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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Use of winter food plots by nongame wildlife species

Published source details

Donalty S., Henke S.E. & Kerr C.L. (2003) Use of winter food plots by nongame wildlife species. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 31, 774-778


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Plant crops to provide supplementary food for mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1996–1997 of cropland on six ranches in Texas, USA (Donalty et al. 2003) found that supplementary food provided for game species was also consumed by rodents and lagomorphs. Rodents ate 47% by biomass of winter oats Avena sativa grown for white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus that were consumed. Lagomorphs ate 10% and deer ate 44% of oats that were consumed. On each of six ranches, 2 ha of winter oats was grown. Twenty-four plots, each 1 m3, were established at each ranch from December 1996 to March 1997. Six plots were fenced using 10 × 10-cm mesh (to exclude deer), six using 2 × 3-cm mesh (to exclude deer and lagomorphs), six using 0.5 × 0.5-cm mesh (to exclude deer, lagomorphs and rodents) and six were unfenced. Consumption was assessed by comparing remaining oat biomass with that in the finest-mesh fenced plots.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)