Für die Menschen. Für Westfalen-Lippe.

Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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European roe deer

Rote Liste NRW: u Ungefährdet

Capreolus capreolus




Foto: Jan Ole Kriegs
The Roe Deer is the smallest European cervid species. Roe Deer bucks weigh up to 20 kg. In summer the elegant animals with their large eyes and ears have a bright red-brown fur; in winter it is a rather dull brown. Around the tail and anus Red Deer have a white rump patch the hair of which can be spread in flight so that the area enlarges and flashes white. The short antlers of a multi-year buck usually have only six points. Contrary to other deer species in Germany the antlers are shed in late autumn and newly grown it is brushed clean in the next spring. The species is also characterized by the fairly regular birth of twins. Roe Deer occur in very different habitats. In the forest, in landscapes structured by woodlands and hedges but also at the edge of cities where they can even move into gardens. Roe Deer even live in cleared agricultural landscapes as long as they can find enough food there with respect to which they are quite choosy. On the one hand Roe Deer are quite popular since they are the only large wild animals in the landscape which one can occasionally observe during the day and they are also a desirable game animal, but on the other hand it is said that the number of Roe Deer causes unacceptable damage to plants and especially in woodlands and that for this reason the populations have to be reduced considerably.
Roe Deer are distributed area-wide in NRW, and only in the actual residential of cities and villages they are missing. The number of killed Roe Deer conveys an impression of the abundance of the species. For example in the hunting season 2012/13 there were 66924 Roe Deer, plus 28130 animals reported as road kills.
During the faunistic inventory of the species in the state it is worth counting Roe Deer especially in the late winter when the different groups join into larger aggregations and can than be easily counted in the open landscape. It is also fascinating to record black Roe Deer, which regionally can occur more frequently.


Henning Vierhaus


Vierhaus H (2023): Reh (Capreolus capreolus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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