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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

28.02.2012

Fallow Deer (Dama dama)


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Cervidae

Subfamily: Cervinae

Genus: Dama

Species: D. dama

Description 

The body mass of free-ranging adult males is from 46 to 80 kg with an average of 67 kg, and the mass of adult females is from 30 to 50 kg with an average of 44 kg. The head and body length is 1.3 to 1.75 meters, tail length is 150 to 230 mm, and the shoulder height of males is generally 0.9 to 1.0 meters with the females slightly smaller. The forelegs of Dama dama are usually shorter than the hind legs; as a result, the line of the back is elevated posteriorly. Palmate, multi-point antlers, usually found only in males, also distinguish Dama dama from all other deer. They range in length from 50 to 70 cm. The antlers are usually shed annually in April and the new ones are regrown and free of velvet by August, until the fifth or sixth year. Females are generally without antlers. Dama dama have the most variable pelage coloration (white, menil, common, and black) of any species of deer. Typically, the pelage is darker on the dorsal surface of the body and lighter on the ventral surface, chest, and lower legs. Their summer coat is pale brown, smooth, and thin while their winter coat is dark brown and rougher with a heavy undercoat.

Range and Habitat

Fallow deer have been widely introduced to 38 countries in North and South America, the Leeward Islands, Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. They live in a variety of climates ranging from cool-humid to warm-dry areas. The habitat they prefer usually is a combination of vegetation types. They prefer old, deciduous, broad-leaf forests of varying densities interspersed with grassy areas, but they are also found in mixed forests, broad-leaf forests, subalpine vegetation, grasslands, woodlands, low mountains, scrublands, and savanna.

Behavior

Fallow deer are active mainly nocturnally and exhibit peak activity periods during dusk and dawn. They lead a shy and withdrawn existence in the forests. In general, deer are more alert in open areas or in smaller groups; females are usually more alert than males, especially when their fawn are present. Depending on reproductive status and diet quality, fallow deer spend most of their time feeding, resting, and moving. Dama dama lift their legs higher than any other species when they trot. They jump with all four feet in the air and carry their tails erect when fleeing.

Diet

Fallow deer forage on a variety of vegetation, usually grasses, mast, and browse. Other items in their diet may include herbs, dwarf shrubs, leaves, buds, shoots, and bark. Their diets are adaptable and depend on season and availability. Their peak feeding periods are usually at dusk and dawn but they may also forage at intervals throughout the day.

Reproduction

Fallow deer have a breeding season of approximately 135 days, generally between the months of September and January in the Northern Hemisphere. The highest percent of fertilization occurs in late October. Males are capable of breeding at the age of 17 months but do not generally breed until the age of four years unless they live in heavily hunted populations. Females generally conceive for the first time around 16 months of age. The length of the estrous cycle for females is approximately 24 to 26 days. Females are polyestrous and may cycle up to seven times in one breeding season, but they usually conceive during their first cycle. Dama dama usually give birth to one fawn after a gestation period of 33 to 35 weeks. The majority of fawns in the Northern Hemisphere are born in early June. Their weight at birth is generally 2 to 4 kg. Full size is attained between 4 to 6 years in females and 5 to 9 years in males. The mother begins weaning the fawn when it is around 20 days old but weaning continues until the fawn is around 7 months old. After 3 to 4 weeks the mother and fawn rejoin a herd of females and their young. After approximately one year, the young are independent.

Conservation Status

The species Listed in the IUCN Red List and evaluated as Least Concern.

 

 



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