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Roe Deer

Capreolus capreolus (Linnaeus 1758) Roe Deer

Hebrew name: איל הכרמל, ayal karmel

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Cervidae

Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated

Regional Threat: CR (B, D) – Critically Endangered

Distribution area: Eight roe deer were reintroduced to the wild in Ramat HaNadiv in the southern Carmel. There are now 10-15 deer inhabiting the area, and some have spread towards the nearby Carmel coast. Additional releases may be carried out in the future. The roe deer were brought to the Carmel from Europe (Italy, France and Hungary; Luria, pers. comm.).

Historic distribution: Tristram (1866, 1876) reported roe deer from the northeastern Galilee hills and the Carmel (in Harrison & Bates 1991). Aharoni (1908) reported use of roe deer antlers for scraping wool in the Zefat area, and he estimated that there were several hundred pairs in the Zefat vicinity alone (in Paz 1983). Carruthers (1909) noted that the species was rare, but still inhabited the mountainous woodlands between the Sea of Galilee and Tyre (in Harrison & Bates 1991). In the Schmitz collection there are two specimens from the Carmel that were probably collected in 1912 (Harrison & Bates 1991). Aharoni (1946) described how he purchased the head of the last roe deer (a two-year old male) hunted in the Isfiya vicinity in 1912.

Typical Habitat: Hills and mountains with open Mediterraniean woodland, containing dense patches that can be used for cover, with adjacent open areas (Macdonald & Barrett 1993).

Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Hunting (in the past).
2. Predation, particularly by golden jackals and feral dogs.

Population Size Estimate: There are 10-15 roe deer in nature in the southern Carmel. In the Carmel Hai-Bar there are another eight deer (Luria pers. comm.)