Non-lethal management of white-tailed deer in urban/suburban landscapes
Evans, Charles Swanson
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I conducted 4 field trials to evaluate population estimation methods and the application of immunocontraceptive vaccines or surgical sterilization to overabundant deer in urban/suburban communities where lethal removal is infeasible. I demonstrated that sterilizing a high percentage of a deer population with no operational-related mortalities is possible, so surgical sterilization may be viable for some communities. I also evaluated non-baited camera surveys for monitoring deer populations and concluded that they produced consistent trend data allowing for management decisions over time. To evaluate whether immunocontraceptive vaccines should be registered for dart-delivery, I presented data on both the injection dispersion and efficacy, suggesting that dart-delivery should not be approved. Furthermore, I presented data on effort required to live-capture and hand-inject deer with immunocontraceptive vaccines, and the additional effort required to surgically sterilize deer. I paired these effort data with deer approachability rankings and showed that effort increased significantly as deer approachability decreased.