RED DEER
 
Cervus elaphus




 
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
The Red Deer inhabits most of Europe, theCaucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor, parts of western and central Asia, and northwestern Africa. It prefers quiet regions, with springs that form small ponds, where it bathes.
 


DESCRIPTION
Its colour range vary from black to red with the seasons, age and sex. In the winter its coat is grayish-brown, ant in the summer reddish-brown. Males weigh between 160 – 240 kg, and females 120 – 170 kg.


 
REPRODUCTION
In July –August stags begin to clean the velvet that covers their antlers.  Dominant stags follow groups of hinds during the rut, from August into late autumn. Females produce one offspring per year. After two weeks, fawns are able to follow their mother and join the herd and are fully weaned after two months.
 













DIET
In the summer the Red Deer feeds with plants, leaves, stems, and in the winter their diet consists of buds, lichens, green leaves found under the snow, dry plants and sometimes bark.
 


SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
As the fall mating season approachs, bulls form harems. In spring, the sexes separate; females leave to give birth, while bulls form their own separate summer herds.
 



LONGEVITY

Red Deer live up to over 20 years in captivity and in the wild they average 10 to 13 years.