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Thread: Life expectancy

  1. #1

    Life expectancy

    What is the life expectancy of Roe in the wild? I was thinking around 5-6 years with maybe those further north a little less than those in the south? (Obviously dying of old age and not your bullet!)

  2. #2
    Webley, in most places the life limiting factor for deer is tooth wear (as you say, bullet not included) so most deer die due to malnourishment because tooth wear means they can no longer process enough food to keep them alive. The rate of tooth wear is very dependant on the type of food available, so deer feeding on highly abrasive foodstuffs such as gorse and heather will have a shorter life expectancy than those living where there is plenty of soft food available. Also, the number of calories required will affect tooth wear. So a deer that lives somewhere where it is not often disturbed will burn fewer calories, and hence wear their teeth slower, than a deer that has to use a lot of calories moving around because of disturance. The amount of shelter will have a similar effect, so deer living in an area with plenty of shelter will need to burn fewer calories to maintain body temperature, and so will wear their teeth slower.

    Sooooo, the answer to your question is "it depends" on all the factors above, and probably a few more that slip my mind at the moment.

  3. #3

    Between 1/4 and 1/3 of roe does in this study lived to over 8yo. Less than half that proportion of males.
    I have seen a sika hind of 17yo and fallow of 16yo both from the wild and aged by tooth sectioning. As whitetails in the USA (the nearest relative to the European and Siberian roe) can live to over 20yrs in captivity I would guess that roe of 12 years of age should be reasonably common.

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