Wildlife managers perform several preventative measures against crop damage caused by sika deer (e.g., fencing and population control); however, these measures have not completely eliminated crop damage, indicating that additional methods should be explored. Therefore, to propose useful agronomical techniques for further decreasing crop damage, we investigated sika deer behavior in apple orchards. The feeding behavior of sika deer was observed using sensor cameras set within apple orchards adjacent to forest. These photographs showed that sika deer mainly used apple orchards in the summer, feeding on both crops (i.e., apple leaves and fruits) and weeds. The estimated 95% confidence interval of the crop-feeding ratio [crop feeding/(crop feeding - weed feeding)] ranged from 0.20 to 0.41, indicating that sika deer more frequently fed on weeds rather than crops. Chemical analyses of the vegetation indicated that only protein content differed among weeds, crops, and forest understory vegetation, with weeds exhibiting the highest protein content. Protein content was probably higher in the apple orchard than in the forest because farmers use nitrogen fertilizer in the apple orchards. We concluded that sika deer are attracted to apple orchards because of the high protein content of the weeds; therefore, weeding might be an effective agronomical technique for reducing crop damage.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 35 • No. 2