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Thread: Dorset sika range

  1. #1

    Dorset sika range

    Does anyone know how much the range of the Dorset sika population has increased over the past 25 years?

    It's 25 years since I worked in the South and was lucky enough to stalk them near Wareham. Whitehead says 'in 1961 it was estimated the population in the Wareham woods has increased tremendously and in 1961 it was estimated that the number of deer stood at around 200 head' by 1991 the stalker I was with thought that number had at least doubled in that herd. Whitehead adds 'in Purbeck '30 to 40 deer' (in the same year) and from Melbury escapees 'around 70 head in 1950.' Have they joined up at all I wonder? As mentioned I'm more interested in a geographical increase that pure population increases.

    I'm interested in how sika populations range has spread in the UK in general. I know the Scottish herds reasonably well but where I stay currently the Lancashire Bowland herd seems to have changed little in it's range, especially in the past 25 years.

    Thanks in advance.

    Nick

  2. #2
    no idea if its normal range But saw a group of 5 Stags just out side Verwood (west side) a few weeks back didn't know they were around here But havent been looking to be fair

  3. #3
    Nick,
    The combined herds must number in the tens of hundreds now and range from the edge of the New Forest in the east, up to Blandford and beyond and west to the Devon border.
    The biggest herds are still across the areas west of Poole Harbour and the military ranges.
    DT,

  4. #4
    Nick, IanF should be able to give you some info too.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  5. #5
    Quite substantial numbers as far North as Shaftsbury and west as far as Sherborne that I know of. Have shot a couple nearer to the Warminster area but these have may have originated from parks in that area.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by NickJ View Post
    I'm interested in how sika populations range has spread in the UK in general.
    Get yourself a copy of this and have a read, I managed to pick it up second hand for not too much cash and if you are interested in sika then it is a "must read." I'd guess your local library could get a copy:

    Sika Deer: Biology and Management of Native and Introduced Populations: Amazon.co.uk: Dale R. McCullough, Seiki Takatsuki, Koichi Kaji: 9784431094289: Books

    The bottom line with sika appears to be that they are "eruptive" in the sense that the average rate of expansion gives you very little information about behaviour in the shorter term. So, a population that is expanding, on average, by 1km a year will probably show no expansion for a long time, maybe 20 - 30 years, and then will expand by 30km overnight. I've never seen any evidence that the reasons for this are understood.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  7. #7
    I have seen Sika , on our estate at beer in east Devon . Not a lot but the odd one there for sure .
    Thanks
    tom

  8. #8
    Anecdotally, I suspect stalking pressure is as much to blame as "over population". Sika respond adversely to stalking pressure, certainly changing their habits in the short-medium term. With the increased popularity of stalking and its attendant pressure animals have been pushed further afield from their main areas.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsettaff View Post
    Anecdotally, I suspect stalking pressure is as much to blame as "over population". Sika respond adversely to stalking pressure, certainly changing their habits in the short-medium term. With the increased popularity of stalking and its attendant pressure animals have been pushed further afield from their main areas.
    Esp as the Wareham area is shot very hard. They are right up to Holes Bay and across to Badbury Rings areas.
    I saw one during the rut 3 years ago at Cranbourne.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by V.I View Post
    Esp as the Wareham area is shot very hard.
    7
    +1

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