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  • Writer's pictureCarl Mckie

Sika deer, in Kent

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

On a recent trip to Kent to photograph Fallow deer, I was surprised to come across this Sika stag- not that I didn't know they where about in this area, but that it was so confiding and happily went about its business without paying any attention to me. Normally these deer are very nocturnal in there habits and particularly shy

This was the first frosty morning of the year, but unfortunately by the time I came across this animal the frost had disappeared to be replaced by a glorious sunny morning

Sika deer;brief introduction

Sika deer are a beautiful and adaptable species of deer that are native to eastern Asia. They were introduced to the UK in the 19th century and have since become well-established in many parts of the country.

Sika deer are smaller than red deer, with males typically weighing around 100 pounds and females weighing around 75 pounds. They have a distinctive spotted coat that helps them to camouflage themselves in their forest habitats. Sika deer are also excellent swimmers and can often be seen wading in rivers or lakes.

Sika deer are social animals and live in herds of up to 50 individuals. They are herbivores and their diet consists of grasses, leaves, fruits, and nuts. Sika deer are also rutting in the autumn, when the males compete for the attention of the females.

Sika deer are a popular game animal in many parts of Asia and are also hunted for their meat and antlers. However, they are not considered to be endangered and their populations are stable in most areas.

History of Sika Deer in the UK

The first sika deer were introduced to the UK in 1860 by the Duke of Bedford. They were brought to his estate at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, where they quickly thrived.

In the years since, sika deer have been introduced to other parts of the UK, including Scotland, England, and Wales. They are now found in scattered populations across the country, with the greatest numbers in Scotland.

Distribution and Habitat of Sika Deer in the UK

Sika deer are most common in Scotland, where they are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and heathland. They are also found in England, where their preferred habitats include coniferous forests and heathland.

In Wales, sika deer are more restricted in their distribution and are mainly found in the south-east of the country.


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