This article deer in Spain will open your eyes to the types of deer found in the region of Spain. Indeed, since tens of thousands of years ago, deer hunting has existed. Although there are numerous types all over the world, there are three major types in Spain. These three include the famous Red deer, Roe deer, and Fallow deer.
Hunting Season for Deer in Spain
From September till the beginning of February, the Fallow deer and the Red deer can be hunted down. However, the Roe deer has a different hunting timeframe as it can be hunted from April till the beginning of October.
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Habitat for Deer in Spain
There are various habitats that these deer love to enjoy and dwell in. In fact, they can be found in places like mixed woodland and open grasslands. Most at times, they choose to stay in habitats like mountains forest and conifer wood.
Population of Deer in Spain
Threats to Population
A plethora of threats are posed to these species as they encounter deadly predators such as bears and mountain lions. In short, bobcats and coyotes might even eat up the calves. Generally, the permission for limited hunting for sport can be seen while they are raised in some regions for consumption.
Population Number of Deer in Spain
Indeed, the exact population number of these species cannot be ascertained and therefore remains unknown. However, they have been estimated to be more than 1.7 million according to research. Though, they are on the IUCN list as the Least Concern (LC), their numbers are increasing rapidly in recent times.
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Ecological Niche of the Deer in Spain
As a result of their habit of browsing, deer has an essential impact on plants where they dwell. Unfortunately, but vitally too, they serve as meal for large predators which includes mountain lions and bears.
Small hotels and rural houses provide lodging close to the hunting sector. Indeed, the places are comfortable to stay in as you will be allowed access to tasty meals.
Types of Deer in Spain
The Fallow deer is one of the deer in Spain and is also known as Dama dama. Having more color shades than others, the Fallow deer is medium-sized. Though there are many color variations, it has four cardinal ones. Some have a color of rich brown with white spots and includes lighter underparts. However, they change to dark gray-brown and their spots are hardly visible in winter. Then there are others that are white but not albino though.
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Meanwhile some can be seen as black but they are not really black but dark brown. Finally, there is the Menil-pale fawn that comes with white spots. Despite being one, their social behavior differs in the sense that while some are gregarious in their environs, others are less solitary. In fact, there is no dominance hierarchy among them but herds are still led by some. During the rut, small territories are founded by the males. It is also at this period that they gather their harems while they fight a good deal.
With the single fawn given birth to in spring, mating period occurs around October. There is also the Diurnal that carries out most activity early and also late that day. Even though it browses through trees and shrubs, this specie is basically a grazer. This is enhanced by their good sense of smell, hearing, and vision. Thus, it’s not as shy as most others and gives a short bark when startled as a sign of warning. Mostly and largely found in the Central East region of Spain.
Another specie of deer that can be found in Spain is the Roe deer which is also known as Capreolus capreolus. It is quite trite that the Roe deer is the most elegant native deer and yet the smallest. The Roe deer has a rich reddish-brown color with a gray face accompanied with a white chin and black muzzle band in summer. Meanwhile, it takes on a grayish-brown color with two white throat patches in winter season. Against the rump they develop due to stress, their tail is an invisible small and white color. They actually form little groups in winter season though they are always solitary.
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Just like other deer, the Roe deer also have a rut period which occurs between July and August. During this period, a single doe will have a buck and will not need to gather many while fighting other males. As a result of their fetal development starting around December or January, the Roe deer seems to be the only species that have delayed implantation. Their fawns are therefore given birth to in spring. Note that the general lifespan of the wild is about 10-12 years or a maximum of 17 years. However, Roe deer are so delicate that they only last an average of 3 and half years.
Most of their day time is spent in cover while they are mainly active at night. In addition to their skills, they are good swimmers and have well-developed senses. Despite being shy, they are quite curious and can also produce a doglike bark when startled. An attempt to call her fawns is carried out by the females during mating season by producing a whistling noise. Mostly and largely found in the Central North region of Spain.
Now this specie of deer serves as the final category of deer in Spain. Even this Red deer has two types that can be found in Spain and they are the European Red deer and Iberian Red deer. In fact, the European Red deer has the finest specimens when it comes to quality and weight and also stands as the largest of red deer. They are mostly found in the central area of Spain and their stags weigh 600-660 pounds. The other species of Red deer is the Iberian Red deer which can be found all over Spain.
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Indeed, they are a smaller race as their stags weigh 180-220 pounds. It has a reddish brown color in summer while a thick grey brown color and a dark yellowish patch in winter. Thick necks are only developed by their stags and they are the ones that carry antlers. Largest stags grow huge antlers with the fourth or fifth tip forming at the end of the basket. Mature stags tend to fight intensely for the control of harems in the period of the rut. Though it is mainly a grazer, it browses to an extent.
This specie of Red deer can mostly be found to dwell in woodland environment. Due to their large feeding at night, most of daytime is done by resting in thick cover. Iberian Red deer are good runners with excellent vision and hearing.
Habits and Lifestyle of the Iberian Red Deer in Spain
Living in summer herds with a population of up to 400, these species of deer are social animals. Due to the fact that they are dominated by a single female, they are known to be matriarchal. With their movement to higher elevations during summer and to lower elevations in winter, they are said to carry out seasonal migrations. The females live to give birth after the mating season while the males establish various summer herds. During the mating season, the males are not aggressive towards other deer but territorial. Their browsing is mostly carried out early in the morning and late evening. This is because most of the day and late at night is spent chewing their cud.
Diet and nutrition of the Iberian Red Deer in Spain
As a result of eating grasses and sedges in summer while eating basswood and red maple in winter, they are known to be browsers. Indeed, they are mostly ruminants who regurgitate their food and chew it again for easy digestion.
Mating Habits of the Iberian Red Deer in Spain
Red deer tend to be polygynous in nature as a male can mate with various females. The males usually lose their antler velvet in late September or beginning of October and therefore, compete for the female ones. Larger harems are maintained by dominant males and access to their females is highly restricted. With the constitution of one male, six females and their annual calves, harems are usually seasonal. Although sexual maturity begins at 16 months, the males ought to wait for the passing of few years to be worthy of competing with the other mature males. The lasting of gestation normally takes up to 240-262 days and a single offspring would be giving birth to. After birth, a cow and a calf are meant to live separately on their own for a few weeks.
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Weaning is completed within a period of 60 days but the calf can join the herd after 16 days. For the first year of life, offspring receive full nursing and protection from their mothers. In short, the young ones do not receive any care from the males.
The deer in Spain tend to have an essential impact on their environs. Indeed, they may be seen as a Least Concern but their numbers are growing rapidly. Hopefully, this post has enlightened you on three kinds of deer found in Spain.