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Seasonal movements and home ranges of white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota

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Knowledge of movement patterns of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780)) inhabiting landscapes intensively modified by agricultural systems is important to the present and future understanding of deer ecology. Little information exists regarding daily and seasonal movements of white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. Therefore, our goal was to determine movement patterns and home-range use of female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. From January 2005 to January 2007, 29 adult (>18 months) and 13 yearling (8-18 months) white-tailed deer were monitored for movement using radiotelemetry. We collected 2822 locations, calculated 76 home ranges, and documented 50 seasonal movements. Mean migration distance between summer and winter home ranges was 19.4 km (SE = 2.0 km). Mean 95% home-range size was 10.2 km2 (SE = 1.2 km2, n = 27) during winter and 9.2 km2 (SE = 1.0 km2, n = 49) during summer. Ambient temperature appeared to be a primary cause of seasonal migration. Additionally, movements exhibited by white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota were influenced by a highly fragmented landscape dominated by row crops and pasture or grassland.

Pour comprendre l’écologie actuelle et future du cerf de Virginie (Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780)), il est important de connaître les patrons de déplacement des cerfs qui vivent dans les paysages fortement modifiés par les systèmes agricoles. Il existe peu de renseignements sur les déplacements journaliers et saisonniers des cerfs de Virginie dans le centre nord du Dakota du Sud. Notre objectif est donc de déterminer les patrons de déplacement et l’utilisation de l’aire vitale des femelles du cerf de Virginie dans le centre nord du Dakota du Sud. De janvier 2005 à janvier 2007, nous avons suivi par radiotélémétrie les déplacements de 29 adultes (>18 mois) et de 13 jeunes de l’année (8-18 mois) du cerf de Virginie. Nous avons enregistré 2822 repérages, calculé 76 aires vitales et mesuré 50 déplacements saisonniers. La distance moyenne de migration entre les aires vitales d’été et d’hiver est de 19,4 km (ET = 2,0 km). La taille moyenne (à un niveau de 95 %) de l’aire vitale est de 10,2 km2 (ET = 1,2 km2, n = 27) en hiver et de 9,2 km2 (ET = 1,0 km2, n = 49) durant l’été. La température ambiante semble être la cause principale de la migration saisonnière. De plus, les déplacements faits par les cerfs de Virginie du centre nord du Dakota du Sud sont influencés par le paysage fortement fragmenté et dominé par des cultures en lignes et des pâturages ou prairies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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