Date of Award
University Scholars Director
Dr. Christine Chaney
First Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Eric Long
island biogeography, population ecology, evolution, mortality, conservation
Future management of Columbian black tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) populations requires an understanding of survivorship and potential drivers of mortality. Little is currently known about the survivorship of O. h. columbianus, specifically in a predator-free environment. Analyzing the survivorship of deer in these contexts may be crucial for wildlife conservation efforts throughout the United States, as it could provide insight into how deer populations may be impacted by lack of population control by predation. Here, I present age analysis of O. h. columbianus based on the cementum annuli of the lower first molar in 489 males and females from Blakely Island, WA. Juvenile survivorship was found to be lower than that of the adult population. Sex-specific annual survival differed between males and females but overall average annual survivorship did not differ. The survivorship of O. h. columbianus on Blakely island was determined to be a Type 1 curve. As there are no predators present on the island, our results give further evidence that other factors besides predation, such as food availability, may be impacting O. h. columbianus survivorship.
Barthelmess, Grace Hope, "SURVIVORSHIP OF COLUMBIAN BLACK-TAILED DEER IN A PREDATOR-FREE ENVIRONMENT" (2022). Honors Projects. 163.
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