Lack of response by mule deer to wildlife warning whistles

  • Published source details Romin L.A. & Dalton L.B. (1992) Lack of response by mule deer to wildlife warning whistles. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 20, 382-384


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Fit vehicles with ultrasonic warning devices

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Fit vehicles with ultrasonic warning devices

     A controlled study in 1990 in sagebrush in Utah, USA (Romin & Dalton 1992) found that vehicle mounted wildlife warning whistles had no effect on the behaviour of mule deer Odocoileus hemionus. The proportions of deer that responded to the vehicle were 31% with a whistle and 39% without. Six percent of deer ran away from the vehicle with a whistle and 12% did so from the vehicle without a whistle. Authors reported that they did not know if the whistles produced any sound, nor if deer heard them. Two brands of wildlife warning whistles (Game Tracker's and Sav-a-life, producing 16–20 kHz) were mounted on the front of a truck. These were tested during late afternoon and early evening along 9.7 km of dirt road in January–February 1990. For each of 150 groups of deer (average six deer), a pass at 65 km/hour was made without and then with the whistle. Deer responses (none, head lifted, changed orientation, ran away, ran towards) and distances from the road were recorded for each pass (distances did not differ significantly between first and second passes).

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

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