Physiological Evaluation of 2 White-tailed Deer Herds in Southern Florida

Influences of nutrition, season, area, sex, and age on physiology were estimated for 82 adult (≥1 year old) white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) collected in the Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP), Florida, between August 1984 and June 1986. Deer were examined for fat, kidney fat index (KFI), fecal diaminopimelic acid (DAPA), abomasal parasites (APC's), overall physical condition, in utero fecundity, and lactation. Absence of seasonal variations in fat levels and KFI values may reflect a reduced need for deer in southern Florida to store fat. Differences in DAPA concentrations, APC's, body weights, and productivity between herds suggested forage quality limited the population increase in 1 herd.

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