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Thread: Bowland Sika

  1. #1

    Bowland Sika

    Anyone know anything about the sika in the Forest of Bowland? Just after general information or local knowledge. Don't worry, not looking to gazump anyones stalking! Glyn

  2. #2
    Try Duncan Thomas, now with BASC: 07580 005393

  3. #3
    Hi Glyn
    I'm secretary of the Bowland DMG and if you have any specific questions please PM me and I'll do my best to answer them. I no expert on the local sika but our members include those that know more than most.
    The herd numbers in the low hundreds and (unlike many populations in the UK) has remained relatively static in size and range since their release. The point of release was Gisburn Park and the current range is a band NE of that point. The biggest numbers are concentrated in the FE managed Gisburn Forest, a large area of coniferous forestry planted in 1948-9.
    The strain are inconclusively Japanese or Manchurian or a cross of the two strains (personally I suspect the last of the three options.) There are, every ten years or so reports of hybridisation with red deer confirmed, the Lakeland red population is just to the north of the Forest of Bowland and the group attempts to manage against hybridisation.
    Bole scoring is, thankfully rarely recorded. They are, in body weight exactly half way between the Highland and Dorset sika I have stalked. There is very little arable land in the Bowland range.
    Lord Ribbesdale and Captain Omerod introduced the deer in 1904 for hunting with hounds but it was not a success as they reportedly ran for the thickest cover and lay down! They were 'carted' (transported in carts and just brought to bay then put back in paddocks in the park) as per the Irish tradition. Some said the Japanese deer were 'too slow' so Manchurian were tried later. More on their origins can be found here in an article I posted a few years back.
    All the best

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