Theriologia Ukrainica
(former Proceedings of the Theriological School)

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2019 Vol. 17 Contents of volume >>>

download pdfNykonenko, A. Patterns of the European roe deer (apreolus apreolus) bedsites distribution in relation to the plant cover. Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 17: 90-98.



Patterns of the European roe deer (apreolus apreolus) bedsites distribution in relation to the plant cover


Nykonenko, A.


Oles Honchar Dnipro National University (Dnipro, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 17: 90-98.




Ukrainian, with English extended summary, titles of tables, captures to figs, and references


Research of hoofed mammal species such as the roe deer has great importance for scientific-based actions on the biodiversity conservation and population management. Animal ecology studies have fundamental significance for the development of protected areas. Roe deer is a convenient model object for studying population ecology of ungulates by revealing adaptations to the environment and determining the spatial structure of populations. The aim of the work is to describe the ecological patterns of bed-site selection by the European roe deer in the natural forest biotopes located in the Nature Reserve "Dniprovsko-Orilsky", Steppe zone: northern subzone, Ukraine. The European roe deer bed-sites were accounted during all three autumn months in 2017. The species of trees and shrubs within a radius of 3.6 m of a bed-site (n = 87) were determined. The cover depth and the grass cover height next to the bed-sites were measured. The research was conducted in the three different types of ecosystems: oakery, pine plantations and locust plantations. In oakeries, shrubs create most visual protection of the bed-sites whereas high grass makes it in pine plantations. Roe deer select places for beds mostly at a distance of 1.53.0 m from trees and shrubs. The roes use sites for a rest both closed to plants (2030 cm) and at a distance more than 3.55.0 m. The average distance to a nearest tree exceeds that index to the shrub. The cover depth of 1.54.5 cm and grass height of 1075 cm were found just around the bed-sites. We noticed several signs of the forage behavior near the bed-sites, but the tendency of separation places for food and rest was demonstrated. The choice of the place for rest is influenced by a set of indices of trees and shrubs as well as by grass and other objects providing visual protection. At the same time, the roe deer are prone to have visual control over the surroundings from their bed-sites. The index of the environmental protection is calculated as a distance of the bed-sites full-concealment. This index reaches 3.7 m in average and varies in different biotopes: 4.1 m in pine plantations, 2.8 m in oakery and 3.6 m in locust plantations. Trees and shrubs have the best protection properties, while grass cover hides the bed-sites at greater distances. Biodiversity conservation managers should be aware of environmental characteristics, which are required for the species existence. Studying animals requirements allows conservation and rehabilitation of the ecosystems favorable for their life.


apreolus apreolus, vegetation, defensive behavior, habitat selection, Dnipro region.



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created: 16.06.2019
updated: 01.10.2019

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