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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Deer response to brush management in central Texas

Published source details

Rollins D., Bryant F.C., Waid D.D. & Bradley L.C. (1988) Deer response to brush management in central Texas. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 16, 277-284


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 randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 1981–1983 of forest and grassland on a ranch in Texas, USA (Rollins et al. 1988) found that after partial clearing of woody vegetation, there was a mixed response in white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus use of these areas. Changes in use of partially cleared areas were not tested for statistical significance. In two of four plots that were partially cleared, average deer numbers increased (after: 22–24 deer/100 ha; before: 3–13 deer/100 ha). In the other two plots that were partially cleared, average deer number declined (after: 11–15 deer/100 ha; before: 13–15 deer/100 ha). In the plot that was not cleared, deer numbers declined (after: 20 deer/100 ha; before: 27 deer/100 ha). On a 20,000 ha ranch, five plots (120 ha each, ≥4 km apart) were studied. Two tractors dragged a heavy-duty chain in a U-shape to partly clear four plots of woody vegetation in May–June 1981. Plots had 30, 50, 70, and 80% of woody vegetation cleared. Uprooted woody material was removed by burning in July 1981. A fifth plot remained uncleared. Treatments were assigned randomly to plots. Deer were counted from helicopter transects, every three months, from March 1981 to March 1983.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)