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- Class: Mammals (4 breasts)
- Superorder: Ungulates (rests on nails)
- Order: Artiodactyls (grease with an even number of fingers)
- Suborder: Ruminants (polygastric digestive system)
- Family: Cervidae (small stages and only in males)
- Subfamily: Cervini
- Genus: Cervus
- Species: elaphus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Reproduction - from mid-September to mid-October
Gestation - 231-234 days
Number of puppies - 1
First steps - within two hours
Weaning - 8 months
Sexual maturity - 12-16 months, social 3-4 years
Longevity - over 20 years
Of powerful build the M. can weigh from 100 to 300 Kg for a height at the withers from 105 to 140 cm and a length from 185 to over 220 cm; the F. is smaller in size, the weight in fact varies from 70 to 130 kg, the height from 95 to 110 cm and the length from 150 to over 180 cm.
During the year, the deer takes on two coats or "mute", an autumn / winter from October, typically tawny color tending to grayish, the presence of long and thick mane to the dewlap in the M., and white hairs of the anal mirror both in the M. that F .; a spring from April, with replacement of the winter coat with red-fawn coat.
The youthful dark brown coat pomellato along the sides (Bambi) is characteristic, which lasts for about two months.
Only the male carries the stage and consists of two poles from which two, three or more points branch out in relation to the development and age of the animal. The branched trophy falls and grows annually.
The deer lives in the deciduous forests, in the coniferous woods, in the sparse woods, in environments however rich in clearings and open areas; in Italy it is widespread especially along the Alpine chain, although constant presence can refer to many areas of the Apennines. The food requirements configure the deer as a typical intermediate opportunist grazing animal or an animal that tends to be a little selector in the choice of food but capable of changing attitude both in function of food availability and in function of the metabolic needs related to the different annual periods.
NOTE: please note that there is a subspecies in Sardinia Cervus elaphus corsicanus characterized by small size. In this subspecies the trophy has a limited number of branches (tops).
In peninsular Italy, it is present locally at the Boscone della Mesola (FE), a population of deer considered by some researchers to be the only indigenous strain surviving in Italy, a direct descendant of the Padania deer that once inhabited the extensive lowland forests. Previous cytogenetic studies (Fontana and Rubini 1991) had not shown any difference with the European noble deer, leaving a question on the reasons that determined such a different morphological constitution. Recent genetic studies on mitochondrial DNA (Fico et al. 1998) have shown a genotype very distant from that of the Alpine deer, almost as distant as that of the Sardinian subspecies (Cervus elaphus corsicanus). If this genetic difference is due to the drastic reduction in the number of individuals during the Second World War (with loss of genetic variability), or if it actually descends from the presumed deer of Padania, at the moment it is not possible to know. What is certain is that this is the first time that such a singularity has been genetically proven in a group of peninsular deer (Lorenzini com. Pers.).
NOTE: in order to "improve" the morphological characteristics (increase in animal size and trophy strength), the European continental deer (Cervus elaphus hippelaphus) has been mixed with specimens of Wapiti (Canadian deer), Sika (Japanese deer) and with subjects of C. elaphus originating from Great Britain. To preserve biodiversity, for re-entry operations, the National Institute of Wildlife recommends that non-mestizo subjects are used. We are currently working to make it possible to have genetic recognition of farmed animals by studying their DNA.
The Pilot Project is currently underway in a breeding in Azzano Decimo (AZ. AGR. CANTON ANGELA-AZZANO DECIMO-PORDENONE).
Continental European deer - Cervus elaphus hippelaphus
Sardinian deer - Cervus elaphus corsicanus
It is possible to contact the authors for management questions:
- Dr. Gianmaria Pisani [email protected]
- Dr. Chiara Serena Soffiantini [email protected]
It is also possible to have information for the purchase / sale of garments.