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Therya

On-line version ISSN 2007-3364

Abstract

LARA-DIAZ, Nalleli E. et al. Abundancia y densidad de venado cola blanca (Odocoileus virginianus couesi) en Sierra de San Luis, Sonora, México. Therya [online]. 2011, vol.2, n.2, pp.125-137. ISSN 2007-3364.  http://dx.doi.org/10.12933/therya-11-32.

White-tailed deer are an ecologically and economically important species in Mexico, with limited information on population status throughout the country. The aim of this study was to estimate the abundance and density of white-tailed deer using an alternative method with camera traps in northeastern Sonora, Mexico. We placed 31camera traps with attractants along trails and major wildlife crossings. The photographic records obtained were identified at the individual level through a comparative analysis of opinions. We built a capture-recapture history for each individual, thus creating a database of presence - absence. The abundance was estimated using the program MARK. We calculated an effective sampling area based on the average home range of the species of 55.10 km2. The abundance was divided by the effective sampling area to estimate density. Abundance for white-tailed deer was 130 ± 26.51 individuals for a density of 2.36 ± 0.48 ind/km2. These results are comparable to previous studies using fecal group surveys and aerial count surveys. Thus indicating a healthy local white-tailed deer population; however it is necessary to extend the camera trap monitoring to additional areas with different types of management. Finally, we consider the use of camera traps and the method developed for this study, to be valid and valuable alternatives to estimate white-tailed deer population fast and efficiently, particularly in such locations where information is lacking, additionally this methodology could be applied to the other mammalian species that potentially could be photographed in a given session.

Keywords : camera traps; capture-recapture; home range; models; population estimates; White-tailed deer.

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