Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2012, 60, 173-180
Published online 2013-07-19

Assessment of a daily defecation rate of fallow deer upon a closed population study

Antonín Košnář, Romana Rajnyšová

Katedra ochrany lesa a myslivosti, Česká zemědělská univerzita v Praze, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6, Česká republika

Many indirect methods of counting even-toed ungulates are based on the principle of accumulating dung in a known area per a unit of time. In order to provide the most accurate assessment of the population size, these methods require the knowledge of daily defecation of the monitored species. The main objective of the study submitted is the assessment of a daily defecation rate of fallow deer based on the monitoring of its closed population. A partial objective is the assessment of the distribution of fallow deer in an enclosed area with a view to biotopes represented. A fallow deer population was studied for the period of three years (2009–2011) in a fenced-in area (8 ha). During this period, dung heaps were counted in forty sites with the total area of 0.8 ha in all seasons of the year. In each season, the sites were cleared, and the dung was counted after a seven-day exposure. This counting was performed twice in each season. Thanks to the precise knowledge of the number of monitored animals, daily defecation rates (DDR) were derived upon the dung found, using a formula for the calculation of population density. Subsequently, the determined DDRs were verified by direct observation. The highest average DDR value calculated from the formula (21.11 ± 0.32 S.E.) was obtained in the summer season. The lowest defecation of fallow deer was established to be in winter (12.34 ± 0.25 S.E.) and early spring (10.61 ± 0.24 S.E.).


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