Habitat Use of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus L.) in Çatacik Forest

Authors: İdris OĞURLU

Abstract: Population ecology and habitat preferences of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) were investigated in Çatacik Forest between 1989-1991. In this study 2350 pellet count plots were established through the area of 8776 ha. Presence-absence method (1) and point-distance technique (2) were used on the plots. Plants supplying food for the red deer were investigated on vegetation plots. Habitat selection was studied by a special computer programme based on distribution of pellets in different vegetation types, altitudes, aspects and proximity to water springs and roads. Habitat share between deer and domestic ungulates or wild herbivore mammals in the study area were also studied based on pellet frequencies. It was found that deer mainly used plantations and openings in the forest. The utilization was the highest near the boundaries of the different habitat types and well interspersed habitats. Namely, 'Edge Effect' was an important factor on deer's habitat use.

Keywords: Red deer (Cervus elaphus L.), Habitat Preferences, Food Habits, Pellet Counts, Direct Counts, Çatacik Forest.