How many fawns die
Of the 140 total white-tailed deer collared last winter, 60 of them were pregnant does. Those pregnant does were also implanted with a telemetry device, which is paired with the doe’s collar, and is expelled when the doe gives birth to a fawn. The device sends out a signal, allowing researchers to locate the birth site and ultimately, the newborn fawns. When fawns were born during spring, teams of biologists were in the field to find them and outfit them with their own collars, which were also wirelessly connected to the doe’s collar.
The fawn collars are made of an expandable, elastic material that is designed stay on for about the first year of their lives before falling off. If the collar stops moving for a certain period of time, it will send a notification to biologists that the fawn may have died, allowing them to locate the fawn and investigate the cause of death. “These fawn collars allow us to study survival rates of newborn fawns, or how many survive through their first year, as well and cause-specific mortality, or how they died — whether it was predation or some other underlying cause,” Roberts said.