I canťt justify a fawn survival study ť Rosenberry - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

May 2014 Working Group Meeting, Pt. 2; Date Stamp 20:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rosenberry, PGC Deer Biologist/Supervisor
Most of that mortality occurs in the first 3 months, and that can affect recruitment of fawns into the deer population, which is really what we’re interested in when we’re talking about deer management. We’re interested in what’s being recruited into the population, what’s left after that most vulnerable time when fawns are first born. As a result of that, we also have a process in place to respond to changes in [fawn] predation.

…document …lays out the deer program’s approach to predator impact. The first thing we look at there in terms of a question is the proportion of juveniles in the antlerless harvest declining? And across PA we do not see that happening an any units. If that was actually occurring, if we did see a decline in those juvenile fawn to doe ratios we would then look at the population, is it below objective. And again we have no indicators of that here in PA, all of our populations are at or above the current objective.

If we had a situation where fawn to doe was decreasing, populations were below objective, our first recommendation would be to reduce the antlerless harvest. The main reason for that is that, again from our field studies, we know most deer in PA, if they are going to die once they are past that 3 months of age time period, they are going to die as a result of hunting. So that’s where we would make our recommendations.

The second paper: Can managers compensate for coyote predation? Basically confirms the findings that we had in figure 5. And that’s one that’s just come out here in this month’s issue of journal of wildlife management. So based on what we know, on our previous research, on the evidence that we have, and on the process we have, right now, and I’ve said this before when questioned about this, I can’t sit here and justify a fawn survival study - in terms of the expenditures that would be needed.

So as a result we’re not proposing a fawn survival study, what we’re proposing is a study whereby we test the alternatives to changing deer harvest. And that is we change predator populations to see what effects those changes would have on fawn survival.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Lovallo, PGC Furbearer Biologist/Supervisor
From the predator side y'know, I feel that uh, and I think Mark [Ternent, PGC Bear biologist] concurs that y'know, we have the ability - because of the number of bear hunters and their success rates – we have the ability to reduce the bear population, we’ve done it in some WMA’s, and certainly at this smaller scale by providing additional opportunity we could reduce that population over the course of the study and track it very well.

I think it’ll also add another tool to Marks’s arsenal in terms of providing really a better understanding of how we’re estimating harvest rates and that we typically use to provide more opportunities whether it’s thru extended hunting or additional archery opportunities these studies areas we’re looking at will have a better estimate of actual harvest rate as we’re dramatically changing the population.

On the coyote side it’s more difficult but we feel that thru using technicians and using year-round removal efforts we can actually reduce the coyote population effectively and monitor that change as well.

So as you look thru the literature in terms of fawn survival studies that are out there I think this is kind of a model that many folks would like to use in terms of actually manipulating the predator population verses just seeing what’s eating what percentage of fawns in a given year.

So I think it would enrich our understanding of really how much compensatory mortality occurs, how much prey shifting occurs between bears and coyotes, and bobcats as well which may be worked in if we decide to move forward with the proposal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PGC Commissioner Jay Delaney
Do we put a higher value on our bear hunting than we do on our deer hunting in PA? Do bears have far more impact on fawn predation than coyotes do? Can we control either one of those?
Wow! Some of the things that come out of Rosenberry’s mouth are just amazing…

How would his EXISTING data show a fawn recruitment problem if the data comes ONLY from hunter harvest and a fawn study conducted when bear numbered 1/2, bobcat 1/3, and coyote 1/5 the number today? I understand he is under a lot of pressure and I understand that he needs data, but that is the very reason for a study! To monitor the deer in areas that have little to no hunter harvest so that the problem areas - that have too few deer to make hunting worthwhile – can be fixed!

Even Kip Adams’s *harvest data* in all likelihood shows no fawn recruitment problem either, as they probably do not harvest fawns. But he does indeed have evidence of a predator-related fawn recruitment problem.

As to the proposed alternate study I say kudos! I agree, cut right to the chase and lower bear and even coyote density pronto (I read that as spring trapping ) and possibly bobcat too while at the same time monitor what happens to game populations. Whoo-Hoo! Finally some common sense. I hope this moves forward, and quickly. Let the cards fall where they may.

Where is R. S. B. now?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 10:06 AM
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

In reference to Delaney. In the studies performed by other states, the results have been consistent with the PSU findings. Of the fawns being monitored, and those removed due to predation, bears and coyotes are always about even in who out does who. Bobcats always being a distant third.

Doing another study of that same type does seem to be redundant.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 12:30 AM
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

Look for discussion during the June meeting, and another staff / BOC discussion based on what was asked for during this one.

They are looking at PR funds to pay for this.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

It’s interesting how confident Rosenberry is in his data.

He’s referring to the annual inspection of about 0.5% of a population (~300 deer out of an estimated population of ~60,000 deer in 2G).

And while Rosenberry labels the proportion of juveniles in the harvest as “stable” for 2G, his most recent report shows a decline of fawns from 0.33 (years 2003-2011) down to 0.29 (years 2003-2012) which is easily the lowest in the entire state. A small decline, and perhaps a normal fluctuation, but a decline nonetheless.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 04:08 PM
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

I suspect his interpretation of his date is a lot more accurate than yours is. Cuting and pasting others data is nowhere the same as accuratly interpreting it.




When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:41 PM
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

But according to the human dimensions specialist while discussing the archery study and the proposed split concurrent season study, you need 400 responses to accurately predict a population of 100k. This is how they do voter polling during elections and provide a confidence of 3~3.5% error rate.

The above 400 responses give a statistician a 95% confidence level in the results.

Now, if Rosenberry is using the percentages you stated, he is getting a confidence level of far better than 95% with his data.


Since you weren't there back in 2009 when USP had the floor for 15 uninterrupted minutes to make the case with studies from the pine plantations of the south....and the devastating coyote carnage and how it was the same as in PA... .....


Rosenberry and Matt responded to focused BOC questions exactly as they did Monday. Mark Ternet also responded in kind.

so the response was not new or unexpected.

Rosenberry is a biologist first and always. Nice guy. personable and easy to talk to. But put him in front of a mike and he goes all professional.

Staff doesn't want to do the study. Not five years ago - not today.


For me, we need a population study on coyotes in PA. They are either manageable or out of control - likely somewhere between in terms of population. But, there is a lot we don't know about them in this state, and that is before we ever talk about the deer and yote connection.

Something else most forget. We are now like three years into having a robust enough bobcat population to have a over the counter permit now. So that is a newer stressor on the deer herd as well.

Of course bears. But bears are opportunistic feeders and will chew up anything that resembles food at any time of the day 24-7-365 unless hibernating.

In the end, I think more is being made of a notion than anything else. That notion based on the more deer crowd finally thinking they found something that can't be defeated as easy as other tried and failed reason for more deer.

As was determined in the PA 2001 study, and other places since. It is the cover the fawns have where ever they are that has more of an affect of survival than the population of any predator.

In years such as these, I would think some would have Ma Nature in court for the sever winter and the likely impact on fawning and recruitment. It is very likely that there will be fewer fawns due to winter stressors than any other reason this year. But even if born, if underweight or if Ma is in bad or recovering shape the fawn might die. If a predator finds and chews on the carcass - is that now predation or something else?

Last point, the more deer crowd dismissed the 2001 study as flawed and a spin of the numbers.

As much as I think the study should happen, really - why bother? If it doesn't appease and stroke the positions of the opposition - it will be dismissed, those doing the study will be smeared with innuendo, and any including the peer reviews will of course be in cahoots with the GC.



I miss anything?


Have at it guys - will check back in a few weeks for those that can't let it go...

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

It only took 31 wolves in Yellowstone to reduce elk density to the point where tree seedlings are able to grow.

At the very least, PGC should begin producing an annual map of coyote harvest by county. That would cost next to nothing and would help track their abundance per region as the years go by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetick
But according to the human dimensions specialist while discussing the archery study and the proposed split concurrent season study, you need 400 responses to accurately predict a population of 100k. This is how they do voter polling during elections and provide a confidence of 3~3.5% error rate.

The above 400 responses give a statistician a 95% confidence level in the results.

Now, if Rosenberry is using the percentages you stated, he is getting a confidence level of far better than 95% with his data.
400 ÷ 100,000 = 0.4% by pollsters
vs. 0.5% by Rosenberry

Okay, I’ll give you that in terms of confidence level. However, he’s only surveying the hunted population, and it’s only a snapshot of the herd *during the rifle season*.

Remember, the PA fawn study found some predation deaths occurred AFTER the hunting season in Feb & Mar when they were nearly full grown. And this was in relatively easy hunter-access portion of QWA as noted by the poaching occurring during the study. We can only imagine the predation rates associated with the “large remote” portions of 2G that R. S. B. and dce are always telling us about that either are hunted lightly or not hunted at all. The only way to gage predation loss here (so that it can be improved) is by a fawn survival study.

Plus there have been studies elsewhere documenting significant predation of adult deer while giving birth, deep snow, etc. These are all counted as basic “mortality” when the new herd estimate comes out each year, but it’s something that could potentially be improved by addressing predators.

Because of DCNR’s “wild lands” policy, there is no way we can improve the habitat in Quehanna Wild Area by cutting trees. And since we can’t seem to get PGC to cut more trees than about 50% of their biologist’s recommendations on SGL’s, the one thing we CAN address is the density of predators. Kinda like the acid deposition deal in that we can’t change the rain, but we can control the over-winter deer density.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetick
Since you weren't there back in 2009 when USP had the floor for 15 uninterrupted minutes to make the case with studies from the pine plantations of the south....and the devastating coyote carnage and how it was the same as in PA... .....


Rosenberry and Matt responded to focused BOC questions exactly as they did Monday. Mark Ternet also responded in kind.

so the response was not new or unexpected.

Rosenberry is a biologist first and always. Nice guy. personable and easy to talk to. But put him in front of a mike and he goes all professional.

Staff doesn't want to do the study. Not five years ago - not today.


For me, we need a population study on coyotes in PA. They are either manageable or out of control - likely somewhere between in terms of population. But, there is a lot we don't know about them in this state, and that is before we ever talk about the deer and yote connection.
Yes, I missed that dog & pony show. That helps to explain Rosenberry’s response. I like that he is blunt and just flat out asked the commissioners what they want the study to look for when he sees no reason for it, but my goodness he seems so annoyed by the thought of a study, like he’s taking it personally.

Lovallo, on the other hand seemed receptive and was very cooperative in discussing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetick
Last point, the more deer crowd dismissed the 2001 study as flawed and a spin of the numbers.

As much as I think the study should happen, really - why bother? If it doesn't appease and stroke the positions of the opposition - it will be dismissed, those doing the study will be smeared with innuendo, and any including the peer reviews will of course be in cahoots with the GC.
Why bother???

Yikes! A predator study should be for wildlife management, NOT to produce results that “satisfy” a segment of the public. Even if it finds no change in predation rates or no way to address predators numbers, it would still be worth it to know that is the case. Obtaining those answers can only strengthen our management program.

I think you have to do the study just to keep up with other surrounding states, and to keep on top of the changing landscape. There is no doubt whatsoever that predators are more abundant, widespread, and diverse in species than just 10 years ago, and certainly more so than any time in the PGC’s history. Again, this level of a predator-prey dynamic is uncharted territory, and to disregard this by doing no study is foolishness. It’s akin to saying grouse flush rates by hunters have not declined significantly over time, therefore “we can’t sit here and justify” a Christmas Bird Count by Audubon. When in reality, the number of grouse hunters & grouse have both declined.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnS
I suspect his interpretation of his date is a lot more accurate than yours is. Cuting and pasting others data is nowhere the same as accuratly interpreting it.
0.5%, is 0.5% of a population.

Would you prefer to work from the PRE-hunt population? If so, add about ~12,000 harvested deer to the ~60,000 which reduces the percentage to 0.4% of a population. Now we’re about to breach the “95% confidence level”. You’re right though, that’s probably a more accurate way of looking at it, but I was trying to do Rosenberry a favor by being conservative.

The point is he’s basing his opinion of fawn recruitment trends on a very, very small sample size. A sample derived from hunters who are harvesting the healthiest deer in the region. Even still, the fawn recruitment is a pee poor ~0.30 fawns per doe.

2G is in all likelihood the most predator-rich region in PA, maybe the entire east coast, considering what we know about bear density variations. In other words, 2G has tremendous potential for improvement in both fawn recruitment and predator reduction. Meanwhile, Rosenberry is scoffing at the idea of attempting to address it. He is looking squarely at the numbers and not considering the greater scope surrounding the data. I find it fascinating to watch.

Feel free to share YOUR “interpretation” for us. I welcome all contributors to my threads.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 04:20 PM
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

No Grundsow I will leave it to those who are experts in management instead of pretending I am one to amuse myself.




When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

It’s not a competition. The number of sportsmen who are educated & participating in management today is at an all time high, thanks in large part to forward-thinkers like QDMA. Hunters who do not keep themselves versed in management add nothing to the preservation of our sport.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 05:56 PM
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Re: I can’t justify a fawn survival study – Rosenberry

While they may be some things that can be learned from QDMA, it isn't reasonable to believe you can compare an entire state managing deer to small parcells of land managed by those who worship QDMA. When I say small parcells I ma comparing the parcells to an entire WMU. It is apples and peaches.




When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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