PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management Division of Fish and Wildlife has developed a new online survey on Rhode Island’s deer population and is asking the public to report all live deer sightings on the survey in August and September.
The Summer Deer Survey is a citizen science tool that will be used to monitor the state’s deer herd and help RIDEM wildlife biologists determine the number of fawns that survive after common causes of mortality such as predators, weather, and roadkill are considered. This data will also enable the RIDEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife to determine fawn-to-doe ratios and an index of reproductive rates through time.
To participate in this year’s survey, people can submit their reports via Survey 123, a new online survey platform that also hosts the Herp Observer and Wild Turkey Brood Survey. This new platform allows the public to download the Survey123 app on their smartphones and record observations on the go, or it can be filled out on a computer. To report observations via Survey 123, use the following link on your smartphone or computer: https://arcg.is/1SCKWi0. You will need to download the survey123 app prior to opening the link. The survey will be through Sept. 30.
• Report deer sightings in August and September ONLY!
• Record deer observed from dawn to dusk (when headlights are not used for driving).
• Record ALL deer you see.
• Do not include multiple observations if you are sure the same deer is being seen repeatedly.
• Do not include trail camera counts in your observations.
• Fawns don’t always have spots in September. They have a short snout compared to adults (see below).
For more information on the Summer Deer Survey, as well as an observation guide, www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/pdf/survey-deer.pdf.
The RIDEM works actively to protect and enhance wildlife habitat in Rhode Island forests and management areas to ensure healthier, more diverse, and abundant wildlife populations. Restoration of the habitat and wildlife conservation is funded by state hunting license fees and the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration program.
For more deer facts, visit www.dem.ri.gov.