Wildlife Management Terms - D

Dabbling ducks: duck species that principally feed in shallow water by “tipping up” or dabbling on the surface

Daylighting: cutting back of canopy and mid-story vegetation that borders logging roads. Exposing road surfaces to sunlight increases drying and prevents erosion, and "daylighting" promotes rapid regrowth of herbaceous plants and shrubs that provides cover for wildlife along the road

Deciduous: referring to those plants (trees or shrubs) that drop their leaves at the end of each growing season

Decomposer: physical element, or organism, that causes other organisms, or physical elements, to break up and/or rot. Fungi/mushrooms for example, help to decompose dead logs

Deer, White-tailed: (Mammal) quick moving animal with a brown hide and four legs with hoofs. Males grow antlers. Deer are wary/shy, feeding at dawn and dusk, and are herbivores (plant eaters). Fawns are born with spots that provide camouflage

Deer decoy: plastic replicate of a deer used to lure other deer into shooting range. Decoys are often used during the rut to get bucks in close enough to shoot at

Deer Hunting with Dogs: utilizing a dog as a means to locate a deer with the intent of harvesting

Deer wintering complex: forested landscape in which food and shelter are present in sufficient quantity, quality and spatial arrangement and function to mitigate the effects of winter weather conditions. Dense stands of cedar and hemlock are necessary to mitigate the impacts of the long duration and depth of snow cover

Deer yard: small area of land that attracts a large number of deer during winter months. These areas are usually attractive to deer because of the shelter and proximity of food sources

Deer/Human Conflicts: any conflict between the human population and the deer population usually resulting in property damage

Defense: resistance against attack, often used for protection

Den: for bears, can be a hollow tree or log, under roots or a brush pile, or a crevice between or under boulders

Den tree (cavity tree): tree that contains a weather-tight cavity used for nesting or protection

Density: number of animals per unit area (e.g., the number of deer per square mile) 

Dentin: softer inner core of a tooth, much darker in color than the enamel

Department of Natural Resources (DNR): state agency in charge of wildlife management and hunting

Depredation: act of preying upon by plundering or ransacking. Mostly wildlife damage to farmer’s crops

Depredation Permit: official permit issued to allow the harvest of wildlife causing property damage, outside of normal regulations

Detritus: litter formed from fragments of decomposed organic material including: bits of food, dead leaves, twigs, algae, and remains of animals. All are decomposing and releasing nutrients into the soil, which aids the growth of new plants

Dissolved oxygen: concentration of oxygen dissolved in water, expressed as milligrams per liter or as a percent of saturation

Dispersal: animal’s abandonment of its home range, in search of habitat for a new home range. This can include leaving a natal site (where the animal was born) to move into a territory with less direct competition to live and reproduce

Diurnal: term used to describe an animal that is most active by day

Diversity: distribution and abundance of different plant and animal species within a given area

Diving ducks: duck species that feed principally by diving below the surface

Doe: female deer

Doe trail: deer trail that is heavily used primarily by does and fawns. These trails are also used by bucks during the rut. Look for trails with a lot of different size tracks and that are clear of most vegetation

Domesticated (species): species altered by humans via an evolutionary process with the goal of benefiting humans, though the animals often benefit as well 

Dominant buck: male deer that establishes a territory and right to breed does in that territory by fighting and intimidation of smaller mail deer. Dominant bucks are usually the largest deer in the area

Dorsal: pertaining to the upper surface of the body

Dragonfly: insects that typically live near water, have four large wings containing a lace-like pattern of veins, long, slender bodies, large heads, and prominent eyes. They are predators that eat insects. Their eyes are so sensitive that they can see and catch small insects, like mosquitoes, in full flight

Drip line: outermost branches of trees from which water drips onto the ground

Drive: hunting technique where anywhere from one to a dozen hunters walk through cover spread apart trying to push deer towards other hunters waiting at likely routes they will use as they flee the approaching hunters  

Drop tine: antler point or tine that grows straight down from the main beam on the antlers of a mature whitetail deer

Dry season: one of two seasons in South Florida. An annual period of low rainfall for an area where plant growth slows or stops and plant matter dries out

Dry land set: a trap that is not set to submerge an animal in water upon capture

Duff: layer of organic material that accumulates on the forest floor

Dump nest: eggs deposited by more than one female in a single nest



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