Without a doubt, grazing by domestic animals constitutes at present one of the dominating factors in the ecological functioning of the New Forest system. Grazing has always played an important part in the ecology of the Forest; in the past the deer populations for which the area was primarily set aside perhaps played the major role (populations were estimated at 8,000–9,000 animals during their peak). But, since the decimation of deer populations following the Deer Removal Act of 1851, numbers have never exceeded 2,000–2,500, and from that time on commonable animals have probably been the most significant herbivores.


Feeding Behaviour Dietary Composition Standing Crop Deer Population Forage Species 
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Copyright information

© Roderick J. Putman 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Putman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of SouthamptonUK

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