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Demographic response of mule deer to experimental reduction of coyotes and mountain lions in southeastern Idaho August 7, 2011

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Demographic response of mule deer to experimental reduction of coyotes and mountain lions in southeastern Idaho August 7, 2011, Wildlife Monographs, 
  • Mark A. Hurley1,*
  • James W. Unsworth2
  • Peter Zager3
  • Mark Hebblewhite4
  • Edward O. Garton5
  • Debra M. Montgomery5
  • John R. Skalski6
  • Craig L. Maycock7,  
  • Article first published online: 2 AUG 2011

    DOI: 10.1002/wmon.4


    Annual removal of coyotes was not an effective method to increase mule deer populations in Idaho because coyote removal increased radiocollared neonate fawn survival only under particular combinations of prey densities and weather conditions, and the increase did not result in population growth. Coyote-removal programs targeted in areas where mortality of mule deer fawns is known to be additive and coyote-removal conditions are successful may influence mule deer population vital rates but likely will not change direction of population trend. Although mountain lion removal increased mule-deer survival and fawn ratios, we were unable to demonstrate significant changes in population trend with mountain lion removal. In conclusion, benefits of predator removal appear to be marginal and short term in southeastern Idaho and likely will not appreciably change long-term dynamics of mule deer populations in the intermountain west.


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