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Thread: Red/Sika hybrids

  1. #1

    Red/Sika hybrids

    Hi guys
    Was just wondering if you had any pictures of red/sika hybrids taken in the UK or Ireland.

    It will be interesting to see how easily identifiable they are in view of the spreading sika population...

    I was told that this buck, taken in Wicklow probably had some red blood, as they are all considered hybrids in that area, but he looks pretty pure to me?

    Any good indicators, other than weight which varies from region to region anyway...

  2. #2
    Hi all.
    Hybrids often present a problem because they are not `F1` hybrids carrying 50% of each parents gene pool.
    They may be 98% Sika and 2% Red, and because of the huge Sika gene-pool they should be classed as Sika in my opinion.
    Also I once read somewhere that the original imports into Ireland may not have been genetically pure anyway. i.e. Males of one sub-species and females of another,
    The one in the photo looks typical of a smallish, young, typical Wicklow 8 point beastie.
    A good indication of purity is the length of the nose bone when boiled out.
    Red. 12-14 CM.
    Hybrid. 10-10.5 CM.
    Sika. 7.8-8.1 CM.
    I have taken these measurements off some of my collection here.
    I once shot a large 10 point hybrid at Glen MacNass which looked like a Red Stag but had the flank spots of a Sika and a 10.5 CM nosebone.
    Another there was black like a typical Sika in the rut but had a 10 CM nose, its pedicles were also longer and thinner than those of a typical Sika.
    I can do some pics. if required, possibly tomorrow as the light is failing now. [4-30pm.]


  3. #3
    Thanks for the exhaustive reply!

    I am not very experienced with sika deer so they are all interesting and strange to me!

    Any pics gratefully received.

  4. #4
    I have shot two hybrids, and I agree with Stag1933, it is difficult to tell a hybridised Sika or Red if it is not a first time cross, by that I mean the offspring of a direct mating with Red/Sika.

    If it is a first cross, they are easy to see. They tend to have a head of a Sika, body and pelage of a Red, but the caudiale patch is always pure white and shaped like a Sika.

    Most Sika and Reds in Ireland have hybridised, so I have read, but I do not agree that this is the case in Scotland. As a rule Sika will not cross with Reds if there are plenty of Sika Hinds to mate with. What you usually find is wandering young Sika Stags moving into new areas where there are Reds and very little or no Sika hinds, they will then attempt to mate with Reds, especially in a forest environment.

    I used to have a 12000 acres lease in the Highlands with a great many Sika and Reds. I did not see any attempt to X breed, nor did I see any hybrids. Both Hybrids I have taken where in areas where Sika had only just arrived, and now are commonplace.

    Your Stag looks pure Sika, but as its Ireland it probably isnt, but the only way you will tell is with DNA.

  5. #5
    Top left corner, cracking trophy Sika Stag peeping out from behind a tree and watching the Hind below right.


  6. #6
    That is a nice Stag, typical 8 point head but nice and even and thick. That would make anyone happy taking this as a trophy.

  7. #7
    How does it work when they are checking a trophy. Surely a hybrid will have heavier antlers than a true Sika or does it not work like that?

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 300wsm
    I don't know of any pure Sika in the UK, the most pure I know of are the New forest herd and then the purbeck deer being 95% and 90% pure respectively. This was established by DNA testing, the clever people that did this believe that the original animals that were imported were of the same purity and there is no evidence of hybridization in these two groups of deer scine they introduction in the late 1800's.


    Where did you get info on nose lengths? and where are the measurements taken from?
    Dawyck Estate, Peebleshire and the adjacent Stobo Castle Estate, have pure nippon Sika.

  10. #10

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