Deer Monitoring at Arkansas Post National Memorial

Visitors enjoy viewing the many deer that roam the memorial. They are one of the larger and more charismatic creatures encountered. It is hard to imagine that deer were almost extinct in the early 1900s from over hunting. Deer are very adaptable to human disturbance, however, and have since recovered in numbers. As deer numbers continue to rise at the memorial, so too does the threat of disease, damage to the memorial’s landscape, and collisions with deer on nearby highways.
Graph of deer groups at Arkansas Post from 2005 through 2018
The adjusted count of deer for years 2005 through 2018 at Arkansas Post National Memorial, Arkansas. Left axis shows adjusted count of deer numbers (individuals / km2, + 95% CI).

Adjusted Count of Deer in the Visible Survey Area, Low (Gray) to High (Dark Blue).
Maps of deer habitat at Arkansas Post National Memorial 2005-2018.
Range in the adjusted count of deer color-coded from relatively low to high over 14 years of monitoring. Visible area surveyed during annual counts is the extent of the colored area. Arkansas Post National Memorial, Arkansas.


NPS scientists monitor deer at the memorial using nighttime spotlight surveys. The surveys result in an adjusted count of deer used to track changes in the deer population. Looking at the trend in the adjusted count of deer, you will notice a sharp decline in the population between 2005 and 2007. This coincides with an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease. The highest adjusted counts where recorded in years 2010 and 2011. Although variable, you can see an overall decline in the adjusted counts since monitoring was initiated in 2005.
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Data in this report were collected and analyzed using methods based on established, peer-reviewed protocols and were analyzed and interpreted within the guidelines of the protocols.