Improving and Field Testing Novel Methods to Estimate White-tailed Deer Density Using Camera Traps
October 2019 - September 2021
- Clinton Moore, Co-Principal Investigator
- Richard Chandler, Principal Investigator
- Karl Miller, Co-Principal Investigator
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Reliable methods for estimating deer abundance and for monitoring temporal trends in density are important components of effective deer management. A cost-effective, camera-based survey method would be useful for assessing the effects of management practices on trends in density and recruitment rates. In Georgia, concerns exist about declining densities of deer and declining recruitment rates that have resulted from changes in land use and changes in the predator community. Customary camera-based survey approaches for estimating population quantities at the degree of accuracy and precision needed for decision making are cost-prohibitive. This study is a collaborative effort between the University of Georgia and Georgia Department of Natural Resources. This research will produce a cost-effective camera-based survey approach that is cost-effective to apply at large scales and is free of the estimation assumptions that encumbered previous approaches. Deer managers for the state of Georgia will be able to make population and habitat management decisions using more robust demographic information.