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Can you just remind me how we distinguish between sika and red deer? - I'm never certain if the location's within the range for both.
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Even without any identification features your location tells me this is a sika rather than a red or fallow deer. The area around Arne and Poole Harbour have the largest population of sika deer in the country.
Note the black rim of hair around a white rump patch. Also the first point, or tine, leaves the main trunk of the antler at a small angle, with red deer this angle is closer to 90 degrees so it appears to point forward.
Interestingly, this deer's antlers show a hint of palmation between the upper two points (joined to resemble the palm of a hand), a feature more associated with fallow deer though sika can also have this but to a much lesser extent.
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I suspect that the Arne & Poole Harbour population may be the largest in England. In some parts of Scotland, there are very high densities >40/km2.
Interesting comments. A number of years ago, I lived on a private estate in Argyll in the west highlands of Scotland and there was rarely a day when I did not wake up to the sight of a deer/ herd of deer outside my window. We had three species - Red, Sika and Roe - all of which were abundant but there were certainly very many Sika deer around ( largely because the owner of the estate would never allow hunting/shooting). It was a fairly idyllic place to live!
I've tried to find the raw data but can only find second hand reporting on distribution. I know the populations in parts of Scotland are high but admit I have no idea which has the highest density. "The Mammals of the British Isles (4th Ed.), the bible for British mammals, rather confusingly states there are 2,000+ in Dorest, mostly around Poole Harbour whilst the density in Scotland are 10,000 in an area of 14,000 square km. The data are just not comparable.
All I can say is the Poole Harbour population has been steadily growing to the point where they have to cull. Twenty years ago when I worked at Arne I regularly say herds of over 15 animals.
Who has the most? I don't know and all I wold say is the population in both areas are growing and this should be a source of concern due to hybridisation with red deer.
Lat/Lng: 50.6943, -2.0415
OS grid ref: SY971882