Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2009


Published in Human–Wildlife Conflicts 3(1):116–128, Spring 2009. Published and copyright by Jack H. Berryman Institute http://www.berrymaninstitute.org/journal/index.html


Interactions between humans and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have become common, often resulting in management actions to mitigate negative impacts. Changes in population size are generally used to judge management actions. We examined deer population estimation techniques during 2 mark-resighting experiments in a woodland-grassland habitat in central New York State and in a suburban area. We compared program NOREMARK, Lincoln-Peterson estimates, and Jacobson’s (1997) buck:doe ratios (BDR) for estimating deer abundance. In the first field trial, we sought to validate the camera survey methods and computer applications. We used infrared-triggered cameras (IRCs) to survey a white-tailed deer population of known size that inhabited a fenced, woodland-grassland area (11-day survey, 1 camera/33 ha, fall 1999). We estimated deer abundance with program NOREMARK (Bowden estimator). Analysis of the photographic data with this technique produced an accurate and precise population estimate in the fi rst experiment. In the second experiment, we used program NOREMARK and 2 similar estimators in a previously untested suburban landscape. We surveyed a suburban white-tailed deer population with IRCs during spring and fall 2000 (10-day surveys, 1 camera/38 ha), using program NOREMARK (Bowden estimator), the Jacobson BDR method, and the Lincoln-Peterson estimator. All 3 methods produced similar estimates of deer abundance. We concluded that IRCs, in conjunction with either program NOREMARK or the Jacobson BDR method will provide reliable estimates of deer abundance in suburban areas.