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Thread: Population figures for Muntjac and Sika?

  1. #1

    Population figures for Muntjac and Sika?

    Hi guys, am I right that is thinking that there is assumed to be around 450,000 Muntjac now living in England and Wales and the population triples roughly every 8-10 years????

    Also, what's the population estimate for Sika in Scotland anyone?


  2. #2
    I've not managed to count them all yet, but based on an estimated 8% per year growth rate, the population will double every 9 years.
    I think they are here to stay?
    This link quotes a population of 100,000 with a growth rate of 10%.

  3. #3
    A few years ago (2004 or 5?) the Mammal Society came up with a muntjac population estimate of 128,500. I think that's very conservative, and where they got the odd 500 from beats me.

  4. #4
    Hi Roesteak, I think any estimate of Sika population in Scotland would be meaningless. They like to inhabit thickish woodlands with windblown lodgepole pine being a favourite haunt. They are notoriously shy, primarily nocturnal and due to persecution avoid human contact like the plague. Therefore any attempts to count them is hopeless. Even on my ground which I know well I have no chance of giving you a half accurate estimation of population. About 5 years ago two stalkers and myself were in my cabin after stalking during the Stag rut. We had been successful on Reds but had seen no Sika.About midnight a late brood of Tawny Owls started to screech in the branches of a tree just outside the cabin. We went out and shone a torch at them to get a look at what was disturbing the peace. In the process we frightened a Sika Stag that was grazing next to the cabin. He ran off whistling loudly. Immediatly it seemed that the whole wood became alive with noise as first one then another Sika Stag started up. Sometimes we could hear three calling together from different parts of the wood. In all there could have been 12 to 14 animals involved in this whistling match.Over the next three days only one was seen and shot. Even my big Stags that I can recognise sometimes disappear for weeks at a time and I am sure they dont go off my ground here (good fences)so I would have to say I havnt a clue honestly how many Sika I have. David.

  5. #5

    Thanks for posting that info. It is consistent with what I have found in my limited time trying for a Sika Stag in the Borders.

    I have been for the last 2 years in the rut and have had, on one occasion 3 stags whistling in front of me within the tree line seperated by perhaps a couple of hundred yards (difficult to tell how far apart really but thats what it sounded like). This happened virtually most nights of the 5 days there and on one occasion a hind came out on last light and guess what no stag surprise surprise. I waited and waited about 40 minutes after dark as I had some millenia grass as a background and could still easily take the shot if one stepped out. The more I waited the more I thought there would be a chance but it was properly dark and apart from staying all night I packed in.

    I am trying again this year and am addicted to this particular blood line as they seem to behave totally different to the ones down south.

    They are really tricky but that is what makes it addictive in my opinion.

  6. #6
    I guess it's hard to a to get a true picture of how many sika or muntjac there are. Some figures say one thing and others say another. All I know is i'm really looking forward to having muntac in my garden. It's a lot closer than my grounds.

  7. #7
    It`s not hard to count Deer accurately, it is imposssible. [unless of course they are in a park or pen.]
    My mentor of the Roe 48 years ago, the late Bill Grant, used to say, `Deer live and die unseen by human eye`.
    A mountain farmer friend had 89 cows and calves in a rugged fenced area on the hillside and counted them FOUR times before he found them all.

    Years ago there was a case on an island near Denmark where the Roe had a genetic fault and had been observed and `counted` by experts over a long period of time .
    It was decided to eliminate all these beasts and replace with stock which was normal.
    After TWICE the estimated population had been culled there was still some scampering about !


  8. #8
    Stag1933 makes a good point,
    "It`s not hard to count Deer accurately, it is imposssible."

    First of all, no insult intended to anyone on this site, OK, but statistics and estimations are a big part of my job, so I had to chip in. I don't count deer unfortunately, but the principles are the same.
    One thing that gets my back up is government departments or agencies producing meaningless or misleading figures, I would get sacked for doing it, why don't they?

    Anybody, claiming to be a scientist, who states a single figure for any wild animal population is practising incorrect science or doesn't understand statistics or at worst is deliberately trying to mislead.

    Strictly speaking they should quote a range consisting of low-mid-high cases with a "most likely" estimate given too for completeness.

    However, what they typically do is count animals in a measured area, square miles, square kilometres or suchlike. And they use students/volunteers who don't always correctly identify species, or who even sit and make up the figures in the pub cos it was raining or too cold outside (I've caught researchers doing exactly that when I hired some), results from such work are obviously bullsh*t.

    Even at best they extrapolate from a sample cos they can't (afford to) count everywhere, so they start small. Say they use 100 square miles and they estimate (first inaccuracy introduced) that there are 10 000 square miles of available habitat, the simple method is to multiply the number they recorded in 100 square miles by 100 and quote that as the total population.
    Simple and almost certainly wrong as it assumes that they counted all the population in their 100 square miles (they almost certainly didn't = more inaccuracy) and, perhaps worse, it also assumes an even distribution or population density throughout the range for that species (more inaccuracy).

    I've seen places where the munties were thick on the ground, 10 in a 10acre wood, other places only 2 or 3 on a 600 acre farm.
    Which one is typical? Would the average be? Did I see all the animals in either place? Unlikely. And it's the same for all researchers, hence the need to quote ranges.

    It's fun to count lots of munties/Sika or any deer, but as they move, hide, die and breed it's difficult to come up with a definitive population figure. Even trying to work out how fast the population grows/doubles is an estimate or more likely a guestimate.

    Whatever, certainly in the case of munties they appear to thrive and I've seen them in places that were almost certainly free of them only 3 years ago, and I've even seen a few in northwest London within a couple of miles of Wembley. It looks like they are here to stay and that's great in one way at least, they taste good!


  9. #9
    so we hav an estimated 450,000 muntjac in the uk
    say 50% are female (225,000) and they hav a single young every 7-8 months
    3 in 2 years approx 675,000 plus the existing male count of 225,000
    in 3 years it has doubled

    of which 50% are also female which can start to reproduce at 6 months
    so a potential 337500 more young
    in the first 12 months of the survey
    how many potential muntjac is that by year nine
    mortality rates hav to be taken into consideration say 50% as a high average just to try balance the books
    any one had time to get an accurate count now
    take into consideration how many are shot probaly more males than females as that is where the money is
    with out these cull figures being taken in on the survey
    i don't think any one realy has a Fecking clue on any such numbers that really exist
    same as the Sika

  10. #10

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