By analysing rumen content samples from 105 dead specimens, the annual diet of the Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in the New Forest, Hampshire, was determined over the period from November 1970 to March 1973. Bramble and rose formed the bulk of the diet throughout the year, comprising the largest food fraction in all months except January and April. In January to March, foliage from felled conifers, Calluna, and ivy were major foods, plus lesser amounts of grasses, herbs and fungi. From May until early winter, herbs and grasses were important. New, tender, spring and summer growth from broadleaved deciduous trees, bilberry and holly was eaten in appreciable quantities. Acorns were a characteristic autumnal food. Abundant potential foods which Roe deer seldom selected included rushes, sedges, mosses, bark and dead hardwood leaves. Widespread species that Roe rarely consumed were Corsican pine, Erica tetralix, E. cinerea, gorses, bog myrtle and the grasses Agrostis setacea, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Deschampsia caespitosa and Molinia caerulea.
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