Capreolus capreolus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Cervidae

Scientific Name: Capreolus capreolus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English European Roe Deer, Western Roe Deer, Roe Deer, European Roe
French Chevreuil, Chevreuil Européen
Spanish Corzo
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy and systematics of the European Roe Deer have been based on morphological and genetic data. The following subspecies have been recently confirmed by molecular data (Lorenzini et al. 2002; Randi et al. 2004; Lorenzini and Lovari 2006): 1) C. c. italicus Festa, 1925; 2) C. c. garganta Muenier, 1983; 3) C. c. capreolus Linnaeus, 1758. The identification of C. c. caucasicus as correct name for large-sized subspecies north of Caucasus Mountains is provisional (Sempéré et al. 1996, Lister et al. 1998). Animals in the Near East have been assigned to C. c. coxi (Harrison and Bates 1991).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Lovari, S., Herrero, J., Conroy, J., Maran, T., Giannatos, G., Stübbe, M., Aulagnier, S., Jdeidi, T., Masseti, M, Nader, I., de Smet, K. & Cuzin, F.
Reviewer(s): Black, P.A. & Gonzalez, S. (Deer Red List Authority)
A widespread and common species with no major threats. It is listed as Least Concern. However, subspecies C. c. italicus is rare (<10,000 mature individuals) and faces serious threats. <C. c. coxi is probably also at risk in the Middle East.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The roe deer has a large range in the Palaearctic. It is found through most of Europe (with the exception of Ireland, Cyprus, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, and most of the smaller islands), including western Russia (Stubbe 1999). Outside Europe, it occurs in Turkey, northern Syria, northern Iraq, northern Iran, and the Caucasus (Wilson and Reeder 2005). It is extinct in Israel and Lebanon (Wilson and Reeder 2005) (though a re-introduction programme has started in Israel (M. Masseti pers. comm.)). It occurs from sea level up to 2,400 m asl in the Alps (von Lehmann and Sägesser 1986).

In southern Europe there are two subspecies with relatively restricted ranges. C. c. italicus occurs in central and southern Italy, between Southern Tuscany, Latium and Puglia, to Calabria (Lorenzini et al. 2002; Randi et al. 2004; Lorenzini and Lovari 2006). C. c. garganta occurs in southern Spain, in particular in Andalusia (Sierra de Càdiz) (Lorenzini et al. 2002; Lorenzini and Lovari 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; San Marino; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Regionally extinct:
Israel; Lebanon; Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2400
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is widespread and common, and is expanding in many areas. Having almost gone extinct in paerts of southern Europe because of habitat loss and over-harvesting in the first half of the last century, its numbers started increasing again 20-40 years ago because of countryside abandonment, improved hunting regimes and reintroductions. Densities in the northern and southern parts of the range tend to be lower than in the central parts of the range. The central European population is estimated to number c.15 million individuals. However, the endemic Italian subspecies C. c. italicus, which is largely restricted to southern Tuscany, probably numbers no more than 10,000 individuals and is at risk from hybridisation with introduced C. c. capreolus (Lorenzini et al. 2002), which has a large population in the Italian peninsula.
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 15000000
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occupies a wide variety of habitats, including deciduous, mixed or coniferous forests, moorland, pastures, arable land, and suburban areas with large gardens. It prefers landscapes with a mosaic of woodland and farmland (Stubbe 1999). Roe deer are well adapted to modern agricultural landscapes (Andersen et al. 1998, Danilkin 1996; Sempéré et al. 1996).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: With the exception of some small populations in the southern part of its range, the extensive hunting of this species is sustainable.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat in Europe is the increased mixing of various genetic stocks as a result of translocations. This may be a particular threat to genetically distinct peripheral populations, such as those in northern Portugal, the southern Italian Apennines, and Greece (Randi et al. 2004, Lorenzini and Lovari 2006). Molecular studies show that roe deer in central and southern Europe are mainly admixed (Lorenzini et al. 2002, Randi et al. 2004), indicating that human manipulation has greatly affected the natural genetic structure of populations. The small remaining population of C. c. italicus is also threatened by poaching and predation by feral dogs (Lorenzini et al. 2002). The small remnant population in Syria is under severe threat from habitat reduction and human persecution (Masseti 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on the Bern Convention (Appendix III), and occurs in a large number of protected areas across its range. In general, this species can quickly re-build its numbers and may tolerate a relatively high hunting pressure, if in a suitable habitat and under an appropriate hunting regime. Management operations, such as re-introductions, restocking and translocations, have been carried out widely across its range, and should always be carried out using the appropriate genotypes.

To protect remnant populations of the Italian roe deer C. c. italicus, Lorenzini et al. (2002) recommended the following measures: (1) Conduct research to determine the genetic struture of Italian roe deer, (2) Map extant populations of Italian roe deer, with indications of their genetic purity, (3) Prohibit translocations of roe deer from northern stocks to central and southern Italy, and vice versa, (4) Facilitate the expansion of remaining populations by reducing poaching and eliminating feral dogs, and (5) Establish a re-introduction plan for southern Italy. Similar actions are recommended to protect genetically distinct peripheral populations in Portugal and Greece. In general, any translocations of roe deer should respect the genetic integrity of populations at the destination site.

Roe deer have been re-introduced into the wild in Israel in the Ramat Hanadiv park on Mount Carmel near Zichron Yaacov. The first release of six females and two males took place in February 1997, a second release of a male and a female took place in March 1998, and a third release of four animals was completed in 1999. Pending information on nthe success of this project, this re-introduction is not yet marked on the distribution map.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.2. Forest - Subarctic
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.3. Shrubland - Boreal
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Marginal  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability: Marginal  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Marginal  
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
3. Species management -> 3.3. Species re-introduction -> 3.3.1. Reintroduction
4. Education & awareness -> 4.1. Formal education
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.3. Sub-national level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.3. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.1. Nomadic grazing
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Canis familiaris)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.3. Introduced genetic material
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.1. Hybridisation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Andersen, R., Duncan, P. and Linnell, J. D. C. (eds). 1998. European roe deer: The Biology of Success. Scandinavian University Press, Oslo, Norway.

Danilkin, A. 1996. Behavioural Ecology of Siberian and European Roe Deer. Chapman and Hall, London, UK.

Harrison, D.L. and Bates, P.J.J. 1991. The Mammals of Arabia. Harrison Zoological Museum, Sevenoaks, UK.

Lorenzini, R. and Lovari, S. 2006. Genetic diversity and phylogeography of the European roe deer: the refuge area theory revisited. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 88: 85-100.

Lorenzini, R., Lovari, S. and Masseti, M. 2002. The rediscovery of the Italian roe deer: genetic differentiation and management implications. Italian Journal of Zoology 69: 367-379.

Masseti, M. 2000. Note on a Near Eastern relict population of the roe deer Capreolus capreolus. Biogeographia 21: 619-623.

Randi, E., Alves, P. C., Carranza, J., Milosevic-Zlatanovic, S., Sfougaris, A. and Mucci, N. 2004. Phylogeography of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) populations: the effects of historical genetic subdivisions and recent nonequilibrium dynamics. Molecular Ecology 13: 3071-3083.

Sempéré, A. J., Sokolov, V. E. and Danilkin, A. A. 1996. Capreolus capreolus. Mammalian species 538: 1-9.

Stubbe, C. 1999. Capreolus capreolus. In: A. J. Mitchell-Jones, G. Amori, W. Bogdanowicz, B. Kryštufek, P. J. H. Reijnders, F. Spitzenberger, M. Stubbe, J. B. M. Thissen, V. Vohralík and J. Zima (eds), The Atlas of European Mammals, Academic Press, London, UK.

von Lehmann, E. and Sägesser, H. 1986. Capreolus capreolus Linnaeus, 1758 - Reh. In: J. Niethammer and F. Krapp (eds), Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas, Band 2/II Paarhufer, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Wiesbaden.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 1993. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 2005. Mammal Species of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Citation: Lovari, S., Herrero, J., Conroy, J., Maran, T., Giannatos, G., Stübbe, M., Aulagnier, S., Jdeidi, T., Masseti, M, Nader, I., de Smet, K. & Cuzin, F. 2008. Capreolus capreolus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T42395A10692673. . Downloaded on 28 May 2016.
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