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Fecal and rumen analyses in relation to temporal variation in black-tailed deer diets

Fecal and rumen analyses in relation to temporal variation in black-tailed deer diets

Journal of Wildlife Management 58(1): 53-58

Temporal (i.e., among feeding bouts) variation in foods consumed by ungulates can affect the usefulness and reliability of different methods of dietary assessment. I examined relationships between fecal and ruminal assessment of summer diets of Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) in southeastern Alaska and the effects of temporal variation on such assessments. I hypothesized that if diets were similar over time, samples analyzed as fecal and rumen pairs should be more similar than when samples were not paired. Similarity was greater when samples were not paired, suggesting that short-term temporal variability in diet of individual animals was greater than variation in diet among different animals. Diet estimates were best derived by pooling fecal samples from many deer rather than using rumen samples from a few deer, especially when short-term temporal variability in foods consumed by individuals was likely.

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Accession: 008680145

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.2307/3809548

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