Living la Vida T-LoCoH: Site fidelity amongst Florida wild and captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during the epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) transmission period

Authors: Emily Dinh*, Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory, Department of Geography, 3141 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, Allison Cauvin, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, Katherine Sayler, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, Jeremy P. Orange, Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory, Department of Geography, 3141 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, Samantha Wisely, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, Jason K. Blackburn, Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory, Department of Geography, 3141 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
Topics: Animal Geographies, Quantitative Methods, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: T-LoCoH, Home range, White-tailed deer, Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus, Cervid farming industry, Movement
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 4:00 PM / 5:40 PM
Room: Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Deer farming is a rapidly growing worldwide. Disease presents a serious challenge to this industry. One such disease is epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), a pathogen vectored by Culicoides midges that cause death or disability in cattle and ruminants. There is currently no efficacious treatment for EHD and relatively little is known about its ecology. Studying space use by host animals during a disease transmission risk period may help elucidate EHD ecology. It may help deduce when and where transmission events can occur when naïve animals visit Culicoides habitat. Thus, quantifying how individuals use space during the EHDV risk period is important for relating animal movement to risk. Here, we tested whether free-ranging white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) in a high-fenced, private deer farm (captive) and native WTD from nearby state-managed properties (wild) exhibited differences in home range (HR) size and usage during the 2016 risk period. Deer were fitted with GPS collars. We applied T-LoCoH to compare seasonal 95% activity space, 25% core area, and site fidelity metrics between captive and wild deer of both sexes. There were no significant differences in HR size. In contrast, site fidelity metrics were significantly different. Generally, captive deer of both sexes tended to revisit sites more often but stay within sites for shorter periods than wild deer. Therefore, resource use may be the main driver of these differences, which may induce varied disease risk. We will examine this in the context of evidence of EHDV exposure in both groups.

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