Long-term population dynamics of the red deer and European roe deer at the protected and not-protected areas in Mountain Crimea

V. N. Shmagol', V. L. Yarysh, S. P. Ivanov, V. I. Maltsev

Abstract


The long-term population dynamics of the red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) and European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) at the mountain and forest zone of Crimea during 1980-2017 is presented. Fluctuations in numbers of both species are cyclical and partly synchronous. Period of oscillations in the population of red deer is about 25 years, the average duration of the oscillation period of number of roe deer is 12.3 years. During the fluctuations in the number the increasing and fall in population number of the red deer had been as 26-47 %, and roe deer – as 22-34 %. Basing on the dada obtained we have assumed that together with large-scale cycles of fluctuations in population number of both red deer and roe deer the short cycles of fluctuations in the number of these species with period from 3.5 to 7.5 years take place. Significant differences of the parameters of cyclical fluctuations in the number of roe deer at some sites of the Mountainous Crimea: breaches of synchronicity, as well as significant differences in the duration of cycles are revealed. The greatest deviations from the average values of parameters of long-term dynamics of the number of roe deer in Crimea are noted for groups of this species at two protected areas. At the Crimean Nature Reserve the cycle time of fluctuations of the numbers of roe deer was 18 years. At the Karadag Nature Reserve since 1976 we can see an exponential growth in number of roe deer that is continued up to the present time. By 2016 the number of roe deer reached 750 individuals at a density of 437 animals per 1 thousand ha. Peculiarity of dynamics of number of roe deer at some sites proves the existence in the mountain forest of Crimea several relatively isolated groups of deer. We assumed that "island" location of the Crimean populations of red deer and European roe deer, their relatively little number and influence of permanent extreme factors of both natural and anthropogenic origination have contributed to a mechanism of survival of these populations. The elements of such a mechanism include the following features of long-term dynamics of the population: the reduction in the period of cyclic population fluctuations, while maintaining their amplitude and the appearance of additional small cycles, providing more flexible response of the population to the impact of both negative and positive environmental factors. From the totality of the weather conditions for the Crimean population of roe deer the recurring periods of increases and downs in the annual precipitation amount may have relevance. There was a trend of increase in the roe deer population during periods of increasing annual precipitation.


Keywords


European roe deer; Red deer; long-term dynamics of population; Crimea

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15421/2017_88

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