The use of suburban habitats by Columbian black-tailed deer Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h702qb40x

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  • The movements, habitat use, and activity patterns of black-tailed deer in western Oregon, and the influence of suburban housing developments on the behavior of deer in the area, were studied and described. Radio telemetry, spotlight censusing, and a resident questionnaire were used to document the behavior of deer. Radio telemetry was conducted from May 1980 through June 1981, during the day and night. Seven adult does were equipped with radio-transmitting collars, and 2307 relocations were obtained. Two of the collared does inhabited areas of moderate to low density residential development, three were in areas on the fringe of development, and two were in undeveloped McDonald State Forest. Data on the home range size, activity foci, movement rates, activity patterns, habitat use, and topographic use of the does in the three areas were compared. Does on the fringe of developments tended to have larger home ranges and movement rates and to travel the most, whereas does in the midst of developed areas had smaller ranges and movement rates, and were bedded the most. The habitat selection pattern of each doe was unique; however, all selected for some form of forested cover during the day and used grassy, open areas more during the night. A spotlight census was conducted 48 times, from June 1980 through June 1981. The census results were used to compare relative deer densities, group size, buck-doe ratio, and fawn-doe ratio in the forest and residential areas. Deer density, group size, and fawn production were lowest and buck ratio the highest in McDonald forest. Of the 340 questionnaires mailed to residents in and near Corvallis, Oregon, 208 were returned and completed correctly. The survey inquired about deer use of areas near residences. Of the factors examined, distance from an undeveloped area and loose dogs had the greatest effect on deer distribution. As the distance from undeveloped areas increased, the deer use of the area decreased. Similarly, less deer were seen near areas where dogs were loose. Most of the people surveyed had positive feelings about having deer near their home.
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