delware environmental institute

UD researchers look at population history of sika deer in Delmarva

On first glance, Yakushima Island in Japan and Dorchester County, Maryland, wouldn’t appear to have a lot in common, but a closer ecological look reveals one stark similarity: both are home to populations of sika deer. A new paper by the University of Delaware’s Jake Bowman and David Kalb of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries looks at the history behind the rise of sika deer populations in Dorchester County over the past 100 years.

The paper was published in the journal Biological Invasions and also examines impacts sika deer have had on the native white-tailed deer populations in an attempt to provide information that could lead to better management of the species.

Bowman, chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that the paper was part of a bigger project looking at whether there was a competitive exclusion between white-tailed deer and sika deer.