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Red Deer

(Cervus elaphus)

Shoulder height: 110-120cm Weight: 225kg Lifespan: max. 25 years


Identification: This is the largest UK land mammal. The coat is reddish-brown changing to grey in winter while the rump is buff coloured with a dark tail. As an adult it does not have spots. Males grow branched antlers which they shed in February. General: Red deer live in separate sex herds throughout the year. Females tend to stay with the maternal herd until they are mature and produce young at 3 to 4 years of age. In the autumnal rut the males are solitary and attempt to hold a group of females within their area. They respond to challenges from other males by roaring, gathering vegetation in their antlers and parallel walking with occasional head to head clashes. They prefer mature woodland, browsing Footprint on shoots and bark but will occasionally be seen in agricultural land. They are most active at dawn and dusk. Damage to trees occurs when the males rid their antlers of velvet. Distribution - UK: It is believed that there are more than 360,000 red deer across the UK (particularly in Scotland) as numbers have increased dramatically in the last 50 years.



Cambridgeshire Mammal Atlas  
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