Sixth Annual Long Island Natural History Conference











White-tailed Deer Biology and Monitoring Methods for Landowners
Sue Booth-Binczik, Ph.D., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


The white-tailed deer is a highly adaptable large mammal that has increased in abundance throughout the past century.  Its high reproductive rate, flexible diet and willingness to live in close proximity to people have contributed to its success, but these same characteristics lead to conflict with people and harm to forest ecosystems.  Many parts of the country, including Long Island, now have more deer than can be sustainably supported.  DEC is concerned about the long-term consequences for the state’s forests of high deer numbers and is developing methods to take forest condition into account in setting deer population objectives.  To aid in this effort and provide a way for individual property owners and land managers to monitor the condition of forest on their land, Cornell University has developed a data collection method called Assessing Vegetation Impacts from Deer.  A smartphone app and hands-on training sessions around the state will make this technique accessible and useful for anyone interested in keeping forests healthy.

Sue Booth-Binczik is a Wildlife Biologist in the Albany office of DEC.  She works throughout the state, focusing on the complex issues surrounding the problem of deer overabundance, particularly in urban and suburban areas.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida.