Skip to Main Content
Relationships between Sitka black-tailed deer and their habitat.Author(s): Thomas A. Hanley
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-168. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 27 p
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
View PDF (1.04 MB)
DescriptionOld-growth, western hemlock-Sitka spruce forest in southeastern Alaska is an important element of the habitat of Sitka black-tailed deer. The conversion of uneven-aged, old-growth forests to even-aged, second-growth forests has generated concern about the future carrying capacity of the habitat for deer, especially where snow accumulation is common on winter ranges. Even-aged, second-growth forests produce very little forage for black-tailed deer. Young(< 20 years), open stands produce greater amounts of forage than do old-growth stands. Snow accumulates to greater depths in openings than in forest, however, and forage becomes unavailable to deer as it is buried in snow. Habitat quality for Sitka black-tailed deer must be viewed as an energy benefit-cost relation. Energy intake decreases and energy expenditure increases as snow depth increases. Habitats differ in their canopy characteristics and in the amount and kind of forage they produce. The relative qualities of habitats shift with changing snow conditions. An understanding of these dynamic relationships between deer and their habitat is essential for developing management objectives for deer habitat. The current theory is largely qualitative and lacks the ability to yield unambiguous, quantitative predictions. Research is needed to quantify the key relationships between forest canopy and understory production and snow interception, and between the metabolic requirements of deer and the nutritional quality of available forage.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationHanley, Thomas A. 1984. Relationships between Sitka black-tailed deer and their habitat. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-168. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p
KeywordsWildlife habitat management, wildlife habitat, timber management, habitat selection, deer (black-tailed), Alaska (southeast)
- Forest habitats and the nutritional ecology of Sitka black-tailed deer: a research synthesis with implications for forest management.
- Influence of overstory on snow depth and density in hemlock-spruce stands: implications for management of deer habitat in Southeastern Alaska.
- Precommercial thinning: implications of early results from the Tongass-Wide Young-Growth Studies experiments for deer habitat in southeast Alaska
XML: View XML