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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Coyote removal, understory cover, and survival of white-tailed deer neonates

Published source details

Kilgo J.C., Vukovich M., Scott R.H., Shaw C.E. & Ruth C. (2014) Coyote removal, understory cover, and survival of white-tailed deer neonates. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 78, 1261-1271

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Remove or control predators Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after study in 2006–2012 in three forest sites in South Carolina, USA (Kilgo et al. 2014) found that control of coyotes Canis latrans increased fawn survival in white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus in two out of three years. The annual survival rate of deer calves was higher one year (0.51) and three years (0.43) after the start of coyote control than before control (0.23), but did not differ two years (0.20) after the start of coyote control. The percentage of fawn mortalities that resulted from predation by coyotes was similar after (73%) compared to before control (80%). Between mid-January and early April 2010–2012, four hundred and seventy-four coyotes were removed from three 32-km2 sites (1.6 coyotes /km2/year) by trapping. The survival of 216 fawns (91 before and 125 after coyote control) was monitored using motion-sensitive radio-collars. Calves were monitored every eight hours if younger than four weeks, 1–3 times/day up to 12 weeks of age, weekly up to 16 weeks and 1–4 times/month up to 12 months.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)