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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Vegetation and deer response to mechanical shrub clearing and burning

Published source details

Rogers J.O., Fulbright T.E. & Ruthven D.C. (2004) Vegetation and deer response to mechanical shrub clearing and burning. Journal of Range Management, 57, 41-48


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

Remove vegetation by hand/machine Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2001–2002 of a shrubland site in Texas, USA (Rogers et al. 2004) found that carrying out a second mechanical vegetation clearance of plots already subject to an earlier mechanical clearance did not increase their utilization by white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus. There was no significant difference in deer track counts between plots before (37 track crossings/km) or after (47 track crossings/km) the second mechanical clearance. Plots (3–9 ha), were established in a 6,154-ha study area. In March–April 1999, five plots were cleared of woody vegetation using a mechanical aerator pulled by a tractor. Plots were mechanically cleared again in September 2000. Deer utilization was assessed by counting tracks along prepared track lanes, over three days on four occasions. Surveys were conducted once before clearance, in late-May to July 2000, and three times after clearance, in December 2000 to January 2001, May 2001 and June–July 2001.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Use prescribed burning Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A randomized, paired sites, before-and-after study in 2001–2002 of a shrubland site in Texas, USA (Rogers et al. 2004) found that burning plots already subject to mechanical vegetation clearance did not increase plot utilization by white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus relative to carrying out a second mechanical clearance. There was no significant difference in deer track counts between plots before (burning: 36; mechanical clearance: 37 track crossings/km) or after (burning: 43; mechanical clearance: 47 track crossings/km) treatments were applied. Ten plots (3–9 ha), established in a 6,154-ha study area, were paired by size, soil and vegetation. In March–April 1999, all plots were cleared of brush using a mechanical aerator pulled by a tractor. In September 2000, one plot from each pair was burned and the other was mechanically cleared a second time. Treatment assignment within pairs was random. Deer utilization was assessed by counting tracks along prepared track lanes, over three days, before and after treatments were applied.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)