Isle of Wight Deer Conservation launched the Isle of Wight Deer Survey in 2015 with the aim of discovering which species were present on the island and any impacts that they may be having.
Our survey once again gives a snapshot of this wild deer activity, with Muntjac being discussed most often and a new species Sika being noted.
These deer are mostly observed either singly or in pairs throughout the year and although well distributed they do not appear to be concentrated in any particular area, with males, females and young all being recorded.
The mention of Sika comes as no surprise, they are present along the shoreline from Lepe to Hurst Spit and it was this species that colonised the Arne Peninsular in Dorset by swimming across Poole Bay after their initial release on Brownsea Island.
Chinese Water Deer have previously been seen around Southampton Water and Bosham Creek but appear to be the only one of the six deer species extant in the wild in the UK that has not been recorded on the Isle of Wight.
The island’s unique woodlands evolved in the presence of wild deer and there are complex ecological relationships between them and other species such as ground flora, bats, birds and invertebrates, leading to a rich woodland environment.
Deer densities are pivotal to establishing this natural balance, if either too many or too few deer are present it can be very damaging to woodland biodiversity. Isle of Wight Deer Conservation is able to advise and assist in achieving this balance.
There have been no reports of adverse deer impacts on the island to the survey and the Forestry Commission have also confirmed that they too have not noticed any problems caused by deer in their woodlands here either.
IW Deer Conservation would like to express their gratitude to all those that have chosen to participate in the survey so far. To help us to build up as comprehensive a picture as possible about the island’s deer further participation in the Isle of Wight Deer Survey from individuals, businesses and other organisations is most welcome.
For periodic updates please email firstname.lastname@example.org, thank you for your interest and support.
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