Montana Department of Transportation

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Effects of Backcountry Aviation on Deer Stress Physiology

Effects of Backcountry Aviation on Deer Stress Physiology

Backcountry aviation is a popular form of recreation throughout the US and Canada and is predominantly composed of single engine aircraft. It is unclear whether the activity of recreational aircraft has adverse effects on wildlife. This study focused on determining if there are significant increases in stress levels among deer due to recreational aviation activity (e.g., takeoffs, landings, prop noise, camping, human presence) at backcountry airstrips compared to similar, but non-aviation recreational activity (e.g., camping, motorized access to campground or trailhead, human presence) at campground and recreation access sites.