Date of Award

Summer 7-24-2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Renewable Natural Resources

First Advisor

Johnson, Mark K.

Second Advisor

Chabreck, Robert H.

Third Advisor

Urbatsch, Lowell E.

Abstract

Twenty pen-raised white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were released into mixed pine-hardwood forest habitat in southeastern Louisiana to compare their seasonal diets to the diets of the wild white-tailed deer population. Microhistological analysis was used to estimate the botanical composition of fecal pellet samples collected from both populations of deer over four consecutive seasons. Wild and pen-raised deer diets were found to be an average of 75.18% similar during the entire year of the study, and were significantly associated during all seasons (P < 0.001), indicating that all deer foraged on similar plant taxa in similar proportions regardless of season. Both populations of deer were found to be predominantly browsers during all seasons, with browse and fruit accounting for a yearly average of >55% of deer diets. Results from this study indicate that rehabilitated or translocated deer released into new environments will forage as efficiently as their wild counterparts.

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

Share

COinS