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  • Writer's pictureCarl Mckie

Roe Deer brief facts

Updated: Jul 2, 2023


The roe deer brief facts(Capreolus capreolus) is the smallest of the native European deer. It is found throughout the continent, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, from Scotland to the Caucasus, and east to northern Iran and Iraq. Roe deer are solitary animals, but they form small groups in winter. They are well-adapted to cold weather, and their fur changes colour from reddish brown in summer to greyish brown in winter.

Roe deer are herbivores, and their diet consists of a variety of plants, including leaves, shoots, buds, fruits, and nuts. They are also known to eat insects and small mammals. Roe deer are an important part of the European ecosystem, and they play a role in seed dispersal and pollination.

Roe buck feeding on old Oxfordshire meadow
Roe buck, Capreolus capreolus

Physical Characteristics

Roe deer are small deer, with an average shoulder height of 60-75 cm and a weight of 10-35 kg. Males (bucks) are slightly larger than females (does). Roe deer have a reddish brown coat in summer, which turns greyish brown in winter. They have a white rump patch, which is especially conspicuous when they are alarmed. Bucks have short antlers, with three points each.

Behaviour

Roe deer are solitary animals, but they form small groups in winter. They are crepuscular, meaning that they are most active at dawn and dusk. Roe deer are fast runners, and they can jump up to 2 meters high. They are also good swimmers.

Diet

Roe deer are herbivores, and their diet consists of a variety of plants, including leaves, shoots, buds, fruits, and nuts. They are also known to eat insects and small mammals.

Reproduction

Roe deer mate in the late summer. After a gestation period of 290 days, the female (doe) gives birth to 1-2 fawns. Fawns are born with their eyes open and are able to walk within a few hours of birth. Fawns are weaned at around 3 months old.



Conservation Status

Roe deer are not considered to be a threatened species. However, their populations have declined in some areas due to habitat loss and hunting.

Threats

The main threats to roe deer are habitat loss, hunting, and disease. Habitat loss is a major problem for roe deer, as they require a variety of habitats, including woodlands, forests, and grasslands. Hunting is another major threat, as roe deer are a popular game animal, especially on the European continent. Disease can also be a problem for roe deer, and they are susceptible to a number of diseases, including CWD (chronic wasting disease) and bluetongue.



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