I analyzed precision and accuracy of lactation data to reflect actual fawn recruitment for various levels of fecundity, neonatal mortality, harvest intensity, and hunter selectivity. I evaluated and developed a correction equation to adjust for harvest date effects on lactation detectability. I compared metrics of site-specific fawn recruitment (e.g., lactation rates, hunter observation fawn-to-doe ratios, and post-season fawn-to-doe ratios) among themselves, and to site-specific indices of carnivore abundance, for 18 properties across Mississippi and Alabama. Accuracy of lactation rates are compromised due to variation at minimal harvest intensity and insensitivity to change in fetal rate or neonatal mortality. Lactation data can be corrected for harvest date effects on lactation detectability. Hunter observation data are variable and poorly represent fawn recruitment. Lactation data are related to fawn recruitment and can be used to roughly estimate fawn recruitment. Carnivore abundance had neither a significant nor consistent effect on fawn recruitment.
|Advisor:||Strickland, Bronson K.|
|Commitee:||Dacus, Chad, Demarais, Stephen, Wang, Guiming|
|School:||Mississippi State University|
|Department:||Wildlife and Fisheries|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||MAI 51/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Lactation index, Mississippi, Odocoileus virginianus, Predation, Recruitment, Simulation, White-tailed deer|
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