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

Pennsylvania Project

Movement and habitat use of sika and white-tailed deer on Assateague Island National Seashore

July 2006 - August 2008


Participating Agencies

  • Assateague Island National Seashore

This research project was conducted to describe habitat use of sika deer (Cervus nippon) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and possibly attribute the effects of ungulate herbivory to specific deer species, if spatial separation in habitat use could be identified. Sturm (2007) conducted an exclosure study to document the effect of feral horse (Equus caballus) herbivory, deer herbivory, and horse and deer herbivory combined on plant communities. Sturm (2007) found that ungulate herbivory reduced plant species richness, evenness, and diversity in the maritime forest and affected species composition in all habitats studied. Sturm (2007) also found that herbivory on some species could be directly attributable to either horse or deer. However, the effects of sika and white-tailed deer herbivory could not be separated via an exclosure study design because of the difficulty of passively excluding one deer species but not the other.

Research Publications Publication Date
Wagner, T., D.R. Diefenbach, A.S. Norton, and S.A. Christensen. 2011. Using multilevel models to quantify heterogeneity in resource selection. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:1788-1796. | Abstract | Download November 2011
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Christensen, S. A. 2010. Movement and habitat use of sika and white-tailed deer on Assateague Island National Seashore. Thesis, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA. May 2010