|SREL Reprint #0889|
Morphological Comparisons of Insular and Mainland Populations of Southeastern White-Tailed Deer
Lehr Brisbin, Jr. and Mark S. Lenarz
External body measurements were compared among 123
mainland deer from both bottomland swamp and adjoining upland habitats in South
Carolina, and 46 deer from a Georgia coastal barrier island.
Island deer of both sexes were smaller in length and weight but had
longer hair than mainland deer. Female
deer from the mainland swamp habitat were smaller in length and weight and had
shorter flank hair than females from nearby upland habitats.
Male deer from the two mainland habitats showed no differences in either
length or weight. Analyses of
variance indicated that island deer of both sexes had proportionally small body
circumferences that their mainland counterparts.
Males from the two mainland habitats also differed, with those from the
swamp having proportionally larger body circumferences and narrower distances
between the eyes. Mainland females
also had significantly larger proportional hind foot lengths than did island
females. Discriminant function
analyses indicated broad overlap among male deer from all three locations,
whereas island females were clearly separable from females from the two mainland
habitats, which broadly overlapped one another. Body circumference in the case of males and hind foot length
in the case of females showed the highest correlations with the discriminant
functions for differences between localities.
Differences in body length and weight and hair length paralleled similar
differences shown earlier for feral swine from the same island and mainland
habitats. These similarities suggest that the differences observed are probably
not the result of random genetic drift or founder effect.
SREL Reprint #0889
Brisbin, I.L., Jr. and M.S. Lenarz. 1984. Morphological
comparisons of insular and mainland populations of southeastern
white tailed deer. Journal of Mammalogy 65:44-50.