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Fawn Independence and Dispersal

At age eighteen months, male deer become independent and disperse from the natal range. Dispersal location is determined randomly using the deer's current location and a maximum dispersal distance. Potential grid locations for dispersal are continually generated up to a maximum number or until a suitable dispersal location is found. A suitable dispersal location is a 500m grid cell that contains high quality forage, has a water depth below the maximum level a fawn can withstand, and has no deer already assigned to that grid cell location. If no suitable grid cell is found, the fawn will remain at its current position. A female deer at eighteen months of age will remain at the same location as the mother, but will forage independently and move to a new area if forage is scarce [FDG+94]. Fawn independence under the age of eighteen months is also possible, and occurs either when the mother gives birth to new fawns, or when a female fawn still under the care of its mother gives birth to fawns.

Michael W. Berry (
Wed Oct 11 14:53:18 EDT 1995