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Therya

On-line version ISSN 2007-3364

Abstract

ANGEL, Rosario del  and  MANDUJANO, Salvador. Density of white-tailed deer in relation to vegetation in a landscape of northern Veracruz. Therya [online]. 2017, vol.8, n.2, pp.109-116. ISSN 2007-3364.  http://dx.doi.org/10.12933/therya-17-475.

The white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, is poorly known in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. In this paper we report the relationships between deer population density and vegetation variables in a landscape in Tantoyuca, northern Veracruz. Pellet groups and vegetation were sampled across 40 strip transects (500 x 2 m) in five locations from April to June 2014. The relationships between deer density and vegetation variables were evaluated with hierarchical agglomerative clustering methods to group tree species per transect, as well as generalized linear models. Density (number of deers/km2) was estimated using the semi-automated process PELLET, and was compared between locations, major vegetation types, and transect clusters. Deers were present in 98 % of the transects sampled, with a mean density of 4.2 ± 2.8 deers/km2. Higher densities were estimated in secondary vegetation and pasture-cropping sites. The 40 transects were grouped into four clusters according to the abundance of tree species. In addition, deer density varied between clusters. The density of the white-tailed deer was positively correlated with understory cover and negatively correlated with basal area. Deer density in Tantoyuca is within the range reported in other regions of the state of Veracruz. The use of generalized linear models enabled to predict the density of the white-tailed deer based on some vegetation variables. The localities studied differ in plant composition and structure, and the highest deer density was located in sites with a more diverse and dense plant composition and structure. It is suggested to undertake an in-depth investigation about the effect of landscape structural complexity and connectivity on this and other wildlife species.

Keywords : generalized linear models; management; multivariate analysis; Odocoileus virginianus.

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