Game and Fish habitat biologists assist with DEER Project
Lucy Wold, WGFD photos: Green River Terrestrial Habitat Biologist Kevin Spence and WLCI Coordinator Jim Wasseen conduct shrub browsing transects on Miller Mountain and Titsworth Gap.

Researchers with the University of Wyoming are conducting the Deer Elk Ecology Research or D.E.E.R. Project in southwest Wyoming. This research project is looking into the interactions between mule deer and elk within the Greater Little Mountain Ecosystem. A new component to the research project, this year, is a measurement of the habitat for Mule Deer. To be more specific, looking into the condition of mountain shrub habitat. Researchers from the University of Wyoming along with biologists from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department have teamed up to measure the diversity within a given mountain shrub community both in terms of age classes and different species of shrubs within the community. Another component of the study is to look at the utilization of the shrubs. The information collected will be paired with previous research on the herds to help researchers and managers better understand how mule deer are using the landscape within the Little Mountain Ecosystem.

Project partners include Muley Fanatic Foundation, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. The goal of the project is to identify the factors regulating growth and distribution of mule deer in this high-desert ecosystem, while simultaneously developing a better understanding of the ecology of elk and their interactions with mule deer.

Mark Zornes 307-875-3223

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