Behavioural Responses of GPS-Collared Female Red Deer Cervus elaphus to Driven Hunts | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2009
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Precise knowledge of how game species react to different hunting practices is a prerequisite for sound management of intensively hunted populations. We compared behavioural and spatial behaviour of five GPS-collared female red deer Cervus elaphus in Denmark before, during and after exposure to 21 driven hunts (2––5 times each). In 53% of all hunts, deer left their normal home ranges within 24 hours, moving on average 4 km and remaining away for an average of six days. Compared to pre-hunt values, deer moved longer distances per unit time on the day of the hunt and during the following two nights. Diurnal activity (based on motion sensors) did not increase significantly on the hunting day, but was lower than normal the day after the hunt. Nocturnal activity was equal before and after hunts. Deer spent 96% of their time in (safer) forest habitats by day and 43% by night before and after hunts. No induced responses were conditional on distance to the hunters (0––1.5 km), hunt duration (1.3––6.4 hours) or the time elapsed since previous hunts (4 to >30 days). The inclination of deer to flee from areas following hunts might complicate attempts to optimise harvesting policies in landscapes with many landowners within a typical flight range.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Sunde, Peter
Olesen, Carsten R.
Madsen, Torben L.
Haugaard, Lars

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