2014-05-31 / Outdoors

$3.9 M Pa. fawn sur vival study proposed

Another deer study is on the Pa. Game Commission drawing board.

Staffers have asked the directors to okay a $3.9 million research project to determine the impact of reducing predator populations on the survival of fawns. Cameron and Potter counties would play a major role in the study, according to Christopher Rosenberry, supervisor of the commission’s deer and elk section.

Goal of the study is to assess whether a reduction in bear and/or coyotes would lead to more fawns surviving; if a reduction of fawn predation by bears would lead to more of them killed by coyotes, and vice versa; and whether the predator reductions would best be achieved through hunting, trapping and other control methods.

Three study areas of 150 square miles have been proposed, all of them in Wildlife Management Unit 2G in northcentral Pennsylvania. Researchers would use radio-telemetry, DNA sampling and other tools.

Rosenberry said the study’s hefty price tag reflects the need to differentiate it from a 2001 fawn survival study, since he sees no value in duplicating those fundamental results.

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