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Occurrence patterns of crop-foraging sika deer distribution in an agriculture-forest landscape revealed by nitrogen stable isotopes
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  • Ayaka Hata,
  • Rumiko Nakashita,
  • Keita Fukasawa,
  • Masato Minami,
  • Yuko Fukue,
  • Naoko Higuchi,
  • Hikaru Uno,
  • Yasuhiro Nakajima,
  • Midori Saeki,
  • Chinatsu Kozakai,
  • Mayura Takada
Ayaka Hata
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
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Rumiko Nakashita
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute
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Keita Fukasawa
National Institute for Environmental Studies
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Masato Minami
Azabu University
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Yuko Fukue
Insutitute for Biodiversity Research and Education Earthworm
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Naoko Higuchi
Insutitute for Biodiversity Research and Education Earthworm
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Hikaru Uno
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
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Yasuhiro Nakajima
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
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Midori Saeki
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
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Chinatsu Kozakai
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
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Mayura Takada
Chuo University Faculty of Science and Engineering Graduate School of Science and Engineering
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Abstract

Conflicts arising from the consumption of anthropogenic foods by wildlife are increasing worldwide. Conventional tools for evaluating the spatial distribution pattern of large terrestrial mammals that consume anthropogenic foods have various limitations, despite their importance in management to mitigate conflicts. In this study, we examined the spatial distribution pattern of crop-foraging sika deer by performing nitrogen stable isotope analyses of bone collagen. We evaluated whether crop-foraging deer lived closer to agricultural crop fields during the winter and spring, when crop production decreases. We found that female deer in proximity to agricultural crop fields during the winter and spring were more likely to be crop-foraging individuals. Furthermore, the likelihood of crop consumption by females decreased by half as the distance to agricultural crop fields increased to 10 km and fell to essentially zero at a distance of approximately 40 km. We did not detect a significant trend in the spatial distribution of crop-foraging male deer. The findings of spatial distribution patterns of crop-foraging female deer will be useful for the establishment of management areas, such as zonation, for efficient removal of them.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

12 Jul 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
12 Jul 2021Assigned to Editor
12 Jul 2021Submission Checks Completed
19 Jul 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Jul 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned