Development of novel white-tailed deer management techniques and the ecological implications of their use
PI: Karl Malcolm (pictured at left), Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Overabundant white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) can compromise the ecological integrity of their habitats, particularly in the absence of predators. In some settings they also pose risks to property, health, and safety of humans. My research at the ES George Reserve focuses on developing socially acceptable and effective managementtools and programs to address deer overabundance. My past and current projects at the ES George Reserve include continuing the collection of demographic deer herd data to supplement the unparalleled population ecology work of Dr. Dale R. McCullough, developing and implementing an annual deer harvest program to protect the integrity of the ES George Reserve ecosystem and the overall health of the resident herd, implementation of a rigorous disease monitoring program in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, developing and testing a novel contraceptive deer implant, and comparing aerial deer population census techniques. Each of these projects was made possible by the unique characteristics of the ES George Reserve, most importantly its ecologically-relevant size and well-maintained perimeter fence. The ES George Reserve has been and continues to be a world-class research resource for those interested in studying white-tailed deer ecology and management.
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