What is it about?
In order for wildlife populations to increase, young animals must survive to reproductive age. However, for herbivores, newborns and juveniles are the age classes most vulnerable to mortality. Because white-tailed deer are susceptible to mortality from a wide variety of sources, understanding why fawns die and factors contributing to mortality risk are expected to vary with location, weather conditions, and co-existing predator species. This study determines that not only do causes of death vary according to location, but factors contributing to mortality risk also vary across space.
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Why is it important?
Our findings show that fawns in an agricultural area, which is expected to offer high nutrition for lactating female deer, are actually more likely to succumb to starvation or disease than due to predation. Fawns in a predominately forested area are more likely to be killed by predators than the fawns in the agricultural area. We also link survival of fawns to weather conditions during their first summer of life.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Cause-specific neonatal mortality of white-tailed deer in Wisconsin, USA, The Journal of Wildlife Management, April 2017, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21260.
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