Post-release survival of rehabilitated white-tailed deer fawns in Missouri

  • Published source details Beringer J., Preston M., Meyer T., Wallendorf M. & Eddleman W.R. (2004) Post-release survival of rehabilitated white-tailed deer fawns in Missouri. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 32, 732-738.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Hand-rear orphaned or abandoned young in captivity

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Hand-rear orphaned or abandoned young in captivity

    A study in 2000–2002 in a forest reserve in Missouri, USA (Beringer et al. 2004) found that less than one third of orphaned and captive-reared white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus fawns released into the wild survived for more than one year. Twelve of 42 (29%) captive-reared white-tailed deer fawns survived more than one year after release. The other 30 fawns died (22 within 30 days of release) due to predation, accidents, poaching or legal harvesting. Forty-two orphaned fawns were rehabilitated in a wildlife rescue centre and two private residences. Sick or injured fawns received medical treatment. Fawns were released at >10 weeks old into an 8,700-ha forest reserve. Twenty-three fawns (13 males, 10 females) were released in September and October 2000. Nineteen (10 male, nine female) were released between August and September 2001 after two weeks in a 0.8-ha holding pen at the release site. All 42 fawns were fitted with radio-collars and located daily for 14 days post-release, then 3–4 times/week for four months, and weekly for one year in 2000–2002.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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