Good morning and welcome to The British Deer Society

Deer Distribution Survey

Deer Distribution Survey

Every five years the British Deer Society undertakes a survey plotting the current distribution of all species of deer wild in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and uses it to monitor and record changes from the previous survey to see if the range has changed or expanded. 

Data is collected from various sources. Help is asked not just from BDS’s own members but from everyone with a shared interest including wildlife groups, government departments, the general public and most importantly from the countryside and stalking fraternity who recognise the deer species and can contribute good accurate information.

The mapped results show both overall distribution and changes in range of the various species over the five years since the last survey.

Over the decades the mapped results have been acknowledged as the accredited record of where deer are located wild within the UK. The BDS maps are used widely by scientists, researchers, students and the media and have appeared in books, scientific publications and been used to illustrate a number of countryside TV programmes.

The survey can now be carried out online, which we hope will ensure wider cross-country participation enabling BDS to produce an even more accurate picture of the presence of deer species across the UK.

Please participate in the 2016 survey  

The 2016 survey is currently underway so please do participate at

In case you are not sure what species of deer you are looking at, within the survey tool you can access images of all deer species to assist with accurate identification. You can also use the guides below.

For 2016 we are also looking at where reindeer have been seen, whether wandering wild, living in zoos, farms and collections, or even visiting shopping centres at Christmas. 

Experiencing problems submitting the form? Please try using Google Chrome. If you use Internet Explore it must be version 9 or upwards.

Results of the 2011 Deer Distribution survey

Please click on a link below to view the mapped results from the previous survey for each species:

  pdf Chinese water deer (3.51 MB)
  pdf Fallow deer (2.88 MB)
  pdf Muntjac deer (3.83 MB)
  pdf Red deer (6.03 MB)
  pdf Roe deer (2.92 MB)
  pdf Sika deer (6.60 MB)

Identifying deer

A number of guides have been put together to help you identify deer as you take part in this survey. In addition, you can also download a distribution map poster for each species

Click on a link below to view the guides:

  pdf Chinese water deer guide (4.15 MB)                        pdf Chinese water deer distribution poster (782 KB)
  pdf Fallow deer guide (4.74 MB)                                     pdf Fallow deer distribution poster (831 KB)
  pdf Muntjac deer guide (4.34 MB)                                   pdf Muntjac deer distribution poster (924 KB)
  pdf Red deer guide (3.35 MB)                                         pdf Red deer distribution poster (772 KB)
  pdf Roe deer guide (3.01 MB)                                       pdf Roe deer distribution poster (877 KB)
  pdf Sika deer guide (5.69 MB)                                         pdf Sika deer distribution poster (715 KB)