Wildlife Agency Announces Urban-Rural Deer Ecology Study

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission partners with N.C. State for new research study in the Triangle

Author: Mindy Wharton/Thursday, March 10, 2022/Categories: Conserving, From the Field, Home, Hunting, News

Wildlife Agency Announces Urban-Rural Deer Ecology Study

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 10, 2022) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is working collaboratively with N.C. State University and other partners to research wild deer ecology across urban and rural portions of Durham and Orange Counties. The four-year project, called the Triangle Urban Deer Study, will explore many deer ecology factors, including deer mortality, deer abundance and human perceptions of deer.  

As urbanization continues across the state, the Wildlife Commission increasingly faces challenges managing white-tailed deer populations in urban and suburban areas where human and deer populations intersect. The Triangle Urban Deer Study is designed to advance the agency’s understanding of deer ecology in North Carolina and improve future deer management decisions across an urban to rural gradient.

Field work for the study began in January and will continue through 2024. To gather necessary data, deer are captured, fit with a GPS collar and a yellow ear tag, and immediately released. The GPS collar transmits data to the researchers, providing detailed location data on movement, habitat use and survival. Collared and tagged deer can be legally harvested during hunting seasons. In fact, an important component of this study is that hunting proceeds as normal so that hunting mortality data is not skewed. Other components of the study will include population estimates using genetics to identify individual deer from collected fecal samples and surveys of residents in the area.

For more information about this study, follow the Triangle Urban Deer Study Facebook page, facebook.com/NCurbandeerstudy, or contact the Wildlife Commission at HWI@ncwildlife.org.

If you live in a suburban area of Durham County, have deer that use your property, and are interested in participating in this study by having deer tagged on your property, please message us on Facebook or email your contact information and a brief description to deerecologystudy@ncsu.edu.

Media Contact:

Mindy Wharton


Darren Strickland


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