Authors: MARIAMA MATTILA, IOANNIS HADJIGEORGIOU
Abstract: A small population of European fallow deer (Dama dama dama L.) was transferred to Myrina, Lemnos Island, Greece, in the early 1970s from the island of Rhodes. Since the Rhodian population may preserve a remarkable proportion of the original genetic diversity, it is necessary to preserve its offspring population. Our objective was to estimate population size, vegetation cover, and key stakeholder attitudes towards deer on the island, based on personal interviews. Following the visual inspection method, we estimated that there were 47 fallow deer in the fortress area (38 females, 3 males, and 6 fawns). For the total ground cover inventory we used the subplot sampling method. In most areas trees were either browsed or frayed, vegetation cover was insufficient, and dry mass amount was not adequate to support the entire ungulate population. However, lack of nutritious matter supply is covered by additional food and water supply provided by the Myrina municipality and volunteers. In general, the key stakeholders of Lemnos expressed a positive attitude towards fallow deer; however, all concluded that the deer population should be kept at its current size and restricted to the fortress peninsula to avoid potential vehicle collisions and damage to crops and gardens.
Keywords: Deer conservation, fallow deer, Greece, Lemnos Island, urban deer
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