Red/Sika hybrids

Boghossian

Well-Known Member
#1
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...
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
#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.]

HWH.
 

Boghossian

Well-Known Member
#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.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#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.
 

Andy L

Well-Known Member
#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?
 
D

DaveG

Guest
#9
300wsm said:
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.

stag1933

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.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#11
Who did the DNA work? and where were the samples collected from? I have seen articles written about DNA from Sika over the years, including the recent one in the Deer magazine.

I have been involved with a number of universities over the years with DNA, mostly regarding African Big game. I know that a Cardiff Uni where considering running a long series of tests on Sika some years back, but I dont think anything came of it.
 
D

DaveG

Guest
#12
300wsm said:
Was that proven by DNA testing I know some was done but have never seen the results.
I believe it was. They have now spread all the way up the Tweed valley catchment area.
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
#14
Hi 300wsm.
Those measurements were taken from Stags shot by myself.
I have just taken the pics. below a few minutes ago.

I measure this chunk of the nose for comparison. i.e. the bit that falls off if you boil it too long !!!
This one is 7.7 CM and was an old Stag with unusual antlers, to me it was my best ever Sika trophy although not my highest medal rated.
It measured at 262.7 CIC points [Gold] but because of 22 deducted points fo irregularity etc. it ended up 240.7 [low Silver.]
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
#17
300wsm.
That is a very useful Stag, tines are long and nothing has been snapped off to lower its score.
The pedicles seem to be short and thick being the result of age and many castings.
Has it been measured as it could be medal potential ?

HWH.
 

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