A week in the woods: Last week of July

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Thu, 04.08.2016 - 10:39

A roe deer came to pick mushrooms at the badger sett.


Information from the Animal of the Year team 30.07.2016


Since the start of the camera at the end of last year the badger sett has been visited twice by roe deer. Both occasions have been surprising and caused raised eyebrows. 

In early spring when the forest floor was white from wind anemones two roe deer came in camera view. They feasted only on the anemones. Snatched them at each step, did not even try other plants. The thing was made interesting by the fact that the wind anemone is a toxic plant. Eating it for instance causes anemone poisoning in humans. According to information in literature it is not edible for animals either. 

Now then, the second surprise. The roe deer spent nearly two minutes at the sett, sniffing at everything, but its nose was only attracted by mushrooms. On cleaning the burrows in front of the camera in early summer the badger heaped some twenty centimetres of gravel in front of the entrance. It is interesting by itself that mushrooms, and more exactly brown roll-rims (Paxillus involutus ) could begin to grow in soil freshly brought up from underground and mixed about. Precisely these interesting brown roll-rims brought our visitor to the camera this week. The roe deer devoured the mushrooms with pleasure. As an experienced and knowledgeable mushroom picker it selected the younger and fresher ones. 

Quite as the wind anemone the brown roll-rim is not suitable as food for humans. While poisoning by anemones shows quite soon after eating, poisoning by the roll-rim, earlier and regrettably even now picked by some out of ignorance, is more subtle. The toxin collects in the body and is not eliminated from it. The toxin paralyzes the red blood cells by gluing them to each other. Parboiling or soaking does not extract the poison from the roll-rim.

The effect of brown roll-rim on roe deer is not known.

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