New wildlife research may affect mule deer efforts

Apr 11, 2016

Mule deer management near Meeker could change to benefit other species.
Credit nwcoloradohunting.com

  There’s a long-held view in conservation that management to help big game is also good for other wildlife. But that may or may not be the case. The new research could affect what managers are doing to help mule deer near Meeker.

Colorado State University scientist Travis Gallo reviewed studies on population management of deer, elk, and other species that generate revenue through hunting or other activities. Gallo says there’s little information to confirm those efforts benefit nearby species, like birds and insects.

Gallo is also studying habitat management near Meeker to boost declining mule deer populations, and says the two areas of research may prompt him to recommend changes to what the Division of Parks and Wildlife is doing to help that species.

“We're seeing how that management on mule deer impacts the rest of the wildlife in the area,” says Gallow. “So we study a lot of birds and mammals.” Workers so far have removed pinion and juniper trees to encourage more grass and shrubs that deer like to eat. Gallo says he may recommend leaving more older trees in place, in order to support insects and other species.