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