Saturday 25 May
Fallow deer (Dama dama)
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Fallow deer fact file
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Fallow deer description
Prized as an ornamental species for many years (3), the fallow deer (Dama dama) displays a variety of coat colours in the UK, ranging from red, brown and black, and even pure white coats (6). A black line runs along the back to the tail, and there are often white spots on the back during summer (6). The coat becomes darker and thicker in winter (2), and these white spots become more faint (6). Males have impressive antlers that can measure up to 70 centimetres in height (6). Calves are born with a coat similar to the summer coat of the adult (6).
- Daim Européen.
- Male weight: 46 - 94 kg (2)
- Female weight: 35 - 56 kg (2)
- Female shoulder height: 73 - 91cm (2)
- Male shoulder height: 84 - 94 cm (2)
Fallow deer biology
Like many species of deer, the fallow deer is active throughout the 24-hour period, but in areas where human disturbance is high, they tend to be more active at night (2). They typically graze on grasses and rushes, but may also browse on young leaves, and also take cereals, berries and acorns (3).
For most of the year, males and females occur in separate single-sex groups, and large herds of fallow deer can aggregate in open areas where there is plenty of food (3). The breeding season, or 'rut' occurs between October and November (3); Males hold 'rutting stands' to defend groups of females (6). Rutting behaviour involves displaying, including groaning contests and parallel walks, escalating to physical contests in which the males lock antlers and push each other (2). One calf is usually produced during June or July (3).Top
Fallow deer range
In the 11th century, the Normans introduced fallow deer to Britain; they are now patchily distributed throughout much of England and Wales, they also occur in some areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland (3). They are common throughout most of Europe, as they have escaped from deer parks throughout the continent (3).Top
Fallow deer habitatTop
Fallow deer status
The fallow deer is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1). This widespread and locally common introduced species is increasing in numbers (3). It is protected in the UK by the Deer Act 1991 (4), and certain methods of killing or capture are prohibited under Appendix IV of the Bern Convention (5).Top
Fallow deer threatsTop
Fallow deer conservation
There is no conservation action targeted at the fallow deer.Top
Find out more
For more information on fallow deer:
The British Deer Society:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- A plant that sheds its leaves at the end of the growing season.
IUCN Red List (April, 2011)
British Deer Society Fact Sheet (March, 2008)
- Macdonald, D.W. and Tattersall, F.T. (2001) Britain's mammals- the challenge for conservation. The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Oxford University, Oxford.
The Deer Act 1991. DEFRA (March, 2008)
United Nations Treaty Collection: Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats (March, 2008)
The Invasive Alien Species Project. Fact Sheet: Dama dama (November, 2002)
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