Cover type use by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus dacotensis) in the central Black Hills of South Dakota was compared to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service digital data using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Cover types were determined from observations of radiocollared deer and random locations and from corresponding point locations in the Forest Service digital data. Cover type information was collected at 3,145 white-tailed deer locations and 1,044 random locations. On winter range, cover types determined from observations of radiocollared deer included pine (Pinus ponderosa), pine-deciduous, aspen (Populus tremuloides), aspen-coniferous, burned pine, and meadows; cover types determined from Forest Service data included pine, aspen, grasslands, and private land. On summer range, cover types determined from observations of radiocollared deer included pine, pine-deciduous, aspen, aspen-coniferous, white spruce (Picea glauca), white spruce-deciduous, and meadows; cover types determined from Forest Service digital map data included pine, aspen, grasslands, and private land. Cover types used by white-tailed deer compared to the Forest Service data resulted in 42% agreement on summer range and 62% agreement on winter range. On winter and summer range, Forest Service data tended to overestimate ponderosa pine and aspen habitats used by white-tailed deer, while failing to account for mixed (secondary) cover types. To improve the accuracy of habitat management decisions relative to white-tailed deer, the Forest Service GIS would be strengthened if mixed (secondary) cover type classifications were included in the database.
|Title||Use of the USDA Forest Service Geographic Information System for determining cover type use by white-tailed deer|
|Authors||Christopher S. DePerno, Jonathan A. Jenks, Steven L. Griffin, Robert W. Klaver|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center|