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Thread: Deer distribution

  1. #1

    Deer distribution

    So being new to this game I am keen to learn what I can.
    In my quest for knowledge I have found the BDS distribution survey maps.

    I note that they have survey maps from 2000 and 2009.
    The first thing that struck me is that the population distribution of all 6 species has spread over this period.

    Does this mean that the population is growing or that the population is spreading?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by scubadog View Post
    Does this mean that the population is growing or that the population is spreading?
    Essentially both.

    As a population grows within an area, competition for available resources steadily increases. There comes a point where animals born into that population do better by moving away, into an area where there is less competition. If they can establish themselves there, they then start breeding, and the population starts to increase in the new area as well, and the cycle repeats. So population density within specific areas is often increasing, and the total area occupied is increasing as well.

    There are large areas of suitable habitat in the UK which were unoccupied until recently, largely as a result of extermination during the Middle Ages. Deer are expanding back into these areas, and doing so very quickly because they have no natural predators (the biggest source of mortality is RTAs). If you think that a roe doe can usually produce 2 kids a year, that means that with enough food, the population can effectively double in a year.

  3. #3
    both, the common reason for spread being the existing ground reaching carrying capacity (food or territorial) and overflow/expansion to fill a void.

    ​edit: must type faster when reading a thread and drinking coffee

  4. #4
    Well I guess a deer stalkers that is good news?
    I guess as a farmer that is bad news.

    I am a keen sea fisherman also. I have to say that it is a nice change to be hunting something that
    is truly sustainable and whose population is far from under threat.

  5. #5
    To add to the previous comments, some of the spread is the result of assistance by "Ifor Williams", this is obviously the case where new deer species appear in places like Northern Ireland as they don't swim that well! It is also possibly the case where species are recorded in areas not particularly adjacent to areas where the species is established.

    The other point to consider is that recorded presence is no indication of any particular density, it might be only the odd beast rather than an established population and there is also the problem of misidentification to deal with.

    Overall though most of the UK deer species are increasing both in numbers and distribution, particularly roe and muntjac. For example in Wales 50 years ago there were probably only fallow in three or four basic areas but now every species except CWD is probably represented (plus wild boar) and almost every county on the mainland UK now has wild deer present.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by paul k View Post
    To add to the previous comments, some of the spread is the result of assistance by "Ifor Williams", this is obviously the case where new deer species appear in places like Northern Ireland as they don't swim that well! It is also possibly the case where species are recorded in areas not particularly adjacent to areas where the species is established.

    .
    What or how have Ifor Williams done to help spread the deer population?

    Presumably as the Roe and CWD population expands they will inevitably put pressure on the more native species?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by scubadog View Post
    What or how have Ifor Williams done to help spread the deer population?

    Presumably as the Roe and CWD population expands they will inevitably put pressure on the more native species?
    Are Roe not considered our original native species?
    Not only Ifor Williams trailer man also Van Man and 4x4 Man has helped in reintroducing deer species to all corners of the Uk and Europe.
    Too Old Soon Too Late Smart

  8. #8
    I just wish Mr Williams would bring a trailer full off Muntys to Cheshire I
    think they would survive very well round here if they then put pikeys
    on the general licence the job would be a good one

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=patjack;624441]Are Roe not considered our original native species?
    QUOTE]

    Indeed they are - typo.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by scubadog View Post
    What or how have Ifor Williams done to help spread the deer population?

    Presumably as the Roe and CWD population expands they will inevitably put pressure on the more native species?
    Ifor Williams = brand of canopy for pick ups. Used for transporting tools, animals and...other things. It's widely suspected that some of the more dramatic muntjac range expansions have been in the back of vans/trailers.

    Roe are native (along with red). Fallow are sort of borderline (were here prior to the last glaciation). Muntjac, CWD and sika are introduced.

    Exactly how the introduced species will affect the native species is an issue of great controversy that no one can really agree on - primarily because it has happened so recntly and so quickly that there is very little data. In many areas, roe are recolonising at the same time as muntjac arrive for the firstv time. So it's very hard to pick apart the ecology: you have an environment that had no deer for several hundred years, followed by the arrival of a 'native' deer, but with no natural predators, followed by the arrival of a non-native deer. It's a very big experiment.

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