· Naturefund project detail

The Red Deer

Röhrender Rothirsch Foto: Dr. H. Fried

There is an archaic atmosphere when the roaring red deer wander their way through the old deciduous forest in the Hohe Schrecke in September. Everything seems to come together: the inception of the melancholic autumn atmosphere, the thick tree trunks blown over by storms laying over each other, and meanwhile the cries of the deer. Although this is a man-made impression, as the original habitat of red deer consists of open and half open landscapes with characteristics of the steppe.

Great ability to adapt

The main habitat of the red deer in Middle Europe are forest areas, which illustrates their ability to adapt. Red deer normally avoid densely populated areas, but can adapt to living in steppe-like conditions, as well as deciduous or coniferous forest. They live in cold mountain regions as well as humid river meadows, or the hot and dry lowlands of Europe. As a result of their adaptability they no longer migrate over great distances during summer and winter.

Prefering landscapes far away from humankind

Red deer prefer landscapes far away from humankind. This is especially true in winter, when the red deer puts its metabolism on a low flame in order to conserve energy. This is the time when they remain hidden, as they do in the Hohe Schrecke. To look for the animals now would mean disturbing them in their wintering ground. If disturbed during this time, their metabolism speeds up, the animals become hungry and begin to strip the bark from the trees to a much greater extent than if they were left undisturbed.

2.000 hectares of wild forest land

Like many other species, red deer require undisturbed areas within their habitat. Therefor, an area of 2.000 hectares of wild forest land will be created for this purpose in the Hohe Schrecke, which will remain largely undisturbed by humans. In order to implement this idea we plan to create a guide-system for visitors to ensure they keep their distance from the „calm zones“, but which also allows them access to areas which are open for tourists. As well as the red deer, humans also need wilderness, if only to have the experience of seeing these amazing animals during autumn or twilight in this near-virgin forest environment.  Join us and help us to buy more land for nature!

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More about the Primeval Forest Relics

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