Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit

 

Date of this Version

1997

Comments

Published in J. WILDL. MANAGE. 61(3):911-916 (1997)

Abstract

We investigated the effect of red imported fire ants (RIFA; Solenopsis invicta) on an index of whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawn recruitment (doe:fawn ratio) on 10 200-ha plots in the Texas Coastal Prairie during 1991-93. Five of the plots received treatments of the fire ant bait AMDRO© (Am. Cyanamid Co., Wayne, N.].) during April and October 1991 and May 1992 to reduce RIFA populations. The remaining 5 plots served as untreated comparison areas. Populations of RIFA were reduced (P < 0.10) on treated study areas during deer fawning periods in 1991-92. Fawn recruitment was higher on treated areas during 1991 (P = 0.037) and 1992 (P = 0.069), with recruitment about twice as high on treated areas. In 1993, after 1 year of RIFA reinfestation, fawn recruitment did not differ between treated and untreated plots (P = 0.443). We conclude that high density RIFA infestations reduced white-tailed deer fawn recruitment.