Sika Deer pp 385-404 | Cite as

Sika Deer in an Evergreen Broad-Leaved Forest Zone on the Boso Peninsula, Japan

  • Masahiko Asada
  • Keiji Ochiai

Meteorological variation throughout the year causes seasonal variations (seasonality) in the availability of food resources for herbivores. This seasonality creates latitudinal and altitudinal variations not only in food habits, but also in body size (Lindstedt and Boyce 1985; Geist 1986) and reproduction (reviewed by Bronson 1989) of the herbivores within a reaction norm (Stearns and Koella 1986). As sika deer have a broad latitudinal distribution (15–45° N; Ohtaishi 1986; Whitehead 1993), by comparative studies of nutritional ecology of sika deer in each habitat they occupy we can examine how they react to seasonality as evolved through adaptive radiation from warmer habitats near the equator to colder northern habitats. We present results on deer on the Boso Peninsula in central Japan to show the influence of seasonality on their nutritional ecology.


Food Habit Sika Deer Fallow Deer Deer Density Acorn Production 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. 1.
    Anderson, A. E., D. E. Medin, and D. C. Bowden. 1974. Growth and morphometry of the carcass, selected bones, organs, and glands of mule deer. Wildlife Monographs 39Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Asada, M. 1996. Ecological status of sika deer on the Boso Peninsula, central Japan. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Asada, M., and K. Ochiai. 1996a Food habits of sika deer on the Boso Peninsula, central Japan. Ecological Research 11:89–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Asada, M., and K. Ochiai. 1996b Conception dates of sika deer on the Boso Peninsula, central Japan. Mammal Study 21:153–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Asada, M., and K. Ochiai. 1998 Sika deer management in Chiba Prefecture. Honyurui Kagaku (Mammalian Science) 38:324–331. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Asada, M., and K. Ochiai. 1999 Nitrogen content in feces and the diet in sika deer on the Boso Peninsula, central Japan. Ecological Research 14:249–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Asada, M., H. Kabaya, and I. Yamanaka. 1991 Foraging for Aucuba trees by sika deer on the Boso Peninsula. Shinrin Boeki (Forest Pests) 40:206–210. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bandy, P. J., I. McT. Cowan, and A. J. Wood. 1970 Comparative growth in four races of black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus). Part 1. Growth in body weight. Canadian Journal of Zoology 48:1401–1410Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Beier, P. 1987 Sex differences in quality of white-tailed deer diets. Journal of Mammalogy 68:323–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bell, R. 1971) A grazing ecosystem in the Serengeti. Scientific American 225:86–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Blanchard, P., M. Festa-Bianchet, J. Gaillard, and J. T. Jorgenson. 2003 A test of long-term fecal nitrogen monitoring to evaluate nutritional status in bighorn sheep. Journal of Wildlife Management 67:477–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Boyce, M. S. 1979 Seasonality and patterns of natural selection for life histories. American Naturalist 114:569–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bronson, F. H. 1989. Mammalian reproductive biology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USAGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bunnell, F. L. 1982. The lambing period of mountain sheep: Synthesis, hypotheses and tests. Canadian Journal of Zoology60:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bunnell, F. L., and M. P. Gillingham. 1985. Foraging behavior: Dynamics of dining out. Pages 53–79 in R. J. Hudson and R. G. White, editors, Bioenergetics of wild herbivores, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USAGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chiba Prefecture. 1987. Science report on the status of sika deer in Chiba prefecture. Chiba, Japan. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chiba Prefecture and Boso Deer Research Group. 2002. Science report on the status of sika deer in Chiba prefecture. Vol. 10. Chiba, Japan. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Clutton-Brock, T. H., and P. H. Harvey. (1983) The functional significance of variation in body size among mammals. Special Publication of the American Society of Mammalogists 7:632–663Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Clutton-Brock, T. H., F. E. Guiness, and S. D. Albon. 1982. Red deer: Behavior and ecology of two sexes. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USAGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Dauphine, T. C. 1976. Biology of the Kaminuriak population of barren-ground caribou. Canadian Wildlife Service Report Series 38:1–69Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Franzmann, A. W., R. E. LeResche, R. S. Rausch, and J. L. Oldmeyer. 1978. Alaskan moose measurements and weights and measurement-weight relationships. Canadian Journal of Zoology 56:298–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Furubayashi, K., and N. Maruyama. 1977. Food habits of sika in Fudakake, Tanzawa Mountains. Honyudobutugaku-Zassi (Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan) 7:55–62. (In Japanese with English abstract.)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Furubayashi, K., and Y. Sinoda. 2001. Distribution of sika deer (Cervus nippon) around Edo in Edo era. Wildlife Conservation Japan 7:1–24. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gates, C. C., and R. J. Hudson. 1981. Weight dynamics of wapiti in the boreal forest. Acta Theriologica 26, 27:407–418Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Geist, V. 1974 On the relationship of social evolution and ecology in ungulates. American Zoology 14:205–220Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Geist, V. 1986. On speciation in Ice Age mammals, with special reference to cervids and caprids. Canadian Journal of Zoology 65:1067–1084Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Harlow, R. F., J. B. Whelan, H. S. Crawford, and J. E. Skeen. 1975. Deer foods during years of oak mast abundance and scarcity. Journal of Wildlife Management 39:330–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hofmann, R. R. 1985. Digestive physiology of the deer. Pages 393–407 in P. F. Fennessy and K. R. Drew, editors, Biology of deer production. Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 22, Wellington, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hofmann, R. R. 1989. Evolutionary steps of ecophysiological adaptation and diversification of ruminants: A comparative view of their digestive systems. Oecologia 78:443–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Holechek, J. L., M. Vaura, and R. D. Peiper. 1982. Method for determining the nutritive quality of range ruminant diets: A review. Journal of Animal Science 54:363–376Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Iimura, T., and Chiba Prefecture. 1981. The population of sika deer on East Boso Hill and its management. Chiba, Japan. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Jarman, P. J. 1974. The social organization of antelope in relation to their ecology. Behaviour 48:215–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Johns, P. E., M. H. Smith. and R. K. Chesser. 1984. Annual cycles of the kidney fat index in a southeastern white-tailed deer herd. Journal of Wildlife Management 48:969–973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kay, R. N. B. 1985. Body size, patterns of growth, and efficiency of production in red deer. Pages 411-422 in P. F. Fennessy and K. R. Drew, editors, Biology of deer production. Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 22, Wellington, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Koganezawa, M., N. Katai, and N. Maruyama. 1976. Distribution of sika deer on eastern Boso Hill. Nihonzaru (Japanese Macaques) 2:115–121. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Koganezawa, M., T. Inui, and M. Kitahara. 1986. Body weight and external carcass measurements of sika deer (Cervus nippon TEMMINCK) in Nikko — Ashio Mountains, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Memoirs of the Tochigi Prefectural Museum 4:29–53. (In Japanese with English abstract.)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Leader-Williams, N. 1988. Reindeer on South Georgia. Cambridge University Press, New York, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Leader-Williams, N., and C. Ricketts. 1981. Seasonal and sexual patterns of growth and condition in introduced reindeer on South Georgia. Oikos 38:27–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lincoln, G. A. 1985. Seasonal breeding in deer. Pages 165–179 in P. F. Fennessy and K. R. Drew, editors, Biology of deer production. Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 22, Wellington, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Lindstedt, S. L., and M. S. Boyce. 1985. Seasonality, fasting endurance, and body size in mammals. American Naturalist 125:873–878CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Maruyama, N., and K. Furubayashi. 1983. Preliminary examination of block count method for estimation numbers of sika deer in Fudakake. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan 9:274–278Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Maruyama, N., Y. Totake, and N. Katai. 1975. Seasonal change of food habits of the sika deer in Omote-Nikko. Honyudobutugaku-Zassi (Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan) 6:163–173. (In Japanese with English abstract.)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Mayer M. W., R. D. Brown, and M. W. Graham. 1984. Protein and energy content of white-tailed deer diets in the Texas coastal bend. Journal of Wildlife Management 48:527–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    McCullough, D. R., and D. E. Ullrey. 1985. Chemical composition and gross energy of deer forage plants on the George Reserve, Michigan. Michigan State University Agricultural Experiment Station East Lansing Research Report 465Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Mitchell, B., F. McCowan, and I. S. Nicholson. 1976. Annual cycles of body weight and condition in Scottish red deer, Cervus elaphus. Journal of Zoology, London 180:107–127Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Miura, S., and N. Maruyama. 1986. Winter weight loss in Japanese serow. Journal of Wildlife Management 50:336–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Moen, A. N. 1973. Wildlife ecology. W. H. Freeman, San Francisco, California, USAGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Moen, A. N. 1978. Seasonal change in heart rates, activity, metabolism, and forage intake of white-tailed deer. Journal of Wildlife Management 42:715–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Nakajima, M. 1929. Experimental report of penned sika deer at the University Forest, Chiba. Miscellaneous Information, the Tokyo University Forests 8:95–114. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Nakama, S., N. Maruyama, S. Hanawa, and O. Moril. 1980. On estimating the serow number by new visual methods in Wakinosawa Village, Aomori Prefecture. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan 8:59–69. (In Japanese with English abstract.)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Ochiai, K. 1995. Status of sika deer on the Boso forests. Pages 138–146 in M. Osawa and S. Ohara, editors, Science of bio-global environments, Asakura-shoten, Tokyo, Japan. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ochiai, K., and M. Asada. 1995. Growth in the body size of sika deer (Cervus nippon) on the Boso Peninsula, central Japan. Journal of the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba 3:223– 232. (In Japanese with English summary.)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Ochiai, K., and M. Asada. 1997. Growth pattern of the skull and limb bone size of sika deer, Cervus nippon, on the Boso Peninsula, central Japan. Journal of the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba 4:159–172. (In Japanese with English summary.)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Ohtaishi, N. 1986. Preliminary memorandum of classification, distribution and geographic variation on sika deer. Honyurui Kagaku (Mammalian Science) 53:13–17. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Padmalal U. K. G. K., and S. Takatsuki. 1994. Age-sex differences in diets of sika deer on Kinkazan Island, northern Japan. Ecological Research 9:251–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Putman, R. J., S. Culpin, and S. J. Thirgood. 1993. Dietary differences between male and female fallow deer in sympatry and in allopatry. Journal of Zoology, London 229:267–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Raymond, W. F. 1948. Evaluation of herbage for grazing. Nature 161:937–938CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Robbins, C. T. 1993. Wildlife feeding and nutrition. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USAGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Sadleir, R. M. F. S. 1987. Reproduction of female cervids. Pages 23–144 in C. M. Wemmer, editor, Biology and management of the Cervidae. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Sams, M. G., R. L. Lochmiller, C. W. Qualls, Jr., and D. M. Leslie, Jr. 1998. Sensitivity of condition indices to changing density in a white-tailed deer population. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 34:110–125PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Sasaki, C. 1983. Phenology of woody plants and temperatures in central Hokkaido. Review of Forest Culture 4:77–86. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Staines, B., J. M. Crisp, and T. Parish. 1982. Differences in quality of food eaten by red deer (Cervus elaphus) stags and hinds in winter. Journal of Applied Ecology 19:65–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Stearns, S. C., and J. C. Koella. 1986. The evolution of phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits: prediction of reaction norms of age and size at maturity. Evolution 40:893–913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Suzuki, M., K. Kaji, M. Yamanaka, and N. Ohtaishi. 1996. Gestation age determination, variation of conception date, and external fetal development of sika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis Heude, 1884) in eastern Hokkaido. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 58:505–509PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Suzuki, M., M. Onuma, M. Yokoyama, K. Kaji, M. Yamanaka, and N. Ohtaishi. 2001. Body size, sexual dimorphism, and seasonal mass fluctuations in a larger sika deer subspecies, the Hokkaido sika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis Heude, 1884). Canadian Journal of Zoology 79:154–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Takatsuki, S. 1980. Food habits of sika deer on Kinkazan Island. Science Report of Tohoku University, Series IV (Biology) 38:7–31Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Takatsuki, S. 1983. The importance of Sasa nipponica as a forage for sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Omote-Nikko. Japan. Journal of Ecology 33:17–25Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Takatsuki, S. 1986. Food habits of sika deer on Mt. Goyo, northern Honshu. Ecological Research 1:119–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Takatsuki, S. 1988. Rumen contents of sika deer on Tsushima Island, western Japan. Ecological Research 3:181–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Takatsuki, S. 1990. Summer dietary composition of sika deer on Yakushima Island, southern Japan. Ecological Research 5:253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Takatsuki, S. 1992. Research report of sika deer on Mt. Goyo (1988–1991). Iwate Prefecture. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Takatsuki, S., and S. Ikeda. 1993. Botanical and chemical composition of rumen contents of sika deer on Mt. Goyo, northern Japan. Ecological Research 8:57–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    University of Tokyo. 1988. An outline of the university forest in Chiba 1988. Chiba, Japan. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Warren, R. J., and L. J. Krysl. 1983. White-tailed deer food habits and nutritional status as affected by grazing and deer-harvest management. Journal of Range Management 36:104–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Watanabe, R. 1978. Seasonal division based on the phenological records in two different climati-cal regions of Japan. Bulletin of Institute of Nature Education in Shiga Heights, Shinshu University 17:19–32Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Watanabe, T., and S. Takatsuki. 1993. Comparison of nitrogen and fiber concentrations in rumen and fecal contents of sika deer. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan 18:43–48Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    Wentworth, J. M., A. S. Johnson, and P. E. Hale. 1990. Influence of acorn use on nutritional status and reproduction of deer in the Southern Appalachians. Proceedings of Annual Conference of Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 44:142–154Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Wentworth, J. M., A. S. Johnson, P. E. Hale, and K. E. Kammermeyer. 1992. Relationships of acorn abundance and deer herd characteristics in the Southern Appalachians. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 16:5–8Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Westoby, M. 1974. An analysis of diet selection by large generalist herbivores. American Naturalist 108:290–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Whitehead, G. K. 1993. The Whitehead encyclopedia of deer. Swan Hill Press, Shrewsbury, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Wood, A. J., I. McT. Cowan, and H. C. Nordan. 1962. Periodicity of growth in ungulates as shown by deer of the genus Odocoileus. Canadian Journal of Zoology 40:593–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Yamamura, Y., and M. Kimura. 1992. Matter-economical roles of evergreen leaves in Aucuba japonica, an understory shrub in the warm-temperate region of Japan 2. Dynamics and budgets of nutrients. Botanical Magazine, Tokyo 105:95–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Yokoyama, M., N. Maruyama, K. Kaji, and M. Suzuki. 1996. Seasonal changes of body fat reserves in sika deer of east Hokkaido, Japan. Journal of Wildlife Research 1:57–61Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Yokoyama, M., K. Kaji, and M. Suzuki. 2000. Food habits of sika deer and nutritional value of sika deer diets in eastern Hokkaido, Japan. Ecological Research 15:345–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Yokoyama, M., M. Onuma, M. Suzuki, and K. Kaji. 2001. Seasonal fluctuations of body condition in northern sika deer on Hokkaido Island, Japan. Acta Theriologica 46:419–428Google Scholar
  86. 86.
    Yokoyama, S., T. Koizumi, and E. Shibata. 1996. Food habits of sika deer as assessed by fecal analysis in Mt. Ohdaigahara, central Japan. Journal of Forest Research 1:161–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiko Asada
    • 1
  • Keiji Ochiai
    • 2
  1. 1.Senior researcher, Natural History Museum and InstituteChuo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Senior researcher, Natural History Museum and Institute, ChibaChuo-kuJapa

Personalised recommendations