Winter bed-site selection by red deer Cervus elaphus xanthopygus and roe deer Capreolus capreolus bedfordi in forests of northeastern China
Winter bedding sites used by red deer Cervus elaphus xanthopygus Milne-Edwards, 1867 and roe deer Capreolus capreolus bedfordi Thomas, 1908 were studied in the forests of northeastern China from 1991 to 1992. Night beds used by both cervids were higher in canopy closure than day beds. Roe deer selected night bedding sites with denser canopy closure and higher percentage of coniferous trees, and day beds with better concealment cover than red deer. Roe deer selected night beds with higher canopy closure during cold mid winter period than during early and late winter period, whereas no such difference existed in day beds. Red deer showed no significant difference in canopy closure over day and night beds between mid and late winter. Canopy closure, composition of coniferous species, average distance to the nearest tree, and ground cover were identified to discriminate night and day beds for both cervids. The difference in selection of bed-site may reflect different energy requirements of large-bodied red deer and small-bodied roe deer.
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