Effects of environmental and anthropogenic landscape features on mule deer harvest in Nebraska

Bryan J. O'Connor, Nicolas J. Fryda, Dustin H. Ranglack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Understanding the habitat use of wildlife species is important for effective manage- ment. Nebraska has a variety of habitat types, with the majority being covered by rangeland and cropland. These habitat types likely influence the harvest of mule deer (MD; Odocoileus hemionus) in Nebraska, but their specific effects are unknown, and moreover, harvest may also be influenced by the accessibility of deer habitats for hunters. We modeled which environmental and anthropogenic landscape features influenced harvest densities. Spatial analysis in a Geographic Information System was used to determine the mean values of environmental and anthropogenic landscape features at the county level. We then used a generalized linear model to determine which of those factors influenced MD harvest from 2014-2016. We found that NDVI amplitude, hunter effort, road density, terrain roughness, and canopy cover influence MD harvest in Nebraska. According to our model, MD harvest densities are significantly greater areas with NDVI amplitude ~38, increasing hunter effort, road densities near 1,750 m/km2, increasing terrain roughness, and decreasing canopy cover. Understanding increased harvest densities of MD can be beneficial for wildlife managers, allowing for more efficient allocation of efforts and expenses by managers for population management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere5510
JournalPeerJ
Volume2018
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Canopy cover
  • Harvest
  • Hunter effort
  • Hunting
  • Mule deer
  • NDVI
  • Nebraska
  • Roads
  • Terrain roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this