Red Deer – Cervus elaphus
Hind groups consist of a dominant hind, her dependent offspring, and her mature daughters with their offspring, all sharing over-lapping ranges. In contrast, stag groups are less stable and comprise unrelated individuals. Group-size of red deer occupying woodland habitats tends to be smaller than those of the open hill.
Following the rut, stags and hinds typically segregate again. Calves (usually one, very rarely twins) produced as a consequence of the autumn matings are born from mid-May, with a peak of births in the 1st or 2nd week of June. Calves are usually weaned by 8 months old, by which time they have moulted out of their spotted natal coat.
Hybridisation with introduced sika deer Cervus nippon is thought to pose a significant threat to the genetic integrity of native red deer. In the southern Lake District and Wicklow Mountains, populations are now composed almost entirely of red-sika hybrids. It has been suggested that in time, pure red deer may only survive on some of the Scottish islands.