POCATELLO – Idaho State University biological sciences Professor Terry Bowyer, Assistant Research Professor John G. Kie and former ISU graduate student Kevin L. Monteith, were honored this fall by The Wildlife Society with a Wildlife Publications Award for an Outstanding Monograph for their co-written paper “Life-history characteristics of mule deer: effects of nutrition in a variable environment.”
Monteith is now an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming.
The award was presented during The Wildlife Society’s 22nd Annual Conference in Winnipeg, Canada.
This 13-year study linked the nutritional condition of female mule deer with their population characteristics and developed new methods for determining the nutritional carrying capacity of deer habitat. The monograph also analyzed the effects of climate and population dynamics on productivity of mule deer.
“We developed a unique method to calculate nutritional carrying capacity, in which we incorporated population demographics, including effects of density dependence,” Bowyer said.
Most importantly, they conceived a new method to determine the degree to which mortality was compensatory and if one source of mortality compensated for another, or sources of mortality were added together. They noted that the pattern differed between migratory strategies of mule deer in the same population.
“The knowledge gained from this research should have huge effects on the manner in which large herbivores are managed, and provides a new conceptual approach to understand their population dynamics,” Bowyer said.