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Seasonal antler cycle in white-tailed deer in Campeche wetlands in Southeastern Mexico

  • Fernando M. Contreras-Moreno
  • Mircea G. Hidalgo-MihartEmail author
  • Alejandro Jesus-de la Cruz
  • Rugieri Juárez-López
  • Yaribeth Bravata-de la Cruz
  • Adrián Chahín-Perdomo
Original Article

Abstract

Hunting activity in Mexico is regulated by the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), a Federal agency which also approves management plans and annual harvest rates. The official calendar for white-tailed deer hunting season in Mexico comprises a single season that runs from November to March. To determine the congruence of the current hunting calendar with the seasonal timing of hard antlers of white-tailed deer in the wetlands of Campeche in southeastern Mexico, we used data obtained from 10 camera trap surveys performed from 2010 to 2017. In the pictures of white-tailed deer, we identified the timing of the presence of different antler developmental stages (velvet, hard antlers, and no antlers) as well as the occurrence of fawns. We obtained 1071 pictures of deer with antlers in velvet stage, 128 with hard antlers, 16 with no antlers, and 414 pictures of fawns. We observed that pictures of deer with antlers in velvet stage occurred from February to July, hard antlers from May to October, and no antlers from the second part of November to January. We also observed that the fawning season ran from February to June. Our results indicate that the reproductive season in Campeche wetlands is different from what occurs in the northern latitudes of Mexico and southern USA. Because the timing of the white-tailed deer antler development in our study area does not coincide with the official hunting season established in Mexico, we believe it is necessary to modify the official hunting season for the Campeche wetland area. Sport hunting should be permitted from August to October, based on the timing of deer with hard antlers.

Keywords

Camera traps Campeche Fawning season Sport hunting Wetlands 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Laguna de Términos (CONANP) supports the project by PROCODES program applied in Palizada in 2010. The DACBiol-UJAT and the UMAs Nicte Ha and Nohan provided logistic support. We thank the authorities and inhabitants of El Zapote and Tumbo de la Montaña as well as the owners of Santa Lucía, Limonar, and Las Piedras for their collaboration and support. We specially thank J. Hernández-Nava, M. Sánchez, H. Quigley, D. Thornton, D. Friedeberg, and R. Valdez for their continuous support. We thank D. Friedeberg, F. Abarca, C. Soria, and two anonymous reviewers for their help in the revision and improvement of the manuscript.

Funding information

Panthera gave financial support through the project “Evaluation of three corridors in southeastern Mexico for jaguars” and Conservación Panthera México A.C. through the project “Evaluation of the jaguar population on the western portion of Laguna de Terminos.” FCM received support from CONACYT (scholarship 271627) for their Ph.D. studies in Ecology and Management of Tropical Systems at the DACBiol-UJAT.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando M. Contreras-Moreno
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mircea G. Hidalgo-Mihart
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alejandro Jesus-de la Cruz
    • 1
  • Rugieri Juárez-López
    • 1
  • Yaribeth Bravata-de la Cruz
    • 1
  • Adrián Chahín-Perdomo
    • 3
  1. 1.División Académica de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Juárez Autónoma de TabascoVillahermosaMexico
  2. 2.Proyecto GEF Especies en Riesgo, CONANP-PNUD, Reserva de la Biósfera de CalakmulCalakmulMexico
  3. 3.Rancho La ConcordiaCiudad del CarmenMexico

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