Roe-deer and forest management in the Apennines

Paolo Casanova, Anna Memoli

Abstract


Between 1960 and 1970 the crisis of mountain agriculture and country exodus favoured a significant increase in wild ungulate populations, including roe-deer. The end of competition for pasturage with domestic livestock allowed roe-deer to conquer forest lands particularly suitable for its ecology (coppice) and to settle in areas where its presence had not been signalled for many centuries. The above implies the need to manage roe-deer populations in order to define maximum density on the basis of grazing availability. Selective hunting represents only one aspect of game management and it has to be supported by yearly monitoring of population biological conditions and of forest dynamics, particularly regarding natural regeneration.

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