Chapter

Deer as Both a Cause and Reflection of Ecological Change

Scott Craven and Timothy Van Deelen

in The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780226871714
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226871745 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226871745.003.0019
Deer as Both a Cause and Reflection of Ecological Change

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This chapter focuses on Wisconsin's wildlife icon—the white-tailed deer. Long hunted by Native Americans, deer declined in numbers soon after European settlement in response to overhunting and habitat loss. By the early 1900s, deer were only found in the northern third of the state. State conservation programs brought this species back from extinction, making deer recovery a great conservation success. A half-century later, the pendulum has swung back. Now conservationists contend with the impacts of too many deer: vehicle collisions, crop damage, failed tree regeneration, and general declines in biodiversity. By emphasizing deer as both a cause and a reflection of environmental change, the chapter reveals some key links in the web of life and our relation to these.

Keywords: Wisconsin; white-tailed deer; deer populations; conservation programs; environmental change

Chapter.  5319 words. 

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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