Bed-site selection by desert mule deer in Southern Arizona

J. C. Tull, P. R. Krausman, R. J. Steidl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

We compared bed sites selected by desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus eremicus) to nearby random sites to assess bed site features. Thermal cover of bed sites (i.e., vegetation ≥75 cm high that provided shade for a deer) was highest in summer (X̄ = 43.7% ± 4.1 SE) compared to spring (29.7% ± 4.4), winter (33.5% ± 3.1), and autumn (39.8% ± 4.0); however, selection for bed sites with thermal cover that differed most from that available randomly was highest in spring (X̄ difference between bed and random sites = 14.8% ± 5.2) compared to summer (8.3% ± 4.1), winter (6.6% ± 3.5), and autumn (8.6% ± 3.5). Thermal cover is likely important as a contribution to thermoregulation, escape cover, protection of fawns, and fawn survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-357
Number of pages4
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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