Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Pennsylvania
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Pennsylvania Project

Testing Assumptions of Distance Sampling to Estimate Abundance of White-tailed Deer

August 2008 - December 2011


Participating Agencies

  • Natural Resources Preservation Program (NRPP)
  • Gettysburg National Military Park
David Stainbrook

This project is taking place at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site in Pennsylvania. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were captured from January-March 2008 using rocket-nets and modified clover traps and fitted with ear tags and GPS-collars. Over the next two years, I will perform 7 distance sampling surveys using transects selected from existing roads within a 2862 hectare or 11 square-mile study area that includes both the park and private lands surrounding the park. I will be collecting intensive GPS locations from marked deer during the distance sampling survey to model habitat use. Results from this habitat-use model will allow me to estimate the proportion of the population that was actually near roads during surveys, to quantify the bias introduced when using roads, and to correct population estimates.

Presentations Presentation Date
Stainbrook, D. P., and D. R. Diefenbach. Methods of Estimating Deer Abundance at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site: Testing Assumptions of Distance Sampling. Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Conference, Manchester, NH, 17-19 April 2011. April 2011
Stainbrook, D. P., and D. R. Diefenbach. Modeling resource selection of deer to account for non-random sampling with distance sampling. Southeast Deer Study Group Meeting, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, February 20-23, 2011. February 2011