Effects of partial cutting in winter on white-tailed deer

  • Published source details St Louis A., Ouellet J.P., Crête M., Maltais J. & Huot J. (2000) Effects of partial cutting in winter on white-tailed deer. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 30, 655-661.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forest

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forest

    A site comparison study in 1996 of forest in Quebec, Canada (St-Louis et al. 2000) found that, following tree thinning through a partial forest cut aimed at increasing browse availability, white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus made proportionally greater use of the cut area than of the forest as a whole. Deer use of the cut area (estimated at 15,170 deer-days/km2) was higher than in the forest as a whole (estimated 2,808 deer-days/km2). However, deer did not move home ranges and only animals whose ranges overlapped the cut area used it. A partial forest cut, across 43 ha, was made in January–February 1996. This thinned the forest by removing approximately 40% of deciduous tree stems (with conifers and understorey trees retained). Deer use of the cut area was determined by counting pellet groups, on 27 and 28 April 1996, in eighty-four 2 × 40-m plots. This was compared with estimated pellet density in the whole forest area (total 25 km2) that was based on pellet production from an estimate of the overall deer population. Habitat selections of 30 individual deer were monitored by radiotracking, in January–April 1996.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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