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Monday, August 6 • 4:30pm - Friday, August 10 •12:00pm
Student Poster: White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Movements And Habitat Use In An Intensively Cultivated Landscape

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AUTHORS: Miranda C. Reinson, Nate Bickford, Dustin H. Ranglack – Department of Biology, University of Nebraska at Kearney

ABSTRACT: In 2007, U.S. trade rates due to economic growth of developing countries, combined with tight global grain supplies, resulted in record high prices for corn and other food/feed grains [1] The higher corn prices have motivated farmers to increase corn acreage at the expense of other crops and native habitat [1]. With corn prices nearing record highs, farmers are more likely to use more land for corn crop production, causing habitat loss for wildlife. Overtime, land has been converted into highly cultivated landscapes, a land area with >80% agricultural land, which can negatively affect the wildlife that once inhabited the area. Alterations to the environment cause patches to develop, making it difficult for wildlife to find the appropriate cover needed. Cover is not the only thing lost during landscape transition, but the development of irrigation systems can cause water availability to become scarce. Water table levels in Nebraska over the past few years have dropped 10-15 feet, in some areas and as much as 15-25 feet. South of Kearney NE, where this study is taking place, the water table has dropped about 10-15 feet [3]. As the seasons transition from growing corn and heavy irrigation to a drastic change in habitat when corn is harvested, and irrigation has stopped, it makes it harder for animals to find certain resources. These changes may be causing a push for these animals to move to other locations where resources, such as water, is more readily available. In landscapes dominated by agricultural production, deer movements and migrations are influenced by extrinsic forces, such as changes in weather, food availability, and vegetation structures [2]. During this study, we plan to investigate the movement patterns and habitat use of white-tail deer over the changing seasons. This information will help population management by providing valuable information on deer movements and habitat use in an intensively cultivated landscape, which is currently lacking.

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Monday August 6, 2018 4:30pm - Friday August 10, 2018 12:00pm MDT
Assembly Hall Foyer

Attendees (2)