Flight distance in roe deer Capreolus capreolus and fallow deer Dama dama as related to hunting and other factors

H.Y. de Boer, L. van Breukelen, M.J.M. Hootsmans, S.E. van Wieren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Flight distances in roe deer Capreolus capreolus and fallow deer Dama dama with respect to a human observer on foot were measured in four nature reserves in the Netherlands: two dune reserves in the western part (the Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes (AWD) and Kennemerduinen (KD)) and two forested areas in the eastern part of the country (Hoge Veluwe (HV) and Kootwijk (KO)). In the four areas there is a gradient in hunting pressure from almost none in the AWD, via an increase in KD, to KO and HV. Fallow deer occur in both of the dune reserves and are not hunted. Of all the factors studied, hunting regime and habitat structure were most strongly related to flight distance. Although the number of individuals per group and most weather conditions also showed some relation to flight distances, their influence was relatively unimportant compared to that of hunting regime and habitat structure. When walking down wind, deer (both roe and fallow deer) flee at longer distances (64.7 +/- 5.8 m) than when walking upwind (41.7 +/- 3.3 m) or in calm wind (44.2 +/- 1.8 m). In the roe deer population of the AWD, flight distances were the shortest among all the studied areas. In both of the dune areas, the flight distances in dense vegetation structures were shorter than in open field. Fallow deer flight distances did not differ between the dune reserves AWD and KD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
JournalWildlife Biology
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • mule deer
  • odocoileus-hemionus
  • responses
  • disturbance
  • behavior

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