Mortality Patterns of Female White-tailed Deer in Southwest Florida

Eleven of 66 radio-collared white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in southwest Florida were killed by bobcats (Felis rufus) and 4 by Florida panthers {Felis concolor coryi). Average doe home range size was 194 ha, and 2 bucks ranged from 454-1,560 ha. There were no differences (P = 0.336) in doe survival rates among seasons. The average annual survival rate for does was 0.813 (95% CI- 0.68, 0.94) and 64% of the annual mortality was attributable to predation. Average neonate mortality rate was 37.8% ±16.1 and appeared to increase with surface water levels. Human hunting activities had little impact on the number of radio-collared does, and the population was stable with a net reproductive rate (Ro) of 0.96.

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