Male and female spatial behaviour of Roe deer in a mountainous habitat during pre-rutting and rutting period

I. Rossi, P. Lamberti, L. Mauri, M. Apollonio


During pre-rutting and rutting period, spacing behaviour of male and female roe deer Capreolus capreolus (Linnaeus, 1758) was studied in a wooded and mountainous habitat, in the Casentinesi Forest National Park, Italy. Data were collected using radio-tracking techniques from March to August 1997. Bimonthly and monthly home ranges and bimonthly home range overlaps of both sexes were analysed. Variations in bimonthly home range sizes did not show significant differences between sexes during pre-rutting and rutting period. Different social factors seemed to influence the ranging behaviour of both sexes in this mountainous habitat. Male use of space varied in relation to the age classes of animals, especially during the pre-rutting period, when yearlings were not able to establish a territory. Female ranging movements were linked to the births timing and to two different spacing strategies during the rutting period. Home ranges sizes of females were significantly lower than those of males in May and in July. Significant changes in home range sizes were also found between prime age males and both roaming and stationary females.

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Journal of Mountain Ecology
The Journal of Mountain Ecology is an OPEN ACCESS peer reviewed journal published by the Gran Paradiso National Park.