Spot the deer
HE British Deer Society (BDS) hopes as many people as possible will take part in its 2016 Deer Survey with the aim of making it the most extensive and accurate census yet. There could be up to two million wild deer in the Uk—the original natives red and roe, plus fallow, muntjac, sika and Chinese water deer; the population is believed to have doubled since 1999. ‘It’s often said that there are too many deer and it is important that we have the most up-to-date information in order to inform public debate on deer management,’ says BDS chairman, Michael Thick.
The census will run all year; people are urged to submit sightings even if they think the species they’ve seen may have been recorded previously (www.bdsdeersurvey.org.uk).
Despite the Brexit vote, Japanese sika deer may be subject to EU legis-
Tlation that seeks to curtail the spread of invasive non-native species. BDS scientific adviser Alistair Ward has told members that proposals for the review of the EU list of Invasive NonNative Species (INNS) of Union concern now include sika, which are similar in size and coat to fallow deer, but are darker in colour and were introduced from the Far East in 1860.
The new regulation requires member states to consider taking action on species that could cause adverse impact. The first lists, of 23 animals (including the Reeves’s muntjac) and 14 plants (including Japanese knotweed), were approved last December and sika have now been put forward for consideration.
‘The EU regulation is pragmatic,’ Dr Ward points out. ‘It doesn’t blanket all alien species as bad, but, in some instances, it advocates eradication.’ He adds that it would be possible to eliminate sika in Wales, however, they’re likely to be close to the turning point in England and muntjac are beyond it.
He advocates that sika in Scotland and both sika and muntjac in England are now best addressed by local control. PL
Here to stay?: send in your sightings of deer such as this sika stag from Ame in Dorset