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Therya

On-line version ISSN 2007-3364

Abstract

MANDUJANO, Salvador; DELFIN-ALFONSO, Christian A.  and  GALLINA, Sonia. Comparison of geographic distribution models of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780) subspecies in Mexico: biological and management implications. Therya [online]. 2010, vol.1, n.1, pp.41-68. ISSN 2007-3364.  https://doi.org/10.12933/therya-10-5.

The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is the most widely distributed and studied ungulate in the American continent. This species is found throughout Mexico, except on the peninsula of Baja California and some areas of northern Chihuahua and Sonora. In this study we compared three geographic distribution models (Kellogg 1956; Hall 1981; Villarreal 1999) of white-tailed deer subspecies on a national scale, by state and by principal vegetation types. We found that neither the number of subspecies (13 or 14 of the 38 recognised subspecies), nor the geographical limits between subspecies coincided completely between models. Furthermore, for several subspecies, marked differences in distribution area were found depending on the distribution model used. Using multivariate analyses, we found that the 14 subspecies can be separated into three groups associated with different vegetation types: the northern subspecies associated with shrub land, the Pacific subspecies associated with temperate forest and tropical dry forest, and the south-eastern subspecies associated with tropical evergreen forest, cloud forest and tropical semi-deciduous forest. We suggest the classification of the 14 subspecies into three ecoregions. The data analyzed here is relevant to the management and conservation of the white-tailed deer subspecies and/or geographical variations in Mexico; it is also important to avoid the translocation of individuals into inappropriate areas with respect to their evolution and adaptation to different ecoregions.

Keywords : distribution; ecoregions; management; Mexico; subspecies; vegetation types.

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