Roel R. Lopez

Development of a Deer-guard Prototype for Florida Key Deer

Due to increased deer/vehicle collisions involving endangered Florida Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) planned to fence a stretch of U.S. Highway 1 that crosses Big Pine Key, Florida. Public access roads, which would allow deer to enter the fenced portion of the highway, posed public and wildlife-related hazards. Currently there are no structures (deer guards) that are effective in preventing deer from entering access roads. Our purpose was to design, construct, and test a deer guard that would allow normal passage of vehicles while...

Year
2003

Use of Infrared-triggered Cameras and Monitors in Aquatic Environments

The use of infrared-triggered activity monitors in wildlife science has increased during recent years. In most cases, trail monitors are mounted to stationary objects. However, trail monitors in aquatic environments where change in elevation is necessary, because of varying water levels, curently restricts their use. In our study of Florida Key deer, we needed information on deer activities in areas influenced by tides. We developed an inexpensive device that allowed trail monitors to operate as tides changed. We propose that this device can expand the use of trail monitors to include...

Year
1999

Evaluating 2 Potential Limiting Factors for Relocated Turkeys in Texas

Relocated eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) have been increasing in northern Post Oak Savannah (POS) of Texas. However, it has been difficult to establish populations in the southern POS where mortality is high and reproductive success low. It has been proposed that high spring precipitation and high carnivore numbers account for poor population viability in the southern POS. We found that spring precipitation (1994-1995 nesting seasons) was not above the historic average (1950-1993), nor did unusually high rainfall events occur. These data suggest that spring...

Year
1999

Survival and Reproduction of Eastern Wild Turkeys Relocated into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas

Relocated (N = 76) eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) were released into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas in winters 1994 and 1995. Before release, each bird was fitted with a radio transmitter and numbered leg band. Mortality and reproduction were monitored through 1996 to determine survival and reproduction. First-year annual survival rates for gobblers and hens was 0.286 and 0.484, respectively. One of 4 study areas lost all gobblers within the first year. Mammalian predation (63.4%) was the primary cause of mortality. High post-release mortality was attributed to...

Year
1998

A Portable Drop Net for Capturing Urban Deer

A free-standing, portable drop net was developed and used in the capture of 82 Florida Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium). The net was efficient, easy to set, inexpensive, and non-invasive (e.g., no blasting caps, no destruction of private property). Of 82 trapping attempts, 74 (90%) resulted in the capture of at least 1 deer, 3 (4%) resulted in net malfunction (e.g., net hung), and 5 (6%) resulted in deer escaping. The net can be used to trap deer and other animals in urban areas and can be effective in other areas where wildlife are susceptible to baiting.

Year
1998

Nest-site Characteristics of Relocated Eastern Wild Turkeys in Texas

Past research suggests nesting habitat limits survival and growth of some eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) populations. However, information on nest-site selection is primarily on established populations with limited data on restocked birds. Our objectives were to assess nest-site characteristics of relocated birds and determine causes of nest failure in the Post Oak Savannah of eastern Texas. Radio-tagged wild turkey hens (N = 48) were relocated to 4 areas in winter 1994. We compared understory and ground cover characteristics between 22 nest sites of radio-tagged...

Year
1997