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Contrasting dispersal patterns in two Scandinavian roe deer Capreolus capreolus populations

Wahlström, L. Kjell, Liberg, Olof
Wildlife biology 1995 v.1 no.3 pp. 159-164
Capreolus capreolus, deer, females, males, morphs, population growth, telemetry, yearlings, Scandinavia, Sweden
Yearling natal dispersal frequencies and distances in roe deer Capreolus capreolus were compared between two regions in Scandinavia, Västerbotten, on the northern edge of the expanding population, and Mälardalen, in the central continuous part. Data were collected using telemetry during 1987–1994. In Västerbotten 91% (n = 11) of the males and 100% (n = 9) of the females left their natal areas, and in Mälardalen 43% (n = 42) of the males and 48% (n = 50) of the females dispersed. No intra-regional difference in distances dispersed was found between sexes. Average dispersal distance in Västerbotten was ca 120 km (n = 17), with only one disperser settling less than 39 km from its natal area. In Mälardalen, the average dispersal distance was around 4 km (n = 42), and only two animals moved further away than 15 km. One hypothesis accounting both for the almost complete dispersal of deer in Västerbotten, and for the existence of a few long-distance dispersers in Mälardalen, is that two genotypically distinct morphs of roe deer exist, one ‘dispersive’ and one ‘stationary’. The predominance of the ‘dispersive’ type in Västerbotten could be explained by ‘stationaries’ not having had enough time to colonise this region since the last population bottleneck in the mid 19th century, when the Scandinavian population was restricted to the southernmost part of Sweden.