Adult Size. 10 to 25kg, 60 to 75cm at shoulder (bucks – males slightly larger than does – females).
Coloration. Summer: reddish brown. Winter: grey, pale brown or (occasionally) black.
Lifespan. Max: 16 years. Bucks rarely exceed 5 years, does 6 to 7 years. Heavy mortality at and shortly after birth and during first winter.
Social groups. Solitary, forming small groups in winter.
Time of birth. May to June.
Number of offspring. Up to 3, usually 1 or 2 kids.
Gestation period. 9 months (4 months of no embryonic growth followed by 5 months of foetal growth).
Food & feeding. Browsers that actively select different food types including herbs, brambles, ivy, heather, bilberry & coniferous tree shoots.
Origins & history. Roe deer are native to Britain, having been present since before the Mesolithic period (6000 to 10000 years b.p.). Forest clearance and over-hunting led to roe deer becoming extinct in England by 1800 but remained in wooded patches in Scotland. Several introductions during Victorian times and their subsequent, natural spread aided by an increase in woodland and forest planting in the 20th century has meant that roe deer have become widespread and abundant today.
Physical Description.The Roe Deer is a small species of deer, its body is small but strong and supported by short legs, and this gives it a rather stocky solid appearance. The Roe Deer is the smallest species of deer native to Europe. Males tend to be larger and heavier than the females. Male Roe Deer are often called Bucks, while the females are called Does.
Roe Deer have a small delicate looking head. The muzzle is normally the same colour as the rest of the pelage, but the nose is a very distinct black colour. There is also a noticeable black ‘moustache’ of fur on the under lip. There are often white markings on the chin and upper throat. The ears are large and oval-shaped, being ringed with black fur, the insides of the ears have soft white fur.
Diet.Roe Deer feed on a variety of twigs, bark, grasses and bushes. They will feed on agricultural crops.
Vocalization. When alarmed bucks and does (males and females) give a short bark, which is often repeated. During the rut does make a high-pitched piping call to attract a buck that makes a rasping noise as he courts the doe.