Mule Deer Study

Researcher(s): John Benson

With this research we will identify factors influencing mule deer population growth in Nebraska. Specifically, we will estimate survival and cause-specific mortality of adult female and neonatal mule deer, as well as seasonal movements, space use, and habitat selection. The areas and populations we selected provide a unique opportunity to examine the aforementioned factors within multiple mule deer populations that appear to be declining, stable, and increasing.

Our specific objectives are to

  1. estimate survival and cause-specific mortality of adult female and neonatal mule deer
  2. estimate home ranges and seasonal movements of adult female mule deer
  3. quantify habitat and resource selection of adult female mule deer at multiple spatial scales
  4. To achieve these goals, we plan to capture and track 240 adult female mule deer and approximately 300 fawns in Northwest and Southwest Nebraska between 2018-2021. The research will involve collaboration between faculty and graduate students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and biologists and managers at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

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