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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Predator exclusion as a management option for increasing white-tailed deer recruitment

Published source details

Conner L.M., Cherry M.J., Rutledge B.T., Killmaster C.H., Morris G. & Smith L.L. (2016) Predator exclusion as a management option for increasing white-tailed deer recruitment. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 80, 162-170


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Use fencing to exclude predators or other problematic species Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2011–2012 of a forest in Georgia, USA (Conner et al. 2016) found that predator exclosures increased the fawn:adult female ratio of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus. The average annual fawn:adult female ratio recorded was greater inside exclosures (0.19) than outside (0.09) exclosures. Authors reported that figures were relative rather than absolute ratios, as some fawns may have been too small to travel with their mothers at the time of sampling. Four 40-ha plots were fenced to exclude predators. The fence was 1.2 m tall and was electrified. Predators inside exclosures were live-trapped and released outside. Deer ≥12 weeks old were able to jump the fence. Four similar plots were established, but without a predator exclusion fence. Fawn and adult female ratios were determined using two camera traps in each plot, for two weeks in August 2011 and two weeks in August 2012.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)