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Fawn production, habitat use, and growth in the North Kings deer herd, Fresno County, California.
Previous work on the North Kings deer herd has shown that the reproductive potential of the does was high; however, there was a 50 percent neonatal loss of fawns. The neonatal loss was hypothesized to be the result of a nutritional stress experienced by the does during the spring migration, sufficient to retard fetal growth and development. A second loss of 50 percent of the remaining fawns was seen in 1971 and 1972, which appeared to coincide with the fall migration. Additional observations by Cal ifornia Department of Fish and Game personnel indicated that there were specific habitat requirements associated with the successful rearing of fawns. The present study was designed to refine the relationship between fetal growth and doe physical condition, quantitatively describe areas associated with successful fawning, and determine the physical condition, growth rates, and food habits of fawns prior to and following the fall migration