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Keywords:

  • chronic wasting disease;
  • density;
  • dispersal;
  • exploratory;
  • harvest;
  • landscape;
  • Odocoileus virginianus;
  • transient;
  • white-tailed deer;
  • Wisconsin

Abstract: To focus white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) management within a chronic wasting disease-infected area in south-central Wisconsin, USA, we assessed deer movements and related dispersal to variation in landscape pattern, deer density, and harvest intensity. We radiocollared and monitored 165 deer between 2003 and 2005. Yearling males that dispersed (45%) had greater forest edge (i.e., fragmentation) within natal home ranges. Exploratory movements were rare for adult females. Transient and migratory movements were rare among all deer (<5%). Although yearling males have low chronic wasting disease prevalence rates, they may be infected before dispersal due to variable incubation times. Managers should increase yearling male harvest and consider removing young males in areas of higher forest edge.