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Deer trails and activity

Amanda Faulkenberg and Caitlin Cleary
Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, Biology Department, DePauw University
Spring semester 2012

White-tailed deer are abundant in the DePauw Nature Park.  There are many deer trails located in forested areas in the park.  The goal of our research was to assess the relationship between the amount of deer trails and the abundance of deer.

We hypothesized that more deer would be photographed by cameras located in areas with the most deer trails.

We conducted our research in two forested areas, Quarry Hillside and Quarry South, in the DePauw Nature Park.  We randomly selected five plots in each area.  We mapped each deer trail and measured the length, width, and area of trails.  We placed cameras next to deer trails in four of the five plots in each area.

There were significantly more deer trails in the plots in Quarry South than Quarry Hillside.  There was no significant difference in the number of photographs of deer between Quarry South and Quarry Hillside.  There was no relationship between the area of deer trails and the frequency of deer photographed by the cameras.