Behavioral and ecological aspects of reintroduced Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica)

Amit Dolev, Tamar Dayan, David Saltz, Shirli Bar-David Michaeli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Little is known of the biology and ecology of Persian fallow deer in the wild. The reintroduction of Persian fallow deer into northern Israel provides a rare opportunity to study them. The program is based on bi-annual releases carried out from a permanent habituation enclosure. After three releases, the reintroduced population includes over 40 deer that exist naturally in several subpopulations. Although individual-animal home ranges within each subpopulation overlap, deer within each subpopulation do not form herds but rather tend to be solitary or in small groups up to 5 individuals. Group size and composition varies in terms of age and sex, between seasons. The deer occupy habitats characterized by natural Mediterranean vegetation: chaparral, scrub-land, and open pastures. During the day deer remain in the thicket, exiting at
dusk to graze in the pastures. Throughout different hours of the night, animals were observed in the clearings, alternately grazing and lying down. Impacts on vegetation include grazing, browsing, scratching and breaking trails in the chaparral. Preferred plant species are Laurus nobilis and Phillyrea latifolia
. The reintroduced deer appear to have adapted well to their new habitat. Fawns were born in the wild in the two first fawning season
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference: 4th International Deer Biology Congress
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998


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