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Departmental Paper Identifier
Understanding bed-site selection and vegetation characteristics provides valuable information for population management (Verme 1977, Huegel et al. 1985a, Nelson and Woolf 1987). Predation and other natural-caused mortalities of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) neonates are most likely to occur within the first 60 days of life; a time period when selected habitat characteristics are vital to survival (Verme 1977, Huegel et al. 1985a, Nelson and Woolf 1987, Grovenburg et al. 2010). Prior to the study of Grovenburg et al. (2010), limited research had been completed on bed-site selection of neonatal white-tailed deer in the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains. In north-central South Dakota, increase in vertical height of vegetation was the most important habitat characteristic at bed sites, which likely pertained directly to protection from predation and thermal insulation (Grovenburg et al. 2010, 2012a). Our objective was to describe the physical and vegetative characteristics of bed sites selected by neonatal white-tailed deer in the grassland dominated landscape of central North Dakota. We hypothesized that neonatal whitetailed deer would select bed sites characterized by relatively high understory vegetation to moderate ambient temperatures resulting in favorable microclimates for maintaining thermal neutrality while providing concealment from predators
The Prairie Naturalist
South Dakota State University
Schaffer, Brian A.; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Grovenburg, Troy; and Jensen, William F., "Bed-Site Selection by Neonatal White-tailed Deer in Central North Dakota" (2014). Natural Resource Management Faculty Publications. 113.