Isle of Wight Deer Survey update(3)

Welcome to our 2017 update

When Isle of Wight Deer Conservation launched the Isle of Wight Deer Survey in 2015 it was with the aim of discovering which species were present on the island and any impacts that they may be having.

Our survey once again gives a snapshot of this wild deer activity, with Muntjac being discussed most often and a new species Sika being noted.
These deer are mostly observed either singly or in pairs throughout the year and although well distributed they do not appear to be concentrated in any particular area, with males, females and young all being recorded.

The mention of Sika comes as no surprise, they are present along the shoreline from Lepe to Hurst Spit and it was this species that colonised the Arne Peninsular in Dorset by swimming across Poole Bay after their initial release on Brownsea Island.
Chinese Water Deer have previously been seen around Southampton Water and Bosham Creek but appear to be the only one of the six deer species extant in the wild in the UK that has not been recorded on the Isle of Wight.

The island’s unique woodlands evolved in the presence of wild deer and there are complex ecological relationships between them and other species such as ground flora, bats, birds and invertebrates, leading to a rich woodland environment.
Deer densities are pivotal to establishing this natural balance, if either too many or too few deer are present it can be very damaging to woodland biodiversity. Isle of Wight Deer Conservation is able to advise and assist in achieving this balance.

There have been no reports of adverse deer impacts on the island to the survey and the Forestry Commission have also confirmed that they too have not noticed any problems caused by deer in their woodlands here either.

IW Deer Conservation would like to express their gratitude to all those that have chosen to participate in the survey so far. To help us to build up as comprehensive a picture as possible about the island’s deer further participation in the Isle of Wight Deer Survey from individuals, businesses and other organisations is most welcome.

A Red deer hind hiding amongst the Bracken

For periodic updates please email deerwight@gmail.com, thank you for your interest and support
External links that you may find interesting:-
Background information on the island’s deer – Isle of Wight Deer
Photos of deer on the island – Isle of Wight Deer Album
The British Deer Society Deer Distribution Survey 2016 

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Isle of Wight Deer Survey update(2)

An emerging picture

When we launched the Isle of Wight Deer Survey in 2015 we embarked on a voyage of discovery to learn more about the deer living in the wild on the island. Following on from what we learnt last year (see update 1) we have been pleased by the interest shown by the general public and have received some very good detailed responses and occasionally photographs as well.

Species present

Red and Roe, Fallow and Muntjac have all been seen on the island in recent years whilst Sika and Chinese Water Deer appear to be absent.
Sika are frequently seen along the western shores on the mainland side of the Solent, including Hurst Spit just a mile off our own shores. It was this species that colonised the Arne Peninsular after swimming across Poole Harbour from Brownsea Island.
Chinese Water deer have been seen in both the New Forest and near to Chichester on the mainland but unlike other deer species they are not keen swimmers.

Where they may be found

Wild deer continue to be seen dispersed across the island, both singly and in groups with immature and mature animals having been observed. Although not numerous Red and Muntjac deer are the species most often encountered.

Environmental impacts

Deer at modest densities are known to be  beneficial to the environment and increase biological diversity,  our survey has received no details of any adverse deer impacts on the island.

The survey

IW Deer Conservation would like to express their gratitude to all those that have chosen to participate in the survey so far. To help us to build up as comprehensive a picture as possible about the island’s deer further participation in the Isle of Wight Deer Survey from individuals, businesses and other organisations is most welcome.

For periodic updates please email deerwight@gmail.com, thank you for your interest and support

External links that you may find interesting:-
Background information on the island’s deer – Isle of Wight Deer
Photos of deer on the island – Isle of Wight Deer Album

Red deer yearling

Isle of Wight Deer Survey Update (1)

Isle of Wight Deer Survey Update (1)

Early responses

Subsequent to the establishment of IW Deer Conservation in 2015 we sought to engage with the general public, local businesses, other conservation groups and public sector organisations to discover more about deer in the wild on the island, which species are present and what impacts that they may be having.

Early responses have given an interesting insight regarding our island’s deer.

There have been sightings of both the native species, Red and Roe, and introduced Fallow and Muntjac have also been seen. There have been no reports of either Sika or Chinese Water Deer. Although non-native it should be noted that Fallow appear to have been present here from shortly after the Norman conquest until at least the end of the 18th century and may also have been present during the Roman occupation.

Deer have been seen both singly and in family groups with young.

Some respondents have only seen deer on one occasion whilst others have seen them more often, over a period stretching back from the present day (2015) to the mid-1990’s.

Some public authorities are reported as describing any deer seen on the island as “deer farm escapees”, irrespective of where the deer came from,  even for deer species that have never been farmed nor kept in captivity on the island.

No person or organisation has reported any adverse impacts from deer to the natural environment or their business on the island.

IW Deer Conservation would like to express their gratitude to all those that have chosen to participate in the survey so far.

Please help us to build up as comprehensive a picture as possible about the island’s deer, further participation in the Isle of Wight Deer Survey from individuals, businesses and other organisations is most welcome.

For periodic updates please email  deerwight@gmail.com, thank you for your interest and support

External links that you may find interesting:-

Background information on the island’s deer – Isle of Wight Deer

Photos of deer on the island – Isle of Wight Deer Album

Red deer calf in woodland

Red deer calf in woodland

Isle of Wight Deer Conservation

Isle of Wight Deer Conservation Aims and Principles

Deer have been re-emerging in the wild on the island since the 1970’s with evidence of both of the native species, Red and Roe, being reported and also the introduced species, Fallow and Muntjac. With good populations of Sika along the northern shores of the western Solent it would not be surprising to see them here too.
The presence of deer in the countryside can add greatly to people’s enjoyment of it and the Isle of Wight is no exception to this. We believe that competently managed wild deer can be a positive asset to the island’s biodiversity and economy.
Isle of Wight Deer Conservation was founded in 2015 by a group of qualified deer managers, farmers and landowners interested in maintaining a sustainable population of deer in the wild on the Isle of Wight, ethically managed within the principles of Best Practice.

Deer management goes far beyond simply culling animals and it is the aim of our group to record and exchange details of deer sightings, numbers and species, their age range and any resulting impacts that they may be having on agriculture and the environment.

With this knowledge based approach to local deer conservation and management it is our intention to assist our supporting landowners in keeping stable populations of deer at the modest densities known to be beneficial and by helping to mitigate any adverse localised deer impacts that may occur to agriculture or sensitive environments.
If you support the aims and principles of Isle of Wight Deer Conservation and wish to learn more about deer in the wild on the island please visit Isle of Wight Deer or email us at deerwight@gmail.com

 

 

Red deer hind in woodland