The timing of reproduction in Red deer (Cervus elaphus) in relation to latitude


  • T. J. Fletcher

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, Madingley Road, Cambridge
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    • *18, Warrender Park Terrace, Edinburgh.


A survey was carried out of the birth dates of Red deer calves born in zoological gardens throughout the world in an attempt to assess the effects of latitude on the timing of conception. The results showed that Red deer in the Northern Hemisphere calve at a similar time of the year irrespective of latitude, and that there is no increase in the length of the calving season as the equator is approached; south of the equator, calving is shifted by six months. Populations living at similar latitudes can show small variations of up to two weeks between the median calving dates.