Spatial use and habitat associations of Columbian white-tailed deer fawns in Southwestern Oregon
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Fawns represent a critical life history stage in the dynamics of deer populations, yet little recent information is available on the ecology of neonatal Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus) (CWTD), a geographically isolated and federally endangered sub-species. We described home ranges, areas of concentrated use, and habitat associations of CWTD fawns in southwestern Oregon, USA, during the summers of 1997 and 1998. Spatial use patterns and habitat use within areas of concentrated use were described for 11 radio-marked fawns. Pooled habitat use was described for 24 radio-marked fawns. Areas of concentrated use averaged 2.4 ha, which was 13.3% of mean 95% home range size (18.0 ha). Frequent use of oak-madrone woodland and riparian cover types characterized fawn habitat use patterns. Cover types containing conifers were rarely used and usually not available within home ranges. Although we found no detectable patterns of habitat selection or avoidance among fawns, areas of concentrated use were composed mostly of oak-madrone woodland (35%) and riparian (26%) cover types. Moreover, 74% of concentrated use area was within 200 m of streams. Our results provide useful information on habitat characteristics used frequently by CWTD fawns.