Twenty-Four-Hour Activity Budgets of Mule Deer, Odocoileus hemionus, in the Aspen Parkland of Eastcentral Alberta
Keywords:Mule Deer, Odocoileus hemionus, activity, foraging, Alberta
AbstractWe documented seven 24-h activity budgets of two adult Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) does without fawns in the Aspen Parkland of Alberta when the vegetation was green (June, July), maturing (September) and cured (October). They spent about 40% (mean = 42.3%) of each day foraging, somewhat more when vegetation was green (40-47%) and maturing (45%), and less time in October, when the vegetation was cured (38-39%). The percentage of time Mule Deer were bedded each day generally equaled or slightly exceeded (33-53%) that of foraging. Walking was a prevalent activity (3-24%), especially in autumn and little time was invested in other activities such as social interactions and grooming (1-4%). There were generally more feeding bouts (10-16/day) than bedding bouts (4-10/day) per day, and feeding bouts were shorter (37-68 minutes) than bedding bouts (69-133 minutes). Mule Deer displayed polycyclic feeding cycles with slight increases in feeding activity near dawn and dusk.
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