TThe Fallow Deer (Dama dama) is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. This common species is native to western Eurasia, but has been introduced widely elsewhere. It often includes the rarer Persian Fallow Deer as a subspecies (D. d. mesopotamica), while others treat it as an entirely different species (D. mesopotamica). The male is known as a buck, the female is a doe, and the young a fawn. Adult bucks are 140–160 cm long and 85–95 cm shoulder height, and 60–100 kg in weight; does are 130–150 cm long and 75–85 cm shoulder height, and 30–50 kg in weight. Fawns are born in spring at about 30 cm and weigh around 4.5 kg. The life span is around 12–16 years. The species has great variations in the colour of their coats, with four main variants, "common", "menil", melanistic and leucistic - a genuine colour variety, not albinistic. The white is the lightest colored, almost white; common and menil are darker, and melanistic is very dark, sometimes even black (easily confused with the Sika Deer). Common: Chestnut coat with white mottles that are most pronounced in summer with a much darker, unspotted coat in the winter. Light-colored area around the tail, edged with black. Tail is light with a black stripe. Menil: Spots more distinct than common in summer and no black around the rump patch or on the tail. In winter, spots still clear on a darker brown coat. Melanistic (Black) : All year black shading to greyish-brown. No light-colored tail patch or spots. Leucistic (white, but not albino) : Fawns cream-colored, adults become pure white, especially in winter. Dark eyes and nose, no spots. Most herds consist of the common coat variation, yet it is not rare to see animals of the menil coat variation. The Melanistic variation is rarer and white very much rarer still. Only bucks have antlers, which are broad and shovel-shaped (palmate) from 3 years. In the first two years the antler is a single spike. They are grazing animals; their preferred habitat is mixed woodland and open grassland. During the rut bucks will spread out and females move between them, at this time of year fallow deer are relatively ungrouped compared to the rest of the year when they try to stay together in groups of up to 150. Agile and fast in case of danger, fallow deer can run up to a maximum speed of 30 mph (48 km/h) over short distances (being naturally less muscular than other cervids such as roe deer, they are not as fast). Fallow deer can also make jumps up to 1.75 metres high and up to 5 metres in length.
The Fallow Deer is a Eurasian deer that was a native to most of Europe during the last Interglacial. In the Holocene, the distribution was restricted to the Middle East and possibly also parts of the Mediterranean region, while further southeast in western Asia was the home of the Persian Fallow Deer, that is bigger and has larger antlers. In the Levant, Fallow Deer were an important source of meat in the Palaeolithic Kebaran-culture (17000-10000 BC), as is shown by animal bones from sites in northern Israel, but the numbers decreased in the following epi-Palaeolithic Natufian culture (10000-8500 BC), perhaps because of increased aridity and the decrease of wooded areas Within Europe, the European roe deer occurs in most areas, with the exception of northernmost Scandinavia (north of Narvik) and some of the islands, notably Iceland, Ireland, and the Mediterranean Sea islands; in the Mediterranean region it is largely confined to mountainous regions, and is absent or rare at low levels. Scottish roe deer were introduced to the Lissadell Estate in Co. Sligo in the Republic of Ireland around 1870 by Sir Henry Gore-Booth, Bt. The Lissadell deer were noted for their occasional abnormal antlers and survived in that general area for about 50 years before they died out and there are not believed to be any roe deer currently extant in Ireland. German colonial administrators introduced roe deer to the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia. They are hunted by locals in very steep and heavily vegetated terrain. The meat is openly sold in markets and restaurants in Kolonia, the capital city of Pohnpei and the Federated States of Micronesia.
spotted in the Vila Nova de Gaia Biological Park