Tom Holland's picture

Deer signs

Observed: 19th October 2011 By: Tom Holland
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Description:

Lots of hoof prints 6-7cm long. Several wallows 1-2m in diameter. Conspicuous trails through the vegetation. Browsing on suckers and saplings to height of about 1m (maybe a bit less).
Probably deer. rather than livestock, but is it possible to say which species?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

loshad1's picture

Deer tracks

Hi, Please let me start by saying that I am certainly no expert, just someone who has an interest in British deer species (Cervidae).
By the photos, I have assumed this is a broadleaved woodland habitat,and by some distribution maps I have studied it could possibly be Fallow Deer,who do typically leave the "browse line" you described.
However one could argue that it could also be Red or Roe deer so more information would be needed.It would be worth future trips to the area to see if one could pick up further clues.Hope this has been of some small help.

the naturalist man's picture

Deer print

The prints here are the important identification features, the others are likely to be signs of deer and are useful for that, but could be caused by any of four species (red, roe, sika or fallow deer).

At 6-7cm the prints are too large for roe; are at the upper end of the range for fallow/sika stags; and the lower end of the range for a red deer doe. Also roe deer prints almost always show a turning in of the 'toe' or forward point of the print.

The pints are in mud, therefore, are distorted; however, they look to be straight and a fairly uniform width along the whole length, they certainly do not appear to come to a point. This rules out both fallow and sika.

If you want to add an identification for red deer I'll agree to it.

That leaves red deer, also I know the area and am aware of both roe and red deer but not sika or fallow.

Graham Banwell

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