DISTRIBUTION AND ACTIVITY OF WHITE-TAILED DEER ALONG AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY

Distribution and activity of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were studied on a 12.9-km sector of Interstate Highway 80 in a forested region of central Pennsylvania from May 1968 to May 1969 and on a 12.4-km argicultural section of the highway from April 1968 to May 1969. Observations of deer were made from a vehicle equipped with a spotlight for nighttime observing. Over 6,500 deer were observed and categorized as to location, behavior, sex, and age. Numbers of deer seen were related to time of day, topography, vegetation, traffic, and meteorological factors. Most of the deer seen in the forested area were grazing on the highway rights-of-way; most of those seen in the agricultural area were grazing in fields and rarely were seen on the rights-of-way. Deer tended to move into our study areas at dawn. Neither traffic volume nor weather correlated strongly with numbers of deer seen; spring and fall were times of great deer abundance in both study areas, but vegetation type and topography were more important factors in the forested area than in the agricultural area. Feeding behavior of deer in both areas dominated all other activities. The impact of the highway itself on deer abundance and distribution and the relationship between deer activity and deer-automobile collisions are functions of highway location relative to deer requisites such as feeding and resting sites and to relative availability of feeding areas other than rights-of-way. /Author/

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    Wildlife Society

    5410 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 200
    Bethesda, MD  USA  20814-2144
  • Authors:
    • Carbaugh, B
  • Publication Date: 1975-7

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  • Accession Number: 00126309
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1975 12:00AM