This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Extra-home range and excursive movements by white-tailed deer




Jacobsen, Todd

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science


Little information is available concerning excursive movements by white-tailed deer. Past studies addressing these movements have approached excursion detection in a manner that we believe is severely limited and that precludes important insight concerning these unusual behaviors. We address this issue by presenting an alternative, novel method for detecting extra-home range movements by deer and other taxa. We also address a collection of issues surrounding the terminology and definition criteria applied to these movements by past studies. Furthermore, we apply our novel detection method to GPS relocation data acquired from white-tailed deer in Alabama over 2014 – 2016. Our results indicate that extra-home range movements by deer occur throughout the year, but dramatically increase in frequency surrounding peak conception. By applying an extensive suite of spatial metrics to these movements, we also document additional trends which provide support for hypotheses concerning how and why excursive-type behaviors occur.