Biology of Sika Deer in Hyogo: Characteristics of Reproduction, Food Habits, Growth, and Condition
The breeding condition, nutritional status, body mass and measurements, food habits, and habitat quality of sika deer in a high-density population in Hyogo Prefecture in southwestern Japan have been measured since 2002 as part of an ongoing monitoring program. These data are necessary for sound management to maintain the quality of both the deer population and their habitat. Compared to more northern populations, sika deer in Hyogo are smaller in stature and show less response to seasonal changes: sika deer can get evergreen broad-leaves even in winter and there is little change in fat deposits in both sexes. Estimated conception dates are September to October; the same as of ten years ago. The conception timing in Hyogo is about three weeks earlier than in Hokkaido. These and other physiological adaptations are related to the more benign climate and vegetation characteristics of the evergreen broad-leaved forest habitats of Hyogo as compared to those of northern Japan.
KeywordsFood Habit Sika Deer Rumen Content Japanese Cypress Hyogo Prefecture
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