Range Expansion of White-tailed Deer: Differentiating Responses to Climate Change and Industrial Land Use
Kimberly Dawe, University of Alberta
Using a species distribution modeling approach with data from boreal Alberta, we found that climate, as measured by an index of winter severity, was the most important individual factor determining current white-tailed deer distribution in boreal Alberta. Human land use (as measured by total land-use footprint) acted to substantially increase white tailed deer presence but only in areas with more severe winter conditions. We use our findings to recommend where limiting or reclaiming the industrial footprint may be most beneficial to limiting white-tailed deer distribution.