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Aerial survey estimates of fallow deer abundance

January 1, 2012

Reliable estimates of the distribution and abundance of an ungulate species is essential prior to establishing and implementing a management program. We used ground surveys to determine distribution and ground and aerial surveys and individually marked deer to estimate the abundance of fallow deer (Dama dama) in north-coastal California. Fallow deer had limited distribution and heterogeneous densities. Estimated post-rut densities across 4 annual surveys ranged from a low of 1.4 (SE=0.2) deer/km2 to a high of 3.3 (se=0.5) deer/km2 in a low density stratum and from 49.0 (SE=8.3) deer/km2 to 111.6 deer/km2 in a high density stratum. Sightability was positively influenced by the presence of white color-phase deer in a group and group size, and varied between airial and ground-based observers and by density strata. Our findings underscore the utility of double-observer surveys and aerial surveys with individually marked deer, both incorporating covariates to model sightability, to estimate deer abundance.

Publication Year 2012
Title Aerial survey estimates of fallow deer abundance
Authors Peter J. Gogan, Natalie B. Gates, Bruce C. Lubow, Suzanne Pettit
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title California Fish and Game
Index ID 70136146
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center