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Improving daytime detection of deer for surveillance and management

Logan, Thomas W.; Ashton-Butt, Adham; Ward, Alastair I.

Authors

Thomas W. Logan

Adham Ashton-Butt

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Dr Alastair Ward A.I.Ward@hull.ac.uk
Head of Department, Biological and Marine Sciences



Abstract

1. Maximising the detection of a target species reduces uncertainty of survey results and can improve management outcomes. Deer (Cervidae) populations are managed worldwide due to their impacts on anthropocentric interests. In the UK, deer can only lawfully be shot during the daytime, from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, when deer activity is at its lowest. We evaluated performance of a thermal imager relative to binoculars for their ability to detect deer during the daytime and at twilight (one hour either side of dawn and dusk).
2. Transect surveys on Thorne Moors, UK, revealed that more roe and red deer were observed using a thermal imager than when using binoculars. More deer and in much larger groups were observed at twilight than during the other daylight hours.
3. Variation in animal detectability at different times of the day must be considered during wildlife surveys if their outputs are to be as accurate and precise as possible.
4. The results support the continued focus of deer culling efforts during the hours of twilight. They also highlight the potential utility of thermal imagers for maximising detection probability at twilight.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019-12
Journal European Journal of Wildlife Research
Print ISSN 1612-4642
Electronic ISSN 1439-0574
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 65
Issue 6
Article Number 83
APA6 Citation Logan, T. W., Ashton-Butt, A., & Ward, A. I. (2019). Improving daytime detection of deer for surveillance and management. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 65(6), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-019-1318-y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-019-1318-y
Keywords Cervus elaphus; Capreolus capreolus; Binoculars; Detection; Survey; Thermal imager
Publisher URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10344-019-1318-y
Additional Information Received: 1 April 2019; Revised: 29 July 2019; Accepted: 26 August 2019; First Online: 14 October 2019; : All procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Hull. Ethical Review reference U151.

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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2019
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.





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