Hunter Mitchell and Kathleen Raymond-Judy
Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, Biology Department, DePauw University
Spring semester 2015
We mapped deer trails in the DePauw Nature Park to understand the behavior of deer. We measured the density of deer trails in three forested areas of the park. We compared the density of deer trails in the overall area and within a 50 meter radius of human trails and streams.
In each forested area, we walked along established grids, marked all deer trails with flags, and mapped each deer trail using a GPS unit.
The density of deer trails was higher in the overall area compared to the 50-meter buffer of human trails. There was no difference in the density of deer trails in the overall area compared to the 50-meter buffer of streams.
Our results suggest that deer avoid interacting with humans by concentrating in deeper forested areas away from human trails.