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.

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 26 June 2016.
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