Dear Deer

Red-Deer-D3-MainHere at Education Quizzes most of us are vehemently opposed to shooting any animals or birds purely for sport and none of us would be the ones to pull the trigger. At the same time, we have to concede that there are instances where management of sporting estates does have beneficial effects for the long-term survival of some species. One such case is that of red deer in Scotland.

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust report that only about 3% of our red deer live in England and Wales and the remaining 97% (350,000 or so) inhabit their preferred wild and inhospitable moors and forests of Scotland.

Roe-Deer-D3The great sporting estates of Scotland are happy to charge several thousand pounds per week for rich individuals to hunt deer and this means that the estates are willing to expend many millions of pounds to ensure that there are deer to hunt. Gillies are employed to accompany the sportsmen and to ensure that the “right” deer are culled so that the populations are carefully managed for future years. If there were a free-for-all on shooting there is little doubt that the deer population would suffer and decline.

Along with red deer, we have one other truly native species – the roe deer. Roe deer are also concentrated in Scotland but they can be found in most counties of England with a total population in the region of 150,000. These deer are also killed for sport but they are much smaller than the reds and not so prized by trophy hunters.

Fallow-Deer-d3Fallow deer were first introduced to our islands by the Romans and, although they are not considered to be “native”, they are correctly referred to as “naturalised”. Over the centuries there have been numerous escapees from deer parks but the total UK population is only about 20% of that of Roe deer. Your best chance of seeing one is still in the grounds surrounding country estates.

All our deer are beautiful creatures to observe both in their natural habitat and gracing the fields surrounding our large country homes. There is little doubt that without the actions of the landed gentry there would be far less deer around for all of us to enjoy!

To find out more about the natural world and the amazing creatures who live there, have a look at the Nature section of our site. It contains more than 60 quizzes which are all free to play. You’ll find questions on birds, mammals, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, amphibians, trees, flowers, minerals and even outer space! There’s bound to be something of interest there for you!


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