Impact of interspecific relations between native red deer (Cervus elaphus) and introduced sika deer (Cervus nippon) on their rutting season in the Doupovské hory Mts.

https://doi.org/10.17221/47/2014-JFSCitation:Macháček Z., Dvořák S., Ježek M., Zahradník D. (2014): Impact of interspecific relations between native red deer (Cervus elaphus) and introduced sika deer (Cervus nippon) on their rutting season in the Doupovské hory Mts. J. For. Sci., 60: 272-280.
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The behaviour of sika and red deer during the rutting season is highly variable in relation to vocalization, habitat preference during the rut, and onset and termination of rutting. The red deer is a native species in Central Europe, but the areas where it lives in sympatry with the introduced sika deer have been increasing in the last three decades. Such situation can be found in the Doupovské hory Mts., where sika deer has been intensively spreading. Hybridization between the two species and changes in behaviour are the most important problems. In this study we prove the shift in the rutting period shown by both species. To evaluate the shift in the rutting season, we used a very extensive long-term data set on deer shot within the Military Training Area. These changes occur very slowly, however, and are very difficult to monitor and evaluate in the wild. Based on our results, the timing of the rutting season has converged at the mean rate of 0.62 day per year (rutting season starts later in the red deer and earlier in the sika deer).  
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