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Abstract

Bimonthly changes in home range size of seven mature roe deer Capreolus capreolus L. females were analysed over one year. Great stability of home range size and high site fidelity was common to all females, which remained bimonthly within areas of 6.1–20.8 ha. Two groups of females could be identified on the basis of bimonthly variations in their home range sizes: females with larger areas (LHR females), who decreased their ranges in the birth season only, and females with smaller home ranges (SHR females), who increased significantly their home ranges during the rut. The most likely explanation is that the areas inhabited by SHR females included high-quality food resources allowing survival even in small home ranges. In the rut, SHR females may have expanded their ranges to increase mating opportunities.