Sika Deer pp 501-519 | Cite as

Sika Deer Distribution Changes at the Northern Extent of Their Range in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains of the Russian Far East

  • Inna V. Voloshina
  • Alexander I. Myslenkov

In this chapter we describe the shifts in the range of sika deer (Cervus nippon hortulorum) at the northern extreme of their range in the Russian Far East as influenced by natural limitations in habitat and the extremes in climate, and by human activities. We compare results from the Lazovsky Nature Reserve in the south Sikhote-Alin Mountains in the heart of the best deer habitat with those from the Sikhote-Alin Nature Biosphere Reserve and Zheleznyakovsky Refuge in the central Sikhote-Alin at the northern extreme of the sika deer range. Historical records from the 1920s show that later sika deer distribution and population numbers have been severely reduced, primarily by hunting and capture of animals for deer farms. Sika deer populations reached a low in the 1940s, at which time they were very rare in the north. Recovery followed in the subsequent decades, first by an increase in the pockets of survivors in the best habitat near the coast, with subsequent colonization of inland and more northern areas by dispersing animals. First dispersers were individual deer, some of which showed apparent seasonal migratory behavior. Permanent populations developed in areas with suitable yearlong habitat. The population is more dispersed in the south, where climate is more favorable and habitat more extensive. In the north deer are in fewer, more concentrated places near the sea coast in the best habitat and less severe winter conditions. A few sporadic, apparently migratory individuals occur during summer at inland locations. Average group size increased over time, as did maximum winter group sizes, which exceeded 100 individuals in the best wintering areas along the coast. By the 2000s, the original range, and most of the suitable habitat had been reoccupied.


Local Group Sika Deer Source Group Deer Density Average Group Size 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inna V. Voloshina
    • 1
  • Alexander I. Myslenkov
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Science, Lazovsky State Nature Reserve, CentralnayaPrimorsky KraiRussia
  2. 2.Department of Science, Lazovsky State Nature Reserve, CentralnayaPrimorsky KraiRussia

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