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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

What is the survival ratio of Whitetail Deer fawns in Michigan? Seems to vary betweeen 20 and 87% with harsher winters generating high mortality(2011) and warm snowless winters(2012) generating high survival rates............Nothing new in this "revelation",,,,,,,,,,Coyotes, Bears and Bobcats have greater success taking down deer when they are compromised due to deep snow........It has been this way for millenia without predator or prey going extinct..........The monkeywrench in the historical equation is our sport hunting thrown into the matrix............The true hunter welcomes the wolves, bears, bobcats and coyotes into the hunting equation.............A true challenge to get your deer when competing with the "best" nature has to throw at you.............A true sportsman is invigorated by the competing predator suite,,,,,,,,,,,,and does not cry, whine and plead for upping carnivore kill management policies

Paul Smith | Outdoors Editor

Researchers track deer, predators


Of the 30 fawns collared this spring in northern 'Wisconsin,  26 (87%) are alive. Last year that number was just 40%.

Baraboo - The white-tailed doe galloped across the gravel and into the lush green roadside growth.
Fast on its heels was a fawn, about one-third the size but every bit as nimble - and just as conspicuous.Wisconsin deer of all sizes are wearing their summer coats of red.The pair scrambled in front of my vehicle as I visited the Aldo Leopold Foundation near Baraboo last week.
The sighting - boldly colored deer - and the location - near The Shack of the revered conservationist - focused my thoughts on deer management.

Wisconsin researchers have completed capture of fawns for a study of predator impacts on deer.
The Department of Natural Resources is hosting a pair of appreciation cookouts this week for project volunteers. In addition to a meal, there will be a presentation of data gleaned over the last 18 months of deer research.

Among the data: Only 6 of 30 (20%) fawns radio-collared in the northern study area in spring of 2011 survived through April 2012.Predation was the leading cause of mortality (16 fawns: 5 to bears, 5 to unknown predators, 4 to bobcat, 1 to coyote and 1 to unknown canid), followed by human hunters (3), unknown causes (3), poaching (1) and vehicle collision (1).

In the east-central study area, 27 of 48 (56%) of fawns collared in 2011 were alive this April. Predation, vehicle collisions and natural causes other than predation (such as starvation) each claimed six fawns. Coyotes (4 fawns) were the leading predator in the east-central study area.

The 80% mortality rate on fawns in the north is eye-opening. It's only one year of data, but such levels of mortality, coupled with losses of adult deer, would result in a declining population if sustained over time.

The data from 2012 may paint a different picture, however. Of the 30 fawns collared this spring in the north, 26 (87%) are alive. Last year at this point, only 40% were alive.
Mike Watt, DNR deer researcher, said the early green-up of 2012 likely has helped fawn survival in the north.That's why you do multiyear studies. We'll report the complete results after they are shared with the volunteers next week.

The white-tailed deer trustees' review of Wisconsin's deer management program is scheduled for release this week. Gov. Scott Walker used his executive power to order the review last year.
James Kroll of Nacogdoches, Texas, David Guynn of Seneca, S.C., and Gary Alt of Lagunitas, Calif., are charged with an "independent, objective, and scientifically-based review of Wisconsin's deer management practices."

Kroll has made a point of saying it's an honor to work on the project, especially given Wisconsin's rich deer hunting history and its status as the "birthplace of modern wildlife management."
That's a reference to Leopold, who helped forge formal study of the field at the University of Wisconsin and was a leading advocate of science-based game management.
Kroll has said the goal is to produce a "21st-century model of deer management."
That sets the bar extremely high, especially when it plays off the legacy of one of the world's pre-eminent conservationists.

One thing is certain - the panel's recommendations won't please everybody.
Hunters, foresters, farmers, motorists, DNR wildlife managers and more are waiting with great anticipation. Stay tuned.

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