Sunday, 17 March 2013

Does one and a half million deer mean more food for Britain's Big Cats?

A recent study by the University of East Anglia into deer population in Thetford Forest on the Norfolk/Suffolk border reveals the UK deer population is much bigger than previous believed - as many as one and a half million. This is reaching population levels not seen since the Ice Age. While it's been covered a lot in the news of late, so far I haven't come across any discussion on the implications of this for Britain's "Alien Big Cat" population. 

Bits of deer are among the items on Jonathan McGowan's stall showing evidence of British "Big Cat" kills that he's collected over the years

British "Big Cat" expert Jonathan McGowan (he prefers the term "large cat" to describe the predators at large in the UK, which aren't so alien anymore,) in a talk on Britain's "large cats" at last year's CFZ "Weird Weekend" conference, said "Deer are the key to big cats… Throughout Britain, wherever there are deer in large numbers, there a large cats." He mentioned sika deer in particular, which are "great breeders." Sika deer are now established in Norfolk, and are turning up occasionally in Suffolk, and Suffolk's wildlife and conservation people have been concerned for some years now that muntjac deer in particular are destroying the bluebells in the bluebell woods. Back in 2009, Dr Simone Bullion'sThe Mammals of Suffolk was already talking about "the triumph of the deer."

Read on...

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