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                       A bit about species I manage

Fallow deer

Adult fallow bucks are generally 84 – 94 cm at the shoulder and weigh 46 - 94kg. Adult does are 73 - 91cm at the shoulder and weigh 35 - 56kg. 

The way fallow deer behaves depends on the environment and population in the area. Most often bucks maintain a traditional, defended rutting stand. In other, a temporary rutting stand is maintained to attract sufficient number of does to herd them into a harem. It is very common with large species of deer, during conflict the bucks behaviour changes from groaning and parallel walks to fighting. During the rut bucks groan loudly and does with fawns give a short bark when alarmed. Adult does give birth to a single fawn (sometimes twins possible) in June or July after a gestation of 229 days. Fallow deer can live for 8 – 10 years but not uncommon longer then 10.

Fallow deer active all 24 hour period but only coming out to open spaces during darker times of the day. Most active at dawn and dusk with most daytime hours spent bedding down, where they ruminate while not feeding.

Being non-native, fallow deer are considered naturalised and increasing in numbers very fast. They are very well spread in England and Wales, and to so much in Scotland, prefer broadleaf woodlands, coniferous woodland considered too so as agricultural land. Fallow deer prefer to graze on grasslands, but also will take young trees and shrub shoots in colder times of the year.

Bucks and does mix in large herds throughout the year in agricultural environments.

Because of the high numbers in the herd the damage caused by browsing on tree shoots and agricultural crops makes fallow deer a unwanted guest for farmers and woodland managers.  This is one of many reasons why fallow deer populations require proper management to maintain good overall balance with environment.

Roe deer

Adult Roe deer grow to 60 - 75cm at the shoulder and weigh 10 - 25kg. Bucks are slightly larger than does.

The rut occurs between mid-July to mid-August. Bucks become very aggressive and trying to maintain exclusive connection around one or few does just before the rut. Serious injury or death are not uncommon when the rut begins with the winner taking over the territory or the doe. You can see chasing between the bucks, its usually takes a bit of time before doe is ready to mate. 

Roe deer do not keep exclusive territories and live within overlapping ranges. It is very usual that males mate with several females and females mating with few males.

Roe deer sometimes can form small groups up to 6-8 species. As fallow deer, roe are active all 24-hour of the day and also come out to open spaces during the hours of darkness. Most active times at dawn and dusk. Long periods are spent bedding down the deer lies down to ruminate between feedings.

When alarmed both sexes give make nose which sounds like a bark, usually barking is repeated few times. Does make a high-pitched piping call (so say that the piping call gives indication to the other bucks that the doe is not happy with the buck around here at the time, so another bucks coming in to the area to try their luck) to attract a buck who makes a rasping noise in response.

Roe deer are native species to Britain, having been here since before the Mesolithic period. Several reintroductions during Victorian times, and their subsequent natural spread, aided by an increase in woodland and forest planting in the 20th century, means that roe deer numbers are going up at steady pace today.

Roe deer very common and widespread allover the Scotland and England, except some parts of Kent and Midlands. Roe deer prefer woodland/forests, but when populations is higher then normal they can also occupy agricultural land.

Roe deer are browsers and actively select different food types including herbs, brambles, ivy, heather, & coniferous/deciduous tree shoots. Browsing of  young trees and agricultural crops puts them in conflict with farmers and foresters due to high and expensive damage. Roe deer population the same as fallow deer require careful management to maintain strong and healthy animals to ensure a sustainable balance with their environment.

Muntjac deer

Bucks grow to 44 - 52cm at the shoulder and weigh 10 - 18kg. Does are 43 - 52cm at the shoulder and weigh 9 - 16kg.

Not like other species of deer in Britain, muntjac do not have a exact breeding season ( the rut). They breed all year round and the does can conceive again within just few days after giving birth. Males (bucks) can fight for a doe but remain very tolerant of other males in the area.

Does can be fertile at seven months old. The gestation period is only seven months, they usually give birth to a single kid and ready to mate again in few days. Live expectancy from 16 years for bucks to up to 19 years for does.

Muntjac deer known as ‘barking deer’ they also can scream when alarmed.
As other species of the deer muntjac is active all 24-hours of the day and also makes more use of open spaces in the hours of darkness. Highest activity is at dawn and dusk. Long periods are spent bedding down, when the deer lies down to ruminate after feeding.

Muntjac now widespread and increasing in numbers.

Muntjac like coniferous forests, preferably with a diverse undercover. Muntjac also can be found in scrub and overgrown gardens. Unlike other species of deer, muntjac do not cause much damage to agricultural or forests crops. But at the same time high numbers can  prevent coppice regeneration and the loss of some plants of conservation importance. The most direct impact that muntjac have on human interests is in collisions with cars.

European Rabbit

As an invasive species

The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a species of rabbit native to southwestern Europe. It has been widely introduced elsewhere, often with devastating effects on local biodiversity.It is known as an invasive species because it has been introduced to countries on all continents with the exception of Antarctica, and caused many problems within the environment and ecosystems.The European rabbit is well known for digging networks of burrows, called warrens, where it spends most of its time when not feeding.Unlike the related hares, rabbits are altricial, the young being born blind and furless, in a fur-lined nest in the warren, and they are totally dependent upon their mother.The European rabbit is a smallish, grey-brown (or sometimes black) mammal, although it ranks as medium-sized by lagomorph standards. It ranges from 34 to 50 cm (13 to 20 inches) in length, not counting a tail of 4 to 8 cm (1.6 to 3.1 in). Weight can range from approximately 1.1 to 2.5 kg (2.4 to 5.5 lb).Rabbits have long ears, large hind legs, and short, fluffy tails. They move by hopping, using their long and powerful hind legs. To facilitate quick movement, a rabbit's hind feet have a thick padding of fur to dampen the shock of rapid hopping. Their toes are long, and are webbed to keep from spreading apart as the animal jumps.

Rabbits are social animals, living in medium-sized colonies known as warrens. They are largely crepuscular, being most active around dawn and dusk, although they are not infrequently seen active during the day. During the day, rabbits prefer to reside in vegetated patches, which they use for protection from predators. At night, they move into open prairie to feed. Rabbit populations seem to be greatest in ecotone habitats and less in scrublands or grasslands.

Rabbits require at least 55% water content in their diet to reproduce successfully and to maintain a healthy condition.Rabbits are essentially mixed-feeders, both grazing and browsing, but grass is their primary food source. They nevertheless have a diverse diet of grasses, leaves, buds, tree bark, and roots. They will also eat lettuce, cabbage, root vegetables, and grains.Rabbits live in warrens that contain two to 10 other individuals living in smaller groups to ensure greater breeding success.Mature male and females are better at fighting off predators. Females tend to be more territorial than males, although the areas most frequented by females are not defended.Rabbits mark their territories with dung hills.They expel soft, mucus-covered pellets that are sometimes reingested (coprophagy). They also expel larger pellets covered with secretions from the anal gland. A rabbit’s success in repelling strangers depends on the potency of the pellets. When young rabbits leave their natal warrens, they either settle in their pre-existing territories, take over unoccupied, formerly established territories, or become transients. Females tend to move into neighboring territories, while males tend to move further away.Rabbits can be extremely aggressive in the wild, and competition between males can often lead to severe injury and death. Although hostile displays are used, and males often squirt urine on challengers as a form of dominance, this nearly always enrages the challenger, resulting in immediate attack. Rabbits use their powerful back legs as weapons, kicking at an opponent's underside, as well as biting and scratching with the front paws.

The male is called a buck and the female is a doe; a young rabbit is a kitten or kit. The rabbit mating system is rather complex. Dominant males exhibit polygyny, whereas lower-status individuals (males and females) often form monogamous breeding relationships. Rabbits signal when they are ready to copulate by marking inanimate objects while giving off odoriferous substances though their chin gland, a process known as "chinning". Dominance hierarchies exist in parallel for both males and females. Social rank is based on the amount of group aggression. The dominant buck has greater mobility and more aggression than the dominant doe. This is likely because males have to fight each other for the females. The social hierarchy of males is also determined by a number of other factors, such as the size of his patrol area, the number of females that visit his area, resting time near females, the number of shelters he visits, and the distance he travels daily.Rabbits are famed for their reproductive capabilities. Although certainly not the strongest, fastest, or smartest of the mammals, they have carved out a strong ecological niche through their rate of impregnation, because female rabbits ovulate at the time of copulation. One striking example of rapid rabbit reproduction took place in Australia, where the first 24 rabbits introduced in 1859 had multiplied to form a population of over 600 million over the course of less than a century. The gestation cycle for a rabbit averages 31 days, although it can vary between 29 and 35 days. Litter sizes generally range between two and 12 rabbits. The young are born in a nesting burrow dug by the female, to which she returns once a day for four weeks for them to suckle.They can reproduce from three to four months of age. They can produce four to seven litters of offspring per year; a mature female can be pregnant continuously for up to eight months. One single pair of mature rabbits is able to produce 30–40 offspring per year.Kittens are born in a nest in an isolated part of the warren. The females build, prepare and defend the nest. A doe will mark the nest with urine and fecal dropping to deter others from invading the site.Does take care of the kittens without help from the bucks. However, bucks show considerable investment in the welfare of young, although much of this aspect of rabbit behavior is poorly understood. Males may be trying to enhance their social status by being surrounded by friendly individuals. 

Wild boar

Male wild boar have a more intimidating appearance and sport sharp tusks. Fortunately wild boar attacks on people are extremely rare, but as with all animals you may come across in the woods, including species of deer and certain breeds of domestic dogs, there is always an element of unpredtability it is best to remain aware of. Wild boar continue to be sighted in new areas - verification of wild boar in these southern England locations is reported by many local farmers, dog walkers and horse riders. 

 The date at which wild boar finally became extinct in Britain is unclear due to subsequent attempts at re-introduction. In continental Europe, wild boar were (and still are) widely distributed and attempts were made in the 18th and 19th centuries to re-introduce animals to Britain from abroad, initially into private estates for hunting purposes. James 1st released animals firstly from France and then from Germany into Windsor Park in 1608 and 1611 respectively. His son, Charles 1st (reigned 1625-1649), also released boar into the New Forest from Germany. These re-introductions were not successful in the long term as the majority of people regarded wild boar as [agricultural] pests and saw to their destruction.

It is thought that the original British wild boar were probably extinct by the 13th century, and the re-introduced animals became extinct during the 17th century. Between the 17th century and the 1980's, when wild boar farming began, only a handful of captive wild boar, imported from the continent as zoo exhibits, were present in Britain. Until very recently, no free-living wild boar (native or introduced) have been present in Britain for the last 300 years.

Because wild boar are a former native species, the British climate will not adversely affect the survival of the free-living animals, particularly as wild boar can survive a wide range of climatic conditions, including deep winter snowfalls.

The relatively mild and wet UK climate should favour the wild boars' survival. Furthermore, the fact that the populations are breeding implies not only a viable population (as opposed to the population having arisen from numerous isolated escapes) but also that sufficient food resources and suitable habitat are available.

Wild boar are commonly referred to as a woodland species. However, wild boar will utilise a mosaic of habitats, for example deciduous woodland, coniferous woodland, scrubland and agricultural land. There fore the assumption that wild boar are dependent on single large blocks of woodland to survive is incorrect. Wild cause impact on many areas, particularly agriculture, animal health, conservation and public safety. For example, they cause agricultural damage, have the potential to pass on disease to domestic livestock and can be dangerous if cornered. On the other hand they were a native species and an integral part of the ecology of the woodland.

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