White-tailed Deer Movement Study Continues on Fire Island

A female white-tailed deer with GPS-enabled radio tracking collar stands in back dune habitat.
A female white-tailed deer fitted with a GPS-enabled radio tracking collar stands in the back dune habitat.

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: April 30, 2015

Contact: Lindsay Ries, 631-687-4768

Contact: Elizabeth Rogers, 631-687-4766

Fire Island, New York –The National Park Service in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and the State University of New York School of Environmental Science and Forestry fitted 15 female white-tailed deer with GPS-enabled radio tracking collars this past winter during the second year of a three-year White-tailed Deer Movement Study.

"The collars are collecting information that will help us better understand how white-tailed deer move about the island," stated Fire Island National Seashore Wildlife Biologist Lindsay Ries. Designed to automatically release from the deer after about 12 months, the collars have a small unit attached that records location data at regular intervals. The collars also carry a radio frequency transmitter which allows park staff to track the animals and monitor their health and safety on a weekly basis during the 12-month period.

The Deer Movement Study is part of a larger, three-year research project developed in response to Hurricane Sandy. The project will assess the re-establishment of maritime vegetation at four locations impacted by sand deposition, salt water intrusion, and canopy mortality. The research also focuses on how white-tailed deer influence post-storm vegetation re-establishment at these locations.

In addition, the Deer Movement Study will complement existing deer population and vegetation monitoring efforts essential to the implementation of Fire Island National Seashore's Final Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Deer Plan/EIS) due out later this year. The Deer Plan/EIS will address issues associated with the number, distribution, and behavior of deer on Fire Island.

Please visit the Deer Movement Study web page for more information.

Last updated: April 30, 2015

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