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Thread: muntjac census

  1. #1

    muntjac census

    Am I right in thinking that doing a census on muntjac numbers is almost impossible? anyone here have any expieriance in doing one (woodland) successful or not.

    Pete

  2. #2
    I think it depends on the type of woodland and size Pete. You should be able to get a rough idea with experience, but never guaranteed accurate. We now use the impact assessment method rather than numbers. Numbers are ok but meaningless unless relative to impact.
    Regards,
    MS

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Pete

    I believe your right.

    You've probably already seen page 12 here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/Quercus/F...,140806,en.pdf

    This (http://www.ecn.ac.uk/ecnnews/ecnnews10/ecnews103.htm) from Wytham is more local to us, but again the problem is no reliable defacation rate on which to base a population survey. The problem is that even if you were to take a sample area and remove all the existing muntjac faeces, when you counted it again you wouldn't know whether the poo was from one muntjac or a dozen.

    Other than visual observation (notoriously unreliable), thermal imaging seems to be the best method, but sadly I don't have one of those devices (note to self....opportunity for another gadget purchase )

    If anyone else knows of a good method I'd also be interested.

    willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    Pete

    I believe your right.

    You've probably already seen page 12 here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/Quercus/F...,140806,en.pdf

    This (http://www.ecn.ac.uk/ecnnews/ecnnews10/ecnews103.htm) from Wytham is more local to us, but again the problem is no reliable defacation rate on which to base a population survey. The problem is that even if you were to take a sample area and remove all the existing muntjac faeces, when you counted it again you wouldn't know whether the poo was from one muntjac or a dozen.

    Other than visual observation (notoriously unreliable), thermal imaging seems to be the best method, but sadly I don't have one of those devices (note to self....opportunity for another gadget purchase )

    If anyone else knows of a good method I'd also be interested.

    willie_gunn

    I know some commission rangers do a census for paperwork but in reality always base that years cull on the previous year eg shoot so many and if damage percieved is still to much shoot mor and so on until you arrive at a relatively stable cull for the area you are working on. The trouble with direct counts is that they are so diffficult to observe and indirect can be so inaccurate asby the time something like a dung count has been completed the population has increased dramatically. Personally I shot bucks almost on sight and does if they are either immature or well pregnant as the landowners always thought there were too many and I had to take a hard line. Where I am now, there aren't so many as we are on the edge of their range so I have mostly left them to become established.

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