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Wildlife Damage Management Protection Efforts on a Mule Deer Population in Eastern Nevada: 2003 thru 2005

  • Author(s): Bowers, Zack L.
  • Spencer, Jack O., Jr.
  • et al.
Abstract

In September 2003, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners directed the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) to contract with the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services Program (WS) to conduct wildlife damage management (WDM) activities for the protection of mule deer in eastern Nevada. Responding to the Commission’s directive, NDOW requested WS to initiate wildlife damage management efforts to protect a population of adult and juvenile mule deer in Lincoln County. The coyote was the only predator targeted for removal from the project area by various removal methods. WS personnel also collected coyote mandibles from the project area, and the cementum aging process was used to determine the age structure of coyotes prior to and during the ongoing WDM protection efforts. Results from the tooth aging analysis indicate that the average age of coyotes dropped somewhat during the second year of removal, although not significantly. Mule deer fawn and adult populations are monitored by NDOW to determine what effect(s) coyote removal is having on the mule deer population located in the protection area. The protection area is mainly comprised of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, and nearly all WDM activities were conducted on these public lands. This is an ongoing 5-year mule deer protection project. As an added dimension of the resource protection efforts, WS collected blood samples from coyotes removed during WDM activities to permit the monitoring of various wildlife diseases by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Washoe County Vector Control.

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