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Have you ever wondered how you might estimate the number of deer in your area? Turns out, you wouldn’t be able to count every one. Instead, you’d have to take a sample, and estimate what the entire population looks like. That’s exactly what Roland Kays and Arielle Parsons are doing this week in South Mountain state park.
Rob Nelson accompanied the mammal team out as they attempted to spotlight deer, a method for estimating populations called distance sampling. The point of that is to help them calibrate their camera trap study. They have dozens of camera traps across state parks and game land to help answer bigger ecological questions. Might there be more deer in areas that don’t allow hunting? This is just one of the many questions they can ask as they take population estimates of the wildlife in different areas.
Learn more about Roland and his team here: facebook.com/emammal or follow Roland on twitter at @rolandkays. You can see more pictures of their camera traps at: siwild.si.edu
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