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  • Adult Cervus elaphus (Photo: Chuck Bargeron, The University of Georgia, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Adult male Cervus elaphus (Photo: Gil Wojciech, Polish Forest Research Institute, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Herd of Cervus elaphus (Photo: Terry Spivey, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Adult Cervus elaphus (Photo: Terry Spivey, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Close-up of bark wounds caused by Cervus elaphus (Photo: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Damage caused by Cervus elaphus (Photo: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
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Common name
Rotwild, Rothirsch (German), cerf elaphe (French), Ciervo colorado (Spanish), Rothirsch (German), deer (English), Edelhirsch (German), wapiti (Shawnee), elk (English), red deer (English), European red deer (English)
Synonym
Similar species
Summary
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) were introduced to several countries, including North and South America, New Zealand and Australia. In Argentina they have invaded several National parks, influencing native flora and fauna and possibly disrupting ecological processes. Of particular concern is possible competition with an endangered deer endemic to the southern parts of Chile and Argentina. They also compete with livestock.
Species Description
Adult red deer (Cervus elaphus) are medium-sized and round-antlered, with a uniform, plain brown body, lighter below. Mature males have antlers with 10 or more tines, the uppermost pointing upwards in a cluster. The muzzle is blackish and hairless, and the hooves are grey to black. Both sexes are similar in colour. Adults typically have no spots, newborn fawns are brown or reddish-brown with a dark dorsal stripe and a creamy to light brown rump patch. White spots are scattered on the back and flanks (Nugent and Fraser 2005). Female live weights are 100-150kg, male live weights 200-300kg.
Notes
In southern Latin America the invasion of red deer (Cervus elaphus) has occurred in temperate rain forests, ecotonal areas and tree-less steppe areas. The invasion is encouraged through plantations of exotic conifers in ecotonal and steppe areas. The only important predator is the native puma (Puma concolor).
Lifecycle Stages
In Patagonia, sexual maturity of red deer (Cervus elaphus) females is at 1 or 2 years of age; gestation lasts approximatly 240 days; males reach their maximum development at 12-14 years of age; life span in the wild in both sexes is 18-20 years.
Uses
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) have been used to stock game parks for recreational and trophy hunting. Red deer have been farmed for venison, velvet and skins/hides, as well as\r\nfor Asian medicines using antlers, velvet, tails and testicles, and teeth for jewellery (Auckland Regional Council- PestFacts).
Habitat Description
The habitat types occupied by red deer (Cervus elaphus) in southern Chile and Argentina include native forest types and grasslands and modified vegetation types. Currently red deer are established in most forested habitat types encountered between about 34E and 55E S. Inhabited native vegetation types include: alerce forests, Fitzroya cupressoides; Araucaria forest, Araucaria araucaria; Cordilleran Cypres forest, Austrocedrus chilensis; Roble-Rauli-Coihue forest, Nothofagus obliqua, N. nervosa, N. dombeyi; Rauli-Tepa-Coihue forest, Nothofagus nervosa, N. dombeyi, Laureliopsis philipiana; Valdivian Rainforest complex; Lenga forest, Nothofagus pumilio; Nire forest, Nothofagus antarctic; Magallan Coihue forest, Nothofagus betuloides; alto-Andean vegetation; Patagonian steppe; wet meadows and riparian wetlands; brush and grassland of anthropogenic origin - e.g. forests cleared for livestock; agricultural areas and forest plantations. The present distribution of red deer has the following environmental characteristics: it covers the latitudes between 37E 42' S and 54E 55' S (non-contiguous); the longitudes between 73E 36' W and 69E 50' W (non-contiguous); and altitudes between 300m and 2,450m.
Reproduction
Normally one offspring per female. In some parts of Argentina, 10-30% of yearling females breed.
Nutrition
The dietary breadth of red deer (Cervus elaphus) is evidenced by the habitat types invaded so far, which range from temperate rain forests to cold-dry steppe habitat. Females feed on the more lush habitats whilst the males prefer the poorer feeding areas.
Pathway
Introduced by acclimatisation societies.

Principal source: Dr. Werner T. Flueck, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnologica and Centro de Ecologia Aplicada del Neuquen, Argentina

Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Dr. Werner T. Flueck, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnologica and Centro de Ecologia Aplicada del Neuquen, Argentina.

Publication date: 2010-05-26

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Cervus elaphus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=119 on 29-07-2016.

General Impacts
In South America there is now evidence of extensive dietary overlap of red deer (Cervus elaphus) with an endangered native heumel (see Hippocamelus bisulcus in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and likely with guanaco, another native ungulate. Red deer have reached high densities locally with measureable effects on the flora (Flueck, W., pers. Comm., 2003).
Deer prevent regeneration of favoured plant species, which causes significant changes to the structure and composition of native ecosystems. At critical sites, non-replacement of canopy species can lead to canopy collapse. There is no evidence in New Zealand, Chile or Argentina, that equilibrium has been reached between deer and the native ecosystems they inhabit. Deer continue to inhibit forest regeneration even at low density (Department of Conservation Policy Statement on Deer Control, 2002).
Management Info
Preventative measures: Risk Assessment models for assessing the risk that exotic vertebrates could establish in Australia have been further explored by the Western Australia Department of Agriculture & Food (DAFWA) to confirm that they reasonably predict public safety, establishment and pest risks across a full range of exotic species and risk levels.
The Risk assessment for the Red deer (Cervus elaphus), has been assigned a VPC Threat Category of EXTREME.
Mammals and birds were assessed for the pest risk they pose if introduced to Australia, by calculating Vertebrate Pests Committee (VPC) Threat Categories. These categories incorporate risk of establishing populations in the wild, risk of causing public harm, and risk of becoming a pest (eg causing agricultural damage, competing with native fauna, etc). The 7-factor Australian Bird and Mammal Model was used for these assessments.

Physical: In Argentina, wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) are generally treated as a resource, mainly for trophy hunting, and currnently there is no comprehensive strategy to monitor and control populations. Although considered an unwanted invasive species in National parks, current manipulations are restricted to trophy hunting. Only where densities have reached high levels on some private lands, red deer are specifically culled to decrease the density. Several provinces and National parks with wild red deer have established their hunting regulations, though not being based on population characteristics or conservation goals (Werner, F., pers. comm., 2004).

\r\nIntegrated management: The Department of Conservation in New Zealand has released a policy statement on deer control, (Department of Conservation Policy Statement on Deer Control, 2001), which adopts an integrated approach to control of deer, working with all interest groups.

Please follow this link for a case study on the management of red deer in New Zealand compiled by the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Cervus elaphus
NATIVE RANGE
Informations on Cervus elaphus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Cervus elaphus in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
In South America there is now evidence of extensive dietary overlap of red deer (Cervus elaphus) with an endangered native heumel (see Hippocamelus bisulcus in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and likely with guanaco, another native ungulate. Red deer have reached high densities locally with measureable effects on the flora (Flueck, W., pers. Comm., 2003).
Deer prevent regeneration of favoured plant species, which causes significant changes to the structure and composition of native ecosystems. At critical sites, non-replacement of canopy species can lead to canopy collapse. There is no evidence in New Zealand, Chile or Argentina, that equilibrium has been reached between deer and the native ecosystems they inhabit. Deer continue to inhibit forest regeneration even at low density (Department of Conservation Policy Statement on Deer Control, 2002).
Red List assessed species 7: CR = 1; EN = 3; VU = 1; LC = 2;
Locations
ARGENTINA
CHILE
NEW ZEALAND
South America
Mechanism
[3] Competition
[1] Disease transmission
[2] Grazing/Herbivory/Browsing
Outcomes
[5] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [4] Reduction in native biodiversity
  • [1] Modification of successional patterns
[1] Environmental Species - Population
  • [1] Plant/animal health
[1] Socio-Economic
  • [1] Reduce/damage livestock and products
Management information
Preventative measures: Risk Assessment models for assessing the risk that exotic vertebrates could establish in Australia have been further explored by the Western Australia Department of Agriculture & Food (DAFWA) to confirm that they reasonably predict public safety, establishment and pest risks across a full range of exotic species and risk levels.
The Risk assessment for the Red deer (Cervus elaphus), has been assigned a VPC Threat Category of EXTREME.
Mammals and birds were assessed for the pest risk they pose if introduced to Australia, by calculating Vertebrate Pests Committee (VPC) Threat Categories. These categories incorporate risk of establishing populations in the wild, risk of causing public harm, and risk of becoming a pest (eg causing agricultural damage, competing with native fauna, etc). The 7-factor Australian Bird and Mammal Model was used for these assessments.

Physical: In Argentina, wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) are generally treated as a resource, mainly for trophy hunting, and currnently there is no comprehensive strategy to monitor and control populations. Although considered an unwanted invasive species in National parks, current manipulations are restricted to trophy hunting. Only where densities have reached high levels on some private lands, red deer are specifically culled to decrease the density. Several provinces and National parks with wild red deer have established their hunting regulations, though not being based on population characteristics or conservation goals (Werner, F., pers. comm., 2004).

\r\nIntegrated management: The Department of Conservation in New Zealand has released a policy statement on deer control, (Department of Conservation Policy Statement on Deer Control, 2001), which adopts an integrated approach to control of deer, working with all interest groups.

Please follow this link for a case study on the management of red deer in New Zealand compiled by the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).

Management Category
Prevention
Control
Bibliography
24 references found for Cervus elaphus

Managment information
Bomford, M., 2003. Risk Assessment for the Import and Keeping of Exotic Vertebrates in Australia. Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra.
Summary: Available from: http://www.feral.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/PC12803.pdf [Accessed August 19 2010]
Crouchley, D., Brown, D., Edge, K. and McMurtrie, P. 2007. Secretary Island Secretary Island Operational Plan: Deer Eradication. Department of Conservation: Te Anau.
Summary: Available from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/MultiPageDocumentTOC.aspx?id=43013 [Accessed 23 March 2007]
D�az, N. I. and J. Smith-Flueck. 2000. The Patagonian huemul. A mysterious deer on the brink of extinction. Literature of Latin America, Buenos Aires. 149 pp. (English and Spanish version available).
Department of Conservation (DOC), 2001. Policy Statement on Deer Control, 2001.
Summary: Management and Deer control policy- New Zealand.
Available from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/MultiPageDocumentTOC.aspx?id=39968 [Accessed 19 February 2008]
Department Of Conservation (DOC), undated. Southern Islands Biodiversity Action Plan - Deer management
Summary: Available from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentPage.aspx?id=39666 [Accessed 19 February 2008]
Duncan, R., Ruscoe, W., Richardson, S. and Allen, R. 2006. Consequences of Deer Control for Kaweka Mountain Beech Forest Dynamics (Landcare Research Contract Report: LC0607/021).
Summary: Available from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/conservation/threats-and-impacts/animal-pests/kaweka-deer-control.pdf [Accessed 23 March 2007]
Flueck, W.T. 1996 Interactions between free-ranging guanaco (Lama guanicoe) and introduced red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Argentina. Zeitschrift Jagdwissenschaft, Vol. 42, No. 1 (12-17).
Summary: Impacts of red deer on native mammals.
Flueck, W.T. 2001 Pregnancy rates of introduced red deer in Patagonia, Argentina after a period of drought. Ecolog�a Austral, Vol. 11 17-24
Summary: Biology red deer.
Flueck, W.T. J.M. Smith-Flueck, 1993.�ber das in Argentinien angesiedelte Rotwild (Cervus elaphus L., 1758): Verbreitung und Tendenzen. Zeitschrift Jagdwissenschaft, Vol. 39, No. 3 (153-160).
Summary: Red deer Distribution in South America.
Flueck, W.T, M. Franken, and J.M. Smith-Flueck 1999 Red deer, cattle and horses at high elevations in the Andean precordillera: habitat use and deer density Journal of Neotropical Mammalogy (SAREM), Vol. 6, No. 2 5-12
Summary: Notes on red deer in Argentina.
Fraser, K.W., Parkes, J.P. and Thomson, C. 2003. Management of New Deer Populations in Northland and Taranaki, Science for Conservation 212.
Summary: Available from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/SFC212.pdf [Accessed 23 March 2007]
Massam M, Kirkpatrick W and Page A., 2010. Assessment and prioritisation of risk for forty introduced animal species. Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Canberra.
Summary: This report documents work contributing to a project commissioned by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre to validate and refine risk assessment models used in decisions to import and manage introduced vertebrate species. The intent of the project was to: a) increase predictive accuracy, scientific validation and adoption of risk assessment models for the import and keeping of exotic vertebrates, and b) reduce the risk of new vertebrate pests establishing introduced populations in Australia.
Available from: http://www.feral.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/DAFWA_RA_060510.pdf [Accessed 16 March 2011]
Page, Amanda; Win Kirkpatrick and Marion Massam, August 2008, Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) risk assessment for Australia. Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia
Summary: Models for assessing the risk that exotic vertebrates could establish in Australia have been developed for mammals, birds (Bomford 2003; Bomford 2006, 2008), reptiles and amphibians (Bomford 2006, 2008; Bomford et al. 2005). These Risk Assessment models have been further explored by Western Australia Department of Agriculture & Food (DAFWA) to confirm that they reasonably predict public safety, establishment and pest risks across a full range of exotic species and risk levels. Mammals and birds were assessed for the pest risk they pose if introduced to Australia, by calculating Vertebrate Pests Committee (VPC) Threat Categories. These categories incorporate risk of establishing populations in the wild, risk of causing public harm, and risk of becoming a pest (eg causing agricultural damage, competing with native fauna, etc). The 7-factor Australian Bird and Mammal Model was used for these assessments.
General information
BirdLife International 2008. Nestor notabilis. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/106001410/0 [Accessed 16 December 2012]
Coomes, D.A., Allen, R.B., Forsyth, D.M. and Lee, W.G. 2003. Factors Preventing the Recovery of New Zealand Forests Following Control of Invasive Deer, Conservation Biology 17 (2): 450�459.
Flueck, Werner T.; and Arlene Jones., 2005. Potential existence of a sylvatic cycle of Taenia ovis krabbei in Patagonia, Argentina. Veterinary Parasitology Volume 135, Issues 3-4, 18 February 2006, Pages 381-383
Hatzofe O, 2006. Invasive Species in Israel. Israel Nature & Parks Authority internal report.
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Cervus elaphus
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=180695 [Accessed 19 February 2008]
Nugent, G. and Fraser, W. 2005. Red Deer. In C.M. King (Ed.): The Hanndbook of New Zealand Mammals, Second Edition, pp 401-420. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Werner, F., pers.comm., 2003
Contact
The following 2 contacts offer information an advice on Cervus elaphus
Flueck,
Werner T.
Cervus elaphus, Hippocamelus bisulcus
Organization:
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnologica and Centro de Ecologica Aplicada del N
Address:
DeerLab C.C. 176, 8400 Bariloche, Argentina
Phone:
(54) 2944-467345
Fax:
(54) 2944-467345
Smith,
Jo Anne M.
Cervus elaphus, Hippocamelus bisulcus
Organization:
Universidad Nacional del Comahue
Address:
DeerLab C.C. 176, 8400 Bariloche, Argentina
Phone:
(54) 2944-467345
Fax:
(54) 2944-467345