Flora and fauna
in forest park Háj-Nicovô

European roe deer

Capreolus capreolus

European roe deer

Classification: mammals
Size: 0,9 – 1,3 m, 20 – 32 kg
Lifespan: 10 years
Red List Category: LC – least concern

It is the smallest representative of the European deer family. It is found in all types of forests, but enjoys open landscapes with small woods, bushes, meadows and fields the most. During the summer, its fur has a red-brown to rusty shade, while in the winter, it is gray-brown. Fawns have light spots after birth, which disappear in August. Roe deer have the smallest antlers among all antlered species in our territory. From October to November, Roe deer shed their antlers. The new ones, growing in March to April, are initially covered with a hairy skin layer, called the velvet. The most important predator of this species is the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).

The roe deer warns of danger with a hoarse voice that resembles a barking dog. It is also to warn the rival before entering occupied territory, which is marked by secretion from its scent glands. Breeding (rutting) takes place in July and August. From the end of May to the beginning of June, a doe gives birth to 1-2 cubs. For about 2 weeks after the birth, they remain hidden in the den, spending time with their mother only during breastfeeding. They communicate with each other through soft whistling. Cubs do not have any odor after birth, so they are protected from predators even when lying in a thicket or a field. That is why many cubs become victims of unaware people who, to save an apparently abandoned cub, cause more harm than good.

Do you know?
The doe can experience so-called hidden pregnancy (latent pregnancy). The embryo development takes about 5 months, but the fertilized egg does not develop until December. Thus, the cubs are born from the end of May to the beginning of June (up to 10 months after the rutting).

Listen to the voice recording
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