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Front Royal, VA, United States

Ge B.-M.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Ge B.-M.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Guan T.-P.,Beijing Normal University | Powell D.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Research

The question of whether large-scale disturbances, such as earthquakes, impact an animal's behavior significantly is an important question, but one that is difficult to answer due to the unpredictability of these types of events. Here, we collected 323 GPS locations of four takin (Budorcas taxicolor tibetana) in 13 days before and after a powerful (8. 0 magnitude) earthquake on May 12, 2008 in Sichuan Province, China. The movement during this period was compared to that of three of the same animals during a corresponding period in 2009 (April 30 to May 25) and a slightly later 2009 period based on the start of migration (May 6 to May 31). We found that home ranges reduced in size during each study period, due to the migration process, but with no discernable differences due to the earthquake. The takin also showed the same pattern of elevation change and linear travel distance during 2008 and 2009, indicating no detectable effect of the earthquake on spatial behavior of takin. These findings add to our knowledge of how animals respond to catastrophic natural events in the wild. © 2010 The Ecological Society of Japan. Source

Nugent G.,Landcare Research | McShea W.J.,Smithsonians Conservation Biology Institute | Parkes J.,Landcare Research | Woodley S.,Ecological Integrity Branch | And 7 more authors.
Animal Production Science

A workshop was convened in Chile in August 2010 as part of the 7th International Deer Biology Congress (IDBC). Its aim was to explore global differences in the policies and management of overabundant deer in protected areas. The main goal of the workshop was to provide South American researchers and managers with a snapshot of some of the approaches to management of deer overabundance used in a diverse array of case studies from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Various case studies were presented to illustrate the different methodological approaches in implementing deer control measures. Some general recommendations were formulated. © 2011 CSIRO. Source

Mcshea W.J.,Smithsonians Conservation Biology Institute | Stewart C.M.,Smithsonians Conservation Biology Institute | Kearns L.,Smithsonians Conservation Biology Institute | Kearns L.,Ohio State University | Bates S.,National Park Service
Wildlife Society Bulletin

Estimating the population density of deer is an essential task for public agencies that plan a herd reduction. Distance sampling has been increasingly utilized to estimate population density, and is used by the National Park Service to estimate white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) densities throughout the eastern United States. Many of these surveys are conducted along public roads due to limited resources and accessibility, which may violate a critical assumption of distance sampling and potentially introduce sampling bias. We used infrared cameras to confirm deer activity with respect to survey roads at 2 national parks in Maryland, USA (Catoctin National Park and Antietam National Historic Battlefield), during 2005 and 2006 and compared results with the predicted distributions. The number of deer observed during road surveys declined with distance intervals at Catoctin, but there was a similar amount of deer activity at each distance interval. At Antietam, survey observations maintained a constant level of activity beyond 200 m from the survey route, while deer activity was inconsistent between distance intervals. The mean number of deer photographs/day/sample point did vary significantly across distance intervals from the survey route at Antietam, but not at Catoctin. In Antietam, the uneven distribution of agricultural fields and public roads were significant predictors of deer activity detected during the camera surveys. At Catoctin, the fit of the detection function was improved by expanding the first distance interval. Although density estimation using DISTANCE can account for most sources of error introduced by use of public roads, our data indicate bias is likely to occur in landscapes with high road densities and long sight distances. © 2011 The Wildlife Society. Source

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