Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Twenty-year Home-range Dynamics
of a White-tailed Deer Matriline
Capture and Demography
We captured and radio-tracked six female deer for this study from 1976 through
1996, of which five had mother-fawn relationships (Fig. 1). In different years
we captured adult female D106 with fawns G6381 and G6996. We later twice recaptured
G6381 as an adult, first with fawn GG6974 and a year later with fawn GG7000.
Based on their association after capture, shared migration, and the shared area
of summer range locations (Figs. 2 and 3),
we considered the sixth female (M112) to be the mother of D106, known mother
and grandmother to the other females. The advanced age of M112 and our knowledge
of female dispersal suggest that she was at least a 10-year occupant of the
site used by the other females. If she was not the mother of D106, then M112
was at the very least, and most plausibly, a close relative.
|Fig. 1. Genetic relationships, ages, and years
of first capture and end of radio-tracking interval for a 20-year white-tailed
deer matriline. Matriline members and their relationship to the matriarch
are as follows: M112, matriarch; D106, daughter; G6381, granddaughter;
G6996, granddaughter; GG6974, great-granddaughter; and GG7000, great-granddaughter.
A dotted line represents life before capture and a solid line indicates
the radio-tracking interval after capture.
During April through November in 1976-1996, we located members of the matriline
482 times and confirmed their presence aerially on each of an additional 479
checks, always within the same 3-km² area. We concurrently radio-tracked
five females during 1988, four during 1989, three in 1987, and two during
8 other years (Table 1). In 8 of the years we radio-tracked
only one member.
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