Hembra de corzo

Beauty, elegance, vulnerability
The roe deer combines many virtues but also
generates significant damage to the crop fields.

Name

  • Scientific name: Capreolus capreolus
  • Spanish: Corzo
  • Catalan: Cabirol
  • Euskera: Orkatz
  • Galician: Corzo

Classification

  • Class: Mammals
  • Order: Ungulates
  • Family: Cervidae (deer)
  • Species: Roe deer

Degree of protection of the roe deer

Worldwide

The roe deer is an abundant animal and is not protected.

Degree of protection

In Spain

The roe deer is not protected and is a huntable species. This means that it can be hunted.

In Catalonia

Same as in Spain.

Roe deer distribution map

Roe deer distribution map

Distribution:

The roe deer is present in almost all European countries and also inhabits a part of Western Asia.

There is a population of roe deer inhabiting the area with high nuclear radiation in Chernobyl (Russia).

Roe deer habitat

Roe deer are approaching the populations.
Roe deer are living closer and closer to human populations

The roe deer has adapted to a wide variety of habitats: forests, open agricultural areas and even in high mountains.

Their population is increasing and they are moving closer and closer to the cities and towns.

Nutrition

Roe deer cause damage in agriculture
Roe deer cause significant damage to crop fields

Roe deer are herbivores

They feed mainly on grass, leaves, berries and young shoots. They are especially fond of very young and tender grass, which, unfortunately, causes significant damage to fields. They eat the sprouts of cereals and the plant, although it continues to grow, is left without grain.

How does the roe deer eat?

Female roe deer ruminates
Roe deer look for quiet places to ruminate

Roe deer are ruminants. This means that it cannot digest food at the first try.

It seeks quiet moments. It regurgitates small mouthfuls of food already consumed from the stomach into the mouth. It chews them and swallows them a second time.

Social life of roe deer

Young roe deer male
Roe deer are solitary animals

Solitary animals

Roe deer are solitary animals. But in times of food shortage, they group together. In open fields, up to 90 specimens can be observed together! In forests, the group usually does not exceed 15 animals.

Bellow

In July and August, males come into heat. They approach females, chase them and if they encounter another male they fight for the right to mate with the female.

Roe deer reproduction

Roe deer mating
Roe deer pair up in summer

Deferred implantation

The young are born 10 months after mating. During the first 5 months the embryo does not develop. In December the embryo attaches to the uterine wall and begins to grow. The offspring is born in May.

Why do roe deer extend gestation time?

Males lose a lot of weight during the mating season. In summer, food is plentiful and they can easily recover their strength.

In the spring, new grass begins to sprout and the embryo begins to develop. Hatchlings are born in times of food abundance.

Roe deer fawns

2 week old roe deer fawn
2 week old roe deer fawn

In May, usually two offspring of opposite sex are born.

The mother leaves them alone, well hidden, and comes only to feed and clean them. At 3 weeks of age, they can run well and begin accompanying their mother.

If you find a small roe deer that looks weak, small, but shows no injury, don’t touch it. Roe deer fawns are like this. Get away from him as quickly and quietly as possible. Its mother takes care of it.

How many years can a roe deer live?

Roe deer is a hunting animal
Roe deer can be hunted

In the wild, they usually live 7 to 8 years. In captivity, exceptionally, up to 20.

Roe deer can reproduce as early as 1 year of age.

Offspring predators

  • Foxes
  • Wild boars
  • Birds of prey

Predators of adult roe deer

  • Human ( Roe deer are a huntable species )
  • Wolf
  • Lynx
  • Bear

Identifying roe deer

The roe deer is the smallest of the European deer species.
They measure about 60 cm to their back (measured to the ¬ęwithers¬Ľ) and weigh about 20 – 30 kg.
In summer its coat is reddish brown, in winter it is gray.
For the first 6 weeks of their life, fawns have white spots on their torso.

Horns

Only males have horns.
In autumn they fall off and new ones start to grow immediately.
During their growth, they are covered by a fine tissue (like velvet).
The horns are about 20 cm long and usually have 3 prongs.

Male roe deer
Roe deer male
Roe deer fawn
1 month old roe deer fawn
Roe deer mother and fawn
Female with 3 month old fawn

We must keep our eyes wide open when driving. Roe deer have to cross roads in search of food. Many end their lives as victims of a traffic accidents.

They will thank us with their beauty.

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