Understanding Urban White Tailed Deer Use of Hydro Corridors Within the Greater Winnipeg Area

The Greater Winnipeg Area (GWA) white-tailed deer (WTD) population has grown substantially over the last three decades. Growing urban WTD populations in heavily human populated areas have led to human-deer conflict and represent a significant human health and safety concern. A major human safety concern is the alarming increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents within the city involving WTD. In addition, WTD host a number of diseases transmittable to humans and other wildlife, and deer cause significant property damage. Despite these downfalls, the urban WTD population is a valuable resource and the residents of the GWA enjoy having deer living in their communities. Hydro corridors may provide passageways for deer to move from one habitat to another. If so, these corridors present opportunities for mitigating harmful deer-vehicle collisions and other potential human-deer conflicts. The proposed study will use Wild Cell GSM collars to track the urban WTD population to determine deer movement within Hydro transmission line corridors. The study will provide Manitoba Hydro with information that should assist in assessing how vegetation clearing and maintenance of Hydro rights-of-way may be managed to support and direct the urban WTD population. The information gathered from this study will be beneficial for the Site Selection and Environmental Assessment (SSEA) process of the Bipole III transmission line project and the transmission interconnections necessary in the southern part of the city. GIS analysis of deer land use may provide information useful to the creation of suitable potential future management strategies.

Intern: 
Erin McCance
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Richard Baydack
Province: 
Manitoba
Partner: 
Program: