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Doctoral thesis, 2010

Temporal and spatial variation in predation on roe deer fawns

Nordström, Jonas


This thesis deals with variation in mortality of roe deer fawns, over time and in space, caused by red fox and Eurasian lynx predation in a boreal landscape. The thesis considers historic and recent effects of vole population dynamics on red fox predation on roe deer fawns, using long term time series from Grimsö Wildlife Research Area. Historically, the vole population of south-central Sweden has varied cyclically, causing red fox and roe deer fawns to fluctuate synchronically in accordance with the alternative prey hypothesis, but following a dampening of vole cycle amplitude this relationship has ended. The thesis also covers mortality of roe deer fawns in a multi-predatory context as both red fox and Eurasian lynx are revealed as important predators of roe deer neonates in a study using radio marked fawns. A study on roe deer female habitat choice and survival of fawns points out a possible trade-off in does between high quality forage and survival of fawns. Weak, but long reaching spatial effects of predation are found as the relation between roe deer fawn survival and distances to fox dens with litters are investigated, and a study on supplemental feeding of red fox as a means of relieving fawns from predation pressure proves this practice futile in boreal forest.


roe deer; young animals; predation; mortality; foxes; lynxes; predators; voles; population dynamics; animal feeding; sweden

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2010, number: 2010:6
ISBN: 978-91-576-7483-8
Publisher: Dept. of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Nordström, Jonas
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Wildlife Management

URI (permanent link to this page)