Influence of forage quality on home range size of white tailed deer
We examined the relationship between the nutritional quality of forages and home range sizes of 10 adult female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in pine (Pinus spp.) flatwoods habitat of northern Aorida from. September 1990-August 1991. We collected samples of 3 browse species, common gallberry (llex glabra), lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites), and greenbriar (Smilax laurifolia). monthly from the core areas of the annual home ranges of the deer for the determination of crude protein (CP) and phosphorus (P) content and in ,•itro organic matter digestibility. Monthly home ranges sizes were correlated positively with monthly CP when CP levels were below modeled threshold levels: September-December (maintenance)-6%; January-April (gestation)-8%; and May-August (lactation)-12%. Conversely, for months when CP levels were above these threshold levels, monthly home range size was correlated negatively with respective monthly P levels. We conclude that home range size may be partially influenced by the relative nutritional quality of forages.