- 1.1. Boreal
- 1.2. Subarctic
- 1.3. Subantarctic
- 1.4. Temperate
- 1.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
- 1.6. Subtropical/tropical moist lowland
- 1.7. Subtropical/tropical mangrove vegetation above high tide level
- 1.8. Subtropical/tropical swamp
- 1.9. Subtropical/tropical moist montane
- 3.1. Subarctic
- 3.2. Subantarctic
- 3.3. Boreal
- 3.4. Temperate
- 3.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
- 3.6. Subtropical/tropical moist
- 3.7. Subtropical/tropical high altitude
- 3.8. Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation
- 4.1. Tundra
- 4.2. Subarctic
- 4.3. Subantarctic
- 4.4. Temperate
- 4.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
- 4.6. Subtropical/tropical seasonally wet/flooded
- 4.7. Subtropical/tropical high altitude
- 5.1. Permanent rivers/streams/creeks (includes waterfalls)
- 5.2. Seasonal/intermittent/irregular rivers/streams/creeks
- 5.3. Shrub dominated wetlands
- 5.4. Bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, peatlands
- 5.5. Permanent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha)
- 5.6. Seasonal/intermittent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha)
- 5.7. Permanent freshwater marshes/pools (under 8 ha)
- 5.8. Seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes/pools (under 8 ha)
- 5.9. Freshwater springs and oases
- 5.10. Tundra wetlands (inc. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt)
- 5.11. Alpine wetlands (inc. temporary waters from snowmelt)
- 5.12. Geothermal wetlands
- 5.13. Permanent inland deltas
- 5.14. Permanent saline, brackish or alkaline lakes
- 5.15. Seasonal/intermittent saline, brackish or alkaline lakes and flats
- 5.16. Permanent saline, brackish or alkaline marshes/pools
- 5.17. Seasonal/intermittent saline, brackish or alkaline marshes/pools
- 5.18. Karst and other subterranean hydrological systems (inland)
- 9.1. Pelagic
- 9.2. Subtidal rock and rocky reefs
- 9.3. Subtidal loose rock/pebble/gravel
- 9.4. Subtidal sandy
- 9.5. Subtidal sandy-mud
- 9.6. Subtidal muddy
- 9.7. Macroalgal/kelp
- 9.8. Coral Reef
- 9.8.1. Outer reef channel
- 9.8.2. Back slope
- 9.8.3. Foreslope (outer reef slope)
- 9.8.4. Lagoon
- 9.8.5. Inter-reef soft substrate
- 9.8.6. Inter-reef rubble substrate
- 9.9 Seagrass (Submerged)
- 9.10 Estuaries
Marine Neritic Animals
- 10.1 Epipelagic (0–200 m)
- 10.2 Mesopelagic (200–1,000 m)
- 10.3 Bathypelagic (1,000–4,000 m)
- 10.4 Abyssopelagic (4,000–6,000 m)
Marine Oceanic Animals
- 11.1 Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200–4,000 m)
- 11.1.1 Hard Substrate
- 11.1.2 Soft Substrate
- 11.2 Abyssal Plain (4,000–6,000 m)
- 11.3 Abyssal Mountain/Hills (4,000–6,000 m)
- 11.4 Hadal/Deep Sea Trench (>6,000 m)
- 11.5 Seamount
- 11.6 Deep Sea Vents (Rifts/Seeps)
Marine Deep Ocean Floor Animals
- 12.1 Rocky Shoreline
- 12.2 Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, etc.
- 12.3 Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches
- 12.4 Mud Shoreline and Intertidal Mud Flats
- 12.5 Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
- 12.6 Tidepools
- 12.7 Mangrove Submerged Roots
Marine Intertidal Animals
- 13.1 Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands
- 13.2 Coastal Caves/Karst
- 13.3 Coastal Sand Dunes
- 13.4 Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
- 13.5 Coastal Freshwater Lakes
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Animals
- 14.1 Arable Land
- 14.2 Pastureland
- 14.3 Plantations
- 14.4 Rural Gardens
- 14.5 Urban Areas
- 14.6 Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
Artificial Terrestrial Animals
- 15.1 Water Storage Areas [over 8 ha]
- 15.2 Ponds [below 8 ha]
- 15.3 Aquaculture Ponds
- 15.4 Salt Exploitation Sites
- 15.5 Excavations (open)
- 15.6 Wastewater Treatment Areas
- 15.7 Irrigated Land [includes irrigation channels]
- 15.8 Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
- 15.9 Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches
- 15.10 Karst and Other Subterranean Hydrological Systems [human-made]
- 15.11 Marine Anthropogenic Structures
- 15.12 Mariculture Cages
- 15.13 Mari/Brackish-culture Pond
FaunaFocus features various talented artists, all with an interest in wildlife.
Because of their acute hearing and excellent binocular vision, mule deer specialize in detecting danger long-range and can quickly detect and visually track another animal from as far as 600 meters away.
The mule deer has excellent binocular vision. While unable to detect motionless objects, it’s extraordinarily sensitive to moving objects. Males can quickly detect and visually track another animal from as far as 600 meters away.
Because of its large ears, the mule deer’s sense of hearing is also extremely acute.
Because of their acute hearing and excellent binocular vision, mule deer specialize in detecting danger at a very long range.
To counter agricultural development, rangeland conversion, mining, road and highway construction, and the development of housing tracts, many government agencies have purchased critical areas to maintain for mule deer.
All federal, state, and provincial land and wildlife management agencies recognize the fundamental need to maintain mule deer ranges and keep them habitable. Where they occur, mule deer populations are typically managed by organizations that monitor abundance and trends in order to set species management objectives.
To counter the trend of agricultural development, rangeland conversion, mining, road and highway construction, and the development of housing tracts, many states and provinces have purchased critical areas, especially winter ranges, to maintain the various habitats of the mule deer. Due to political opposition to government acquisition of privately owned lands, plus a scarcity of funds for this purpose, only a small fraction of mule deer ranges has been acquired by the government.
Unfortunately, one obstacle involved in evaluating mule deer populations trend is inconsistent and incomplete data collections. This problem results from the wide variety of methodologies and approaches used by states and provinces for mule deer management. There is a real need to standardize many of the methodologies to obtain data collections and establish protocols to obtain those measurements about mule deer populations.
|Noelle M. Brooks||Deertush||Stephen Scott (BlindCoyote)|
|Date||April 2019||Theme||Mule Deer|
As we approach FaunaFocus’ 2-Year Anniversary, the April 2019 Free-For-All has come to and end with six different entries drawing inspiration from the mule deer. From digital to traditional and analogous to fully chromatic, we were blessed with several beautiful artworks depicting this gentle herbivore.
Congratulations to April 2019’s FaunaFocus Free-For-All Winner, Shadowind who stunned the judges with an analogous composition filled with oranges, yellows, and golds. This piece displays a mule deer peryton leaping from a field of sunflowers amongst a flock of birds. With skilled anatomy and careful attention to detail, this piece captured the hearts of the judges with its warm and welcoming presence.
Shadowind will choose the FaunaFocus for June 2019, which will be announced at the end of May’s Free-For-All critique livestream. Shadowind was also last month’s Free-For-All winner, and has thus chosen the FaunaFocus for the month of April, FaunaFocus’ first bat species, the Livingstone’s flying fox!
The mule deer’s most urgent threat is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), but they are also threatened by high predator populations, competition with livestock grazing, and human-related habitat alterations.
Today the most urgent threat to wild mule deer is the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Currently, CWD is more prominent at the local or regional level. CWD has currently been diagnosed in mule deer in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States and other mid-western states.
Other threats include: high predator populations (including feral dogs), competition with livestock grazing, human habitat alterations, and other anthropogenic forces.
Both male and female mule deer experience parallel growth during their first year until males exceed females in body weight; chest girth; neck circumference; body, head, hindfoot, and hoof length; cranial breadth; and shoulder height.
Growth in mule deer during the first year is roughly parallel in males and females, but afterward, males, in general, exceed females in carcass weight, chest girth, neck circumference, body length, head length, cranial breadth, shoulder height, hindfoot length, and hoof length.
Carcass weight ranges from 45 to 150 kilograms in males, and 43 to 75 kilograms in females. Chest girth ranges from 80 to 117 centimeters in males, and 78 to 97 centimeters in females. Neck circumference ranges from 30 to 65 centimeters in males, and 26 to 38 cm centimeters females. Body length ranges from 126 to 168 centimeters in males, and 125 to 156 centimeters in females. Head length ranges from 28 to 35 centimeters in males, and 27 to 33 centimeters in females. Cranial breadth ranges from 11 to 16 centimeters in males, and 10 to 14 centimeters in females. Shoulder height ranges from 84 to 106 centimeters in males, and 80 to 100 centimeters in females.
The mule deer is a target for various viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases such as gastrointestinal nematodes, parasitic meningeal worms, neurologic disease, and foot-and-mouth disease.
The mule deer is a target for various viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases.
For example, heavy amounts of gastrointestinal nematodes may cause death in mule deer. This parasitic disease is usually indicative of such predisposing factors as high mule deer density and malnutrition.
Infection by the parasitic meningeal worm can cause fatal neurologic disease in mule deer.
Livestock may transmit viral diseases to mule deer as seen in foot-and-mouth disease. This infection is characterized by blisters in the mouth, above the hooves, and between the digits.
Mule deer communication is facilitated by five integumentary glands which produce specific pheromones that elicit specific reactions.
Communication among mule deer is facilitated by the sebaceous and sudoriferous secretory cells of five integumentary glands. The cells of each gland produce specific scents, or pheromones, that elicit specific reactions in conspecifics.
The metatarsal gland produces an alarm pheromone, the tarsal gland aids in mutual recognition, the interdigital gland leaves a scent trail, and the function of the tail gland is unknown.
Urine has a pheromone function at all ages and for both sexes. It is deposited on tufts of hair surrounding the tarsal glands. In fawns, it functions as a distress signal, while in adults, it functions as a threat signal.
Mule deer weigh 2-5kg at birth, affected by litter size and sex as males are heavier than females.
At birth, mule deer have a mass from two to five kilograms, affected by litter size and sex, with males being heavier than females.
Weaning begins at about five weeks of age and usually is completed at age 16 weeks. Full development of most skeletal attributes occurs at about 49 months of age in males and 37 months of age in females. However, gains in carcass mass are continuous until an age of 120 months in males and 96 months in females.
Male neonates predominate when poor nutrition prevails about 6 weeks before, and during, the breeding period.
Although mule deer are “Least Concern” and not in need of conservation action, the Cedros Island subspecies is “Vulnerable” and in danger of becoming extinct because its densities are low and poaching and predation by feral dogs are high.
Where they occur, mule deer populations are typically managed by federal, state, and provincial agencies that monitor abundance and trends in order to set species management objectives. The species also occurs in several protected areas across its distribution. As a result, mule deer remain abundant throughout much of their native range and are not currently in urgent need of further conservation action, but some evidence in the United States and Canada has shown declines in some populations.
Although the entirety of the mule deer species is considered Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, there are subspecies that are in danger of becoming extinct. Most of the mule deer’s subspecies are not threatened, but the Cedros Island subspecies (O. h. cerrocensis) is considered to be Vulnerable, as of 1988. This subspecies is in danger of becoming extinct because its densities are very low on the island where it occurs and predation by feral dogs and poaching are high. Other subspecies that live on islands are also considered endangered.
Additionally, in Mexico, some data show local extinction of some populations in the Chihuahuan desert region of Coahuila and Nuevo León Mexico, and in some populations, evidence of metapopulation dynamics for the species have been found.
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Mule deer can give birth to 1 or 2 young, but 1st or 2nd time mothers most often have a single fawn.
The common litter size of the mule deer is two, with mothers in their first or second breeding year most frequently producing singletons.
Mule deer have several distinct strategies for avoiding predators and may choose to hide or move into cover and cautiously outmaneuver the predator.
Common predators of mule deer include pumas, coyotes, bobcats, golden eagles, feral dogs, and black bears.
Mule deer have several distinct strategies for avoiding predators. Once danger is detected, a mule deer may choose to hide or move into cover and cautiously outmaneuver the predator.
The most common strategy is to depart while the predator is still a long way off and move several miles to another area.
At an unacceptably high cost per unit time of locomotion, a mule deer may also choose to rapidly bound uphill, imposing on pursuing predators.
In yet another strategy, the mule deer may bound off and then trot away, stopping frequently to gain information on the disturbance. This initial bounding, combined with release of metatarsal scent that inhibits feeding, is highly advantageous in that, by alarming others, it causes other mule deer to bound off as well, reducing the conspicuousness of the deer who bounded off first. This strategy would also trigger group formation. Finally, when the predator closes in, the deer initiates evasive maneuvers based on sudden unpredictable changes in direction and on placing obstacles between itself and the predator. This strategy, however, does not work against group-hunting predators.
Lastly, mule deer are excellent swimmers, but water is rarely used as a means of escaping predators.