T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Deer (Fallow) Dama dama

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Tribe: Cervini
Genus: Dama
Species: D. dama
Binomial name: Dama dama
Common names: Fallow deer

The Dama dama (Fallow deer) is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. This species is native to Europe. They were first introduced to New Zealand between 1860-1910 in 24 successful releases. They are now widespread on both main islands, with the main wild populations in the Aniseed Valley (Nelson), Blue Mountains (West Otago), Kaimai Range, Mount Arthur, Paparoa (Northland), South Kaipara, South Canterbury, Te Puke (southeast of Tauranga) and Wanganui backcountry.
They mainly inhabit areas of forest with adjacent grassland feeding on various leaves and twigs of woody plants, sedges and grasses with a small amount of bark, ferns, lichens and moss.
When fallow deer occur in large numbers they destroy the understorey of native forests by over-browsing, bark stripping and trampling. This alters species regeneration and vegetation composition. It will also increase soil erosion.

Fallow deer are a small deer species whose forelegs are shorter than the hind legs, making the back slope forwards. They are very variable in colour. They usually have a light brown coat with white spots. They are one of the few species of deer that don’t lose their spots a few months after birth. 
They can weigh >85kg and have a shoulder height of >1m.
Their palmated antlers are broad and shovel-shaped and can easily measure 80 cm in length. It takes about three years for the males to develop them to full size. They have long pointed ears and long tail hair. Their lifespan is around 12–16 years.
Like red deer, fallow deer may act as a spillover host for bovine tuberculosis (i.e. TB is more likely to be found in fallow deer which inhabit areas where the possums have TB and are at high densities). (Thanks to Pest Detective of the National Pest Control Agencies (NPCA).

A male (buck).

A female (doe).


Distribution map of the Fallow deer (Red areas)


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


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