Daily Traveled Distances by the White-Tailed Deer in Relation to Seasonality and Reproductive Phenology in a Tropical Lowland of Southeastern Mexico

  • Fernando M. Contreras-Moreno
  • Mircea G. Hidalgo-Mihart
  • Wilfrido M. Contreras-Sánchez


The white-tailed deer is the most widely hunted species in the tropical areas of Mexico. However, the information about how the environmental conditions and the physiological status of individuals influenced the movement of this species is practically unknown, even this will help to understand how this species could be affected by the changes that are already occurring in these areas. This study describes the daily movements of five female white-tailed deer, marked with radio satellite collars, and followed for 1 year in a tropical lowland area of Mexico. We compared the daily traveled distances per deer during the year and according to the environmental temperature and reproductive phenology of the individuals. We found that the average daily distance traveled during the year was 1044.06 m (SD ± 501.00 m), with the longest daily movements occurring during the dry season and shorter movements during the wet season. Temperature showed no influence on daily movements, but it is likely that the fawning season and food shortages would during the dry season influence the longest daily movements of the deer. On the other side, the reduced daily traveled distances during the wet season indicate that the flooding season affected the movement of the deer. The continuation of studies on the movement ecology of the species would help us to clarify how this species will adapt to the climate change scenarios in the tropical lowlands of Mexico, where longer flooding seasons with contrasting extreme drought are expected.


Animal movement Campeche Fawning season Flood Tropical deer 



The UMA Nicte-Ha, Conservación Panthera Mexico A.C., and the División Académica de Ciencias Biológicas-UJAT (DACBiol-UJAT) provided logistic support for the project. The PFCE 2018 (Programa para el Mejoramiento de la Calidad Educativa) partially sponsored the acquisition of the radio collars used in this project through the DACBiol-UJAT. FCM received support from CONACYT (scholarship 271627) for their Ph. D. studies in Ecology and Management of Tropical Systems at the DACBiol-UJAT. We specially thank Alejandro Jesús, Yaribeth Bravata, Adrían Chahín, Ramón Sanz-Freeman, Martín Moreno, Ismael Sánchez, Diana Friedeberg, and Raul Valdez for their help on the fieldwork and their continuous support. Edwin Hernández-Pérez and Rafael Reyna-Hurtado, for their review of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando M. Contreras-Moreno
    • 1
  • Mircea G. Hidalgo-Mihart
    • 1
  • Wilfrido M. Contreras-Sánchez
    • 1
  1. 1.División Académica de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Juárez Autónoma de TabascoVillahermosaMexico

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