Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
FIA Project 2349021

    Development of a query to predict late-winter mule deer distribution in Supply Block F, Prince George Forest District
Project lead: Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
Contributing Authors: Proulx, Gilbert; Farkvam, Jamie; Beauchesne, Ron
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
The objective of this project was to develop a query to predict the late-winter distribution of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in Supply Block F, Prince George Forest District. On the basis of literature review, the following criteria were identified for the development of a query to produce predictive maps of mule deer late-winter distribution: 1) stand composition; 2) age; 3) canopy closure; 4) tree height; 5) tree dbh; 6) basal area; 7) percentage of shrub cover; 8) aspect; and 9) slope. Road surveys conducted in December 2004 identified five locations with deer tracks on the east side of the study area. Tracks were within or near polygons with late-successional, coniferous-deciduous stands dominated by pine or spruce, in association with aspen. Canopy closure was = 50%; tree heights ranged from 24 to >30 m; diameter at breast height, from 24.8 to 31.9 cm. All surrounding stands had a basal area that exceeded 45 m2/ha in merchantable timber, and were located on = 20% slopes, on west, south-south-west, and north-northeast aspects. Literature review and findings on the local distribution of deer led to the following query: late-successional coniferous-deciduous or coniferous-dominated stands, with a canopy closure of at least 45%, tree heights = 23 m, tree dbh = 24 cm, basal area = 45 m2/ha, and slopes < 60%. Deer might be found on all aspects, but possibly less often on north, northeast, and east exposures. Weights have been subjectively given to these criteria for the development of predictive distribution maps. While mule deer are known to be ecologically flexible, topography, landscape fragmentation, traditional use by the animals, and human activities (e.g., agriculture) could all have an impact on their winter distribution in Supply Block F. This query must definitely be field-tested and, if necessary, adjusted on the basis of new data.


Mule Deer Distribution Report (1.8Mb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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