Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Another member of the red deer group which may represent a separate species is the C. corsicanus.[34] If so, C. corsicanus includes the subspecies C. c. barbarus (perhaps a synonym of C. c. corsicanus), and is restricted to Maghreb in North Africa, Corsica, and Sardinia.[31][34]

With the increasing popularity of the World Expositions mainly producers of horn furniture in Germany, Austria and the United States showed their ideas of horn furniture and a kind of series manufacturing began. Heinrich Friedrich Christoph Rampendahl and Friedrich Wenzel are only two acknowledged companies to be named. In recent times deer antler home decors can be found in home styling magazines.[44]

The breeding season, on rut, occurs from the end of September to November. Stags return to the hind's home range and compete for them by engaging in elaborate displays of dominance including roaring, parallel walks and fighting.  Serious injury and death can result from fighting but this only occurs between stags of similar size that cannot assess dominance by any of the other means.  The dominant stag then ensures exclusive mating with the hinds.

Red deer are animals of woodland associated with open areas. They will sometimes spend their time almost exclusively in the open. They are herding animals which rut in the autumn, usually producing single calves in the spring.

The genetic integrity of red deer is threatened by interbreeding with sika deer. In areas where both are present such as the New Forest, attempts are made to keep the species separate by selective culling.

A soft covering known as velvet helps to protect newly forming antlers in the spring

In England the main concentrations are in south-western England, East Anglia, and the Lake District with a wide scatter of local herds elsewhere. In Wales there are a small number of isolated herds. Some populations, notably those in the west of England, may be considered native, although even these may have had introduction of new blood in the past. Others owe their origins to escapes from parks or to deliberate introductions.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature originally listed nine subspecies of red deer (Cervus elaphus): three as endangered, one as vulnerable, one as near threatened, and four without enough data to give a category (Data Deficient). The species as a whole, however, is listed as least concern.[1] However, this was based on the traditional classification of red deer as one species (Cervus elaphus), including the wapiti. The western European red deer is also known as simply red deer.

Red deer are a native species having migrated to Britain from Europe 11,000 years ago. They were used extensively by Mesolithic man as a source of food, skins and tools (bones and antlers). However, the development of agriculture by Neolithic man cleared swathes of forest to make way for fields and this loss of forest encouraged the decline of red deer populations, which became confined to the Scottish Highlands, south-west England and a few other small, scattered populations

Selected members of the red deer species group are listed in the table below. Of the ones listed, C. e. hippelaphus, C. e. scoticus, and C. e. bactrianus may all be junior synonyms.[31]

Although at one time red deer were rare in parts of Europe, they were never close to extinction. Reintroduction and conservation efforts, especially in the United Kingdom, have resulted in an increase of red deer populations, while other areas, such as North Africa, have continued to show a population decline.

Despite being sexually mature before their second birthday in productive woodland populations, only stags over five years old tend to mate.  In woodland populations hinds over one year old give birth to a single calf after an eight-month gestation, between mid-May to mid-July. Puberty may be delayed until three years old in hill hinds, which may give birth only once every two or three years.

Follow this link for amateur footage of a roaring stag:

With this in mind, practitioners should ensure that the short-term gains in terms of numbers of animals culled per day does not compromise the efficiency of longer-term deer control.

Male red deer retain their antlers for more than half the year, and are less gregarious and less likely to group with other males when they have antlers. The antlers provide self-defence, as does a strong front-leg kicking action performed by both sexes when attacked. Once the antlers are shed, stags tend to form bachelor groups which allow them to cooperatively work together. Herds tend to have one or more members watching for potential danger, while the remaining members eat and rest.[10]

Social dependency: Calves remain with their mother as yearlings, learning her home range during this period. Social groups of a hind, her calf, and yearling are common.

Red deer live over 20 years in captivity and in the wild they live 10 to 13 years, though some subspecies with less predation pressure average 15 years.

Productivity: Directly influenced by food and shelter. Woodland − hinds commonly pregnant after second rutting season. Generally a calf is produced annually thereafter

Genetic evidence clearly shows the wapiti and western red deer form two separate species.[31][32][33] Among western red deer, the easternmost forms (from the Caspian Sea to western China) form a primordial subgroup, which includes the Yarkand deer and Bactrian deer (the two may be synonymous).[31]

Vital statisticsHeight: males 105 - 135 cm at the shoulder, females 100 - 120 cmWeight: males 190 kg, females 120 kgLifespan: 15-18 yearsNumbers in Britain: around 350,000 in Scotland. No estimates for England and Wales.Useful sitesBritish Deer SocietyThe Deer InitiativeAssociation of Deer Management GroupsDeer Commission of Scotland England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.

Vocalisation: Hinds may bark when alarmed and moo when looking for their young.Shoulder height: 1-1.2 m

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Antler developmentMid Mar − Jul: Antlers cast (older and better condition stags cast first).Jul − Sept: Antlers harden and ‘velvet’ dies.Aug – Oct: Antlers clean of velvet.MatingSept: Stags ‘break out’ of bachelor groups to find and claim groups of hinds as the hinds start to come into oestrus.Late Oct: The peak of the ‘rut’ normally occurs during this time, but may extend into Nov.Vocalisation: A deep, low bellow or roar plus grunts.Shoulder height: 1-1.3 m

Weaning of calves: At 4 months. Calves may continue to suckle beyond this period but are not dependent on milk.Calving behaviour: Hinds break away from group to give birth rejoining only when the calf is strong enough to run with the herd. During the first few days, the calf is left alone between suckling bouts. When strong enough to run at foot, will join the rest of the herd.

The red deer is Britain's largest land mammal. They are most numerous in Scotland, but isolated populations occur from the Lake District to Cornwall, with a few small herds in Wales. Venison from red deer in Forestry Commission woods is very popular with consumers in Britain. Venison from red deer has less cholesterol and fat than other red meat, and deer living in the woods do not have any artificial feeding.

Until recently, biologists considered the red deer and elk or wapiti (C. canadensis) the same species, forming a continuous distribution throughout temperate Eurasia and North America. This belief was based largely on the fully fertile hybrids that can be produced under captive conditions.[28][29][30]

The red deer is the largest land-mammal in the UK with a males (stags) standing 107-137cm at the shoulder and weighing 90-190kg. Adult females (hinds) reach a height of 107-122cm at the shoulder and weigh 63-120kg. Deer on the open hill in Scotland are smaller than those in lowland English woodland.

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BreedingSingle calf: Born in May (woodland) and June (open range). Very exceptionally, twins born.

Some Scottish hill populations suffer heavy infant mortality at and shortly after birth and during their first winter. Lifespan can be, exceptionally, up to 18 years.

Red Deer

The following habitats are found across the Red deer distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

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In Argentina and Chile, the red deer has had a potentially adverse impact on native animal species, such as the South Andean deer or huemul; the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has labelled the animal as one of the world's 100 worst invaders.[27]

Scottish Red Deer and their Conservation by V P W Lowe (2014) Hayloft Publishing Ltd

While preferring woodland and forest habitats in England and southern Scotland, red deer can adapt to open moor and hills as they have in parts of Scotland and south-west England. Native stock are common in the Scottish Highlands, Dumfriesshire, Lake District, East Anglia and the south-west of England. Feral stock are present in the north of England, north Midlands, East Anglia, the New Forest and Sussex.

Autumn - a time of great change, of breathtaking migrations, of high drama.

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The Red deer can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Adult males and females are typically sexually segregated for most of the year, occupying different areas of their range and generally interacting only during the rut. Group size varies. Female groups tend to be matriarchal and led by a dominant female. She becomes obvious as the leader when the group is disturbed and moving. Generally, young hinds remain with their mother’s group; young stags disperse to group with other bachelor males.