Vegetation and deer habitat relations in southern Ontario: application of habit classification to white-tailed deer.
In response to an increasing need for an effective method to evaluate land for its potential to support wildlife populations, a land evaluation methodology in relation to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations was developed. Deer winter and non-winter habitat requirements were related to environmental factors obtained through the habitat classifications. The biological uses of habitat resources by white-tailed deer were identified. Seasonal compatibility matrices between the habitat resources and the biological uses were established. A habitat resource inventory of 256 1-km cells was done using a computer-based analysis; the potential of the cells to support deer populations on a seasonal basis was determined. 5 habitat classes were identified and their frequency distribution in Golden Valley, S. Ontario [see preceding abs.] area for each season was determined. Comparisons between the habitat evaluation maps with other mapping efforts and with deer population indices suggested the study method was an acceptable approach to habitat evaluation of white-tailed deer.