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Distribution and connectivity of the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Alps

Image caption:
© Günter Havlena / PIXELIO
Year of publication2011
Author(s)Katrin Sedy
Co-authorsMartin Hölzl
Publisher(s)Umweltbundesamt Österreich
Place of publicationWien
Publication typeJournal, booklet
In this report the approaches taken to model the distribution and connectivity of Cervus elaphus in the Alps are described. This was undertaken within the project Econnect. The analysis was conducted with the following guidelines in mind:
1. Analysis of species habitat needs in terms of habitat connectivity (e.g. maximum distances, characteristics of corridors/stepping stones).
2. Spatial analysis of current and potential habitats, their lack of connectivity and its reasons (qualitative and quantitative assessment)
3. Characterization of the barriers by their origin, size, shape and degree of permeability and (economic) assessment of possibilities to diminish them.
The conclusions of the study show that the existence of red deer free zones raises the question of management of conflicts and densities of animal population that are capable for forests. There is a need for a more conscious and active integration of wildlife species into cultivated landscapes, providing proper biotopes for plants and animals and thereby reducing damage. In doing so natural interactions - like reintroducing large predators like the wolf - should be better utilized to achieve sustained regulation.