Factors affecting roe deer occurrence in a Mediterranean landscape, Northeastern Portugal
The European roe deer population in Portugal is on the southwestern edge of its distribution. Understanding limiting factors that act on these populations enlightens both local aspects concerning their conservation and wider scale aspects of the species bioclimatic envelope, which is crucial for being better able to predict the impacts of environmental change. Accordingly, a survey was conducted to explore roe deer distribution in a 75,000 ha area located in Trás-os-Montes region, a Mediterranean landscape in the northeast of Portugal. Pellet-group counts were used to examine how roe deer distribution was related to habitat structure and composition, landscape structure, and human disturbance. The analysis considered two spatial scales: habitat patch and the wider landscape. At the patch scale, roe deer distribution was positively associated with high density of shrubs and with increasing distance from roads. At the landscape scale, roe deer distribution was negatively associated with spatial heterogeneity, namely mean shape index. Our findings suggest that landscape structure, vegetation composition and distance to roads are all important factors influencing roe deer distribution, highlighting the importance of multi-scale approaches.
KeywordsCapreolus capreolus Canis lupus signatus Habitat use Scale Portuguese Mediterranean ecossystem
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Apollonio, M., Andersen, R., Putman, R., 2010. European Ungulates and Their Management in the 21st Century. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Boitani, L., 2000. Action Plan for the Conservation of Wolves (Canis lupus) in Europev, vol. 113. Nature and Environment, Council of Europe Publishing, pp. 1–86.Google Scholar
- Brewka, A., Kossak, S., 1994. The influence of atmospheric conditions on the mobility of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) in winter. Ekol. Pol. 40, 225–237.Google Scholar
- Faria, A.M.S., 1999. Dieta de corço (Capreolus capreolus L.) no Centro e Nordeste de Portugal. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Zoology, The University of Coimbra, Coimbra.Google Scholar
- Gonçalves, D.A., 1980. O meio Natural. O Parque Natural de Montesinho. Serviço Nacional de Parques e Reservas e Património Paisagístico.Google Scholar
- Guillet, C., Bergstrom, R., Cederlund, G., Bergstrom, J., Ballon, P., 1995. Comparison of telemetry and pellet-group counts for determining habitat selectivity by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in winter. Gibier Faune Sauvage. 12, 253–269.Google Scholar
- Jędrzejewski, W., Schmidt, K., Theuerkauf, J., Jędrzejewski, B., Selva, N., Zub, K., Szymura, L., 2002. Kill rates and predation by wolves on ungulate populations in Białowieża Primeval forest (Poland). Ecology 83, 1341–1356.Google Scholar
- Lemmon, P.E., 1956. A spherical densiometer for estimating forest overstory density. Forest Sci. 2, 314–320.Google Scholar
- Mayle, B.A., Peace, A.J., Gill, R.M.A., 1999. How many deer? A field guide to estimating deer population size, Forestry Commission. Field book, 18.Google Scholar
- Melis, C., Jędrzejewski, B., Apollonio, M., Barto, K.A., Jędrzejewski, W., Linnell, J.D.C., Kojola, I., Kusak, J., Adamic, M., Ciuti, S., Delehan, I., Dykyy, I., Krapinec, K., Mattioli, L., Sagaydak, A., Samchuk, N., Schmidt, K., Shkvyrya, M., Sidorovich, V.E., Zawadzka, B., Zhyla, S., 2009. Predation has a greater impact in less productive environments: variation in roe deer, Capreolus capreolus, population density across Europe. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 18, 724–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Moreira, L.M., Rosa, J.L., Lourenco, J., Barroso, I., Pimenta, V., 1997. Projecto Lobo. Relatório de Progressão 1996 (Cofinanciado pela U. E. — Programa LIFE). Parque Natural de Montesinho, Braganca.Google Scholar
- Mysterud, A., Østbye, E., 1999. Cover as a habitat element for temperate ungulates: effects on habitat selection and demography. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 27, 385–394.Google Scholar