Supporting caribou by monitoring deer in North Columbia
In winter 2018-2019, deer were captured between Mica Dam and Revelstoke, in the Columbia North and Frisby-Boulder caribou ranges. Four White-tailed Deer does and three Mule Deer does were outfitted with GPS collars to monitor survival and cause-specific mortality. One White-tailed Deer fawn and three Mule Deer fawns were outfitted with VHF collars. One female White-tailed Deer mortality was investigated, with the cause of death determined as coyote predation. In future years, deer survival will be monitored and the sample size increased to 20-30 adult does. Cause-specific mortality and survival rates will be calculated, recruitment rates estimated and the doe:fawn ratio measured. The goal is to directly measure the survival and recruitment of White-tailed Deer populations, and incidentally Mule Deer populations, within the mountain caribou range. Additionally, this project will inform the missing knowledge of how White-tailed Deer populations contribute to increased abundance of wolves and cougars. Baseline data will be collected, in order to evaluate the efficacy of proposed White-tailed Deer reductions via increased hunter harvest.