Tuolumne County Profile - Community Indicators Project 2008
Tuolumne County Profile Introduction Health and Safety Education and the Arts Natural Resources and Recreation Economy and Infrastructure Appendices Conclusion Acknowledgements

Wildlife - Deer

Source(s): Unpublished data from Stanislaus National Forest, Adam Rich, biologist.
California Fish and Game, region 6


Why is this important?

Migratory deer populations are an important indicator of overall forest and wildlife health. Deer herd populations can be very dynamic. Fawns depend upon healthy forests for food and shelter. Thus, trends in the health and population of these common animals can be indicators of problems in forest and wildlife systems.

As herbivores, the herds affect vegetation while also serving as a prey base for predators. Higher numbers of deer can change the forest by eating too many young trees, and lower numbers of deer can lead to a build-up of shrubs that can carry wildfire.

This migratory Stanislaus Deer Herd is managed by California Department of Fish and Game in partnership with Stanislaus National Forest. This research is part of the data collected for wildlife management.

In addition to natural predators and legal hunting, numbers of deer are also reduced by vehicle collisions.

What is the measure?

The migratory Stanislaus Deer Herd spring and fall population’s ratio of fawns per 100 does is measured. The chart shows winter survival rates in fawns born in early summer.

How are we doing?

The relative stability of fawn populations in the graph suggests that the habitat is somewhat constant and therefore provides an indication that our forests are healthy.

Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County - Central Sierra Mountains