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Thursday, August 9 • 9:20am - 9:40am
Space Use 1 Track: Responses Of Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) To Recent Wildfires And Habitat Treatments On The Kaibab Plateau, Arizona

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AUTHORS: Kirby D. Bristow, Mathew J. Clement, Larisa E. Harding* – Wildlife Research Branch, Arizona Game and Fish Department

ABSTRACT: Large wildfires in the western USA have increased in both frequency and intensity and may have significant impacts on wildlife use of habitats. The impacts of increased fire severity can be problematic and may not follow well known recovery trajectories. Responses of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) to habitat treatments designed to enhance shrub forage availability after two large, recent fires on the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona are not well documented. We examined location data from mule deer on the Kaibab plateau to determine the relative influence of wildfire severity, habitat treatments, and other environmental variables on winter habitat selection patterns. We used locations from 30 adult female mule deer fitted with global positioning system (GPS) collars to model probability of use as a function of habitat covariates using negative binomial regression. The best model describing habitat use by mule deer on the Kaibab plateau winter range included covariates describing the amount of treated area, fire severity, distance to developed water, snow depth, terrain ruggedness, vegetation height and solar radiation. Deer use increased in areas with lower average fire severity, reduced snow depths and closer to developed water sources. Similarly, lower terrain ruggedness and higher solar radiation were associated with increased deer use. This information may be important in designing landscape treatments to improve winter range habitat conditions for mule deer.

920AM pdf

Thursday August 9, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am MDT
Long Peaks Lodge - Diamond E&W
  Space Use 1
  • Slides Available Yes

Attendees (4)