Impact of repeated releases on space-use patterns of Persian fallow deer Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The space-use patterns of reintroduced animals are not well studied. We studied the space-use patterns of reintroduced Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) to assess how repeated releases from a single habituation enclosure and the presence of conspecifics influence the establishment of home range. We released 52 animals (33 were radiocollared). Movements of 27 radiocollared animals (5 M, 22 F) and 20 uncollared subadult males were studied by radiotracking and direct observation for less than or equal to2 years from the time of reintroduction. Deer were released from the same habituation enclosure on 4 occasions over 20 months. During the first 3-6 months after release, deer usually occupied a limited range within 500 m from the enclosure. Later, animals moved to 1 of 3 areas 0.5-1.5 km from the enclosure, forming 3 subpopulations. The subpopulations consisted of animals from all releases and both sexes. Home ranges of animals from the first and second releases stabilized 8-10 months after release. Animals from the third release appeared to establish a stable home range almost immediately. Home-range size between September 1997 and April 1998 (7-8 mo) ranged from 86 to 365 ha, with home ranges of females not differing significantly front those of males. Later releases had little effect on the home-range stability of animals from previous releases. Our results Suggest that over the short term, repeated releases from a single enclosure have no detrimental effects and actually may enhance the establishment of females from later releases. Movement patterns of released Persian fallow deer in this reintroduction indicate a slow, gradual movement away from the release site and establishment of a borne range within a year.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002