Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
To capture these deer, we used a net fired from a large net-gun as we flew over the deer in a helicopter. While we had the deer in hand, we collected blood samples, fecal samples, took standard biological body measurements, measured body fat and pregnancy status using a portable ultrasound, and fitted each deer with a radio collar. Each radio collar has its own unique frequency, which allows us to locate the deer by homing in on the radio signal using a special receiver; we do most of our monitoring from an airplane but sometimes we track from the ground using vehicles or on foot. Each radio collar has a mortality switch which allows us to determine if a deer has died; by getting to a deer shortly after it has died, we have a better chance of determining the cause of death. Using locations of radio marked deer, we can learn many things about how deer make a living across the landscape including seasonal movements and habitat use, survival rates, migration corridors, identifying critical areas important to deer, all of which help us do a better job of managing the mule deer herds. Unless we recapture a deer and remove the collar, the deer will wear the collar for the rest of its life.
If I had the frequency of the radio collar of the deer in your photo, I could produce a map showing the relocation and movement information over time for that deer. Without the frequency, I do not know which deer this one is.