Natural Sciences >> Integrative Biology

Studying Deer Harvest Restrictions

by Samuel Sweetman


Submitted : Fall 2014

The study uses a life table of female deer populations from the Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida to estimate the population dynamics of the white tailed deer. It views the effects of harvesting the female deer after age three compared to waiting until the deer are after age five before harvesting them. The life table that was used as a source for the data was viewed as a static life table for the deer population. The population numbers were the sum of all does that are at a reproductive age for the specified age class or lower and the birth rates used in the equation are based off the data for the total number of does pregnant in the studied population size, since the litter size is one fawn per doe, with known sex ratios for the fawns. Once the growth rate was calculated based on these numbers, an average mortality rate was applied to show a more accurate population size since the differential growth equation does not factor in mortality rates. The population sizes were found to increase if deer were harvested at a later age and not harvested if they were younger than the specified age class.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Gordon Fox, Integrative Biology
Suggested By :
Gordon Fox