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1 February 2016 Population dynamics and structure of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) inhabiting small-size forests in north-western Poland
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Abstract

According to hunting statistics in the last two decades, both the population numbers and harvesting of roe deer in Poland have been on the increase from 597000 to 876000 animals and from 158000 to 172000 harvested individuals, respectively. The number of roe deer reported by hunters are mainly based on guesswork, therefore the objective of the study was to verify the inventory of roe deer conducted by hunting clubs in the Myślibórz Forest District (north-western Poland) and to determine the sex ratio and age structure this species. The study area is including 86 small size forest complexes and covers 12990 ha. Roe deer number were determined over four years from 2002 to 2006. In sampling plots (February 2002) data from snow tracking and driving census showed significant correlation (r = 0.663, p = 0.003) between the relative population density (N/km) — independent variable and population density (N/1000 ha) - dependent variable. Roe deer snow tracks were counted during five days each year on 16 line transects (length 66.4 km) and the relative population densities (animal per km*day-1) for the whole study area were calculated. These indices were inserted into the regression formula that was obtained from sampling plots. It allowed to calculate the population density (N/1000 ha) and then roe deer numbers inhabiting the study area. Population density ranged from 300.1–319.0 individuals/1000 hectares of forest, and the differences between the four years of study were statistically insignificant. In summer, the sex ratio of the population was 1:1.4 in favour of females, and the autumn increment of young animals amounted to 70.2 fawns/100 does. The average population number of roe deer assessed for these four years was 3568 individuals and was more than two times higher than the average population size (n = 1670) given by hunters.

Lidia OrŁowska and Wojciech Rembacz "Population dynamics and structure of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) inhabiting small-size forests in north-western Poland," Folia Zoologica 65(1), (1 February 2016). https://doi.org/10.25225/fozo.v65.i1.a8.2016
Received: 14 January 2015; Accepted: 1 August 2015; Published: 1 February 2016
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