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Browse Impact Assessments

Assessing deer impacts on native vegetation and forests is a core component used to inform management efforts. White Buffalo Inc. is experienced with a variety of science-based deer browse survey methods.

Beyond population estimates, sound deer management is also based on the evaluation of negative impacts such as overbrowsing of vegetation. Overabundant deer populations can negatively impact plant communities, forest regeneration, and biodiversity, including those natural areas in or adjacent to urban landscapes.

White Buffalo Inc. provides a suite of science-based deer browse survey methods, which are tailored to cooperator projects based on feasibility and need. Our methods range from simple (e.g., easy to learn and apply, and may work in practice for volunteer students and citizen scientists) to those that require more technical expertise. We monitor deer impacts by collecting data on woody stems and herbaceous plants, including levels of deer browsing impact (i.e., not browsed through severely browsed). Our methods evaluate existing plant populations, can be monitored across years, and may be used across a wide range of forest types. Regardless of method used, results from deer browse surveys provide communities with additional metrics when considering deer management or evaluating ongoing management success.

 

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