VIDEO: Quiet munching goes on

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 05.01.2019 - 00:04

Video recorded by Fleur, LK forum

English translation Liis
Estonian text posted 28.12.2018


Bachelors’ club





Red Deer    Punahirv       Cervus elaphus


Let us look back in time . To the deer enclosures of Estonian manors animals were brought from Europe already in the second half of the 19th century. In the troubled times of World War I the deer enclosures disappeared.

A deer pair was donated from Germany to the Estonian Republic in 1927. The animals were settled in Abruka but as the flock grew some of the animals were brought to Pärnu County in 1935, to the Audru deer park.

During the Soviet government 16 animals were brought from Voronez to Vigala. The introduction of red deer in Saaremaa begun in 1968 with animals from Vigala as well as from Latvia. After a couple of years a similar introduction was repeated in Hiiumaa.

When and how did the population of deer of the Estonian mainland start? The beginning is held to be 1978 when nine animals broke out from the Mustjärve deer enclosure. In the same period deer from the Latvian population started to move towards north (solitary individuals were encountered already during the thirties of last century in Pärnu County).

So today we can talk about three populations – in Hiiumaa, Saaremaa and the mainland where only Harjumaa has not been reached by the deer yet.

How many red deer do we actually have? The deer in Saaremaa have become problematic; their number is estimated at two thousand animals.

For whom have deer in Saaremaa become a problem? Primarily for farmers since in winter flocks of several tens of animals visit the fields, feeding on the germinated seed grains and the fields become seriously trampled (the winter climate on the Estonian islands is milder than on the mainland) and the whole germinated plant is used for food. The damage to the productivity of such rape fields may be three to five times. The damage on young pine cultures by deer is considered to be smaller but  cannot be disregarded. Life and sheltering possibilities are good in Saaremaa since there are sufficient clear cutting areas and areas overgrown by shrubs; the hunting pressure on the animals will consequently increase.

In mainland Estonia the numbers are less than half those in Saaremaa or as an estimate about a thousand animals.

In turn the numbers in Hiiumaa should be half those, that is, in the order of five hundred individuals.

The information is from Tiit Randveer’s paper in the December issue of „Eesti jahimees“. 

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