Graduation Date

Spring 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Natural Resources, option Wildlife

Committee Chair Name

Rick Brown

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Micaela Szykman Gunther

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Daniel Barton

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Wildlife

Abstract

The Jawbone deer herd has been monitored on their wintering grounds since the 1950s and recently began decreasing over the last several years. The decline prompted an investigation into the reasons why. Coinciding with the population decline is the appearance of hair loss syndrome and two species of exotic lice. In order to evaluate the effects of hair loss syndrome and the influence of exotic lice infestation, 38 wild does from the herd were used in a modified-before-after-control-impact study. Does were treated with micronutrients selenium and copper via boluses in winter (December 2013-January 2014). Selenium treatment, at a dose of 0.3 mg/day was found to increase the blood selenium level in treatment does by 0.145 ppm. At recapture during spring, does exhibited a decrease in hair that broke under examination during a pluck test to a mean of 13% down from 44% suggesting a decrease in the loss of guard hairs. The control group’s hair did not exhibit any significant change in the proportion of hair that broke from the pluck test between initial capture during winter (December 2013-January 2014) to spring 2014. Does that were selenium deficient were found to have a mean louse number 23 times greater than does that were not deficient. No results involving copper, lice or the loss of guard hairs were found to be different among groups. This study was conducted in the aftermath of a catastrophic fire event that may have influenced these findings. These results indicate that selenium deficiency could be an important factor in the effects of hair loss syndrome and exotic louse infestation on the Jawbone deer herd and possibly explaining some of the reasons for the herd’s decline.

Citation Style

Journal of wildlife management

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