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Proximity of White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus,
|Table 1. Spatial Relationships between radioed deer and Wolves in Superior National Forest.|
|Year||No. Deer||Number of
|Deer in Home Range||Wolves in Homesite|
|1987||4 Does, 3 Fawns||45||11
> 30 September
|~ 18 August -
|1996||3 Does, ? Fawns||53-69||1 April - 28 July||15 April - 26 July||5 Adults||0.8-1.5|
|1 At least 15 Wolves based on an observation on 17 December.|
These findings indicate that forest deer do not necessarily vacate their home ranges when Wolves headquarter within 0.8-1.8 km of them. Our sample of seven deer is too small to analyze survival probabilities, but their proximity to Wolves would suggest some added risk of predation, and perhaps that was a factor in the death of one of them. However, the noteworthy unequivocal observation is that seven does remained on their traditional home ranges despite proximity to Wolf homesites and did not attempt to minimize exposure to the Wolves by moving away.
This investigation was funded by the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S.
Geological Survey, and the USDA North Central Forest Experiment Station. We
thank Steve Durst, and Dave Bergerud, Wayne Erickson and Dean Lee for skillfully
piloting the tracking aircraft, and five volunteers for their field assistance.
Hoskinson, R. L. 1976. The effect of different pilots on aerial telemetry. Journal of Wildlife Management 40: 137-139.
Mech, L. D. 1970. The Wolf: the ecology and behavior of an endangered species. Natural History Press, Doubleday, New York. 389 pages.
Mech, L. D. 1973. Wolf numbers in the Superior National Forest of Minnesota. USDA Forest Service Research Paper NC-97, North Central Forest Experiment Station. St. Paul, Minnesota. 10 pages.
Nelson, M. E. 1979. Home range location of white-tailed deer. USDA Forest Service Research Paper NC-173, North Central Forest Experiment Station. St. Paul, Minnesota. 10 pages. Nelson, M. E., and L. D. Mech. 1981. Deer social organization and Wolf predation in northeastern Minnesota. Wildlife Monograph 77: 53.
Nelson, M. E., and L. D. Mech. 1986. Mortality of white-tailed Deer in northeastern Minnesota. Journal of Wildlife Management 50: 691-698.
Nelson, M. E., and L. D. Mech. 1987. Demes within a northeastern Minnesota Deer population. Pages 27-40 in Mammalian Dispersal Patterns. Edited by B. D. Chepko-Sade and Z. Halpin. University of Chicago Press. Chicago. 342 pages.
Nelson, M. E., and L. D. Mech. 1993. Prey escaping Wolves despite close proximity. Canadian Field Naturalist 107: 245-246.
* Nelson, Michael E., and L. David Mech. 2000. Proximity of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, ranges to wolf, Canis lupus, pack homesites. Canadian Field-Naturalist 114(3):503-504. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center; Northern Prairie Publication 1116, May 30, 2001, Jamestown, ND. See website: < http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/2001/proxhome/proxhome.htm >.
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