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Title: Numbers and social behaviour of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in a Dorset wood
Author: Bramley, Paul S.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1970
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I studied the population dynamiec and social behaviour of a marked population of roe deer at Chedington, Dorset, form 1966-68, with additional observations and experiments in 1969. The numbers of territorial bucks and adult does, which formed the permanent breeding population, were stable and most were resident for several years. Numbers of non-tor-ritorial bucks showed greater fluctuations. Yearlings for-med nearly a third of the population each spring despite a reduced reproduction rate by does at Chedington when compared with does in other areas. Mortality in the wood was low and many non-territorial bucks and yearling does emigrated in spring when a change in social behaviour occurred. In winter, groups of two to eight deer voro common but breke up in spring when territorial bucks became more aggressive, After March, observations of single adult does and bucks inoreasod. Territories were actively defended from April - August; most aggresstion was directed at non-territorial bucks. Fights between adjacent territorial bucks were rare, and bucks occupied the same worritorios for several years with little overlap between territories. Non-territorial bucks did not defend an area and their home ranges were large, overlapped each other oxtensively, and often passed through territories of several bucks. Non-territorial bucks which failed to secure territories were rarely seen the following year. Adult does occupied the same home ranges for several years and these sometimes coincided with the territories of bucks, but more frequently overlapped the territories of two or three bucks. The androgenic activity of bucks which reached a peal: in July, coincided with the period of territorial behaviour, However, aggression of bucks could not b increased experimentally by testosterone implants, but a buck lost hie territory about eight weeks after castration. Experiments showed that territorial bucks defended territories and not does and their behavior prevented non-territorial bucks from holding territories and limited the number of territorial bucks in the population, but had no effect on numbers of does, Adult does remained in their home ranges despite the absences of territorial bucks and then removed were replaced by yearling does. Thus yearling does seemed to form the surplus doe population and were prevented from establishing themselves by the behaviour of adult does, but the mechanism involved was not clear.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available