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Title: Effects of Cougar Predation and Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Declines in the Intermountain Province of the Columbia Basin, 2001-2002 Annual Report.

Abstract

Construction of the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams has resulted in inundation and loss of 29,125 total habitat units for mule deer and irrigation agriculture in many parts the Intermountain Province (IM) of the Columbia Basin. Mule deer in the Shrub-Steppe are ranked high priority target species for mitigation and management and are declining in most portions of the subbasins of the IM. Reasons for the decline are unknown but believed to be related to habitat changes resulting from dams and irrigation agriculture. White-tailed deer are not ranked as target species and are believed to be increasing throughout the basin because of habitat changes brought about by the dams and irrigation agriculture. Recent research (1997-2000) in the NE IM and adjacent Canadian portions of the Columbia Basin (conducted by this author and funded by the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program B.C.), suggest that the increasing white-tailed deer populations (because of dams and irrigation agriculture) are resulting in increased predation by cougars on mule deer (apparent competition or alternate prey hypothesis). The apparent competition hypothesis predicts that as alternate prey (white-tailed deer) densities increase, so do densities of predators, resulting in increased incidental predation on sympatric native preymore » (mule deer). Apparent competition can result in population declines and even extirpation of native prey in some cases. Such a phenomenon may account for declines of mule deer in the IM and throughout arid and semi-arid West where irrigation agriculture is practiced. We will test the apparent competition hypothesis by conducting a controlled, replicated ''press'' experiment in at least 2 treatment and 2 control areas of the IM subbasins by reducing densities of white-tailed deer and observing any changes in cougar predation on mule deer. Deer densities will be monitored by WADFW personnel using annual aerial surveys and/or other trend indices. Predation rates and population growth rates of deer will be determined using radio telemetry. Changes in cougar functional (kills/unit time), aggregative (cougars/unit area), numerical (offspring/cougar), and total (predation rate) responses on deer will also be monitored using radio telemetry. The experiment will be conducted and completed over a period of 5 years. Results will be used to determine the cause and try to halt the mule deer population declines. Results will also guide deer mitigation and management in the IM and throughout the North American West.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
United States. Bonneville Power Administration.
OSTI Identifier:
803576
Report Number(s):
DOE/BP-00006184-1
R&D Project: 200103402; TRN: US200302%%289
DOE Contract Number:  
00006184
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Dec 2002; Related Information: At head of title: BPA & NWPPC 2001-2002 annual progress report.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AGRICULTURE; CONSTRUCTION; DAMS; DEER; FUNCTIONALS; HABITAT; HYPOTHESIS; IRRIGATION; MANAGEMENT; MITIGATION; NUTRITION; PERSONNEL; PROGRESS REPORT; TARGETS; TELEMETRY; PUMA - FOOD - COLUMBIA RIVER WATERSHED; MULE DEER - PREDATORS OF - COLUMBIA RIVER WATERSHED.

Citation Formats

Wielgus, Robert B., and Shipley, Lisa. Effects of Cougar Predation and Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Declines in the Intermountain Province of the Columbia Basin, 2001-2002 Annual Report.. United States: N. p., 2002. Web. doi:10.2172/803576.
Wielgus, Robert B., & Shipley, Lisa. Effects of Cougar Predation and Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Declines in the Intermountain Province of the Columbia Basin, 2001-2002 Annual Report.. United States. doi:10.2172/803576.
Wielgus, Robert B., and Shipley, Lisa. Mon . "Effects of Cougar Predation and Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Declines in the Intermountain Province of the Columbia Basin, 2001-2002 Annual Report.". United States. doi:10.2172/803576. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/803576.
@article{osti_803576,
title = {Effects of Cougar Predation and Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Declines in the Intermountain Province of the Columbia Basin, 2001-2002 Annual Report.},
author = {Wielgus, Robert B. and Shipley, Lisa},
abstractNote = {Construction of the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams has resulted in inundation and loss of 29,125 total habitat units for mule deer and irrigation agriculture in many parts the Intermountain Province (IM) of the Columbia Basin. Mule deer in the Shrub-Steppe are ranked high priority target species for mitigation and management and are declining in most portions of the subbasins of the IM. Reasons for the decline are unknown but believed to be related to habitat changes resulting from dams and irrigation agriculture. White-tailed deer are not ranked as target species and are believed to be increasing throughout the basin because of habitat changes brought about by the dams and irrigation agriculture. Recent research (1997-2000) in the NE IM and adjacent Canadian portions of the Columbia Basin (conducted by this author and funded by the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program B.C.), suggest that the increasing white-tailed deer populations (because of dams and irrigation agriculture) are resulting in increased predation by cougars on mule deer (apparent competition or alternate prey hypothesis). The apparent competition hypothesis predicts that as alternate prey (white-tailed deer) densities increase, so do densities of predators, resulting in increased incidental predation on sympatric native prey (mule deer). Apparent competition can result in population declines and even extirpation of native prey in some cases. Such a phenomenon may account for declines of mule deer in the IM and throughout arid and semi-arid West where irrigation agriculture is practiced. We will test the apparent competition hypothesis by conducting a controlled, replicated ''press'' experiment in at least 2 treatment and 2 control areas of the IM subbasins by reducing densities of white-tailed deer and observing any changes in cougar predation on mule deer. Deer densities will be monitored by WADFW personnel using annual aerial surveys and/or other trend indices. Predation rates and population growth rates of deer will be determined using radio telemetry. Changes in cougar functional (kills/unit time), aggregative (cougars/unit area), numerical (offspring/cougar), and total (predation rate) responses on deer will also be monitored using radio telemetry. The experiment will be conducted and completed over a period of 5 years. Results will be used to determine the cause and try to halt the mule deer population declines. Results will also guide deer mitigation and management in the IM and throughout the North American West.},
doi = {10.2172/803576},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2002},
month = {Mon Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2002}
}

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