tim taylor

Tim Taylor, retired CDFW biologist, points out mule deer to attendees at a previous Easter Sierra Land Trust Mule Deer Migration Corridor Field Trip.

Local land trust will host free field trip to see Round Valley deer herd on March 5 

With spring soon approaching, mule deer will follow their instinct and migrate to the upper summer ranges. Wildlife biologists’ research has documented that migration patterns are learned behavior; a doe teaches her fawns, and that leads them to the places they can find food and shelter, generation after generation.

Their survival is increasingly under threat due to more extreme weather, wildfires and development shrinking the habitat for these iconic mule deer.

The Round Valley Mule Deer Herd, moving from the low valley floor in Round Valley to the high Sierra meadows, has decreased by at least one-third – and possibly by as much as 60 percent – since the 1980s.

“It’s a concerning decline and one that generally mirrors the decline of mule deer populations throughout much of the western United States,” notes Tim Taylor, retired Mono County wildlife biologist for California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Taylor said part of this decline can be attributed to the loss and fragmentation of seasonal habitat by urban, commercial and recreational development as well as conflicts with increasing traffic.

He said one of the ways people can help to slow the decline herds are facing is to conserve lands on the winter ranges and maintain and enhance wildlife corridors for migrating animals.

For more on this story, check out the field trip offered below:

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE

• MARCH 5 ROUND VALLEY DEER HERD FAMILY FRIENDLY TOUR

Observe the Round Valley Mule Deer Herd with ESLT and CDFW Human-Wildlife Conflict Scientist, Daniel Taylor in Bishop. Hear about seasonal migration and challenges the local herd currently faces. The free and family-friendly Mule Deer Migration Corridor Field Trip is an educational tour at the herd’s winter range on Saturday, March 5, from 2-4 p.m. Visit www.eslt.org/events for more details.

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