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18 December 2015 Expansion and Current Status of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) at the Edge of Its Distribution in Portugal
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The European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is the most abundant and widespread cervid species in Europe. Despite being the subject of extensive research elsewhere, knowledge of the roe deer in Portugal is scarce. Here we review and summarize the available information on its distribution in Portugal, with the emphasis on: (i) historical distribution, (ii) current distribution and abundance, and (iii) main conservation/management problems. The roe deer is native to Portugal and its populations always persisted in a few patches to the north of the Douro river until the 1990s, when a series of reintroduction programmes restored this species to central and south Portugal. Currently, a natural expansion of the original and reintroduced populations is taking place. The roe deer is present and well established in mountain ranges in north Portugal and is naturally expanding its range towards the border with Spain (west-central Portugal). A number of threats to the species such as potential interspecific competition with the red deer and livestock, along with inadequate management, human disturbances (both roads and human settlements) and climate change have been identified. It is therefore imperative to identify research and monitoring gaps, and finally to draw conclusions under a holistic framework. This will ensure that informed decisions concerning the roe deer management are made at the national level, taking into account that changes in land use occur continuously, possibly affecting the deer abundance.
© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2015
Rita Tinoco Torres, João Miranda, João Carvalho and Carlos Fonseca "Expansion and Current Status of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) at the Edge of Its Distribution in Portugal," Annales Zoologici Fennici 52(5–6), (18 December 2015).
Received: 27 February 2015; Accepted: 24 June 2015; Published: 18 December 2015

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