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Reproductive potential of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus L.): review of the most important influential factors

Katarina Flajšman and Ida Jelenko and Helena Poličnik and Boštjan Pokorny (2013) Reproductive potential of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus L.): review of the most important influential factors. Acta Silvae et Ligni (102). pp. 1-20. ISSN 2335-3112

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    European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) is the most important game-management species not only in Slovenia but also in other European countries. For effective game management it is crucial to have an understanding of the ecology and population parameters that shape the population dynamics of the species. Knowledge about the variability of its reproductive potential, i.e. the proportion of fertilized females, litter size and fawn sex ratio, apart from the parameters that are already in use, would be very beneficial for methods of control as it could lead to more efficient adaptive game management, including proper planning of culling measures. Factors affecting the reproductive potential of roe deer include individual (particularly maternal phenotype, i.e. body size, body mass, physical condition), population (e.g. population density, demographic structure, social stress, genetics) and environmental characteristics (habitat quality, weather conditions, interspecific interactions, etc.). The final output of reproductive potential is the sum of all influencing factors and several combinations between them and therefore varies among different populations and environments. Higher densities can lower roe deer fertility rates and furthermore number of fawns per doe. Litter size is influenced by doe’s body mass, as heavier females have more fawns in a litter. There are some contradictory findings in studies of sex ratio variation in connection to female body mass. Litter size can also be influenced by age of does, as primiparous females have smaller litters than adults, but also decreases with animal senescence. Roe deer populations from northern environments (Scandinavia) have higher body masses and larger litters than those from the south (e.g. Italy, Spain), which shows the importance of environment for roe deer reproduction. However, in Slovenia this issue has been neglected until now. In the following report we present an overview of the recent European research on factors affecting the fertility and reproductive potential of roe deer. Similar research in Slovenia would also be valuable, as roe deer is exposed to various environmental factors in this area. In addition, it is also involved in unique interspecific interactions that have not been studied in recent foreign research. Furthermore, Slovene distinguishing databases provide an outstanding platform for proficient understanding of different effects on roe deer yield in Central Europe.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: roe deer, reproductive potential, doe fertility, embryo, fawn sex ratio
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=SEARCH&base=COBIB&select=ID= 3783078
    Divisions: Slovenian Forestry Institute > Department of Forest Ecology
    Item ID: 120
    Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2014 13:34
    Last Modified: 30 May 2016 13:38
    URI: http://eprints.gozdis.si/id/eprint/120

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