Fawn Survival

Over the summer and fall, you may notice fawns in and around Ledges State Park that have radio collars or ear tags. These fawns are part of a study being conducted by personnel in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University to learn about fawn survival in central Iowa.

Our goals: Iowa is known for its high-quality deer population. White-tailed deer experience the highest rate of mortality within the first year of life. We aim to estimate fawn survival and identify causes of mortality. Identifying factors associated with fawn survival may increase our understanding of deer population dynamics and aid in their management.

Our methods: We are locating and capturing fawns by hand, ideally within their first week of life. We will record sex, age, weight, and condition of fawns and fit them with ear tags and radio collars that will expand as the fawns grow and eventually fall off. After release, we will monitor fawn survival and their use of the landscape. If a fawn dies, we will find it and determine why it died.

Contact us: If you have any questions about the study or are a local landowner who is interested in getting involved, please visit our study website (www.nrem.iastate.edu/research/blanchong/projects/fawn-survival), call (515-294-2245) or email us at (isufawnstudy@iastate.edu). If you have seen a fawn bedded down in the area, or know where deer have given birth recently, please let us know! Updates on the project will be posted on our website. The full bulletin can be found here.