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Concept: Roe Deer


Schmallenberg virus was detected in cattle and sheep in northwestern Europe in 2011. To determine whether wild ruminants are also susceptible, we measured antibody seroprevalence in cervids (roe deer and red deer) in Belgium in 2010 and 2011. Findings indicated rapid spread among these deer since virus emergence ≈250 km away.

Concepts: Deer, Elk, Ruminant, Antler, Red Deer, Roe Deer


Filarioid nematode parasites are major health hazards with important medical, veterinary and economic implications. Recently, they have been considered as indicators of climate change.

Concepts: Medicine, Deer, Climate, Roe Deer, Health sciences, Megafauna of Eurasia, Mammals of Europe, Pioneer species


A survey of naso-pharyngeal and subcutaneous myiasis affecting roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) was conducted in the Czech Republic over an 8-year period (1999-2006). A total of 503 bucks and 264 does from six hunting localities were examined. The sampling area comprised predominantly agricultural lowlands and a mountain range primarily covered by forest. Since 1997, the deer have been treated each winter across the board with ivermectin (150 mg/kg, CERMIX® pulvis, Biopharm, CZ). Parasites found were the larvae of Hypoderma diana and Cephenemyia stimulator. There were no significant differences in warble fly infection among captured animals in the individual hunting localities. Overall, 146 (28.8 %) of 503 animals (bucks) were infected with Cephenemyia stimulator larvae; body size of the second instar larva reached 13-18 mm. The prevalence ranged from 16.1 to 42.9 % per year, and the mean intensity from 6 to 11 larvae per animal. Additionally, a total of 264 roe deer (does) were examined for H. diana larvae, and 77 (29.1 %) were found to be positive; body size of the second instar larva reached 17 mm. The prevalence ranged from 18.8 to 50.0 % per year, and the mean intensity from 13 to 22 larvae per animal. The results showed that the bot flies, Cephenemyia stimulator as well as H. diana, are common parasites in roe deer in the Czech Republic, and that through the help of treatment (ivermectin), it is possible to keep parasite levels low. The body weights of infected and non-infected H. diana deer did not differ significantly.

Concepts: Parasites, Deer, Germany, Fly, Roe Deer, Pioneer species, Veterinary entomology, Oestridae


With the surge of GPS-technology, many studies uncovered space use of mobile animals and shed light on the underlying behavioral mechanisms of habitat selection. Habitat selection and variation in either occurrence or strength of functional responses (i.e. how selection changes with availability) have given new insight into such mechanisms within populations in different ecosystems. However, linking variation in habitat selection to site-specific conditions in different populations facing contrasting environmental conditions but the same habitat type has not yet been investigated. We aimed to fill this knowledge gap by comparing within-home range habitat selection across 61 female roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) during the most critical life history stage in three study areas showing the same habitat types but with different environmental conditions. Female roe deer markedly differed in habitat selection within their home range, both within and among populations. Females facing poor environmental conditions clearly displayed a functional response, whereas females facing rich environmental conditions did not show any functional response. These results demonstrate how the use of a given habitat relative to its availability strongly varies in response to environmental conditions. Our findings highlight that the same habitat composition can lead to very different habitat selection processes across contrasted environments.

Concepts: Deer, Roe Deer, Pioneer species


In animals, physiological mechanisms underlying reproductive and actuarial senescence remain poorly understood. Immunosenescence, the decline in the ability to display an efficient immune response with increasing age, is likely to influence both reproductive and actuarial senescence through increased risk of disease. Evidence for such a link has been reported from laboratory animal models but has been poorly investigated in the wild, where variation in resource acquisitions usually drives life-history trade-offs. We investigated immunosenescence patterns over 7 years in both sexes of two contrasting roe deer populations (Capreolus capreolus). We first measured twelve immune markers to obtain a thorough identification of innate and adaptive components of immunity and assessed, from the same individuals, the age-dependent variation observed in parasitic infections. Although the level of innate traits was maintained at old age, the functional innate immune traits declined with increasing age in one of two populations. In both populations, the production of inflammatory markers increased with advancing age. Finally, the adaptive response declined in late adulthood. The increasing parasite burden with age we reported suggests the effective existence of immunosenescence. Age-specific patterns differed between populations but not between sexes, which indicate that habitat quality could shape age-dependent immune phenotype in the wild.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Innate immune system, Immunology, Deer, Old age, Roe Deer, Pioneer species


The epidemiology of the zoonotic tick-transmitted parasite Babesia spp. and its occurrence in wild reservoir hosts in Sweden is unclear. In European deer, several parasite species, including Babesia capreoli and the zoonotic B. venatorum and B. divergens has been reported previously. The European roe deer, Capreolus capreolus, is an important and common part of the indigenous fauna in Europe, as well as an important host for Ixodes ricinus ticks, the vector of several Babesia spp. in Europe. Here, we aimed to investigate the occurrence of Babesia spp. in roe deer in Sweden.

Concepts: European Union, Deer, Lyme disease, Sweden, Swedish language, Finland, Roe Deer, Pioneer species


Much research on large herbivore movement has focused on the annual scale to distinguish between resident and migratory tactics, commonly assuming that individuals are sedentary at the within-season scale. However, apparently sedentary animals may occupy a number of sub-seasonal functional home ranges (sfHR), particularly when the environment is spatially heterogeneous and/or temporally unpredictable. The roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) experiences sharply contrasting environmental conditions due to its widespread distribution, but appears markedly sedentary over much of its range. Using GPS monitoring from 15 populations across Europe, we evaluated the propensity of this large herbivore to be truly sedentary at the seasonal scale in relation to variation in environmental conditions. We studied movement using net square displacement to identify the possible use of sfHR. We expected that roe deer should be less sedentary within seasons in heterogeneous and unpredictable environments, while migratory individuals should be seasonally more sedentary than residents. Our analyses revealed that, across the 15 populations, all individuals adopted a multi-range tactic, occupying between two and nine sfHR during a given season. In addition, we showed that (i) the number of sfHR was only marginally influenced by variation in resource distribution, but decreased with increasing sfHR size; and (ii) the distance between sfHR increased with increasing heterogeneity and predictability in resource distribution, as well as with increasing sfHR size. We suggest that the multi-range tactic is likely widespread among large herbivores, allowing animals to track spatio-temporal variation in resource distribution and, thereby, to cope with changes in their local environment.

Concepts: Environment, Animal, Deer, Natural environment, Season, Environmental science, Roe Deer, Pioneer species


Influenza A viruses are one of the most important and most studied pathogens in humans and domestic animals but little is known about viral prevalence in non-avian wildlife. Serum samples from three free-ranging cervid species (red [ Cervus elaphus], fallow [ Dama dama] , and roe deer [ Capreolus capreolus]) were collected from six German national parks between 2000 and 2002. The serum was tested for the presence of influenza A antibodies using a commercial competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Only one of 137 samples tested positive.

Concepts: Microbiology, Deer, ELISA, ELISPOT, Elk, Roe Deer, Megafauna of Eurasia


Anthropogenic noise is a growing ubiquitous and pervasive pollutant as well as a recognised stressor that spreads throughout natural ecosystems. However, there is still an urgent need for the assessment of noise impact on natural ecosystems. This article presents a multidisciplinary study which made it possible to isolate noise due to road traffic to evaluate it as a major driver of detrimental effects on wildlife populations. A new indicator has been defined: AcED (the acoustic escape distance) and faecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) were extracted from roe deer faecal samples as a validated indicator of physiological stress in animals moving around in two low-traffic roads that cross a National Park in Spain. Two key findings turned out to be relevant in this study: (i) road identity (i.e. road type defined by traffic volume and average speed) and AcED were the variables that best explained the FCM values observed in roe deer, and (ii) FCM concentration was positively related to increasing traffic volume (road type) and AcED values. Our results suggest that FCM analysis and noise mapping have shown themselves to be useful tools in multidisciplinary approaches and environmental monitoring. Furthermore, our findings aroused the suspicion that low-traffic roads (< 1000 vehicles per day) could be capable of causing higher habitat degradation than has been deemed until now.

Concepts: Anxiety, Deer, Stress, Road, Traffic, Roe Deer, Pioneer species, Types of road


Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most frequently diagnosed microsporidian species in humans and is also found in a wide range of animals. It is considered to be an important but neglected zoonotic pathogen. With the development of deer bred in captivity, the number of deer has been increasing in recent years in China and there are more people involved in this work. The aims of this study were to determine prevalence and genotypes of E. bieneusi in red deer (Cervus elaphus) and Siberian roe deer (Capreolus pygargus), and to assess their potential zoonotic transmission. A total of 122 fecal specimens were collected from 104 red deer and 18 roe deer from three deer farms in Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces, China. Enterocytozoon bieneusi was detected and genotyped by PCR and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rRNA gene. The average infection rate was 8.2% (10/122), with 7.7% (8/104) for red deer and 11.1% (2/18) for roe deer. Two genotypes were identified: a known genotype BEB6 (n = 9) and a novel genotype named HLJD-VI (n = 1). This is the first report of E. bieneusi infection in Siberian roe deer. The fact that genotype BEB6 was detected previously in one human case of microsporidiosis, and that genotype HLJD-VI fell into zoonotic group 1, suggest the possibility of transmission to humans. A brief review of E. bieneusi genotypes in deer worldwide shows that 40 genotypes have been found in seven deer species, with genotype BEB6 being predominant.

Concepts: DNA, Deer, Roe Deer, Megafauna of Eurasia, Fauna of Iran, Microsporidiosis, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Siberian Roe Deer