HomeRange and Mortality of White-Tailed Deer Fawns in Coastal South Carolina

During the summers of 1981 and 1982, 48 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns were captured and radio-collared on the Cat and South island portions of the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, Georgetown, South Carolina. Significantly (x2 = 4.10, P < 0.05) more male fawns were captured than females. Telemetry and visual locations (N = 731, range = 18 to 224) were taken on 11 fawns. All fawns utilized open inter-tidal marsh/marsh edge habitat. Home range and activity of individual fawns were highly variable. Mortality of radio collared fawns was 84.4% (38 of 45). Marking activities were directly responsible for the death of 3 fawns. Of the 45 fawns included in the mortality analysis, 89.5% died within 1 month of age. High fawn mortality may regulate or stabilize the size of the South Island deer population.

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