Seasonal movements of female white-tailed deer in a low-density population
D'Angelo, Gino Jude
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I captured, radiocollared, and tracked the daily movements of 13 female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) relative to parturition, breeding, and managed dog hunts on the Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, South Carolina during 2002. I compared measures of spatial mobility, including daily home range size, rate of travel, and distance between extreme daily locations, among the periods of pre- and post parturition and pre-, peak-, and post-rut and relative to controlled dog hunting. Controlled dog hunting had little long-term effect on female movement. From pre-parturition to post-parturition, I observed decreases in female mobility. Diel home range size, distance between extreme diel locations, and diel rate of travel during the pre-rut and rut exceeded those observed during post-rut. Our data suggest that female white-tailed deer reduce mobility following parturition, irrespective of population density. Furthermore, despite a near equal sex ratio, estrous does may be required to actively seek potential mates due to low population density.