Abandoned fawn? Think twice

Thursday 30 May 2013, 15:33

Springwatch Guest Blog Springwatch Guest Blog

Guest blogger: Katie Barlow, The Deer Initiative

You are on a lovely country side walk when you spot a very young deer, on its own, looking defenceless. It seems scared and still. Best thing to do? Leave it be.

This is perfectly normal and the youngster is at its safest where it is. We as humans may not agree that ‘abandoning’ your baby is safe, however, to deer this is an instinctive form of protection and mum will be nearby.

A muntjac deer fawn A muntjac deer fawn by Jamie Cordery, The Deer Initiative

Deer give birth from late April and into July. Both non-native species, such as muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) and native species, such as red deer (Cervus elaphus) often leave their young alone from an early age while the mother eats and then returns occasionally to feed them.

Young red deer Young red deer copyright Rob Moon, BDS Image Library
So if you are lucky enough this spring and summer to see a young deer just remember, although it is very tempting to get as close as possible, it is best to view them from a distance. This will allow the mother to find her youngster easily and the wildlife stays wild.

Young sika deer Young sika deer by Jochen Langbein
More information about best practise around wild deer on the Deer Initiative website.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Image of Red deer shown last night (first pic as Pauline was explaining difference)...looked exactly like a Roe to me. Not entirely convinced you got that one correct?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    This is a general comment about springwatch.

    The content is generally excellent. My problem is with the presenting style. It reminds me of Blue Peter. A large proportion of your audience may well be children but please don't assume that even children want to be treated in such a patronising fashion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    They look like bambi

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    @Andrew - you are right. I watched Springwatch Unsprung again earlier and when they showed images that were sent in by the public, the first image was a Roe Deer with it's young, not a Red Deer as said on the show.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Dear Michaela,Martin and Chris,
    With much pleasure we follow all your "Watches". This time we have a question: why don't you make a new nestbox for the invading Jackdaws in the neighbourhood.This seems for all the Jackdaws a win-win situation.(we think that Michaela secretly thinks the same...). Hein and Riejet from Holland

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Hi, Conandog is right. What has happened to the presenting? I cant watch anymore. Chris is good...a bit dour but so was Bill when he was in a mood. But Martin is awful. Its like bad childrens TV presenting. Who on earth thought he would make a good addition to the line up. I know things move on... Lol is great, but why no Simon King? Please send Martin to the outer Hebrides without camera or sound equipment. Dreadful.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Lovely pictures of young deer, I would hope that they grow up safe and well and avoid the attention of so called "Conservationists". Here on the Isle of Wight we have comparatively few wild deer and surprisingly the very people that you would expect to be championing their cause are actually advocating their extermination.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    The 'fallow fawn' brought on the Springwatch Unsprung programme is a Red Calf.


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