Black-tailed deer project begins on West Coast

Some black-tailed deer populations have been declining in western Oregon and Washington, and often the declines are attributed to large-scale changes to the structure of their forest habitats. A common hypothesis is that use of herbicides in managed forests contributes to deer population declines by reducing availability of nutritious forbs and shrubs. This hypothesis will be tested in a study of the grazing behavior and nutritional status of trained black-tail deer on a variety of habitat types in forested landscapes. Investigators include Professor Lisa Shipley (Washington State University); Amy Ulappa (Ph.D. candidate at WSU); and Drs. Rachel and John Cook (NCASI). Preparations for field work include bottle-raising black-tailed deer fawns obtained from rehabbers across the western portion of Washington and from the Muckleshoot Tribe. The experimental herd includes 13 females and two males for breeding. Beginning in June 2012, Rachel and Amy will be taking these animals out into the woods in western Washington for grazing trial work. 

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