migratory tradition of deer in this yard.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Sixty years of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) yarding in a Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)–deer system
Series title Canadian Field Naturalist
DOI 10.22621/cfn.v133i4.2136
Volume 133
Issue 4
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Canadian Field Naturalist
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 9 p.
First page 343
Last page 351
Country United States
State Minnesota
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