Can antler stage represent an activity driver in axis deer (Axis axis)?

6 February 2019

Kavčić, Krešimir; Safner, Toni; Rezić, Andrea; Ugarković, Damir; Konjević, Dean; Oršanić, Milan; Šprem, Nikica

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine the seasonal activity patterns and asynchrony between different antler stages in male axis deer from the Mediterranean island of Rab in Croatia using camera traps. Nine cameras with an infrared motion detection system were used to track animal activity over a 12-month period, 24 hours per day. Stags were divided into two categories of antler development: regeneration stage and hard antler stage. The frequency of detection of each category in the photographs allowed us to investigate seasonal activity patterns. To describe the seasonal activity pattern in each category, we fitted the segmented linear regression and predicted that the ratio of monthly activity of stags in the two antler categories would interchange regularly during the research period. Over the 12-month study period, 36,862 photographs were analysed. A significant difference in frequency was found between the two antler categories (P

Keywords: antler development, tropical deer, camera traps, activity pattern, Mediterranean