Is that a deer I see before me?

Written by Norma Chapman – leading deer biologist.

Muntjac deer are now very widespread in Britain, not just in the countryside but frequently living in villages and towns.

Gardens provide good places to feed and to lie-up where shrubs provide cover. Some people are delighted to be able to observe them but keen gardeners can be distraught at the impact they have on their precious plants.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) undertook a survey which resulted in a long list of the plants selected and a shorter one of those they ignored, but what is eaten depends upon the season and what is available. If you have these dainty little deer visiting your garden you could keep a note of eaten/ignored plants. This could help other gardeners, also anyone wishing to place plants or cut flowers in graveyards.

Remember that Reeves’ muntjac are native to China and didn’t ask to be brought to Britain. They should not be blamed for the consequences we see but admired for the way they have adapted to our environment.

Can you recognise individuals, know when a birth is imminent and note when the males cast their antlers? (May – July).

Written by Norma Chapman – leading deer biologist

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