Phys.org publishes release on deer wintering study
Phys.org published a University of Maine news release about a study on the ineffectiveness of zoning as a means of regional habitat conservation for white-tailed deer. The study was led by Erin Simons-Legaard, a research assistant professor of forest landscape modeling at UMaine. Deer often choose wintering habitat based on the characteristics of the surrounding forest, so the researchers studied the spatial arrangement of forest stands around protected areas, according to the release. The study found that winter habitat was protected within the zoned areas, but that zoning does not reduce fragmentation or help maintain habitat connectivity in Maine overall. The researchers said that “Maine is losing the potential for future replacement of viable areas for wintering deer,” and that monitoring would help further understanding of the long-term benefits of zoning in wildlife habitat conservation. A Bangor Daily News blog also incorporated the release into a post.