Where are the two roe deer from last year’s capturing season?
Do you remember our two roe deer Andraž and Jule from Slovenia? A year ago, they were captured with the help of the hunting clubs Selca and Železniki as the first roe deer in Slovenia to carry a telemetric collar. What are Andraž and Jule doing this winter?
They have both returned to the area where they were captured last winter.
This is how our automatic cameras caught them this winter, in the same place where they entered the box traps last winter.
Before the start of last spring, both roe deer males had moved from the capture area to another nearby area. In spring and summer, adult males are territorial, meaning that they occupy their own territory, which they actively control and defend from other males. After the breeding season, which lasts from the second half of July to the first half of August, the spatial territorial structure begins to dissolve. Bucks can spend the autumn and winter period in mixed groups with does, even outside their summer territories.
This is exactly the kind of spatial movements that we have observed in case of Andraž and Jule. In the second half of February 2021, they started exploring adjacent areas, Andraž about 1.8 km away from the capture area and Jule 2.4 km away. Andraž was not yet two years old at the time, which means that he was not yet fully adult (subadult). Jule, on the other hand, was already a strong adult buck and by the end of February he already occupied the area, where he then defended his spring and summer territory.
After the end of the territorial season, they both left their summer areas again and before this winter returned to the area where they had spent last winter. Our photo-traps have recorded them several times in groups with other roe deer, especially at locations where they can find food in winter.