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Still Waters

Fawns use 'escape plan' to evade predators

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Fawns often bypass the nearest "escape cover" to seek out better habitats for shaking off predators, new research has found.

Baby deer are more likely to survive if they use this selective technique rather than simply fleeing to the closest refuge.

The study in the journal Animal Behaviour, followed white-tailed deer fawns in the Great Plains of the US.

The fawns' behaviour was a surprise to the research team, they said.

"We expected them to look for cover as soon as possible and try to take that cover… (but) they actually went to a better cover rather than the first available," says Jonathan Jenks, distinguished professor of wildlife and fisheries sciences at South Dakota State University.

Fawns selecting grassland and wetland habitats to conceal themselves in were found to be more likely to evade predators such as coyotes, even if it meant them running greater distances to reach these terrains, the study said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18040372

Gorgeous pics. :)

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We have a place here in Oklahoma - MacAlister Army Ammuntion Plant - where hunting is prohibited except for two days a year... The wild deer population is huge and they know that they are safe from humans, so they will actually come up to you and eat out of your hand (except on those two days)...

Several years ago we had Reserve units come in to do repair work onthe roads, etc and they had to live in a 'tent city' for their two weeks each...

The female deer would come up to the entrance flap of a tent, have their babies and then wander off to feed, knowing that the GI's would keep the coyotes away... It was normal routine to open the flap, check the ground for fauns, then go out another flap if a baby was there...

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The female deer would come up to the entrance flap of a tent, have their babies and then wander off to feed, knowing that the GI's would keep the coyotes away... It was normal routine to open the flap, check the ground for fauns, then go out another flap if a baby was there...

Aww...nice :) I like deer.

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Aww...nice :) I like deer.

A lot of people do... We had a heck of a time trying to keep the GI's from touching and petting the fawns... As friendly as the mothers were,

if they smelled human on their fawns, they would often abandon them...

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