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White-tailed deer percentages

What percentage of fawns does a doe lose in her lifetime?

Wildlife Expert - Ken Burton

It's an interesting question that can be stated more simply: What is the mortality rate of fawns? Like everything else in nature, the answer depends on a lot of variables and can be only estimated, not stated with certainty. First, it's necessary to define what's meant by "fawn." Typically, this is defined as a deer less than a year old and still associating with its mother. Fawn mortality estimates in various studies I've seen have ranged from as low as 27% (Iowa farmland) to as high as 86% (Illinois bottomlands). Most mortality is due to predation; fawn mortality is higher in healthy ecosystems with healthy predator communities. Within a location, the mortality rate will vary from year to year due to weather, food availability, disease, and predator abundance. Thus, there's huge temporal and spatial fluctuation. A given doe could lose all her fawns or none or anywhere in between.

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2007 eNature.com