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Free–Ranging and Confined Sika Deer in North America: Current Status, Biology, and Management

  • George A. Feldhamer
  • Stephen Demarais

In North America, the largest numbers of free-ranging sika deer (Cervus nippon) currently occur in Texas and Maryland, with smaller populations on Chincoteague Island, Virginia; there are very small populations about which little is known in North Carolina and Kentucky. Sika deer in these five states are sympatric with native white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). A few individual sika deer escapees from game farms or ranches occur occasionally in other states and may be taken during the hunting season, but there are no other reproductively viable, free-ranging populations. Likewise, there are no known free-ranging sika deer in any of the Canadian provinces or territories. Confined populations of sika deer on game farms or ranches are much more widely distributed in North America, with animals currently held in at least 39 states and four Canadian provinces. In addition to other management concerns related to exotics, the perceived magnitude of problems associated with the potential spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) has resulted in very restrictive regulations against transporting sika deer (and other ungulates) in most states and provinces.

Keywords

Sika Deer Fallow Deer Chronic Wasting Disease Malignant Catarrhal Fever Game Farm 
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.

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© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • George A. Feldhamer
    • 1
  • Stephen Demarais
    • 2
  1. 1.Professor of Zoology, and Director of the Environmental Studies Program Department of Zoology MC 6501Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA
  2. 2.Professor of Wildlife Management, Department of Wildlife and FisheriesMississippi State UniversityMississippiUSA

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