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UK Deer Birth Dates Survey

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Article by:
David McAuley, CEO, British Deer Society

UK Deer Birth Dates Survey

Are you aware that climate change and other factors may be influencing deer birthing seasons? The British Deer Society (BDS) launches the Deer Birth Dates Survey in 2023 and will continue it every year to help establish if deer birth dates are changing.

Learn more: BDS UK Deer Birth Dates Survey

If you’ve spotted any new-born (less than a week old) kids/calves/fawns between late March and October, then please do report your sighting in our survey.

The survey contains 8 questions and only takes around 3 minutes to complete.

Your contribution can help us understand our deer better and ensure their welfare continues to be protected.

Who Can Take Part

Everyone is welcome to take part in our survey though please keep in mind the following safety guidance around deer during the birthing season:

  • Keep your distance. Female deer with newly-born young can be unusually protective and, despite being highly nervous about the close proximity of people or dogs, are often still prepared to stand their ground and protect them.

  • It is normal for a mother to leave a young deer alone and hidden because it cannot keep up with her when she is feeding. As a newly-born deer has little or no scent it is well-protected from predators if it lies still, and the mother will return every two to three hours to feed it both day and night.

If you find a fawn, kid, or calf please:

  • Move away immediately
  • Do not be tempted to touch the deer or pick it up – your scent may stop the mother from returning to feed her offspring
  • If you have a dog, please keep it away from the deer and on a lead under full control
  • Do not remove the deer as it has NOT been abandoned and does NOT need to be rescued. Hand-rearing young deer is not usually successful and even those that survive often do not thrive after being released into the wild.

Support BDS

The BDS continues to work hard to educate and inspire everyone about deer including their relationship with the environment in which they live. But we can’t continue to do this without your support.

By becoming a member for just £5 per month or giving us a donation you can help us continue our research, education and training work.

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